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Meditation - Kirtan Kriya (Sa Ta Na Ma)

(Sadhana Guidelines, pp. 95-96 and Meditation as Medicine, pp. 122 & 194) 

Posture: Sit in easy pose (or, in a chair with your spine straight; feet flat on the floor.)  Relax your hands on your knees; palms facing outwards. 

Focus: The eyelids are closed, the eyes rolled gently upwards and focused at the mid-point between the brows.

Breath: Your breath will come automatically as you chant …


Sa = Infinity, Cosmos, Beginning. Ta = Life, Existence. Na = Death. Ma = Rebirth.

This is, literally, the cycle of creation.  From the Infinite comes life and individual existence.  From life comes death or change.  From death comes the rebirth of consciousness to the joy of the Infinite through which compassion leads back to life.

Mudra: On “Sa,” press the index finger pad to your thumb pad; on “Ta,” press your middle finger pad to the thumb pad; on “Na,” press the ring finger pad to the thumb pad; on “Ma,” press the little finger pad to the thumb pad.  Continue moving your fingers through this meditation, even through the silent part.

Time: 12 minutes total.  Chant in a normal voice for 2 minutes; chant in a whisper for 2 minutes; go deep within yourself and chant in your head for 4 minutes.  Come back to a whisper for 2 minutes, then your normal voice for 2 minutes.

End: Inhale completely, and then exhale all the air.  Stretch the arms up as far as possible, stretching your spine.  Spread the hands wide. Take two more deep inhales and exhales.  Bring your arms down to your sides in a graceful arc to end the meditation.  Think of pushing down all negativity, all negative people in your life out of your aura, out of your consciousness, as you lower your arms.

Benefits: The physical benefits of the mantra are that “Sa” evokes a sense of emotion and expansiveness, “Ta” creates a feeling of transformation and strength, “Na” stimulates a sense of universal love, “Ma” evokes the quality of communicativeness.  The Sa Ta Na Ma meditation actually balances both hemispheres of the brain. 

As you vibrate on each fingertip, you alternate your electrical polarities.  The index and ring fingers are electrically negative, relative to the other fingers.  This causes a balance in the electro-magnetic projection of the aura.  Chanting Sa Ta Na Ma is the primal or nuclear form of “Sat Nam.”  It has the energy of the atom in it since we are breaking up the atom (or “bij”) of the sound, “Sat Nam.”

Each time you close a mudra (hand position) by joining the thumb with a finger, your ego “seals” the effect of the mudra in your consciousness.  The effects are as follows:

First Finger – Gyan Mudra – Knowledge. Second Finger – Shuni Mudra – Wisdom, Intelligence, Patience. Third Finger – Surya Mudra – Vitality—the energy of Life. Fourth Finger – Buddhi Mudra – Ability to communicate.

The Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan--who brought Kundalini Yoga to the west in 1968--said at Winter Solstice in 1972 that a person who wears pure white and meditates on this sound current for 2 ½ hours per day for one year will know the unknowable and see the unseeable.  Through this constant practice, the mind awakens to the infinite capacity of the soul for sacrifice, service and creation. 

Comments from The Mind, by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D., p. 183: This Projection sees below the surface and knows with intuition the connections and consequences associated with a situation.

When balanced, it guides you to actions that are conscious and graceful. It knows which way to step, who to associate with and how to maintain your identity in any environment. If it is too strong, you will be attached to the insights you find everywhere. You may have a tendency to act like a psychic or master the environments through advice instead of action. If it is too weak, you will react to the environments and find yourself drawn away from your main path. You will think strategy is the same as opportunism and confuse flexibility with lack of direction from your own inner compass.

Research in to the efficacy of the Kirtan Kriya can be found in the book "How God Changes Your Brain" by Dr. Andrew Newberg, MD.


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