In a recent post, I wrote about having decided to use a beautiful chant consisting of 108 characteristics of Amma as a spiritual practice and an opportunity to start writing in Sanskrit again. My plan was to start at the beginning of the chant and write each line 10 times in Devanagari (Sanskrit script) … completing one line per day.
Today is the 40th day of that practice. I decided to share my journal pages from Days 38 and 39 with you. (I choose to write using a pen so you will see numerous corrections.)
Many of the lines in the chant are about events that happened during Amma’s early life. That is true of these two lines.
Day 38 वियोग शोक सम्मूर्व्व्हा मुहु: पतित वर्ष्मने नम: om viyoga shoka sammurccha muhurpatita varshmane namah … who often fell down unconscious due to the grief of non-union with Krishna
Day 39 सारमेयादि विहित शुश्रूषा लब्ध बुद्धाये नमः sarameyadi vihita shushrusha labdha buddhaye namah … who regained consciousness by the proper nursing given by dogs and other animals
During the previous decade, I attended Sanskrit classes for about five years. For a while I even attended two classes a week. My goal was to be able to converse in Sanskrit.
I became discouraged, however, when class after class of Indian students zoomed past me. I may have known more Sanskrit when each class began, but many of the Indian students’ native languages were rooted in Sanskrit so they were able to easily able to develop a Sanskrit vocabulary. I couldn’t do that. I progressed in my studies, but the time came when I was no longer willing to dedicate the hours it would take to reach my goal; besides, I was no longer convinced my goal was even possible.
One day during the current pandemic, it occurred to me that I could write in Sanskrit as a form of spiritual practice. It had been a long time since I’d written the Devanagari letters and I knew I would enjoy doing that once again.
Many years ago, a devotee of my spiritual teacher, Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi), wrote a beautiful chant consisting of 108 characteristics of Amma. I realized I could focus on one line of that chant each day by writing it in Devanagari script ten times. I have been doing that exercise for the last 28 days!
In the past, I often wrote about my Sanskrit studies on this blog. I decided a few days ago that I would do that again. But each day, I determined that my writing wasn’t good enough or the line of the chant wasn’t the right one. Today, I decided that since my purpose was to share the process, nothing about it had to be perfect.
I picked the 24th and 25th lines of the chant to share:
om nissabda janani garbha nirgamadbhuta karmane namah (Salutations to Amma who did the miraculous deed of keeping silence when she came out of her mother’s womb.)
om kali sri krishna sangkasha komala shyamala tvishe namah (Salutations to Amma who has the beautiful dark complexion reminiscent of Kali and Krishna.)
I hope the pandemic ends before I reach the 108th day, but even if it does, I may continue this practice until I have finished the last line.
I will end my post with the following prayer:
OmLokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu May all beings in the world live in peace Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti Peace, Peace, Peace