ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Sacred Verses Healing Sounds

Volumes I and II: The Bhagavad-Gita; Hymns of the Reg Vida

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2004

In his opening explanation of the human need to hear healing sounds, the author estimates that the average human has had more than 25,000 hours of conditioning by the time he or she reaches maturity. “Language shapes belief, attitudes, consciousness, and reality.” By gaining a deeper understanding of language, Chopra hopes to help his listeners achieve better lives.

As a young doctor, Chopra says he was unkind to himself, and suffered from too much stress. When he realized how to help himself, he decided that his energies could be best served by helping others live less stressful and more meaningful lives. To that end, he has helped make the ancient practices and texts of Hinduism more accessible to citizens of the western world. Through the use of “mind-body medicine,” he has become known worldwide for his lectures and writings on “human potential,” including The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and Magical Mind, Magical Body.

In this audio book, he intersperses classical Indian music with readings from The Bhagavad-Gita and Hymns of the Reg Vida, creating a soothing, meditative experience.

Volume I explores the ways in which “language shapes material reality, influencing beliefs and behavioral responses.” Offering context and interpretation, Chopra reads selections from The Bhagavad-Gita, a fundamental Hindu text (and for many Hindus, the most sublime text). For listeners unfamiliar with the work, it bears noting that the Gita explores the situation that has brought a warrior to a crisis of conscience. Opposed in battle by members of his own family, he wonders if he should attack and, perhaps, kill them? Offered assistance, he accepts and receives instruction on the appropriate conduct and attitudes that he can then carry over to the rest of his life. Chopra uses illustrations to help the contemporary listener achieve peace, harmony, love, and healing.

In Volume II, Hymns of the Rig Veda, the author reads from the ancient Sanskrit hymns and prayers. “Veda” translates from Sanskrit as “knowledge”; this text is the body of sacred knowledge held to be the basis of true belief and practice among the Hindus. Through it, the “knower contacts the universal formation of things, thereby attaining desires and overcoming all that is undesirable.” The scripture included in this CD includes praise to the god, praise to the elements, and praise to the earth. The songs move from a hymn of creation to a hymn of immortality.

Chopra’s selections, both in texts and music, blend together, helping listeners learn more about their own spiritual journeys.

Pam Kingsbury