“Music doesn’t merely reflect a state of consciousness: It also generates it.”
— Swami Kriyananda
In 1964 Donald Walters a.k.a. Swami Kriyananda was inspired to introduce a new kind of music to the world: music that expresses spiritual aspiration and a desire for a more meaningful way of life. In his own words Swami describes his music as:
“What I want to offer you is this—not the technique of a musician, but the intuition of a philosopher and a yogi, because that’s where my music comes from. This is how music and all creativity is tied in with the mystical experience. What I’m talking about is much more than just music—it’s music as a language of the soul, and that language is universal.”
Ananda Mumbai has the beginnings of an enthusiastic choir group. Singing Swamiji’s music, we seek to uplift ourselves and all those who hear us. The music is usually sung in two or four-part harmony.
Chanting and Kirtan
In Ananda we chant before and after our meditations and during practically all our gatherings. We also offer regular kirtan evenings dedicated wholly to chanting devotional songs. Most of the chants we play and sing, were written by Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, in addition to the usual traditional chants. Chanting opens up our heart and awakens in us intense devotion for God. As Yogananda often said, “Chanting is half the battle.”
Ananda Mumbai periodically offers classes for beginners to learn to play the harmonium as an accompaniment to our beautiful chants. We also provide guidance on playing cymbals as accompaniment to our chants. The deeper purpose of such classes is to awaken devotion and create harmony through music.