there i am, finally, attempting to make some sounds approximating what the brahmin is letting out of his golden voice. the facial muscles buzz like ten thousand threads of electric currents are coursing through me in all kinds of directions. the last time i have an experience like this is chanting rudram for the first time in a month-long silence retreat deep in the catskills some twenty years ago. a strong hum rattles the skull and limbs. i'm not so much as chanting but trying to keep my head above water in a roaring and rising river. i have to stop from time to time because the english transliterations on the page blur into strings of consonants that twist my tongue into a pretzel. fortunately the brahmin's voice is one of those that chinese say whose resonance wrap around the pillars of air and hover three days in the palace of the atmosphere. the potency in the metallic timbre reaches the bone marrow. the expansiveness in his mighty voice brings to mind the infinite horizons of the cosmos. the sweet kindness ringing in the tone marinates the depths of heart. so listening to the brahmin chanting this ancient hymn is just like being aloft in the crystalline alpine lake under the late afternoon sunshine and losing my gaze into the powder blue clear sky that is like a low-hanging ceiling at this high altitude.
i cannot really see myself memorizing this vishnu sahasranama but i am already loving the listening part of it.