Penn State Vedic Society Hosts ‘Yoga of Sound Vibrations’
A diverse group of PSU students and State College residents sat cross-legged in Hertiage Hall Thursday evening, chanting and singing at “Yoga of Sound Vibrations,” a kirtan hosted by the Penn State Vedic Society.
“Om. Namo. Bhagavate. Vasudevaya,” sang the members of Prema Hara, musicians who specialize in the practice of kirtan, a call-and-response chant integral to many sects of Hinduism. The crowd answered back, some members closing their eyes, others swaying to the music. Even more enthusiastic members stood up to dance and sway to the trance-inducing melodies and beats.
The kirtan represented a form of yoga, said Vedic Society president Narayanan Veeraraghavan. “Many people have a narrow conception of what yoga is,” said Veeraraghavan. He also believed that the yoga of sound vibrations was a “kind of supersonic jet that takes you to spiritual perfection.”
Keshavacharya Das, one of the performers, encouraged those who had gathered, noting that kirtan “is all about going deeper into our heart,” and that yoga had become well known to most Americans. Kamaniya, another member, further encouraged the group: “I know you can sing louder than that… this is PSU right?”
In addition to the kirtan, the Vedic Society hosted a vegan feast for all of the attendants. The “club is all about body, mind, intellect, and soul,” said Veeraraghavan. “Food is a very important aspect of living.” The society served rice, dal, a lentil soup, pakoras, and vegetables fried in chickpea flour.
Monica Houston, senior, said she attended the event because she ” likes yoga and trying new things.” She also noted that she was a vegetarian, and that the event was an excellent opportunity to learn new recipes.
Though influenced by Hinduism, Veeraraghavan said the event was open to all, especially the inquisitive. ” We welcome everything from Atheists, to Christians, to Muslims, or people from any background.”