Ah, “Across the Universe”.
Every time I hear this song, it fills me up. And I have never known why. I’ve heard the John Lennon version and many other versions (someone sang it on the Real World one time, and so on…). Most recently, when I was at Starbucks the other day, it came on and I was especially struck by the voice of the person singing. So much so that I felt I needed to track it down with the Shazam application on my phone.
I found the artist, Rufus Wainwright, and began a mini research project. I had to find out why I felt such a connection to the song. Once I got home at the end of the day, I listened to the song a few times on Youtube. Then I bought it on iTunes. I kept wondering, why does this song sound so meditative. It carries you there, wherever there is for you…especially in Rufus’ version.
Until that day, I had never fully listened to or understood the lyrics. I was a bit resistant to the idea of looking them up online because I didn’t want to feel like I needed to rely on the internet for everything. But, lo and behold, I did look them up.
I found that the part that had always sounded muffled to me was actually him saying “Jai Guru Deva Om”. I’ll share a brief quote from the Wikipedia site that offers some insight into the phrase (Here I am, once again, using the internet for “everything”):
“The Sanskrit phrase is a sentence fragment whose words could have many meanings, but roughly translate to “Victory to God divine”, “Hail to the divine guru”, or the phrase commonly invoked by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi “All Glory to Guru Deva” then the mystic syllable om, which is theoretically the cosmic sound of the universe and used by monks during meditation.”
My boyfriend told me often when we first met that “words of power have no meaning, and words of meaning have no power.” This was kind of like adding a deeper layer to the “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” concept. Basically, what he was saying is that words can move you, even if you don’t know/understand their literal meaning.
Another quote that he used to cite often is, “When the student is ready, the guru appears.” I must say that when he appeared, I was ready.
The first time I heard meditation music, I was amazed at how it sang through me. That’s sort of how it felt when I heard “Across the Universe” the other day at Starbucks. But I could never quite put my finger on why the song affected me so, until I learned that he was saying those special, spiritual words.
Now, I’m not a Beatles-head so this is all news to me. But, I appreciate finding that chord of familiarity that connects us in this vast, abundant universe.
That’s powerful to me. And still, nothing’s gonna change my world. I get it.