Ajeet Kaur is a devotional artist with a unique gift. What I find so distinctive about her music is that she has a way of enunciating each syllable of a mantra with such loving attention that it feels as if there can’t possibly be enough time to complete every sound in rhythm. But magically, there always is. This quality and her angelic voice captivate and entrance.
Ajeet’s gift is fully present in her latest offering, Shuniya, an album with a meditation booklet. For me as a Kundalini Yoga teacher, Shuniya is an incredibly valuable addition to both my music and manual libraries. The album includes three beautifully evocative tracks — Maha Mrityunjai, Adi Shakti, and Ra Ma Da Sa, and the booklet contains eight rarely seen meditations, with explanations, instructions, and images.
Many times over the years, I’ve immersed myself in the vibrations of Ra Ma Da Sa (for healing) and Adi Shakti (for invoking the divine feminine). These versions allowed me to experience them anew, through Ajeet’s pure, innocent-yet-wise-beyond-her-years sound.
But the real focus of Shuniya is Maha Mrityunjai, a mantra that is completely new to me. Unlike the majority of the mantras we chant in Kundalini Yoga which are derived from sacred Sikh scriptures, Maha Mrityunjai is in Sanskrit and has roots in the Hindu tradition. This powerful mantra calls on Lord Shiva to conquer death and darkness and thus helps to remove fear and to heal.
Yogi Bhajan taught this mantra in some of the kriyas and meditations he shared, and yet many of the manuals which recorded them are now out of print. Ajeet has done a service here, researching and re-discovering the teachings around Maha Mrityunjai. The meditations included in the Shuniya booklet are: “Communicating Your Soul,” “Sharing Your Best Self,” and “Calling on Your Inner Power,” among others.
I love learning this Sanskrit mantra, and I love that it is part of the Kundalini tradition, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. I love it because, as teachers, we often say (because it’s true) that Kundalini Yoga is not a religion and that it is open to all. Whatever your faith and belief system, if you’re drawn to it, Kundalini Yoga can serve you. Yogi Bhajan said, “Kundalini Yoga is like the sun. It serves all…”
I believe that, in uncovering the teachings around this mantra, Ajeet has helped make that case. As she writes in Shuniya, “I’m grateful that Yogi Bhajan taught it, reminding us that Kundalini Yoga is part of this ancient lineage. We are connected to all schools of yoga, to all traditions, and to all walks of life.”
Indeed we are. I feel that as I listen to Ajeet’s Maha Mrityunjai. We are all connected. The mantra begins with Om. As she chants some drawn out ethereal om’s, I feel carried back to ancient times when yoga began and back to the ancient, unchanging part of myself.
I’m so grateful for this new music that will infuse my practice and teaching with beauty. And I’m grateful for the reminder that yoga and mantras belong to everyone. As Ajeet writes in her booklet, “…this mantra belongs to you. It is more ancient than our boundaries, and it takes us to our inner vastness, where it is easy to remember that every boundary is an illusion.”
Every boundary is an illusion…That is a teaching unto itself.