Live in concert with Krishna Das
[Premanjana Das (Pranjal Joshi) attended the concert of Krishna Das on 3rd January, 2014 at Yogi Sabhaguru hall, Behind Akshar Purushottam mandir, Dadar East, Mumbai—14].The concert was so enchanting that I decided to share my experience with all of you.
A devotee of Lord Krishna gave me a small pamphlet, which was an advertisement of a ‘kirtan program’ with Krishna Das. I was also sent a picture on Whatsapp by another devotee, well in advance of this show and this made me think of attending this program which was scheduled to be held at a hall.
I left my office in a haste on that Friday evening and rushed to the ‘Sounds of the soul—an evening of kirtan with Krishna Das’concert.’ I was sweating as I walked fast to the venue as I feared getting late for this show. Rich men of Mumbai came there, most of the audience were young, glamorous and ‘westernized Indians’. I bought a ticket worth Rs.500 and a purple band was tied on my right hand on which ‘Sounds of the soul with Krishna Das’ was written in white letters. Then I went to the fifth floor of the hall by an elevator. I had to open my shoes as I got inside a well-carpeted area and I could choose the place I wanted to sit, I adjusted myself at a point where I could clearly see the performance.
Krishna Das said in the beginning of his programme that he came to Mumbai 43 years ago, he shared the fond memories of the time he spent in India with the audience. His guru was ‘Shri Neem Karauli baba’ and Krishna Das was told by him, ‘Ram naam karne se sab kaam poora ho jaata hai’ (everything is achieved by chanting the name of Lord Ram).The show started at 7 PM (right on time), this was one of the differences I could feel between Indians and the westerners, that they were more punctual in their schedules. All of Krishna Das’ chant has a purely American accent, so it became hard for the Indian audience to make out what exactly was he singing. He was accompanied by Arjun on ‘tabla’ and Meena on ‘kartals’. Neem Karauli baba was a devotee of Lord Hanuman, so he started his concert with Lord Hanuman’s chant.
He sang ‘Shri Ram jai Ram jai jai Ram’ continuously , he chanted the holy names “Rama, Krishna, Narayan, Hanuman, Shiva” all through his concert. He went on to sing the chants, “Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari,” “Om namo bhagvate Vasudevaya,” “Bhaja Govindam” (he translated it into English as ‘my foolish heart,’) “Shri Krishna Govind Hare Murari” along with “Baba Hanuman,” and Devi pooja. He went into deep meditation as he chanted ‘Sita- Ram’.
He started with the chant of Hare Krishna mahamantra at 8:45 PM and the audience sang along with him. People listened more and repeated less, everyone clapped as he sang the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Response of the audience to the Hare Krishna mahamantra was much more than the other sacred chants; everyone sang, clapped and loved him as he went on with his performance.
Audience enjoying the chants at his Mumbai concert
Krishna Das spoke to us in between his kirtans and said that we can inevitably realize the self by chanting these names .All we have to do is to ‘remember’ and God does the rest. He said that it was 40 years ago in Vrindavan that a blind ‘sadhu’ used to wake him up every morning near Bihariji mandir. He said that we know about spiritual path because of great beings who lived before us, it is out of their love and compassion that we are on this path.
Krishna Das is full of love for India. He has hundreds of ‘Hanuman chalisas’ with him and he is a lover of the Lord. While he sang his famous bhajan ‘Om namah Shivaya’ people stood up from their seats and danced in ecstasy.
Picture of the concert taken by Premanjana Das ( Pranjal Joshi)
He glorified holy name of Lord Ram all through his programme, narrated a pastime of Sripad Adi Shankaracharya and recollected the time he spent with babas, yogis and devotees in India. He tours all over the world (USA in particular which is his native country) spreading his love for ‘the names’ and enchanting millions. His album ‘Live Ananda’ was a Grammy nominee in 2012 for ‘the Best New Age album’. ‘One Track Heart’ is an award winning documentary following his journey to India and back. His 2012 workshop sampler includes highlights from his workshops in 2012, recorded from around the world. He has put up all of it as www.krishnadas.com which his official website. Krishna Das has an American body and an Indian heart and he lives by loving the name.
Premanjana Das (Pranjal Joshi)
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