Words and music that open the heart and inspire.  To suggest an addition, email Rambhakta.

From Swami Kriyananda:

“In future, people might be tempted to make my songs more and more ‘artistic,’ thinking that it would make them more beautiful. That wouldn’t be the right way to take them. What is needed is for each one to make the music their sadhana [that is, make it an aspect of our spiritual practice]. Sincerity will make the music beautiful.” — Swami Kriyananda

“We can use the voice to heal ourselves and others—to heal the heart of its blindness, of its selfishness and self-enclosure. It’s very important to be an instrument for this type of healing. Using the voice to heal people is perhaps the most important of all ways to use the voice. The instrument is blessed by what flows through it, and if we can use the voice to become instruments for the light, for the power of God, then we too are transformed.” — Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda talks to Ananda singers:

How to Use the Voice to Uplift and Inspire (15.5 MB MP3)

Swami Kriyananda: Two Very Different Kinds of Music. From a talk by Nayaswami Asha.

Here’s a magnificent short video by David Eby, cellist with the Portland Opera and director of the Ananda Music Ministry worldwide. David currently lives and teaches in Portland, where he also gives workshops on Meditation for Musicians. His website is www.davidebymusic.com

John Rutter on the importance of choir:

The combined small ensembles perform Shenandoah once or twice a year at Ananda Sangha in Palo Alto. This lovely performance is by the New College of Oxford.


Swami Kriyananda urged us to sing with understanding. I was struck by the intelligence and interpretive feeling that Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau brings to this cheerful song by the Austrian composer Franz Schubert, “Fischerweise” (“The Song of the Fisherman”). If you’ve seen the movie “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” it’s the song that’s playing on the gramophone when Holmes visits Professor Moriarty in his study at the university. The pianist is Sviatoslav Richter.

But first, Fischer-Dieskau gives us his final words on the art of singing. At the end, he talks about the importance of attuning ourselves to the feeling that the composer put into the song: “One has to really listen — what is the music saying? Nothing can be done with cool calculation! One must really reach the same level of warmth that the composer experienced when he wrote the music, and in that way alone does one become a true interpreter. One has to fill his heart, so to speak, with a strong feeling for what he’s singing, while he’s singing — and then he finds himself, without the slightest effort, in another sphere.”


German and English:


Lyrics by Schubert’s friend Franz Schlechta

Den Fischer fechten Sorgen
Und Gram und Leid nicht an;
Er löst am frühen Morgen
Mit leichtem Sinn den Kahn.

Da lagert rings noch Friede
[Auf Wald und Flur und Bach]1
Er ruft mit seinem Liede
Die gold’ne Sonne wach.

Er singt zu seinem Werke
Aus voller frischer Brust,
Die Arbeit gibt ihm Stärke,
Die Stärke Lebenslust.

Bald wird ein bunt Gewimmel
In allen Tiefen laut
Und plätschert durch den Himmel,
Der sich im Wasser baut.

Doch wer ein Netz will stellen,
Braucht Augen klar und gut,
Muß heiter gleich den Wellen
Und frei sein wie die Flut.

Dort angelt auf der Brücke
Die Hirtin. Schlauer Wicht,
Gib auf nur deine Tücke,
Den Fisch betrügst du nicht.

Fisherman’s Song:

No cares assail the fisherman, nor grief nor sorrow;
Early in the morning he unties
His boat with a light heart.

It is peaceful all about him
[In woods and meadows and brooks]1;
He rouses with his song
The golden sun.

To his labours he sings with a full and sanguine heart;
The work gives him strength —
And strength gives life joy.

Soon a colorful throng is swarming loudly in the depths,
And it splashes through the sky
That lies reflected in the water.

But he who wishes to cast a net
Needs eyes both clear and good;
He must be swift like the waves,
And unfettered like the stream.

There on the bridge the shepherdess
Is fishing. Artful creature,
Enough of your tricks — You will not deceive the fish.