Vittala Panduranga | Bhakti Yoga Mantra

It was the last day of the 5 Elements Retreat in Lanzarote and a large group of us were waiting for Paramahamsa Vishwananda to arrive. As we waited someone suggested chanting ‘Vitthala’ out loud together. Everyone began joyfully singing but I could not get into it. It simply felt wrong and disloyal. I had spent the last quarter of my life chanting the mantraom namo narayanaya’ daily and knew nothing about Vitthala. So, while everyone was chanting Vitthala out loud I was chanting om namo narayanaya internally. 

Now fast forward five months, my family and I had just arrived at Shree Peetha Nilaya - The Ashram in time to join the very end of evening prayers. A friend took my young sons and I to the front of the temple where we were close to Gurudev, standing underneath the painting of my ishtadeva, Dhana-Lakshmi. He saw us and mouthed something to me I could not make out.

As soon as prayers finished Gurudev walked over to us and embraced the boys, one in each arm, and we talked. Once the conversation finished and the temple was quiet Gurudev walked me over to the painting of Panduranga surrounded by His Varkari saints. He took a deep breath, sighed and then said, ‘I love to be here with them.’

We stood in silence for a while after which He told me to go to Panduranga-arati. From this moment my love for Vitthala Panduranga grew gently, generating a deep love and longing for Him. Now I can feel the sweetness of chanting the Name Vitthala without taking anything away from om namo narayanaya. Each mantra has a different feeling to it and for me Vitthala is so soft and compassionate just as He is, standing patiently, hands on hips, waiting for His devotee. 

 We only need to listen, put it louder and sing with all our heart and then misery goes away because you are absorbed in the Divine.

Paramahamsa Vishwananda

In the latest release from Bhakti Yoga Mantras, 'Vitthala Panduranga', we discover the soothing voice of Lalita Dasika mixed with layers of musical beats and rhythms making a mesmerizing combination captivating us and taking us to another dimension. Lalita Dasika explained to me that music is the perfect instrument to help all the misery disappear. Music accompanied by Divine Names is so powerful because we become absorbed in the Divine.

For Lalita Dasika, singing ‘Vitthala Panduranga’ was particularly special as Krishna is her ishtadeva and they added His names into the mantra. Usually, she chants these Names privately during puja when it is very personal. To chant them in a microphone and in front of people was unique and amplified her experience of singing this mantra where she describes the dark, divine, mystical aspect of God. 

She ended by telling me she felt inspired to be working with devotees who share the same values, points of view and, most importantly, bhakti. It was the first time she got to experience working with a team of bhaktas and this touched her leaving a deep feeling of gratitude to Paramahamsa Vishwananda.

With their minds focused on Me and their lives centred upon Me, they inspire one another. By always speaking of My glory, they derive bliss and contentment. 



Bhagavad Gita, 10.9


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