“Music, more than most human creative endeavors, has the potential to resonate with the higher realities of love and joy. Let us learn to use music and all our creative energies as doorways to the kingdom of heaven, where alone our true home lies.”
Music is central to Ananda Sangha whether it is through mantra, chanting or choir songs. The music we play at Ananda Sangha consists primarily of songs and chants written by Parmahansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda. We sing and chant this music because it attunes us with both Yoganandaji and Swamiji and helps us go deeper in our meditations and spiritual life.
At Ananda Chennai there is chanting at every class and satsang. We also have a very active choir that sings uplifting music for satsangs and events as well.
What is Ananda Music?
Ananda Music can be considered mystical or spiritual music. It resonates deep within the soul and helps to connect our hearts to the Divine. In The Art and Science of Raja Yoga, Swami Kriyananda writes:
“One cannot listen to music sensitively without soon becoming aware that it conveys more than sounds, that it is a vehicle for moods, for states of consciousness…As strings on a piano vibrate sympathetically to notes that are struck on another nearby instrument, so also all things affect one another – mostly on levels far outside the range of human hearing – by the subtle law of vibratory exchange. Because vibrations react on many levels – like piano strings, many of which may respond sympathetically even though only one note is struck on another instrument – normally inaudible vibrations, even of thought and of feeling, can be captured sympathetically through music.
How to best perceive the power behind the music? We’ve been trained to listen so much with our minds that we’ve forgotten how to listen with the heart. Open your heart, invite the music in, and engage yourself fully with the transformative power instilled in every melody.”
Swamiji spoke often of his experiences while composing. Here is one such inspirational story from him:
“I had a very interesting experience a few months ago. I wanted to write a choral piece for an angel choir, not for angels up in heaven, but for people to sing as if they were angels. As I meditated on this, I heard the piece, and it was as though angels were singing it to me. This angelic choir is what we’re trying to bring into our lives. The form it takes is not important. We want to make our life increasingly a mystical experience in the sense that our energy should rise toward who we really are—children of God. We are His manifestations, His creations, and the more we can resonate with that truth, the more fulfillment we will find. The more we get out of tune with it, the more suffering we find. Music, more than most human creative endeavors, has the
potential to resonate with the higher realities of love and joy. Let us learn to use music and all our creative energies as doorways to the kingdom of heaven, where alone our true home lies.”
Ananda Music Can Heal
Paramhansa Yogananda wrote:
“In line with Vibratory Healing, of which the use of affirmations is one phase, it should be remembered that sound of any kind has its effects upon the nervous system of people. As inharmonious noise has a deteriorating effect, on the other hand, harmonious sounds, chants, and certain voice intonations, awaken the drooping tissues of the nervous system by arousing vital energy in them. Hence, a gentle, kind word, an inspired song, a Soul-solacing voice of wisdom, has a deeper, more far-reaching effect than is ordinarily recognized. Many a sorrow has been dispelled, and many a pain lessened by them. Scientifically understood and applied, vibratory healing through chanting and affirmation has the effect of sending a volley of energy down through the nervous system, healing diseased tissues of the body, mind, and soul. This is attunement or at-one-ment, with the superconsciousness. Thus, chanting may be used both in self-healing and in healing others.”
Ananda Chennai Choir
We have a growing core of beautiful singers in our Ananda Chennai choir. Even if you are only a beginning singer you are most welcome to join our choir. Swami Kriyananda has written over 400 pieces of music and that is what we focus on for our performances. The only requirements are to love the music that we sing and the willingness to practice during the week, come to Sunday satsangs (choir has a brief rehearsal before satsang and then sings in the beginning of satsang) and attend rehearsals after satsang. Choir is a way to truly build community. The more we sing together, the more we attune to each other and develop harmony and a sense of spiritual family. If you would like to join the Ananda Choir, please contact Nayaswami Dharmini. The only requirements are that you are able to sing with others (and most people can do this!) and that you can regularly attend rehearsals and satsangs.
Ananda Chanting and Kirtan
Every satsang and class we have begins with chanting. Chanting prepares us for deep meditation. It calms the mind and the heart by giving us uplifting words and melodies to focus on. Yogananada said, “Chanting is half the battle!” Once you experience chanting and see how it aids in your meditation, you’ll understand this truth. There is no thinking oneself into a peaceful state—music can help you get there. Periodically we also have kirtans at Ananda Chennai as well as music classes and retreats. Check the current calendar for upcoming music events.
Ananda Music Available
Our centre boutique carries a full array of Ananda music CDs—Ananda music can also be downloaded from online music stores.
“What I want to offer you is this – not the technique of a musician, but the intuition of a philosopher and a yogi, because that’s where my music comes from. This is how music and all creativity is tied in with the mystical experience. What I’m talking about is much more that just music – it’s music as a language of the soul, and that language is universal.”