Tag Archives: kirtan

What’s in a Name?

They say that these are revealed Names, that ancient Rishis pulled these from the depths of consciousness and placed them in this world as gateways to that Infinite Abode. They say there is something invariably healing about these vibrations, that they melt the ego as they ripple through our being. They say that these Names are perfect forms of God, that the Name and what is named are one and the same.

All I really know is that these are Names of my Beloved, and by saying them sweetly I partake in the language of the heart, engaging in an eternal love affair.  I know that  countless devotees have cried their pain, suffering, yearning and joy into them, a reminder that this love affair is bigger than me. It’s as if we are all Gopis partaking in Krishna’s dance, each one of us simultaneously claiming Him as our own. I am connected to a tradition of lovers that goes back millennia.

And I know that they do work.

They remind me that my Beloved is here, right here, in this world, in this body, in the depths of my being, in the face of every person I meet…

And what more could I ask for, but to be granted the possibility that at any given moment the Beloved might reveal Herself? 

These Names are the Names of Love, and by saying them I engage in the most exquisite love making.

Maharajji said, “Go on saying your false Rams. One of these days you will get it right.”

So how do we say it? There are so many ways to say a Name.

Is it a chore list, something we ought to do? A magical incantation, a spell cast to bring the gods under our sway? Is it like rubbing flint, waiting for that one time when it will catch flame? Is it savory like morning pillow talk? Does it burn with yearning the way a flame leaps for air?

Or is it like the Gopis, whose ecstatic love moans reveal to us the potency of the Name, whose vocal emanations show us the healing vibratory power of the Name, who brought the Beloved completely under their sway simply by the power of their devotion, to whom nothing else existed except Krishna’s blissful form, who first ignited a tradition centuries ago when they screamed:

Śrī Kṛṣṇa!


Early Preview of a New Song

 

This is an early preview of a song that will be released at the end of the summer on the upcoming album “The Puja Room Recordings.”

Original composition by Sitaram Dass (K. Sandin)
Dulcimer- Sitaram Dass (K. Sandin)
Voice- Sitaram Dass (K. Sandin)
Violin- NewSong (J. Bradley)
Tabla- Josh Polich


Improv Chalisa

Today during my morning puja I was messing around with some chords and improvising a Hanuman Chalisa. I thought I would share with y’all what I came up with, so I recorded this 🙂

 


Current Life Plans

I try not to post updates about my life unless I am sure I know what is going on. This is for many reasons, one of which is my desire to create the illusion that I actually have my shit together (which is almost never true). So, now that I have signed a lease, I guess its finally official. Jamie and I are moving to Arcata, CA on January 1st. We found a beautiful place that we are excited to move to. Jamie was accepted to Humboldt State, so it sounds like we will be there for a few years. I am pretty committed to only work part time. That way I can focus on the other programs I want to put together in the area. I want to volunteer at the prison again teaching meditation and yoga, and I also want to share the deeper teachings from the wisdom traditions to help inmates gain more freedom in their lives. I want to put together some mindfulness workshops for activists and social workers, and I want to be a hospice volunteer again.

Of course I want to sing the Names as much as possible, and I plan to start traveling more teaching and singing. We have a yard at our place, and we want to grow a garden. I will be taking a bee keeping class this Spring and I am excited to make some bee friends. That’s all for now. I will post some pictures one we move.

Here is a candid video that Jamie took of me singing the Holy Names during our last road trip up North to Humboldt County. I hope you enjoy, and I hope I have some more posts to share with you soon. I love all of you, and I really mean that. I apologize if sometimes I don’t express that well enough to my friends. That is going to be one of my intentions for the new year and my new life amongst the redwoods.

Jaya Sitaram. Jaya Hanuman. Jai Jai Jai sat guru Neem Karoli Baba santa Maharaja Ki Jai!!!!!!!!


Now available on Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and more.

All of my music is now available on Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and more.

Of course, the best way to support me and my music is to get it directly from my website, but I’m happy to say that more people will have access to it, and this is a good thing.

I have also started recording for my next album, which will be available next Spring.

I am excited for it. It will be very different from anything I have done thus far. Over the years I have developed many songs in my personal practice that just never lent themselves well to call-and-response kirtan. Many of these songs were written on instruments other than harmonium, and you can expect to hear a wide range of instruments- guitar, banjolele, piano, violin, harmonium, etc.

Although not traditional call-and-response kirtan, these are still songs of longing for God, and are still sung with the Sanskrit Holy Names.

In a few days I will post my reflections from my recent protest in support of Planned Parenthood

So if you would like to keep up to date on my music, tour dates, and musings, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or sign up for my email list and follow this blog by clicking the links on the left side of the page.

Ram Ram,

Sitaram Dass