Sa Ta Na Ma

Definition - What does Sa Ta Na Ma mean?

Sa ta na ma is the name given to a fundamental kundalini kirtan kriya, which is a type of meditation. It is one of the most important meditations in Kundalini yoga and it was popularized in the West by Yogi Bhajan. Also sometimes simply called kirtan kriya, sa ta na ma is said to help reorient the mind and prepare it for transformational change. Using the meditation is also believed to bring profound physical, mental and spiritual benefits.

Kirtan means “song” or “praise” in Sanskrit, while kriya means “to do” or “action.” As such, sa ta na ma is a combination of mantra chanting with set mudras or hand movements. Throughout the meditation, the mantra is sung, whispered and silently repeated.

Yogapedia explains Sa Ta Na Ma

The origins of the mantra, sa ta na ma, are in one of the most ancient mantras, traditionally used for its powerful uplifting effect: sat nam, which can be translated as “true identity” or “my true essence.” Some say that the sounds of sa ta na ma have no meaningful translation and that their power is in the way they stimulate the acupressure points in the palate of the mouth when chanting them. Others say that they correspond to:

  • Sa — birth, beginning and the totality of the cosmos
  • Ta — life, existence and creativity manifest
  • Na — death and transformation
  • Ma — rebirth, regeneration and consciously experiencing the joy of the Infinite

In using the three voices for sa ta na ma, different aspects of the meaning are invoked. Singing it represents action; whispering it symbolizes the inner mind, or the romantic nature of the self; and silent repetition honors the spiritual voice.

Benefits of sa ta na ma include that it is believed to activate the higher chakras and reset the pineal and pituitary glands.

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