"In Kundalini Yoga we do not start without this mantra Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. It's a telephone number of Shakti, with its own area code number, and it is a direct line." - Yogi Bhajan
Tuning in, as instructed before the kriya, is an essential part of the Kundalini practice.
When we tune in with the Adi Mantra, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, we are connecting to the infinite wisdom within us and to the golden chain of teachers and saints that have come before us.
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo is a Gurmuhki chant. Ong is "Infinite Creative energy in manifestation and activity". Namo is "Reverent Greetings" implying humility, Guru means "Teacher or Wisdom."Dev means "Divine or of God."
It means, I call upon the Divine Wisdom, and Self-knowledge that is within me.
Chanting the Adi Mantra as you start yoga is also a way for you to make a break with everything that is going on in your day and align your practice with your highest self.
"ONG NA MO GURU DEV NA MO is the mantra we use in Kundalini yoga to tune us to the frequency of our higher self or inner master. We begin each practice of Kundalini yoga with this mantra. This sacred mantra opens us to our spiritual channel. It also links us to all the spiritual masters who perfected this sacred science. By establishing a link with the Masters of Kundalini yoga, we are protected as we practice this sacred technology, as well as guided in our practice. The transmission of information and consciousness to students from Master teachers who have preceded us is referred to as the GOLDEN CHAIN." - Guru Rattana
TO TUNE IN CORRECTLY:
- Sit up very tall, lengthening the back of the neck.
- Rub the palms together briskly, generating a little bit of heat between them.
- Bring the hands together, palm to palm, in prayer pose (fingers pointing straight up) in front of the heart.
- Close the eyes, roll them up and in to look at your third eye space -- the spot in between the eyebrows, at the root of the nose.
- Inhale. Exhale. Bring your self present
- Inhale very deeply and chant powerfully, from the navel, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo at least three times.
You can listen to me tune in below. You'll notice it's not very pretty -- tuning in is meant to be powerful, it's not a song.
- The sound Ong, is a long "O". It is not ung. Ung calls the ego -- not what we want here!
- When you chant Ong press the tip of the tongue into the roof of the mouth and allow the lips to gently part.
- Feel the sound Ong vibrating in the sinus cavity and the front of the head (the forehead area). This vibration wakes up the higher centers of the brain.
"Do not just sing or otherwise express this mantra. Consciously chant the words in such a way that your cranium resonates as if you are striking a Gong." - Hari Singh Khalsa
Science has shown that the state of enlightenment is actually a process by which the different centers of the brain begin to "turn on".
There is a really interesting book, How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain: The New Science of Transformation, By Andrew Newberg MD, Mark Robert Waldman if you want to read up on this.
The vibrations that we create when we chant certain sounds, such as ONG, stimulate these underused areas of the brain, activating our awakening!
Kundalini rising and states of bliss and enlightenment can also be explained by the increased movement of cerebral spinal fluid induced by kriyas. (You can read more about that here.)
Isn’t it so cool that this can all be very esoteric and beautiful, but it’s also a science? We aren’t doing woo-woo here. This is not fluff. It’s a very potent practice that will, without a doubt, bring about significant changes in your life if you use it.
Essentially, tuning is the first kriya we practice. Sometimes it's easy, especially when you're getting up early for sadhana or practicing on your own, to just slide through it. But see if you can really be present for the mantra. Listen to the sound of your own voice when you chant it and feel the vibrations within you. Activate this powerful connection!
"This is a simple kriya which you all must know. You may read about Kundalini Yoga, you may write about Kundalini Yoga, but you will never be in a position to project Kundalini Yoga with your word and through your body, if you do not have a mastery of this mantra." - Yogi Bhajan
Want more info? Read, How to Start a Kundalini Yoga Practice