Lesson 15 - Kirtan Kriya for Evolutionary Change

An Introductory Course, Designed and Written by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.

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We all say we want to change. Well at least we want things to be different in our lives. We want to be happier and at peace within ourselves. We want more satisfying relationships. We want to be healthier. We want more meaningful work and to be more prosperous. We want to break destructive habits and stop indulging in certain addictive behaviors. The question is how can we effect these changes in our lives.

Yoga recognizes that if we want to make changes in our lives, we have to change ourselves. Yoga operates from the principle that our inner reality creates our outer reality. We have to alter our vibrational frequency so that we attract at a different level. Our frequency has to match what we want to manifest. And equally important, we have to clear our subconscious programming so it does not sabotage our conscious intent. For in fact, it is the programming in our subconscious mind that creates our reality.

Transformational Mantras

Mantras are powerful tools for clearing and restructuring the subconscious mind. SAT NAM and its derivative SA TA NA MA are the two basic mantras taught by Yogi Bhajan to reorient the mind and thus open us up to the possibility of transformational change.

SAT NAM seeds the truth in our consciousness by waking us up to our divine identity. SAT NAM is the seed or bij mantra.

SA TA NA MA incorporates the nuclear sounds of SAT NAM. SA TA NA MA uses the primal sounds to connect us to the evolutionary nature of existence itself. It is referred to as the panch shabd, which means a mantra with five sound currents. The fifth sound is "A." When we chant SA TA NA MA we imprint the evolutionary code of the universe into our human psyche.

SA is the beginning, infinity, the totality of everything that ever was, is or will be.

TA is life, existence and creativity that manifests from infinity.

NA is death, change and the transformation of consciousness.

MA is rebirth, regeneration and resurrection which allows us to consciously experience the joy of the infinite.

SA TA NA MA is so primal that its impact on our psyche is like splitting an atom. The power of his mantra comes from the fact that it rearranges the subconscious mind at the most elementary level. It has the power to break habits and addictions because it accesses the level of the mind where habits are created.

Yogi Bhajan said that "Behavior patterns are the result of the radiance of the psyche and frequency of the magnetic field in relationship to the universal psyche and magnetic force."
Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power, Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa.

The radiance of the psyche is dependent upon the active functioning of both the pituitary and pineal glands. The pituitary gland regulates the entire glandular system. The secretion of the pineal gland creates a pulsating radiance that activates the pituitary gland. The mind goes out of balance when the pineal gland is dormant. The imbalance makes it seem impossible to break mental and physical addictions. The mantra SA TA NA MA to a powerful tool to recreate balance in the mind.

Kirtan Kriya: Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

Kirtan Kriya, often referred to as SA TA NA MA meditation, is the most important meditation in Kundalini Yoga. It was one of the first meditations taught by Yogi Bhajan and remains today as a foundation meditation recommended for every student. Yogi Bhajan said that if you can do only one meditation, this is it. It does everything for you in the order that you need. It is your teacher. And as you practice it, you will come to realize that it is your best friend. Whatever you need at the moment, it will readjust and align you to bring balance into your mind and thus your life.

This meditation is given for everything from breaking habits to achieving emotional balance. I knew one woman who had been very emotionally upset for over two weeks. Finally she went to a quiet spot in the woods and did 31 minutes of Kirtan Kriya and voila, she felt relaxed and whole again. It helps you focus and center yourself. It is a catalyst for change because it is a very powerful spiritual cleanser. You may go through a lot because you will be releasing a lot. Be present to what you are experiencing and be willing to let it all go. The process will allow you to give all your garbage back to God. If you want to maintain the status quo, don't do this meditation. If you are willing to change and welcome a new dimension of being into your life, this meditation is for you.

The bottom line is that this meditation works. All you have to do is do it. You can trust the process and the technology.

**Now here is one of the best selling points. Do you think about an old lover and want to be liberated from the grips of the past and release him or her from your aura? This is the meditation! There is nothing more powerful to release the auric pain we suffer when we break up with a lover. It will reestablish your aura as your own.


Sit with a straight spine. Bring your mental focus to the brow point.

Kirtan Kriya

Chant SA TA NA MA. While chanting alternately press the thumb with the four fingers. Press hard enough to keep yourself awake and aware of the pressure. Keep repeating in a stable rhythm and keep the hand motion going throughout the whole meditation.

mudra positions

SA press the thumb and the first or Jupiter finger together with pressure.
TA press the thumb and the middle or Saturn finger together.
NA press the thumb and the ring or Sun finger together.
MA press the thumb and the small or Mercury finger together.

The Jupiter finger brings in knowledge, expands our field of possibilities and releases us from limitations.

The Saturn finger gives us patience, wisdom and purity.

The Sun finger gives us vitality and aliveness.

The Mercury finger aids clear communication.

Each time you close a mudra by joining the thumb with a finger, your ego "seals" its effect in your consciousness.

Visualize or feel each individual sound come in the crown chakra at the top of the head, down through the middle of the head and out to infinity through the third eye. This is very important and must be done with each sound. It is an essential part of the cleansing process. If this part of the meditation is not done, you may experience a headache.

While doing the meditation, you may experience pictures of the past come up like on a movie screen in your mind. Let them dance in front of your eyes and release them with the mantra. This is part of the cleansing of the subconscious mind. If emotions come up, you can also incorporate them in the chanting, i.e. if you feel anger then chant out the anger. Whatever you experience is OK. Do not try to avoid or control your experiences. Simply be with what is going on and go through it. It is all part of the cleansing process.

Timing - 31 Minute Version

For the first 5 minutes chant OUT LOUD. (The voice of humans.)
For the second 5 minutes chant in an audible WHISPER. ( The language of lovers.)
For the next 10 minutes chant SILENTLY. (The language of the divine). Keep the hands, L in the head and tongue moving.
Then 5 minutes WHISPER.
End with 5 minutes OUT LOUD.
The last minute, listen inside and hear the mantra and experience the L in the head. Do not do the finger movements.

Optimally this meditation is done for 31 minutes. It can also be done for 62 minutes by doubling the times.

Introduction to Kundalini Yoga Volume 1 by Guru Rattana PhD

Kirtan Kriya is one of many Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations to be found in Guru Rattana's book - Introduction to Kundalini Yoga, Vol. 1.

This book makes the perfect companion volume for Guru Rattana's online course, giving you a much deeper understanding of the underlying principles.

11 Minute Version

It can also be done for shorter times. Yogi Bhajan has said that during times of stress it should be done for at least 11 minutes every day.

For the eleven minute version do:
2 minutes OUT LOUD
2 minutes in an audible WHISPER
3 minutes chant SILENTLY. Keep the hands, L in the head and tongue moving.
2 minutes WHISPER.
2 minutes OUT LOUD.
Then sit quietly and listen inside, hear the mantra and experience the L in the head. Do not do the finger movements.

At the end, inhale deeply, raise the arms up in the air and vigorously shake the arms and fingers. You can involve the whole body and spine. Exhale. Repeat 1 or 2 more time if you desire. This is an important part of the meditation as it helps move and release the energy in the body. Relax for a few minutes before going about your day. Or relax on your back. If it is before bed time, simply go to sleep.

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