Bhakti and MusicKirtans, Bhajans, Stories, Sanskrit Mantras, and Hymns
Bhakti and Music
DEVOTION TO THE DIVINE
Bhakti yoga is a natural path for those who are dominantly seeking emotional fulfillment, and desire to convert worldly emotions into Divine devotion. The devotee visualizes the Lord sitting or standing before him/her. He/she pours out her heart’s love, adoration, and shares his/her deepest thoughts and concerns with the Lord until a continuous flow of awareness moves between devotee and his/her beloved Lord.
This continuous flow of love brings about a a close relationship with God and culminates in Divine Union in which the worshiper and that which is worshiped become One.
“Kirtan is singing of God’s name, with feeling. Such singing has a benign effect on both the physical and subtle bodies. It is an excellent method of soothing the nerves and directing the emotions to a positive goal. Kirtan melts the heart, fills the mind with purity and generates harmony and divine love. The chanting of Sanskrit kirtan, even when mechanically done, produces certain effects. When done with devotion, and awareness of the meaning, its benefits are immeasureable.”
– Swami Sivananda
Communicating with the Divine
The term Bhakti comes from the root ‘Bhaj’, which means ‘to be attached to God’. Bhakti is love for love’s sake. The path of Bhakti appeals particularly to a those of an emotional nature.
The Bhakti Yogi is motivated chiefly by the power of love and sees God as the embodiment of love. Through prayer, worship and ritual the devotee surrenders to God, channeling and transmuting his/her emotions into unconditional love or devotion.
Chanting or singing the praises of God form a substantial part of Bhakti Yoga.
Mantras and Rituals
A “Mantra” is a mystical spiritual energy encased in a sound structure. At its simplest, the word Om serves as a mantra.
In more sophisticated forms, they are melodic phrases with spiritual rendition such as human longing for truth, reality, light, immortality, peace, love, knowledge and action.
Mantras, as sacred sounds, are known to affect our vibratory being and consciousness as the word mantra itself means both protection and instrument.
The experience of mantra and chanting are best when accompanied by ritual. Ritual, in the very way that it is performed –the same time each day, also mirrors the rhythmic quality of mantra or the universe’s ebbs and flows.
Without sound encompassed in ritual that it is difficult to release the accumulation of psychic toxicity in our spiritual system.
Mantras and Rituals
A “Mantra” is a mystical spiritual energy encased in a sound structure. At its simplest, the word Om serves as a mantra. In more sophisticated forms, they are melodic phrases with spiritual rendition such as human longing for truth, reality, light, immortality, peace, love, knowledge and action. Mantras, as sacred sounds, are known to affect our vibratory being and consciousness as the word mantra itself means both protection and instrument.
In a translation of the Yoga aphorisms of Patanjali, it is noted that the “repetition of sacred words or mantras is…an invaluable aid to spiritual progress.”
The experience of mantra and chanting are best when accompanied by ritual. Ritual, in the very way that it is performed –the same time each day, also mirrors the rhythmic quality of mantra or the universe’s ebbs and flows. Without sound encompassed in ritual that it is difficult to release the accumulation of psychic toxicity in our spiritual system.
Classical Indian Music
Classical Indian music is an ancient artform that brings one into a deep meditative state.
The music has different melodies which the musician plays, known as “raga.”
At the Sivananda Yoga Farm we have every month a well-known classical Indian musician come and perform.
Classica Indian Dance
Bharatanatyam is a form of classical dance, originating in ancient India.
It is a sacred dance, that was originally performed in temples as a mode of worship which uses Indian music and mythological stories to bring the ancient teachings of the sages to us in Dance form.
Come and join us for an evening of music, rhythm, sacred geometry, poetry, harmony and beauty.
Classica Indian Dance
Bharatanatyam is a form of classical dance, originating in ancient India. It is a sacred dance, that was originally performed in temples as a mode of worship. It uses Indian music and mythological stories to bring the ancient teachings of the sages to us in Dance form. Come and join us for an evening of music, rhythm, sacred geometry, poetry, harmony and beauty.
Acharya Mangalananda is a direct disciple of the great modern woman Saint, Anandamayi Ma. When Swami Sivananda met with Ma he called her “The finest flower the soil of India has ever produced”. Mangalananda went to India for the first time in 1973 when he was just 19 years old and spent the course of two years traveling with Ma and eventually receiving Initiation from her. He has lived in her ashrams and in association and under the guidance of some of her major disciples ever since. He spent from 2001–2013 living in her ashram in Central India where he…
Angelika is an internationally acclaimed performer, composer and recording artist, whose main intention is to promote Oneness, Peace, Healing, and Good-will amongst all people through her inspirational music. Angelika is originally from Germany and now resides in Nevada City.
Atmarama dasa is a devotional singer, sacred music composer and expert musician; who has become well known for his power to transmit devotion and spiritual energy. Since 1985 he has lived in Vrindavan, India (the holy place where Lord Krishna appeared on this earth 5,000 years ago), where he studied Sanskrit and Indian classical music, while engaging in devotional service. Living in Vrindavan absorbed in spiritual life, his devotion deepened and in turn, his musical ability blossomed. He developed a strong desire to share the nectar of Vrindavan with others and realized that he could use his God given gift…
Sarod player Ben Kunin learned his instrument and the tradition of North Indian classical music over more than 25 years of study under the legendary Maestro Ali Akbar Khan at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, CA. He also learned tabla from Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri for many years. In 2006 he began training with Pandit Chitresh Das and the Chandam School of Kathak Dance. He performs frequently as a soloist and as well as accompanist.
A disciple of Sitar legend Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb is one of the few distinguished female artists performing today classical music on Sitar, the most popular string instrument of India. As a performer, composer, and educator, she has dedicated her life to preserving and propagating in its pristine purity the fascinating, highly evolved classical music of Ancient India. After many years of rigorous training under her illustrious Gurus Prof. N.B. Kikani and Ustad Anwar Khan Saheb, she became the first woman to receive a music degree with a Gold Medal in the 75 years history of the Faculty of Fine…
John Beaulieu, N.D., Ph.D., is one of the foremost philosophers and major innovators in the area of sound healing therapies. A world-renowned speaker, composer, pianist, and naturopathic doctor, Dr. Beaulieu has pioneered a technique called BioSonic Repatterning™, a natural method of healing and consciousness development using tuning forks and other sound modalities based on the sonic ratios inherent in nature. As the founder of BioSonic Enterprises, he has developed and distributed over 50 different sound healing-related products including tuning forks, instructional videos, audio programs, CDs and books. Dr. Beaulieu is the groundbreaking author of Music and Sound in the Healing…
Joss Jaffe began playing guitar and writing songs at age 9. Introduced to the music of India through the chanting of his parents and their meditation teacher Baba Muktananda, he began studying tabla, sarode & vocal from Montino Bourbon at 15, & later, Ali Akbar Khan, Swapan Chaudhuri & Zakir Hussain. Joss has accompanied Jai Uttal, Steve Kimock, Alex Grey, Rachel Brice, Silvia Nakkach & Shimshai.
Shreelata commenced her training at the age of six under Vyjayantimala Bali, the famous dancer and actress. After her arangetram in 1981, she studied under the illustrious Guru Kalaimamani K. N. Dakshinamurthy Pillai. Presently she is under the tutelage of Guru V. Krishnamoorthi, whose unique and innovative choreography has encouraged her to create a distinct style of her own. Shreelata has also mastered the dance form of Kuchipoodi from Guru Krishnamoorthi.
Steve Oda is a sarod player, composer and teacher of the Hindustani classical music. A Canadian of Japanese ancestry, Steve Oda, began his musical education at the age of seven, learning to play slide guitar and then jazz guitar. His love of creativity through musical expression led him to the classic music of North India and the sarode. His classical training started in 1971 under the guidance of Aashish Khan, and from 1973 under Aashish’s father, Ali Akbar Khan. In 1996, Steve received a Canada Council Artists Grant to pursue intensive studies at and advanced level with Ali Akbar Khan and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998. The demand for…
Uma was first exposed to Hindu devotional chanting in the early 1970s, while studying meditation and spiritual practices with Ram Dass and various other teachers. Kirtan was a practice that touched her deeply, and as a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba, she often participated in kirtan gatherings with fellow devotees, as well as in other ashrams and spiritual communities. For years she held kirtan in her home, and for the past dozen years or so, she has led kirtan formally in yoga studios, spiritual centers, and retreat settings. She has taught workshops and led kirtan on numerous retreats and in…
Swami Vashistananda comes from the Namboodri lineage in Southern India, Kerala and was the personal priest of Swami Vishnudevananda. Swamiji has been a long-time teacher of bhakti and vedanta in the Sivananda organization ever since. He has been at the Yoga farm since October 2014 and does ceremonies at all the ashram temples and shrines. Swamiji teaches with much inspiration and humor.