We humbly offer “Beloved” to our Beloved Satguru, His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidananda in honor of the 40th anniversary of his first arrival in Europe and America in 1966. It was in 1966 that Divine Providence brought Sri Gurudev to the West. Europe was his first stop in April of 1966 and then in July, Sri Gurudev arrived in New York City. The European and American artists included on this compilation offer their unique talents, as well as their love, devotion and gratitude on behalf of all of us as our way of saying, “Thank you Sri Gurudev, for bringing the gift of Yoga to millions.”
We created this album to be a musical and mystical journey into Satchidananda. We hope you will be uplifted and inspired by this original music and its message. We pray that Sri Gurudev’s Teachings and Blessings may guide us toward an ever-deepening experience of the Beloved.
- Om Namo Bhagavate Satchidananda: Rasmi RoseAnne Garcia
- I Know You Are There Gurudev: Ganga Gaia Tossing
- Song for Gurudev: Sudasi Rogers
- Guru Guru Gurudeva: Rasmi RoseAnne Garcia
- I Surrender to You: Vivekan Wayne Hunt
- Hari Om: Shraddha Van Dyke
- Oh, Gurudev: Shraddha Van Dyke
- Wherever I Go Now: Shannon Conley
- The Sun Sets: Rasmi RoseAnne Garcia
- Thou Art: Shraddha Van Dyke
- Initiation Song: Rasmi RoseAnne Garcia
- Let Us Walk Together: Nirmala Heriza
- I Am That I Am: Vivekan Wayne Hunt
- Lead Me: Shraddha Van Dyke
- He Isn’t Gone: Shraddha Van Dyke
- Gurudev Pray for Me: Rasmi RoseAnne Garcia
- Satchidananda Om: Meera Patricia Kerr
Running time: 78 minutes
The Artists (in order of appearance)
Vivekan Wayne Hunt
“In the early 1970s, Dean Ornish and I received mantra initiation from Sri Gurudev at Dr. Rao’s meditation room in San Antonio. I became a whole-time member soon after and for seven years served at the IYIs in Dallas, New York and Santa Cruz and then at Yogaville in Connecticut. I cherish my time spent in the IYIs and Ashram. Those seven years transformed my life completely. The two songs included on this CD are part of “Song of the Free,” an album that was released by Yogaville in 1977 (and was re-released as a CD). This album was a set of spiritual songs inspired by Sri Gurudev’s teachings and two poems of Swami Vivekananda, which Sri Gurudev asked me to set to music in the mid-70s.”
Vivekan has a Master’s degree in music performance and has been employed at the University of Texas for over 20 years. He currently serve as director of the University’s Thompson Conference Center.
Rasmi RoseAnne Garcia
“Sri Gurudev’s teachings, books, his simple and loving language is what really got to me first. It was all music to my ears; that’s why I hear so much music in my head I suppose! Most of the music comes like a bolt out of the blue, with lyrics, harmonies and the works! It is so exciting when, having heard it all in my head, I hear the finished piece played back to me on CD! When I first met Gurudev in Gibraltar, it was like I had known him forever. I am most at home when I allow him to flow through me…”
Rasmi’s song “The Sun Sets” was written as a tribute after Sri Gurudev’s Mahasamadhi. She lives in Spain with her husband and she has four beautiful children. She operates a retail business in nearby Gibraltar.
Ganga Gaia Tossing
“I met Gurudev for the first time at singer Laura Nyro’s house in Connecticut in the early 1970s. Touched by his loving enfolding presence, his humility, and his message of unity and peace, I experienced a re-awakening to my higher Self and spiritual purpose of serving and healing others. One of my husband Ed’s original songs on our “White Light” album, “I Know You Are There,” alluded to the God’s presence that can be seen everywhere, in everyone. Since Gurudev’s transition, this song has taken on a new meaning for us. We offer this updated version in honor of our dear teacher and guide whose presence we see, feel and know is with us all always. OM Guru OM.”
Ganga Gaia and her husband composer/keyboardist, Ed Tossing, began to write and perform inspirational music in the 1980s under the name of Heartsong, releasing an album entitled “White Light.” They live in Nashville, Tennessee where they continue with their music careers.
“A lot of this recording was improvised. I wrote it for Gurudev and am so happy for it to be shared in this way. The song is not mine anymore; it is for everybody to
sing. I was fortunate to be part of the Integral Yoga retreat in England held in July 2002 that Sri Gurudev blessed with his presence just prior to his Mahasamadhi in India. I was able to offer this song to him at that time.”
Sudasi is an Integral Yoga teacher and she directs the Integral Yoga Centre in Bath, England.
Shraddha Van Dyke
“Song is something that I use to open a door between my small self and the Divine. “He Isn’t Gone” and “Hari OM” were written in the joy of first contact with Gurudev, and also as a way to deal with the understanding that I had found him three years after he’d left his body. “Oh Gurudev” came from a time when I was beginning to understand just how much baggage I was bringing to him. I wrote “Lead Me” in the dead of winter, during a time of illness and loss. I was reading The Living Gita for the first time. It was also the first time I had the sense that I could get under the wing of the Beloved. “Thou Art” is a new song, an expression of my deepening practice, and of devotion to Gurudev. My gratitude to Gurudev is so huge that sometimes it just seems to break free and a new song is born.”
Shraddha lived at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville where she served as a karma yogi. Her beautiful artwork adorns the cover and the insert for this CD. She now lives in California where she is a photographer and has a web design company. http://www.svandykedesign.com/
“My parents were members of the Light Of Yoga Society and then the Siddha Foundation, so I’m no stranger to the yogic lifestyle. I began my own journey in 2005, when in the midst of a personal crisis, my parents turned me toward the LOTUS and enlisted the guidance of family friend, Rev. Dhyani Simonini. Dhyani was my first drama teacher when I was 12! She suggested I enroll in the Living Yoga Training program at Yogaville. From that point on, I began a personal relationship with Gurudev. Dhyani wrote this song for Gurudev on the night of his Mahasamadhi and taught it me while I was in Yogaville. This song has been the catalyst for the beginning of a personal rebirth.”
Shannon is a professional singer and actress who lives in New York City. www.shannonconley.com
I met Sri Gurudev in 1970 while I was writing and performing in New York City. I had just finished a movie with director, Milos Forman, when I was introduced to Sri Gurudev through his long time devotee, actress, Sally Kirkland. My first encounter with him at the Universalist Church was life changing, on many levels. Sri Gurudev was the answer to all of my prayers and he continues to profoundly influence, guide and illuminate every aspect of my personal and professional life. Inspired by his famous quote, and his example, I wrote the song “Let Us Walk Together” while residing at Yogaville East.
Nirmala Heriza is a senior disciple of Sri Gurudev. She is a recording artist, with her singer/songwriting collaborator, Buffy (Meera) Ford Stewart, for “Homecoming Records,” helmed by John Stewart (Kingston Trio); and author of the book Dr. Yoga. Nirmala serves as director of the Integral Yoga Center of Los Angeles and Yoga Cardiac Specialist for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. www.dr-yoga.com
Meera Patricia Kerr
“I met Sri Gurudev in 1974 at his residence in Danbury, Connecticut. My greatest joy was to sing for him over many years. During the 1975 retreat at Yogaville in Connecticut, I organized a choir and we sang the song for Gurudev that became my “signature” ballad, “Water My Soul.” After visiting Yogaville several times with my two sons, I decided to create a home for my family there, which Sri Gurudev blessed and named Sangeet, Divine Music. While working on a book, I spent several months in Sangeet, listening to the mantra songs that would become audible during my morning meditation practice. “Om Satchidananda” is one of my favorites.”
Meera is a senior student of Sri Gurudev. In addition to being a singer/songwriter and music teacher, Meera developed the groundbreaking program, Big Yoga. Big Yoga is based on Integral Yoga and adapts the poses for plus-size people. www.bigyogaonline.com
Mastered by Gopal Metro, 2006.
Produced by Rev. Prem Anjali for Integral Yoga Media.