Sat Nam Fest had the pleasure of sitting down with Gurunam Singh, Kundalini yogi & world renowned sacred chant artist. In this exclusive interview, Gurunam shares his thoughts on why chanting heals the Earth and why he loves Sat Nam Fest. Don’t miss Gurunam Singh’s concert on Friday, August 19th at Sat Nam Fest Berkshires! See the full festival schedule here.
What is the significance of chanting and connecting with other people at Sat Nam Fest?
Live music brings more of the heart into it. People can chant with a recording, and you can become deeply meditative that way too. It is really important for the heart to be open in the face of everything that is happening right now.
A really basic teaching from Yogi Bhajan – alone you can reach the divine, but your depths and heights of meditation are expanded in groups. So these unique gatherings at Sat Nam Fest, twice a year and in Mexico, are a sadhana within itself. You are cleansing yourself by being part of that energy. The cleansing leads to a clear subconscious so you can come out with a balance of what you need.
What is the significance of chanting to heal the Earth?
It is crazy how we (as a humanity) continue to hurt and pollute the planet on so many levels. You have to ask yourself: What can we do as a people when others are in control? There are many ways that for us to make our voice heard in the political process. Being at Sat Nam Fest and chanting to work out the pains of the Earth and the sickness of what we are involved in to heal ourselves and heal the Earth – that is a big part of Sat Nam Fest. It is a big part for everyone because we can’t avoid it anymore.
When I grew up in the Northeast, the winter was a full winter. Then in my 20s/30s, we got a pocket of good, springtime weather in the middle of winter. And now things are getting out of whack as the seasons are concerned. It happened somewhat gradually, but if you look back, it wasn’t like this before.
One time in Espanola, when the fires were really bad, a lot of people evacuated. After everything was over, the fires had gotten within a mile or two of the ashram. Yogi Bhajan said that if we had stayed together and chanted, it would have created a vibration that would have kept the fires further away – just by the power of chanting. It has a direct physical effect. It not only affects people’s minds, but we can heal the Earth.
Taking a few days to not be on the internet, watching tv, or entertained by other distractions allows a person to connect with the Earth and just be in the natural way of living. Gathering with like-minded people at an event like Sat Nam Fest is healing for people on an individual basis, and when people chant together they create a vibration that is healing for everyone in the group and the Earth. Sat Nam Fest creates a sacred space, not only for the Heavens, but to heal the Earth.
What was your experience of Kundalini Yoga while you lived on the Yogi Bhajan estate?
I lived in Espanola, New Mexico for over 8 years and worked on Yogi Bhajan’s estate. I got advice from him, took two classes from him and listened to him speak at Gurdwara. He had everything set up – lungar halls, classes, and sadhana in the Gurdwara.
It can be easy to put a little less effort into what you are doing – it is all about balance, sometimes you have more or less energy into the meditation. But when the master is there, and he is not giving you any excuses, you tend to follow through at your maximum capacity. With the master there, it was an exciting call to the soul!
It is the command he makes as an authority figure that pushed us so we would participate and have the experience. It was such a blessing to practice Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan. He was a force of nature, oozing with strength and light.
What do you look forward to at Sat Nam Fest?
At first, I didn’t like that the name of the festival switched from Spirit Fest to Sat Nam Fest, but now I feel that making “Sat Nam” the intention that the festival is built upon gives it a sacred energy. The sacred energy gets more and more powerful with each Sat Nam Fest.
Having Gurdwara available and having the Siri Guru Granth Sahib on the premises is a huge vibrational shift for the whole program. The group Sadhana in the morning is so amazing.
This year, Sat Nam Fest is in the Berkshires. That is my home, in the Northeast. I am looking forward to seeing what the energy is like this time in the Northeast!