The Yogi’s Secret Ingredient
What is the Yogi’s secret ingredient? Chanting God’s Name! It is food for your soul, and brings soul into your food! You will find below three chant music/kirtan albums I have recorded over the years: Morning Glory (chants for morning meditation), I am and Unto Victory I am! (spirited and energizing mantra recorded at request of Yogi Bhajan), and Bayntee: Prayer to Guru Ram Das (peaceful and uplifting chant 62 minutes).
I hope you will enjoy and chant along as you cook, and bring some bliss into the food you prepare!
chanting in the early dawn
Morning meditations for the Aquarian Sadhana
This is a collection of mantras prescribed by Yogi Bhajan for the Aquarian Sadhana, our daily early morning meditation practice for the Aquarian Age. The melodies for these ancient chants grew out of my own daily practice. I had listened to and tried many other artists’ CDs of the Aquarian Sadhana mantras, but I found myself trying to “sing” along with the tunes, instead of getting into the naad, or spiritual groove, of the mantras. I sat down at my harmonium with a prayer that excellent tunes honoring and representing each of the mantras would come through… and, one by one, they did! My intent was to bring about a progression of rhythms and melodies that would be easy to chant along with, that would also carry the listener/chanter on a meditative journey.
Then the album started coming together. My friend, Dan Charnas offered to record/produce the recordings for me. He felt strongly that producing this chanting CD was the answer to his long time prayer to serve Guru Ram Das. Musicians I knew and didn’t know manifested. Dan had met Lili Haydn (she is such an amazing violinist!) at yoga classes in Hollywood, and she happily played on the Guru Ram Das and Rakhe Rakhanhaar chants. My long time sister in divine and gal pal Satkartar Kaur brought her beautiful vocals to the Guru Ram Das chant. Other instruments include harmonium (me – Siri Ved Kaur), guitar (Mark Brodie), piano (Dan Charnas), Dhol drum (my husband Gurujodha Khalsa), tablas (Guru Meher Singh), mardanga drum (Adwaita Acarya Das), Udu drum and a bit of bongos (both with Marilyn Donadt). We recorded in the evenings over a period of a month or two. I’d never recorded in a studio environment before and Dan, as a hip hop producer in the 90s, was new to recording with live instruments. We had quite an adventure together. I am ever grateful to him for the many hours he devoted (and it was truly devotion) to bringing it all together.
This is all to say, these chants, this music, these artists, the album, all came together purely from a state of Grace. The mantras and grooves are powerful and effective. Chant along and enjoy the journey!
I Am and unto Victory I Am
A powerful mantra for Victory and Getting into the Bliss!!
Be invincible, victorious, and joyful in spirit!
Yogi Bhajan asked my friend Seva Kaur and I to put to music and record this mantra for a White Tantric Yoga course in approximately 1993. The tune came through so clear and beautifully! It is a joy to sing and play. She and I both sing and play the harmonium (with a very young Snatam doing backup singing!). Guru Prem Singh plays guitar and also produced the recording.
The words to the mantra are:
I AM AND UNTO VICTORY I AM – WAHE GURU JI KA KHALSA WAHE GURU JI KI FATEH!
(This Gurmukhi part is the greeting of the Khalsa/Pure Ones and means: “The Pure Ones belong to God/Wahe Guru – Victory belongs to God/Wahe Guru”)
Yogi Bhajan gave us his blessing to include the words “BOLAY SO NIHAL SAT SIRI AKAAL” (This is a shout of Victory and literally means “Whosoever says this shall be blessed and fullfilled: The Great-Exalted Truth is Undying!”)
Turn up the volume and chant with all your heart. Guaranteed uplifted spirit!
BAYNTEE: Prayer to Guru Ram Das
This music for the GURU GURU WAHE GURU GURU RAM DAS GURU mantra grew out of my daily practice of the Aquarian Sadhana as given by Yogi Bhajan. I hoped to create excellent “chantable” tunes that would honor and represent each of the mantras and carry the listener-chanter on a meditative journey.
I would play my harmonium, start chanting, and the tunes began to manifest. Things moved along just fine with all the mantras for my sadhana album “Morning Glory.” However, the tune for the final mantra, the prayer to Guru Ram Das, seemed stuck in the ethers and wasn’t manifesting. I tried. I tried not trying. “I” gave up. Then one night, while staying up very very late and noodling around on the piano, I found myself chanting to Guru Ram Das in a melody and with chords that simply would not have worked on the more limited harmonium. It was so blissful, chanting in such a prayerful way!
But, when I woke up in the morning I could not remember the melody!
A few nights later as I slept, I was chanting the mantra in a dream. I realized in my dream that I was dreaming and that I was chanting to the forgotten tune. I jumped out of bed, ran to the piano, and played and sang until I knew it again, wrote down the notes and chords (I still have that piece of paper somewhere) and went back to bed.
When it came time to record, Dan (my producer) and I decided we wanted piano and violin as the only instruments. We had piano covered. A few days later he met Lili Haydn at a yoga class in Hollywood and she happily agreed to play. My long time sister in divine and gal pal Sat Kartar Kaur also brought her beautiful vocals.
Thus this extended version (62 minutes) of the Guru Ram Das chant came together purely from a state of Grace. The mantra and groove are powerful and effective. Chant along, ride the bliss, and enjoy the journey!