[This passage has been taken from the transcription of a lecture given by Swami Veda Bharati [then Pandit Usharbudh Arya] in 1973 in the lecture series “Yoga in Daily Life”.]
I am the purest consciousness, chit. I am the supreme joy and bliss, ananda. I am the deity meditating within known as Shiva, the resting place of all things. I am Shiva. I am Shiva. Will you join me in this chant affirming your pure nature?
Tonight we are going to be talking of bhakti yoga, yoga of devotion, love, emotion. In this branch of yoga, chanting is the greatest expression of emotion. When the spirit is filled with love the song bubbles out. There are certain mantras which are collective and common. You may call them a thousand names of the deity. You may call them a thousand affirmations of your own divine nature and as your mind is filled with the thought of peace and quiet from your heart center an emotion wells up and it bursts into a chant.
The first chant with which we always begin is devotion to the teaching spirit of the universe, the Guru, for it is from that teaching spirit of the universe that all inspiration, all chant, all meditation flows. Meditation is not your act. Don’t be under a wrong impression. Please do not think that you can meditate. You can do everything else but meditation is beyond your power. So long as you say I meditate, you meditate not. Only the teaching spirit of the universe, the Guru, meditates in you and when you know this truth then meditation just flows from inside and takes over. So long as you keep trying to meditate you cannot meditate. That’s all. Therefore we pay homage to Guru.