This is an excerpt from the Spirit Voyage 2008 Summer Solstice Catalog. Karan had the chance to ask Deva Premal a few questions. For the full catalog, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karan: Can you share a mantra that you have used and how it has had an impact
Deva: For me, the Gayatri Mantra has been my guiding
light. It was given to me by my father before
I was born and chanted during my birth as a
welcome to the world. As a child I sang it every
night as my evening prayer. So it is deep inside
of me, or maybe I should say, a part of me.
What makes it all the more precious to me is
that I sang it to my father 3 years ago, as he was
leaving his body. This completed a cycle for both
The Gayatri Mantra actually gave me my voice. Before I reconnected with it, I
was singing with Miten for many years, as second voice. There was so much
shyness and I felt I didn¹t have the voice to sing alone. When I rediscovered
the Gayatri Mantra, I began to sing alone without shyness. I realized that the
mantra is touching people the same way it touches me. I had found “my song”
and that led me to going deeper and deeper into my singing voice and the
sacred world of Mantras. That seed of the Gayatri was planted as I entered
this incarnation and when the right season came, the flowers blossomed!
(The Gayathri Mantra was recorded on Deva Premal’s albums “The Essence”
karan: Can you tell us what inspired you to record Aad Guray Nameh?
Deva: When we were in Trinidad for a concert, some years ago, the concert
organizer, Marilyn, played us Aad Guray Nameh. She told me that she had a
feeling I should sing this mantra. It was the first time that I heard of Snatam. I
immediately loved her voice and the feeling of purity and strength I feel within
her. Pretty soon afterwards Miten and I started singing it in our concerts and
everyone who heard it was touched by it – just like we had been.
Other than a desire to share the mantra, there was no real need to record it, as
Snatam¹s version is so beautiful in itself. But I was so full of it and the devotion
to Osho that it inspired in me, that I had to ask her blessings to record it myself!
She gave them graciously. Recording it was very special, like a wave of love
flowed through the studio. We even sent the tapes to India to have a whole
Indian string orchestra on it! I love the Indian way of playing the violins.
And ever since, we have played Aad Guray Nameh in just
about every concert. We love to encourage the audience to
bring their own guru and spiritual path into the gathering as
they sing this prayer with us. I just get blissed out singing
it! No words! (Aad Guray Nameh was recorded on Deva
Premal’s album Dakshina)
Deva Premal Recommends:
Grace by Snatam Kaur
“Difficult to choose just one of Snatam¹s. Love them all!”
Kirtan! The Art And Practice Of Ecstatic Chant by Jai Uttal
“My favourite of Jai¹s. He is such an amazing singer and musician.”
The Guru Singh Experience by Guru Singh (coming soon!)
“I love Guru Singh¹s music, and him!”