When the heart is so locked up that healing cannot penetrate, there is a way through. There is a mantra that can break down the walls -- the Miracle Mantra, Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru.
Today, I spoke to MKY's spiritual sister Akal Bani Kaur (Sholeen) about her profound self-healing experience with this mantra.When Akal Bani (who is now a Kundalini Yoga teacher) first started practicing Kundalini Yoga, she would chant mantras in class and, at her teacher's suggestion, try 40 day practices with some. But she didn't keep up with any and never reached 40 days. Then one day in class, she heard Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru playing in the background. Something about it caught her; she asked her teacher for the details and then began a 40 day experience that, among other things, surprised her.
As she chanted Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru, she was overcome with tears. "I've always thought of myself as a happy person, an optimistic person." Akal Bani said. "I didn't know I had so many tears." She had committed to chanting 31 minutes a day but would often keep going for longer until the tears had moved through.
After weeks and weeks of tears, something else surprised her. Her heart opened. "I didn't even remember that after my first boyfriend broke my heart, I had like encased my heart in metal." As she chanted, the metaphorical metal around her heart melted.
After 40 days of daily chanting of Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru, Akal Bani opted to continue beyond the 40 days to over six months. She stopped counting. The heart opening led to a new compassion, and she was able to turn that compassion to herself. She was able to finally really look at herself, really see herself and love herself. "The miracle of the mantra," she said, "is self-love."
Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru is a longer mantra, also known as a shabd or Sikh prayer, that honors Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru in the lineage. Guru Ram Das represented miracles, humility, and service. In the Kundalini Yoga tradition, we chant this mantra in the 11 days leading up to Guru Ram Das's birthday, which is celebrated on October 9.
If you like, you can see the mantra and its translation below, as well as a link to a playlist of some of the most beautiful versions of it that I know.
Dhan dhan raam daas gur jin siri-aa tinai savaari-aa
Pooree hoee karaamaat aap sirajanhaarai dhaari-aa
Sikhee atai sangatee paarbrahm kar namasakaari-aa
Atal athaa-o atol too tayraa ant na paaraavaari-aa
Jinee too sayvi-aa bhaa-o kar say tudh paar utaari-aa
Lab lobh kaam krodh mo maar kadhay tudh saparvaari-aa
Dhan so tayraa thaan hai sach tayraa paisakaari-aa
Naanak too lehanaa toohai gur amar too veechaari-aa
Gur dithaa taa man saadhaari-aa
Blessed, blessed is Guru Ram Das; the One who created You has also exalted You.
Perfect is Your miracle; the Creator has installed You on a throne.
Sikhs as well as all Conscious people recognize You because you manifest the Creator.
You are unchanging, unfathomable and immeasurable; You have no end or limitation.
You are unchanging, unfathomable and immeasurable;
Those who serve You with love are carried across the sea of existence.
The five obstacles of lust, anger, greed, pride and attachment:
You have beaten them and driven them out.
Blessed is Your realm, and True is Your magnificent glory.
You are Nanak, You are Angad, and You are Amar Daas;
When I recognize You, my soul is comforted.
Playlist: Link to it here on iTunes.
How do you like my title? It's beyond bold, I know, especially since I'm no expert on solving problems. But I came across this quote (at left) from Yogi Bhajan today, and I felt the truth of it. What if, instead of trying to "figure out" our issues with our minds, we addressed our souls? Here's the quote in its entirety:
“Whenever you have a problem, if you put your problem at the touchstone of the spirit, the consciousness and the soul, you will be surprised how easy it is for you to solve that problem. But whenever you take a problem and look at it from the ego's point of view, it will not only bring you confusion, but it will also bring you destruction.”
How do we avoid following the ego into confusion and destruction? How do we access soul advice? I think it is through meditation, cultivating and accessing the meditative mind. In meditation, when we have some distance from our thoughts is when our soul can speak. Then, we can lay a problem at the feet of the meditative space and see what emerges.
Imagine the time and mental energy we'd save if we didn't dwell in our problems and follow thought after thought. Alternative after alternative.
Here's a beautiful meditation to bring you into the state of listening to and from your innermost self. If you have a problem and you don't know the answer, try this meditation and technique.
May the Truth in you guide you to the wisdom of your soul, to your own inner knowing, to the Infinite within.
Cate discovered Kundalini Yoga by accident over 20 years ago and was surprised and thrilled by how engaged, energized, and inspired it made her feel. She's been practicing ever since. In 2008, Cate completed her Level 1 (200 hr) teacher training with Hari Kaur Khalsa of Hari NYC. In 2012, she broadened her knowledge with a very special Holistic Hatha Yoga training (300 hr) with Amy Witmyer of Sacred Space. Kundalini Yoga is her home, her go-to sanctuary, her point of peace and insight. She believes that it is a wonderful tool for busy times and busy minds. Join Cate on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and Friday mornings for Kundalini Yoga & Meditation.
Co-owner and Instructor of Montclair Kundalini Yoga, Cate Baily (Arvind Dev Kaur) is ever grateful to share these teachings. Full bio here.