Samanvaya Kirtan: Nominated for Spiritual Album of the Year at the WCMA

Samanvaya Kirtan, Padmashri Anastasia and Malika, are very excited to announce our nomination for Spiritual Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. This year's Breakout West and WCMA's 2016 events are happening in Regina. We will be present for the award ceremony!

 

Photo by Dustin Main - June 18th 2015 -   Kirtan at Free Flow Dance Centre in Saskatoon, SK with Special Guest Prosad (who coproduced our album Samanvaya Kirtan in nomination at the WCMA 2016

Photo by Dustin Main - June 18th 2015 -  

Kirtan at Free Flow Dance Centre in Saskatoon, SK with Special Guest Prosad (who coproduced our album Samanvaya Kirtan in nomination at the WCMA 2016

 

 

 

Chenrezig and his 1000 arms

Om Mani Peme Hung (in Pali) or Om Mani Pedme Hum (in Sanskrit) is probably one of the most popular mantras. More than 2500 years old, the mantra of Love and Compassion has a beautiful story...

Chenrezig (in Pali), Avalokiteshvara (in Sanskrit), is a Bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas and is one of the favorite deities of Mahayana Buddhism. This school of Buddhism proposes Four Immeasurable Virtues: Compassion, Loving Kindness, Joy in the Joy of Others and Equanimity. The legend says that Chenrezig saved all sentient beings by sacrificing himself. He gained generosity and merit when he renounced being enlightened (reaching the blissful state of nirvana) and he accepted to stay in samsara to remove the suffering of all sentient beings. He made a vow that he would not rest until he had liberated all beings in all realms of suffering. After working at this task for a very long time, he realized the number of suffering beings was too large to be saved in his life time so his body split into thousands of pieces. Amitabha Buddha put them all together as a body with 1000 arms, an eye on each palm to see the suffering of the world and eleven heads with Amitabha's head at the top. Avalokiteshvara could then assist into helping ease the suffering of the world. He then realized everything is empty and there is no difference between nirvana and samsara (eternal suffering), between time and eternity.

Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) Bodhisattva of Boundless Compassion.

Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) Bodhisattva of Boundless Compassion.

What is Samanvaya? What is Kirtan?

Malika and I come from different musical and spiritual backgrounds. But when we sing together, there's an easeful harmony that arises not only from our voices and instruments but in our hearts as well. For this reason, we named our collaboration "Samanvaya Kirtan". Samanvaya is a Sanskrit word, and in modern Hindi one of the meanings is "mutual or immediate connection". You can see why this word resonated with us! So whether you take it to mean our musical harmony or the connection we make with our amazing audiences, samanvaya conveys an honouring of the interconnectedness of all things. 

Kirtan is call-and-response chanting, or in other words,  singing mantras of praise with a group of people who respond (repeat) what the lead singer sings (call). It is very participatory by its very nature, and the best Kirtan is when everyone is singing, moving to the music, or clapping their hands. 

The mantras we sing are from two different traditions - Bhakti Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism -  and are in two different languages - Sanskrit and Pali. The practice of Kirtan as a musical form of meditation is rooted in the yogic tradition, but opening the heart in song using ancient mantras is common to them both. 

 

Album release this fall!

Namaste,

Malika and Padmashri are delighted to announce some dates for their first Kirtan Album concert launch! We look forward to share our freshly recorded songs and hear your lovely voices and open our hearts in meditation and chants together and create a wonderful co-creation!

Quebec City, Soham Bis Yoga Studio - November 19th 2015 8pm

Regina, Bodhi Tree Yoga Studio - December 5th 2015 -8:45pm

Saskatoon, Christ Church Anglican - December 11th 2015 8pm

Prince Albert, Yoga Sublime Studio - December 20th 2015

And so much more to come!!! Stay tuned!

In studio with Prosad, Padmashri, Malika and Koa finishing the edits of the album...

In studio with Prosad, Padmashri, Malika and Koa finishing the edits of the album...