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Winter Issue 2014


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

Table of Contents: The Glories of Sri Ganesh p.6 Nada-Yoga: The Yoga of Sound p.11

“I Am Om, The Word that is God.” ~Bhagavad Gita 7:8 “In the beginning was Prajapati [God the Creator], with Him was the Word, and the Word was truly the Supreme Brahman.” Kathaka Samhita, 12.5

Mantra: The Science of the Word of God-dess p.18 Music as Wisdom p.25

Cover image art: Devi Saraswati Ma, Goddess of the Arts, Music, Knowledge & Wisdom. Artist unknown.

Welcome to Pranava Magazine By J.Yochanan Russell

Editor in Chief

Pranava Magazine is a Quarterly Journal of the Kirtan Movement in the West. Pranava serves as a media publication that chronicles the current & modern renaissance of the ancient practice of devotional chanting, known as Kirtan & Bhajan, & how it’s grown into the cultural phenomenon of the West that it is today. There will be featured Kirtan Wallah interviews in each issue, with supporting articles that highlight their particular tradition.

Columnist feature articles that offer education into the deeper implication of chanting mantras & the sacred names of divinity. Pranava Magazine is for the education, empowerment, & inspiration of its readers, in order to maintain a continuity of acknowledged awareness of the roots of Kirtan, & how with sincerity, practitioners can benefit themselves, & humanity through positive transformation & Sacred Union with the Divine through devotional chanting.

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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

Pranava Magazine

Editorial Note Bhakti-Yoga is the path of Divine Love, & the devotional sadhana of Kirtan is the means by which we court our Beloved with singing & chanting, who is none other than our very own Inner Divinity that takes whatever form to suit our own idiosyncrasy. What grace! What kindness & mercy of the Absolute! Jai Bhagawan!! It is with the warm & loving spirit of Bhakti that I welcome you to our first pilot issue of ‘Pranava Magazine: The Art & Culture of Kirtan in the West!’ With Pranava* Magazine, we are embarking on a journey of conscious media that gives voice to the life-force of the ever expanding culture of Kirtan, which is now deeply rooted in the West as a subculture. Everyone who has the blessed experience of participating in this rich & ancient tradition can feel the palpitating Heart thats been passed to us from the East. Our aim is to honor the deep roots of Kirtan & its various traditions, while highlighting it’s continuity of creative expression here in the U.S. I truly feel that Jnana-Yoga is a key component upon the path of Bhakti, as it aids in the cultivation of direct experiential knowledge & insight (Gnosis) of the Divine, & therefore placing the mind under the service of the Heart. In order to initiate Pranava Magazine., we offer an invocation & praise to Sri Ganesh as the first article. In the following articles, we present vital aspects that shape, & are never missing in devotional music: ‘Nada-Yoga: The Yoga of Sound’; ‘Mantra: The Science of God-dess’; & ‘Music as Wisdom’. I hope you enjoy such articles of our pilot issue & find it empowering & enlightening. For our Spring March/April Issue, we have GuruGanesha as our first featured sacred music artist to grace the front cover as our outstanding first interviewee! Future issues will follow suit with exclusive interviews of our favorite Kirtan Wallahs, with complimentary articles that delve deeper into the particular tradition they represent, so stay tuned! May your hearts forever remain ablaze in the bhav of Bhakti as you draw ever nearer unto the One! OM Ganapati OM!! Yours in Loving-Compassionate-Wisdom, ~J.Yochanan Russell pranavamag@gmail.com Digital magazine available at www.pranavamagazine.com

Pranava Magazine

Editorial ‘Pranava: The Art & Culture of Kirtan in the West’ Editor in Chief: J.Yochanan Russell Senior Columnists: Maturanath-ji, Vamadeva-ji, Shanti Shivani Art Director: J.Yochanan Russell Advertising, Marketing & Circulation: Shannon Chambers, J.Yochanan Russell Contributing Editor: Solala Towler Senior Photographer Ankush Vimawala Article Submission Inquiries: pranavamag@ gmail.com Request our Media Kit for Ad Submissions: pranamag@gm ail.com

*The definition of Pranava: Pranava is the name of the Primordial All-pervasive Sound Vibration that culminates as OM/AUM, which is the Word of GOD/Divinity. Pranava is the voice of the life-force in motion. Pranava is that which impregnates all with Life, & it is that which puts everything into Motion, hence the etymology, Prana= Life-force & Va: the root of Vayu, Vata, Vaccha (voice). This is why Every invocation & prayer to the Divine begins & ends with the Pranava seed syllable OM in nearly every tradition: aum, amen, amin. 3


NOW AVAILABLE! A WINDOW TO THE FUTURE OF ECSTATIC DANCE! Soul-stirring dance electronica grooves meets India’s ecstatic chant tradition resulting in a spiritually-charged music fusion that is… KIRTRONICA! Coming in at #12 on the New Age Billboard Charts following its release in July 2013, the Kirtronica album continues to gain momentum in the spiritual dance community, paving the way for the future of ecstatic dance. “Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda take a delightfully refreshing approach to kirtan/ mantra music with their new album Kirtronica and their magnificent live performances. Their music makes you instantly want to sing and dance in joy while still being as heart opening as more traditional kirtan.” ~Guru Ganesha


Contributors J ~Yochanan~ Russell is the founder, Editor in Chief & Head Columnist of Pranava Magazine; he is a longtime student & practitioner of Universal Gnostic Dharma, Ayurveda, Cha Dao, Raja-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, Vajrayana Tantra, Mahamudra & Dzogchen. As a lover & player of Sacred Music, he participates in the cultivation of Mantric Music/Kirtan for the healing, spiritual development, upliftment & empowerment of humanity. Shanti Shivani is is a singer/nada yogini/sound healer, internationally acclaimed seminar leader and recording artist. She is one of the few Western pioneers bringing the sacred traditions of Nada Yoga and Dhrupad, the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music, to the West. She brings a wealth of vocal, meditative, and movement experience to her classes. She has several albums to her credit and has been recording as a solo artist and in collaboration with many World Music artists since 1993. She currently lives in Eugene, OR. www.shantishivani.com As a gifted teacher of Bhakti Yoga, Author and a Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, Matura has conducted hundreds of classes, and lead uplifting kirtans in America, England, Australia & India, inspiring others to seek and serve the Conscious Spiritual Reality that is the basis of all world faiths. A preview of Matura's forthcoming book "Absolute Abundance" can be previewed here: www.abundantlives.org

For Guest Contributor Submissions, please email J.Yochanan Russell: pranavamag@gmail.com

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THE GLORIES OF SRI GANESH PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

By J.Yochanan Russell

The Art & Culture of Kirtan in the West Image Courtesy of Ankush Vimawala www.vimawala.com It is through the blessings of Sri

He is also affectionately known as

Ganesh that the vision of Pranava

Ganapati, as He holds the position as

vakratunda mahaakaaya

Magazine has been actualized &

the General of Shiva’s & Kartikeya’s

suryakoti samaprabhaa

made manifest, so let us shine a

army (as the name Ganapati means)

nirvighnam kurumedeva

spotlight on Him & sing His praises!

sarvakaaryeshu sarvadaa

Jai Sri Ganesha!

“Salutations to the supreme Lord

& is the gatekeeper of sacred madirs/temples. As the Lord of Beginnings, Ganesh is

Ganesh, whose curved trunk (vakra-

Sri Ganesha: The Lord of

invoked at the start of every

tunda) and massive body (maha-

Beginnings & Remover of

ceremony to ensure that the way is

kaayaa) shines like a million suns

Obstacles

cleared, with all obstacles removed.

(surya-koti) and showers his

Sri Ganesh is the first beloved son of

blessings on everyone (sama-

Devi Parvati & Mahadeva Shiva,

It is stated that if we want the

prabhaa). Oh my Lord of lords

brother of Kartikeya, & husband of

affectionate attention of the Divine

Ganesh (kurume-deva), kindly

Buddhipriya. Due to his elephant

Mother, that we must firstly appease

head, Ganesh is the most

Ganesh. As He holds high favor of all

always (sarva-) and forever

recognizable deities within the

the other Gods, it is through the

(sarvadaa-) from all my activities

Hindu pantheon. Sri Ganesh is

vibration of Ganesha-Bhakti that we

designated as the lord-chief (Isha) of

can also attract the favor of them as

all of Lord Shiva’s ganas (hosts-

well. He receives this power as a

servers) – hence his name, Ganesh.

blessing from his parents.

remove all obstacles (nir-vighnam),

and endeavors (sarva-kaaryeshu)”. Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha!

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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

It is very vital to understand that all of the attributes & qualities of Sri Ganesh reflect particular aspects of cosmic consciousness, which are found within our very own psyche. The many Gods & Goddesses that we find in all the sacred wisdom traditions are all emanations of the Absolute. Sri Ganesh is just one out of many archetypal blueprints of divinity that lie dormant within the heart-mind of every sentient being. In the Hindu tradition there are many symbolic representations of divinity, and it would be very easy to become confused by the different representations of God, but it is very important to remember that all representations of God (the Absolute) are merely symbolic images, forms that the formless will assume in order to aid his devotees. This will be highlighted throughout future articles on the deities of Kirtan as we proceed with the publication of Pranava Magazine. When we talk about Ganesha, Shiva, Krishna, Durga, Lakshmi, or any of the Hindu gods, all of these symbols are doorways into ourselves, into the deepest regions of our True Nature. Our True Nature has these levels of manifested and unmanifested nature, which are all discovered within. Religion means to reunite with Divinity. The purpose of religion is reflected in the origin of that word, religare (Lat.), which means "to reunite or to bind, to reconnect," and is identical to the Hindu term yoga, which comes from yug, which means "to unite," and is where we get the word "yoke." Our purpose is not to unite with some image of a God or to bind ourselves to some doctrinal codes that demand us to behave a certain way in order to be a true follower of such and such symbol.

Our true purpose is to be a manifestation of the unmanifested, to become a Deva or

The Names & Attributes of Sri

Devi on Earth. The whole purpose of

Ganesh

Divinity is to make us a reflection of It. That

Ganesha means "Lord of hosts." This phrase

is why we are alive: to become the divine

will sound familiar to you if you’ve studied

incarnate. All who consciously spend time

Christianity or Judaism, because "lord of

engaged in any kind of spiritual cultivation

hosts" appears throughout the Bible, which

from performing a particular puja,

is no accident.

meditation or during devotional chanting in

The Sanskrit name "Lord of hosts" is derived

kirtan, can attest to moments of when such

from:

a truth is tasted firsthand within.

“Remover of all obstacles,

collection, or categories." It can

Pranava Swaroopi,

also be armies, any large number of

Embodiment of wisdom, Devata of Muladhara Chakra! O Lord Vinayaka, The bestower of happiness

gana means "hosts/servers, group,

things or people •

Isha means "Master"

Gana+Isha is "Master of hosts." Another name for him used throughout India

Who has Modaka in hand!

is Ganapati. The name Ganesha is used

O Elephant-headed Lord!

mostly in northern Indian traditions, while

Salutations unto Thee. Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha”.

Ganapati is used in the south; yet, Ganapati also means "Lord of hosts."

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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014 Another important name for Ganesha is Vinayaka, and

“We pray to the one with the expandable belly

this name means "without a master." This refers to one

(lambodarāya) who is omnipresent (viddhamahe). We

who excels all masters; there is no master higher, in

meditate upon and pray for greater intellect (dhīmahi)

other words, he is his own master.

to the Lord with the huge belly (mahodarāya). We bow

In order to comprehend the mysteries of Sri Ganesh, we must study the elephant itself. As we observe the wild

before the one with the single-tusked elephant tooth (tanno danti) to illuminate our minds with wisdom (prachodayāt)”.

elephant in the jungles of the world, we discover that as they roam & feed throughout, they are opening up space that were previous left in darkness, to receive

To have a mind that is illuminated with wisdom, it must

more light. We can clearly see that Sri Ganesh is the

first be prepared thorough purification & made empty,

remover of obstacles due this exact meaning; not only

in order to be receptive. Sri Ganesh grants what Zen

should we understand this to mean that Ganesh has the

Buddhism calls “Beginners Mind”, which is a mind that

power to remove certain obstacles that stand in the

remain always within a state of receptivity. Ganesh is

way of us accomplishing mundane goals, but also that

the Lord of Beginnings for this very reason. For anything

He has the power to make room for more light to shine within the consciousness. This is why we call upon Sri Ganesh to assist in the

to work in alignment with a vision we hold within, we can call upon Sri Ganesh to clear the way in order to initiate manifestation.

awakening of the consciousness with the prayer of the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra:

Sri Ganesh is also known as the Lord of Speech (Vaccha), Knowledge (Jnana) & Wisdom (Prajna). It is no wonder that these attributes are related with Ganesh as the elephant is well known for its powers of memory, & sophisticated communication. It is also worthy to note

AUM lambodaraaya viddhamahe, mahodaraaya dhImahi, tanno danti prachodayaath

how the words knowledge & gnosis are both derived from jnana, which even phonetically sounds like Ganesha.

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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

In many of the depictions of Sri Ganesh, we see him

have success in your business or marriage, then you ask

mounted on a mouse, or a rat. This symbolizes a

Ganesha to bless your marriage or business. That is

particular attribute of Ganesh; as he is able to remove

great, but the real purpose of the symbol of Sri Ganesh

obstacles & create auspicious beginnings, he does so by

is related to spirituality. It is "He who straightens the

way of the rat, who’s special ability is to get within &

crooked", it is he who straightens us, because we are

traverse every nook & cranny. These very nooks &

crooked with pride, lust, anger, & many other kleshas

crannies are those within the heart-mind.

(afflictive emotions), so with his single tusk he points out the way towards the One.

The more we approach Sri Ganesha with sincere hearts blazing with Bhakti, the more He grants the boon of Gnosis, which is the direct inner experience of divinity. As the source of all wisdom, knowledge & intelligence Ganesha represents is not only secular book knowledge, but more importantly knowledge which is spiritually inspired. Another name of Sri Ganesh is Ekadanta, which means "one tusked." There are many stories in the Puranas about his tusks. In the earliest myths, Ganesh has a single tusk, and this is symbolically represented in many different ways. It is stated that in the act of generosity that he offered his tusk as a pen in order to transcribe the Vedas. Some sources say that it was the Sage Vyasa that asked Sri

Sri Ganesh is also represented as the bringer of wealth and prosperity; many people worship Ganesh because they want financial prosperity; this is an unskillful approach. Many Hindus (now western Hindu aspirants) call upon Ganesh because they want success in business or power in the world. When we perform the sadhana of Sri Ganesh regularly, we naturally begin to embody the spirit of selflessness & renunciation, & we come to realize that the only wealth & prosperity that has any merit are the riches of the spirit that are reaped in the consciousness. If any financial abundance comes along the way, then it is used to further support dharmic ventures that will benefit humanity for many generations to come.

Swami Sivananda said: "Lord Ganesha represents Om or the Pranava,

Ganesh to transcribe a poem he wanted to have written

which is the chief Mantra among the Hindus.

down. Ganesh agreed on the terms that Vyasa would

Nothing can be done without uttering it. This

recite it in one breath & in the middle of transcribing

explains the practice of invoking Ganesha

the pen broke, so as to stay in time & flow with Vyasa,

before beginning any rite or undertaking any

he quickly broke off one of his tusks & continues to

project. His two feet represent the power of

transcribe.

knowledge and the power of action. The

Ekadanta has the suffix danta, from dantin, from the root dru- darshayati: "to show"; he has a symbolic single tusk because he is the one who shows the path, who

elephant head is significant in that it is the only figure in nature that has the form of the symbol for Om."

shows the single way to the Absolute, and that is

Let us forever recall the glories of Sri Ganesh & chant

Ganesha’s role: to clear obstacles within & to show the

his name with loving devotion, & may he bless our every

path that leads to our true home.

endeavor from within!

That relates to another one of his names, Vakratunda, which means "he who straightens out the crooked." Many Hindus think that this all relates to earthly life, such as if you’re going to take a trip or you need to

Ganesha Sharanam-Sharanam Ganesha!

Om Ganapati Om!!!

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Nada-Yoga: The Yoga of Sound By Shanti Shivani


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

Nada-Yoga: The Yoga of Sound Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound, is an ancient spiritual practice that is part of Raja Yoga and ayurveda, the

The Gospel According to Saint John 1:1 says: "In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and God was the Word."

science of life. Nada Yoga means The great Sufi teacher, Hazrat u n i o n ( y o g a ) w i t h t h e n a d a Inayat Khan, said: "Creation is or  nadam, the primordial sound the music of God." In other which is the primal, omnipresent, words, the world arises out of omnipotent vibration of the jagat the music of God, that resounds (the universe in sanskrit) that has no and manifests itself in all of beginning nor end. In the  Rg Veda, nature.  Pythagoras called it the the oldest text of the 4,000 year old "music of the spheres.” In all vedic scriptures of India, sound is mystical traditions sound plays a called  nada (sound in skt.) brahma vital role, as it is the bridge

"Salutations to the nadam, which is the inner guide and the inner life, the dispenser of happiness to all! It is the inner guru, appearing as nada, bindu and kala. One who is devoted to the inner guru, the nada, the inner music, obtains the highest bliss.”

(the Hindu God of creation), which between the lower and higher means the sound of God. It is the worlds, the unconscious and the sound of silence, the sound of the conscious, the form and the void, and it is perceived by the yogi formless.  who contemplates the unborn, the unstruck sound, the anahata nada, There are many forms of Nada Yoga or by the householder practitioner in India. The two main streams are whose mastery of the outer sound the path of the renunciant, one who through music, dance or theater

has renounced the world, and the combined with deep devotion leads path of the householder. Within to hearing the unstruck, inner these two main streams there are sound. many different lineages with

merging with the unstruck sound, the anahata nada, thus connecting more and more deeply with the true Self, Brahman or God. The householder who lives in the world focuses on singing or playing the outer pure sound on an instrument to connect with the inner sound current. The anahata nada is connected to the anahata chakra,

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika IV, 1 says:

different practices. A very important which is the heart chakra. The lotus householder lineage is that of the of the heart is the seat of Brahman,

NAMAH SHIVAYA GURAVE NADA-

singer, instrumentalist, drummer,

our true nature. This would explain

BINDU-KALATMANE

dancer and poet. The ultimate goal

why devotion is so crucial to being

NIRANJANA-PADAM YATI NITAM

is the same: Self-realization through

able to connect and merge with the

YATRA PARAYANAH.

the unstruck inner sound, through

anahata nada.

which the individual consciousness "Salutations to the nadam, which is the inner guide and the inner life, the dispenser of happiness to all! It is the inner guru, appearing as nada, bindu and kala. One who is devoted to the inner guru, the nada, the inner music, obtains the highest bliss.

merges with the I AM consciousness.

Because I have been a householder

We experience our true Self, we

practitioner of the Dagar lineage of

experience union with the Absolute I

Dhrupad music since 1981 and I like

AM.

to talk from experience, I will mainly be speaking about the nada

The renunciant nada yogi meditates

yoga of our lineage. But let me first

on the inner sound current, thus

give you an introduction to Dhrupad,

traveling into the more subtle

which is little known in the West.

realms of his being by focusing on the increasingly subtle sounds until

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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

The modern form of Dhrupad is said

younger brother, the late Ustad Zia

that this was the music I had always

to have emerged out of the

Fariduddin Dagar but I received most be looking for and that these two

prabandha style of the 12th to 14th

of my training from Pandit Ritwik

men, the elder and the younger,

century. Dhrupad was originally only

Sanyal, one of the main disciples of

were my teachers.That evening I

sung or played on the veena by

both of the above-mentioned

found out that the younger singer,

Hindu Swamis. It was and still is an

Ustads, with whom I started studying Ritwik Sanyal, was teaching classical

act of worship during which the

in Benares, India in December of

vocal music at Benares Hindu

priest or musician communes with

1981.

University and teaching Dhrupad

Brahman or God and invokes the

I will never forget the first time I

privately. I met one of his students

rasa (essence, flavor) of the raga

heard Dhrupad vocal music. It was

that evening and asked to be

(musical mode). The intention is to

Mahashivaratri, the "Night of Lord

introduced to him but she declined,

put the listener into a state of

Shiva", during the February new

saying that he would not accept me

contemplation and inner peace.

moon of 1981. This is the most

as a student if I didn't

During the 12th and 14th centuries

important time to worship Lord

commit to a minimum of 5 years of

the language of the compositions

Shiva, and I was living in the worldly

study. But Dhrupad was my destiny,

changed from Sanskrit to Brijbhasa,

abode of Lord Shiva in Benares or

and so it was that 9 months later the

the language of Braj, the area

Varanasi, India. I was studying sitar

same student agreed to make an

around Vrindavan. About six

and classical vocal music with Pandit appointment for me with Ritwik

centuries ago Dhrupad came under

Ramakant Mishra, in whose family

Sanyal for an audition, because she

the patronage of the royal Moghul

house I lived. The annual Dhrupad

realized that I was very committed

courts, where it was adapted for

mela was taking place in a big tent

to studying Indian Classical music.

performance, thus evolving into a

on Tulsi Ghat for 3 days and nights

Since our first meeting I had been

refined and sophisticated art form.

and all of my friends were

studying khayal style of singing with

The compositions became more

attending. I had never even heard

one of the greatest devotional

secular though and were often

about Dhrupad music, but found

musicians of Benares, the big-

praises of the emperors, whereas

myself totally transported listening

hearted Bhole Nath Mishra. I had

before they had been solely

to two Dhrupad singers in

gotten my first taste of kirtan

devotional and philosophical in

jugalbandhi (duet) an older man, Zia (devotional singing) in 1977, while

nature. Dhrupad reached its peak in

Fariduddin Dagar and his younger

living with my first spiritual guru,

the 16th century during the time of

disciple, Ritwik Sanyal.

Bengali Baba, a Shaivite sadhu, at

the legendary court musician of the

I had grown up with classical

the Hanuman Bhowri in Pushkar,

Emperor Akbar, Tansen, and Swami

Western music, but this music took

Rajastan. We would sing every night

Haridas who is said to have been the

me to a whole other dimension that

around the dhuni (holy fire pit) with

guru of Tansen. Swami Haridas was a

I had not experienced before. The

the villagers and those evenings

Dhrupad singing saint who lived as a

intricate embellishments consisting

were quite ecstatic with my

hermit in the forest near Vrindavan.

of subtle sliding from one note to

boyfriend playing guitar to the

The most important schools of

another, the oscillations on one note

chants. Bhole Nath Mishra, who was

Dhrupad are the Dagar and

creating the finest microtones, the

a true devotee of Lord Shiva,

Vishnupurbanis or lineages. To this

powerful pulling from very deep

rekindled that devotional passion in

day a Dhrupad recital is not seen as

notes, the interweaving of the

me, which is crucial if you are to

a performance. It is a communion

notes, the entire unfolding of the

sing with total surrender. And as I

with Brahman or God in his or her

raga that lasted more than one hour

would find out much, much later,

many aspects in which the listeners

created such a deep mood that it

singing ragas demands that you

take part. I had the great fortune to

was truly a spiritual

become an empty vessel for

have been accepted as a parampara

experience. While going on this

Brahman or the I-Am consciousness

student of the lineage of the late

mystical, musical journey with themI to sing through you.

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and his

was overcome by the realization

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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

‘The ultimate goal is the same: Self-realization through the unstruck inner sound, through which the individual consciousness merges with the I AM consciousness. We experience our true Self, we experience union with the Absolute I AM.’ I will also never forget how profoundly I was affected by period of time with him. In the middle of my sadness my first meeting with Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, the

Ustad appeared before my inner eye and jumped into

greatest rudra veena player of Northern India. I met

my heart. I was overcome with joy, almost ecstasy, and I

Ustad (Master in urdu) for the first time in 1982 at the

knew he would be sitting in my heart forever.

Dhrupad mela (festival) in Ambejogai in Maharastra, a small village with a college in the middle of the desert.

In India, vocal music is considered the highest form of

It was the first Dhrupad mela dedicated to women in

music, as the voice possesses the magnetism that the

Dhrupad. Nancy Lesh (the now well-known Dhrupad

instruments lack. The body itself becomes the

cellist Nancy Kulkarni) and I were accompanying our

instrument when we sing. The tambura or tanpura, the

guru, Ritwik Sanyal, to the mela and we were to meet

drone instrument, rich in harmonics, that the Dhrupad

"Bare Ustad", for the first time. Being in Ustad's

singer accompanies himself with, is built according to

presence touched me to the core and I felt an

the proportions of the human body. When carefully

incredible reverence for him as a human being and an

tuned, all of the shrutis or microtones can be heard.

artist. I believe it was also at this particular Dhrupad

The tambura not only provides the tonic note or "Sa" of

mela that Ustad's performance on the rudra veena

the middle and lower octave as well as the lower fifth

catapulted me out of my body into the cosmos. At the

as a point of reference, but also puts everyone hearing

end of this quite amazing mela, when Nancy and I were

it into a state of relaxation, even contemplation,

sitting in the back of a rickety, old bus, leaving

because it balances the left and right brain

Ambejogai, my thoughts were with "Bare Ustad" and I

hemispheres.

felt extremely sad that I only got to spend a short

(Continued on page 14)

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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

(Continued from page 12)

“The tambura also regulates the inner rhythms of the player and the listener. This is why it is so important to tune it correctly and to play it with a constant rhythm.   As we tune the tambura, we also tune our bodies through posture, breath and specific vocal

I might note, that medieval Western music and the church-modes of Gregorian chants which preceded the even-tempered scales of Western classical music had the same relationship to the tonic.) The tambura also regulates the inner rhythms of the player and the listener. This is why it is so important to tune it correctly and to play it with a constant rhythm.

  As we tune the tambura, we also tune our bodies through posture,

techniques.”

breath and specific vocal techniques. These practices anchor the voice in the perineum within the

consists of singing the lower octave

much stayed with me. Much later I

help of the breath and allow us to

of your personal fundamental note

had the one-time blessing of hearing

sing all the notes, from the the

before sunrise for approx. 45 min. I

the sound of the celestial flute. I

lowest to the highest notes with the

will talk about my personal

don't know how it happened nor

entire body. Singing in this way

experience with this practice below.

what brought it on. All I can say is that it was Grace. I suddenly heard

vibrates every cell of the body, thus attuning our physical and subtle

The first few years as a student of

one long-drawn high-pitched note, a

bodies. The nada yoga of the

Dhrupad, I was always searching for

note of such exquisite beauty and

Dhrupad tradition is considered to

a nada yogi to initiate me into nada

divine vibration that I found myself

be kriya yoga (purification yoga). We yoga as I did not know that singing the pure sound could connect me purify our physical, emotional and

in the deepest state of bliss that I have ever experienced.

mental bodies through singing the

with the inner sound current. That is

pure sound and align them with our

until I started hearing various forms

For me, the most powerful practice

spiritual body. Through speaking or

of the inner sound current after

was the kharaj practice of singing

singing we manifest ourselves in the

several years of devoting myself to

the lower octave down to the low

world and are thereby able to be in

doing many different forms of vocal

"Sa" or "do" (in my case lower octave

the world but not of the world. The

practices, learning compositions in

G) one hour before sunrise. Like

nada yoga practices of Dhrupad are

various ragas and singing alap, the

many meditation practices this

also of great therapeutic value.

slow evolution of the raga in call-

practice is done while it is dark,

When one begins this practice as an

and-response style with Ritwik

because the pineal gland, which is

adult, the first thing one

Sanyal.

responsible for heightened awareness, is awake when it is dark.

experiences besides a state of relaxation is that repressed

The first inner sound that I

emotions arise. The emotional

perceived on a regular basis was like

healing is very deep, especially

the sound that crickets make. Later

when doing the early morning kharaj

it turned into a humming sound like

(lower octave) practice, which

the sound of bees that has pretty

When the day breaks the pineal gland goes to sleep. When doing

pranava 14


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

But years later the kharaj practice took me to

bodies and past karma. Once you come out of

a whole other level. It was the summer of

this state, you feel totally reborn and as if the

1989 and I had not been able to go to India for

past has been dropped.Â

4 years as I had given birth to my daughter, Tara, in Germany and couldn't find the time to do my early morning kharaj practice as a single mother. So my first opportunity to study Dhrupad again was in the South of France at Sheela Raj's Centre Chakra. She had organized the first 10-day Dhrupad retreat of several to follow. This first one was with Ustad Fahimuddin Dagar, a cousin of my two Ustads who was a master Dhrupad singer and nada yogi. Fahimuddin Dagar's father, the late Ustad Rahimuddin Dagar, had dedicated himself to the in-depth study and practice of nada yoga. He had taught body movements to open up the breath and body to the subtle powers of sound to his son, and Fahimuddin passed them on to us during this retreat. I had already experienced the profound relationship between movement and sound in the course of interpreting and assisting FrĂŠderic Leboyer, the father of the "birth without violence" movement during his seminars. Leboyer taught a series of movements distilled from his lifelong hatha yoga and tai chi practice which had produced an incredible opening of my voice. Lo and behold, the movements that Fahimuddin Dagar taught us were almost exactly the same. So there I was, ecstatic to have the opportunity to focus on my beloved Dhrupad music again for 10 days, starting with the kharaj practice in the morning, one hour before sunrise. I was very happy when I realized that nothing had been lost and I was able to almost reach the low "Sa" (lower octave G), but then one morning the unexpected happened. I sang the low "Sa" with ease for the first time and suddenly exploded into white Light inside and out. This was an incredibly cosmic moment that seemed like an eternity as this kind of experience transcends time and space. Bathing in the white Light feels like a complete purification of all of your

I had had this experience of being one with the Light once before in McCloud Ganj, H.P., in 1979 while falling asleep. I was in a deep state of depression because I was missing my new partner who I had left behind in Germany. As I was falling asleep I found myself plummeting down a dark tunnel, but instead of hitting the bottom and waking up I exploded into white Light. The next day I felt as if I had been reborn and instead of dwelling in the past and being depressed, I focused on being in the present moment. I attributed this experience to the grace of a tantric yogi, the rainmaker of H.H. The Dalai Lama, Nagpa Yeshe, who I would meet on my walks in McCloud Ganj. He had the most heart-opening, happy smile I had ever seen and I was always filled with joy after crossing paths with him. Much later I realized that I had to have this life-changing experience because I was meant to let go of my life and relationship in Germany and start walking on the path of the nada yogini. Only when it happened I didn't know that that was what it was all about. Literally two days later, I met my tabla teacher-to-be "by chance" because my friends wanted to sit in on a tabla lesson and I decided to join them. And this was the beginning of my journey into the nada. More about that in the next issue of Pranava. Shanti Shivani is is a singer/nada yogini/ sound healer, internationally acclaimed seminar leader and recording artist. She is one of the few Western pioneers bringing the sacred traditions of Nada Yoga and Dhrupad, the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music, to the West. She brings a wealth of vocal, meditative, and movement experience to her classes. She has several albums to her credit and has been recording as a solo artist and in collaboration with many World Music artists since 1993. She currently lives in Eugene, OR. www.shantishivani.com

pranava 15


Mantra: The Science of The Divine Word of God-dess By J.Yochanan Russell

Mantra: The Science of The Divine Word of God-dess By J.Yochanan Russell


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

Mantra: The Science of The Divine Word of God-dess The Meaning of Mantra Nowadays, the term ‘mantra’ can be heard almost anywhere from the streets to the mainstream media & oftentimes without the any real definition emphasized. If one were to ask any common person what does the word ‘mantra’ mean, more than likely the answer would be either some strange foreign word or phrase that’s repeated as a prayer or spell of some type...? It is also very common in our modern era for people to join spiritual groups or movements &

The Art & Culture of Kirtan in the West

then take on new names given to them by their leaders; usually these are mantric names, or names of certain divinities, etc. Depending on the tradition, such names are rarely unveiled in their deeper meaning & application, & more often than not, such individuals end up creating for themselves a false personality, or a ‘spiritual ego’. For ages, mantras have been used to inspire personal development, & oftentimes used as aspirations to generate abundance, prosperity & material gain.

“There are 3 primary purposes that Mantra serve in MantraYoga: Purification, Illumination, In this article we are going to delve a little deeper into the meaning & application of Mantra-Yoga, revealing some of the original practices that have been held within the sacred traditions of spirituality around the world. The Science of Mantra-Yoga is the essentially the science of breath, vibration, sound & light. A deeper meaning for mantra that’s generally used for conventional purposes is: ‘mantra is a sound or word generally used to help focus the mind on a single thought until thoughtless Beingness is established. As a tool to achieve stillness, the mantra is to be discarded at the moment stillness is achieved.’ The word Mantra is related to manas (the mind); yoga means to unite with our origin. Mantra -Yoga would then mean to unite using the tool of mantra.’ This tool is the tool of transformation.

pranava 16


Google defines mantra as:

Elements), we find that sound is

“A mantra is a sound,

etheric in nature. ether, or akasha,

syllable, word, or group of

is the first condensation of the

words that is considered

absolute that emanates out of the

capable of "creating

initial vibration of the Nada-Bindu,

transformation" (spiritual

or the Spanda; as sound & ether

transformation). Its use and

crystallize & becomes more dense, it

type varies according to the

changes it vibration to create the

school and philosophy

other four Elements, (Air, Fire,

associated with the mantra.” This at least hints at the subtle & profound power that mantra possesses. The Word mantra itself, like many Sanskrit terms, is a compound word, & has a variety of meanings depending on its context; it could mean, ‘an instrument, or tool that transforms/ protects the mind’. The prefix Man means ‘the mind of the spirit’ Manas,& the suffix ‘Tra’:‘transformative/protective principle’. There are 3 primary purposes that mantra serve in Mantra-Yoga:

when a person of the East speaks of the mind, they place their hands upon the Center of the Heart, in order to suggest that the mind does not exist only in the head & moreover, that the

“One of the principle methods of Ayurveda is Sound-Vibrational Therapy which utilizes MantraYoga to balance out each Dosha constitution.”

mind itself is formless & cannot be found anywhere in the body or within one particular organ. Even though this term originates from the East, its implications &

Water & Earth).

1. Purification

practices are universal.

The Science of Mantra-Yoga is first &

2. Illumination

Within every spiritual tradition,

foremost a tool/component of

3. Perfection

mantras are repeated as Japa, sung

Esoteric Psychology.

as Hymns, recited as prayers or There are mantras that Purify,

conjurations, & chanted as Kirtans,

We could probably safely say that

mantras that Illuminate the

Gospels or Bhajans.

Mantra-Yoga was the first effective

Consciousness & mantras that

tool of psychology itself.

Perfect, therefore providing the

The sound of our very heart beat,

ground for Self-Realization.

along with our breath, is a rhythmic

One of the principle healing methods

mantra that’s being resounded for

of Ayurveda is Sound-Vibrational

Mantra in Ayurveda

the duration of our lives.

Therapy which utilizes Mantra-Yoga

In Ayurveda, & in the East in

In studying the Tattvas (the

general, the ‘Mind’ is more than just

vibrational signatures of the 5

to balance out each Dosha constitution.

a function of the brain. Usually

pranava 17


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

Light, Sound, the Great Breath & the Living Word Everything within our perceptible & non-perceptible universe is permeated by reverberating mantra. Every single particle of matter vibrates at a certain frequency that in turn produces sound. It is known by esoteric science & mainstream science alike, that movement within the ether is what produces sound. The ether is the 1st Tattva that vibrates within the Absolute in order to produce space. There are 5 Tattvas (Akasha, Vayu, Tejas, Apas & Prithvi), they are all vibrations of the Absolute, & each one has its own Keynote sound, or sound signature. The ancient scriptures of India & the Bible both state very clearly that God is the Verb of Light, the Logos, the Word, which is the beginning & source of all creation.

“The Science of Mantra-Yoga is first & foremost a tool/ component of Esoteric Psychology. We could probably safely say that Mantra-Yoga was the first effective tool of Psychology itself.”

“In the beginning was Prajapati [God the Creator], with Him was the Word, and the Word was truly the Supreme Brahman.” Kathaka Samhita, 12.5 “In the Beginning was the Word, & the Word was with God & the Word was God...” the Gospel of St. John It was Sri Krishna who stated to Arjuna in His most beloved song; “I Am Om, The Word that is God.” ~Bhagavad Gita 7:8 So naturally the questions arise: What is God & what is the Word that these scriptures speak of? The term God is best understood when broken down as an acronym & the best one that I’ve heard was coined by Yogi Bhajan, who was a Mater of Kundalini Yoga in the Sikh Tradition; he taught that GOD is an acronym for the Generator, Originator & Destroyer. Out of any general definition of God, this describes it best. Rather than some idea of an Anthropomorphic or Monotheistic Deity, it defines God as being Principles, Forces, & this is exactly how most Esoteric Traditions view God. So if God is the Generator, Originator & Destroyer, then what is the Word? The exact same Tri-unity of Principles/Forces. In the Gnostic Teachings, these Three Primary Forces are what makes up the First Logos, the Second Logos & the Third Logos. In order for us to understand this term Logos, we need to understand the term Psychology & vise-versa.

pranava 18


The Art & Culture of Kirtan in the West

The Art & Culture of Kirtan in the West


Windhorse: Spirit of Tibet Tibetan Kirtan by Solala Towler A magical blend of recordings made in the sacred city of Lhasa and the Tibet-inspired music of Solala. The haunting sounds of the monks and nuns of the Jhokang Temple are joined with flute, throat singing, tabla and other instruments and vocal chant by Solala and friends, including Shanti Shivani and Ankush Vimawala

To hear samples or to download this and other sacred music cds by Solala go to: www.abodetao.com God Creates with the Word; how do we create? With sex. It is the sexual force within us that carries the Word of God.

Deity-Yoga The Mystery of Mantra-Yoga is that we can create with our sexual potency with Mantra when applied in the Initiatic context. The culmination of Mantra-Yoga is Deity-Yoga. Every tradition that utilizes Mantra in their Initiatic levels culminates ultimately in Deity-Yoga. Deity-Yoga is well known in the East & not so much here in the West (yet). It is an ancient system of spirituality that has yet to be fully realized by those who call themselves ‘spiritual’ today. We mainly find this type of yoga in Indian spirituality & in Buddhism. Upon deeper investigation, we find Deity-Yoga in nearly all of the Mystical Traditions, including Christianity... so what is Deity-Yoga?

“The culmination of Mantra-Yoga is Deity-Yoga. Every tradition that utilizes Mantra in their Initiatic levels culminates ultimately in DeityYoga.”

Deities are most commonly depicted as Gods & Goddesses who are immortal, Divine & Powerful. They have their own particular abiding places in the Heavens & are held in high regard. Shiva, Tara, Chenrizig, Vishnu, Jehovah, Wankan-Tanka, etc. are some of the names of Deities around the World. It is understood & taught in Deity-Yoga that these Divinities are Archetypal Principles of our very own psyche. So in Deity-Yoga, not only is Puja (worship) a vital component of Sadhana (practice), but also in Realizing & Actualizing these archetypes within. Every Deity has its Mantra, & it is through the Mantra that we not only invoke the Deity with its attributes, but we also Unite with & embody the Deity as well. This is done through Visualization, Meditation, Mantra-Japa & Maithuna (Sexual Alchemy).

pranava 19


Deity-Yoga is a deep & profound science of the ancient world that modern quantum & astro physicists are beginning to catch up with. Within this science it is taught the the subtle nervous system (the Nadis & Chakras) are actually the condensed crystallization of light & sound within us; the

“The chakras spin, much like the disc of a hard-drive, & in the general populace (non-initiates) they are spinning in the counter-clockwise direction. Once empowered through certain Initiatic methods, they spin in the clockwise direction.”

actual channels that flow with prana are etheric; our vital bodies are the expression of light & sound. Deities are composed of light, sound, emptiness, bliss, & the secret of Mantra & Deity is so are you (us all), we just utilize these energies in an inverted manner in order to create false personality & ego.

The Seven Chakras & their Seed Syllables: Within our subtle anatomy we have 7 main energy vortices called chakras (chakra is a term that means ‘wheel’ or ‘circular disc’; in fact it’s where the words ‘church’ & ‘circle’ comes from), they are junction points of energy where the nadis meet & branch out. These are the storehouses of pranic energy & of our subconscious impressions that act like memory banks/hard-drives. There’s a common misconception that our chakras are inactive & need to be ‘opened’ ‘activated’ or ‘balanced’, when in-fact, they are indeed open & activated. The chakras spin, much like the disc of a hard-drive, & in the general populace (non-initiates) they are spinning in the counter-clockwise direction. Once empowered through certain Initiatic methods, they spin in the clockwise direction. What we are concerned with is the direction of which they are spinning. Each chakra has its seed (Bija) Syllable & also it’s corresponding Mantra/Vowel Sound: Muladhara: Lam; SSSSSS Swadistana: Vam; MMMMM Manipura: Ram; UUUU Anahata: Yam; OOOHHH Vissudha: Ham; EEEHHH Ajna: Om: IIIIIIIiiii Sahasara: Aum; IIIIIiiiii Its commonly misunderstood that if you chant the seed syllables of the chakras that this how they’re activated; this takes place upon chanting their vowels.

John ~Yochanan~ Russell is the founder, Editor in Chief & Head Columnist of Pranava Magazine,; he is a longtime student & practitioner of Universal Gnostic Dharma, Ayurveda, Cha Dao, Raja-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, Vajrayana Tantra, Mahamudra & Dzogchen. As a lover & player of Sacred Music, John participates in the cultivation of Mantric Music/Kirtan for the healing, spiritual development, upliftment & empowerment of humanity.

The seed syllables are their vibratory signature that are related to their corresponding deities, & once activated & spinning in the proper direction, they resound with their particular bija-syllables.

Hari Om Ki-Jai!!!

pranava 20


Music as Wisdom

By Matura Sitar


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

Music as Wisdom Music is ultimately a path of inner transformation. When the ego of self-importance is transcended by the performer- then pure creative expression can be realized as a type of divine revelation. Consciousness and sound coupled with intention and attention can produce marvelous effects. Sound can heal or harm, and as Dr. Emoto has recently demonstrated, the molecular structure of matter is altered by sound vibration and

“Veda literally means "Know this". It is axiomatic and autocratic truth. It needs no other support than its own self illuminating nature for it is not experienced through experimental or empiric methods.”

intention. If you pray over your food

The first recorded description of

it alters the molecular structure of

raga appears in the Brihaddeshi of

your meal.

Matanga in the 7th century where

Sound imbued with conscious

it is described as "a combination

substance becomes Mantra…

of tones which, with beautiful

sound, which could produce water,

empowered sound. Sound colors the

illuminating graces, pleases the

fire and nuclear combustion.

mind and emotions and this subtle

people in general”.

The Samaveda means sāman

science deals with Raga, or “that

Many Hindustani North Indian ragas

"melody" and veda "knowledge" and

which colors the mind” and Rasa,

are prescribed for the particular

is second of the four Vedas, the

spiritual emotional experiences.

time of a day or a season, and when

ancient core Hindu scriptures and

The science of Raga and Rasa was

performed at the suggested time,

ranks next in sanctity and liturgical

originally revealed through the

the raga produces an emotional

importance to the Rigveda, which

ancient yogic Rishis of India and has

effect in the receptive listener.

has been accurately dated at over

come down to us through the

During the monsoon, for example,

10,000 years old.

disciple successions of yogic and

many of the Malhar group of ragas,

The Sama Veda consists of a

musical lineages.

which are associated with the

collection of hymns called samhitas

Raga in Sanskrit literally means

monsoon and are ascribed the

and various verses, most of which

"color" or "mood" and refers to

magical power to bring rain are

have their origin in the Rigveda. The

melodic modes used in Indian

performed. There are legends of

original Sanskrit verses were sung,

classical music. It is a series of five

mystic musicians who could evoke

using specifically indicated melodies

or more musical notes upon which a

fire, rain, thunder and other effects

called Samagana, by the Brahmin

melody is made. In the Indian

through the power of their ragas.

priests at sacrifices in which the

musical tradition, ragas are

North Indian music has its remote

juice of the Soma plant, clarified

associated with different times of

origin in the Sama Veda, a literature

and mixed with milk and other

the day, or with changing seasons.

of great antiquity, and the Vedas are

ingredients, is offered in libation to

Indian classical music is always set in rife with stories of Brahmin priests invoking the sacrificial fires with a raga. Non-classical music such as popular Indian film songs or ghazals

mantric sound vibration alone.

sometimes use ragas in their

Masters of the Dhanur Veda

compositions.

employed mantric armor as well as

the various deities who’s qualities and natures also reflect archetypal universal powers.

weapons anointed with potent

pranava 21


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

Socrates said that “all knowledge is but a

All of these have existed before....will pass away.... and

remembrance� and if he was right, then wisdom is

again be manifest in the future. Everything moves in a

eternal and is drawn down from the eternal reality of

circle, even the manifestation of knowledge and

consciousness into this plane through the power of

technology.

austerity and purity, with sound vibration as its medium. This is also the opinion of the Vedic Rishis.

Much of the wisdom and artistic ideals we have today were borrowed from the prior cultures of India, Egypt,

Prior to 5,000 years ago, there existed in India, an

Greece and China...India's deep spirituality,

advanced civilization of conscious spiritual culture that

mathematics and wisdom came to the West via

placed more emphasis upon inner character

Pythagoras, Plato and Socrates...for it is a documented

development and the individual raising of consciousness

fact that they had Indian Gurus. There is also a large

towards a state of intuitive and ecstatic harmony with

body of documented scientific and archeological

universal principles. This is, of course, the Indian Yogic

evidence that suggests Jesus Christ also traveled

culture. Yoga means "Union", so it was an advanced

throughout India and studied Her various schools of

society of inner development meant to foster a

philosophy.

conscious integration of the individual consciousness with Universal Truth, producing a state of dynamic,

The Rishi's advanced states of spiritual consciousness

graceful living. The world is still in awe of the Indian

endowed them with unusual insight and subtle powers

contribution to all branches of knowledge, medicine and

and as a result they revealed many universal truths and

the arts, and all cultures throughout the world have

gave us the largest and most profound body of wisdom

drawn from this original font of Vedic wisdom.

known to man...the Veda. Veda literally means "Know this". It is axiomatic and autocratic truth. It needs no

Persons of inner purity, insight and spiritual depth were

other support than its own self -illuminating nature for

honored above all others in the society of Varn Ashrama

it is not experienced through experimental or empiric

Dharma. They lived without concern for material

methods. Nor is its wisdom the fruit of experience

objects as all levels of society contributed to their

gathered from this world but rather it is self-

maintenance and received the benefit of their purity

illuminating wisdom that is manifest upon the fertile

and insight. They were known as the Tattva-

plane of the conscious heart of the purely realized. It

Rishis....Seers of the Truth, and many were master

descends from the higher planes of eternal conscious

musicians and yogis. They were advanced psychic and

substance to this plane via these intuitive saints or

spiritual research scientists, potent with deep

Rishis. The Rishis are not searching dull material

experience.

objective manifestations for answers, but rather are shining a higher super-conscious subjective light upon

Civilizations rise and fall...flourish and produce cultural

the material objective plane. Their clean hearts, like

fruits in the form of insights, philosophies, material

open windows to the infinite, allowed the entrance of

technologies and arts...passing them forward to other

higher knowledge. This is superior science of a conscious

flourishing societies while they themselves pass away

nature. Matter is a product of consciousness. The world

from prominence. The Vedic literatures describe many

is in the mind. So, to understand consciousness is to also

fascinating technological advancements such as air

understand matter by default. By standing in the light,

ships, the measurements of cosmic and atomic time, the

darkness is also understood. The Veda, in it's purity, is

categorizing of all the subtle and gross material

the ever existing conscious reality that exists prior to

elements, medical scientific procedures, advanced

material creation. It's truths are independent of

psychology and spirituality, sexuality, astronomy, martial

mundane material reference and transformation and it's

arts, dramatic, musical and visual arts and sculpture

rays of conscious light reveal, illumine and explain all

that is unprecedented in the history of the world.

manifestations both mundane and divine.

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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER ISSUE 2014

Dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam...the Vedic

Music is ultimately a path of inner transformation.

wisdom is made manifest through the dharmic hearts

When the ego of self importance is transcended by the

of the saintly-in every age- as necessity dictates.

performer- then pure creative expression can be

Wisdom is not the provincial property of this world

realized as a type of divine revelation.

culture or that. The first step on this path is professional courtesy The plurality of religious conceptions and attendant

towards other musicians and acute sensitivity

traditions in this world is indicative of this conception

tempered with humility and respect. Despite technical

of renewing truth. According to the particular

abilities, without this humility, one remains doomed to

necessity of the time, place and circumstance and the

the labyrinth of articulate noise.

deep inner necessity of the people....a corresponding conscious revelation takes place suited to the

Much like music, reality renews itself dynamically

development of those peoples at that time.

according to necessity and circumstances. Change is opportunity in motion. Wisdom is revealed through

Necessity and revelation are dynamic relational

sound and music in its purest creative expression, & is

forces. When necessity is united with purity of purpose

wisdom at play.

and self-sacrifice...then revelation of Divine knowledge is drawn down to this plane of material existence...illuminating first an individual, often giving rise to a system, which then grows, expands within society, becomes burdened and eventually decayed by ecclesiastic hierarchy...loses vitality of the original revelation...which then gives rise to conditions that enable the necessity of a fresh revelation. Music is of this self-renewing quality as well. Thesis-antithesis-synthesis....Progress means elimination and new acceptance.

As a gifted teacher of Bhakti Yoga, Author and a Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, Matura has conducted hundreds of classes, and lead uplifting kirtans in America, England, Australia & India, inspiring others to seek and serve the Conscious Spiritual Reality that is the basis of all world faiths. A preview of Matura's forthcoming book "Absolute Abundance" can be previewed here: www.abundantlives.org

‘Music is ultimately a path of inner transformation. When the ego of self importance is transcended by the performer- then pure creative expression can be realized as a type of divine revelation...�

pranava

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Pranava Magazine: The Art & Culture of Kirtan in the West  

Pranava Magazine is a Quarterly Journal of the Kirtan Movement in the West. Pranava serves as a media publication that chronicles the curren...

Pranava Magazine: The Art & Culture of Kirtan in the West  

Pranava Magazine is a Quarterly Journal of the Kirtan Movement in the West. Pranava serves as a media publication that chronicles the curren...

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