Within the Kundalini yoga community of Sat Nam Fest Berkshires as with any other Kundalini yoga community, you will hear LOTS of “Sat Nam!” and “Wahe Guru!” Here is a brief intro to these common yet profound mantras . . .
First of all, mantra is a technology. Man means ‘mind’ and tra means ‘wave’ or ‘projection.’ Through chanting certain mantras, we clear away our subconscious garbage, extraneous thoughts and stories, and instead focus on and invoke the elevated consciousness we wish to embody. As we chant, the 84 meridian points on the upper palate are stimulated, through the movement of chanting. This sends signals to our nervous system and brain, which in turn affects our chemistry and our energy. Our whole being vibrates every time we speak or chant or even think … what would you like to resonate within your being?
Wahe is like “WOW!!” It is an exclamation of wonder. There is no ‘one’ interpretation.
Guru is that which brings us out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of understanding. It can also be seen as that process of coming into the light, elevating our consciousness.
Thus, Wahe Guru can be interpreted as any of the following:
The Bliss of God
“God is Great.” (Yogi Bhajan’s translation)
“I am in ecstasy when I experience the Indescribable Wisdom” (from KRI)
I am in bliss coming into the Wondrous Light!
In other words, there are an infinite number of ways you could interpret this mantra, for it refers to an infinite experience.
It is pronounced like “Wha-hay guroo.” As you chant the ‘r’ in the guroo, the tongue flicks the top of the mouth.
It is said that chanting Wahe Guru is the equivalent of chanting Har 11,000 times.
There is no such thing as chanting this mantra too much. It is often used to express thanks to the Infinite, in celebration of this incredible flow of the divine, and to bow in humility to the wonders of this world. Wahe Guru!!
sat = Truth
naam = Name or Identity
Truth is my Identity.
“Sat Naam is the bij or seed mantra. It is small and potent. Great things grow from it. If it is not written in your destiny to be with God and know higher consciousness, this mantra engraves it into your destiny.” ~ Yogi Bhajan
When we say “Sat Nam” to one another, we are acknowledging both the divine truth in the other as well as in our own being. We are both Truth, that whole cosmic Truth of divinity, we are one.
It is often used upon greeting and departure, in place of “hi” and “bye.”
On any occasion, you can mentally chant Sat on your inhale, and Naam on the exhale. This mantra can cut through the mental clutter and bring you back to your truth.
Sat rhymes with the word hut.
Naam rhymes with mom.
It is part of many kriyas and meditations, and it is likely the most common kundalini chant! Especially when you learn to integrate it with every breath.
As Yogi Bhajan says, Sat Nam is a bij, or seed mantra. All parts of the whole live within this condensed form. It balances the elements, known as the tattvas, within you.
“Every element of the Universe is in a constant state of vibration manifested to us as light, sound, and energy. The human senses perceive only a fraction of the infinite range of vibration, so it is difficult to comprehend that the Word mentioned in the Bible is actually the totality of vibration which underlies and sustains all creation. A person can tune his or her own consciousness into the awareness of that totality with the use of a mantra. By vibrating in rhythm with the breath to a particular sound that is proportional to the creative sound, or sound current, one can expand one’s sensitivity to the entire spectrum of vibration. It is similar to striking a note on a stringed instrument. In other words, as you vibrate, the Universe vibrates with you.” ~ Yogi Bhajan