Gundecha Brothers, Shubha Mudgal, Bhuvnesh Komkali, Pt. Ganesh Vidyalankar, Shantanu Bhattacharyya, Mallika Banneree, Pt. Hari Nath, Some Sing, Jitender Singh
Upanishads is the source of knowledge of Brahman the absolute infinite universal spirit and Atman the immortal self of any living creature. The idea put forth by these Upanishads is that Atman and Brahman are one and the same. Another word frequently used for the Upanishads is Vedanta (Culmination of the Vedas)
Daily chanting of Mantras or shlokas are considered powerful to be repeated to great effect bringing in prosperity and perfection in all spheres of life. They cleanse the body, mind and soul and create peace within. This all inclusive pack is a collection that every devotee must have and every other individual must pick for a better living.
The Kena Upanishad derives its name from the first word of the text Kena which means by whom. This Upanishad is also referred to as the Talavakara Upanishad since it belongs to the Talavakara Brahmana of the Saamveda. The Upanishads has 4 sections the first two are in verse and the last two are in prose. Despite its conciseness the Kena Upanishad is considered one of the most important Upanishads. In fact Sri Adi Shankaracharya has written two separate commentaries on this Upanishad the Kenopanishad Pada Bhashya and the Kenopanishad Vakya Bhashya.
2. Chapter One
3. Chapter two
4. Chapter Three
5. Chapter Four
6. Shantipaath (Conclusion)
The Maandookya Upanishad belongs to the Atharva Veda. It is one of the Shortest Upanishads containing only 12 verses its length however has no bearing on the knowledge contained within it. In fact the Muktikopanishad says that if a person cannot afford to study all the Upanishads it is enough to read just the Maandookya Upanishad.
The Maandookya Upanishad refers to four states of Consciousness wakefulness, dreaming, dreamless sleep and the absolute or self explained through the principle of Aum. Aum consists of three elements ‘a’, ‘u’ and ‘m’ the ‘a’ corresponds to the state of wakefulness (jagrata) wherein one is aware of sensory experiences. The ‘u’ corresponds to the state of dreaming sleep (svapna) where the mind is the only thing that is awake. The ‘m’ corresponds to the state of dreamless sleep (susupti) where only the atman is aware of this experience. The silence that follows the chant of Aum corresponds to the fourth state (turiya).
Turiya which literally means the fourth is the ultimate state of consciousness it transcends all the three levels. It is consciousness itself.
2. Verses 1
3. Verses 2
4. Verses 3
5. Verses 4
6. Verses 5
7. Verses 6
8. Verses 7
9. Verses 8
10. Verses 9
11. Verses 10
12. Verses 11
13. Verses 12
14. Shantipaath (Conclusion)
The Mundak Uapnishad is said to have been imparted by Lord Brahma to his eldest son Atharva. Thus it is a part of the Atharvaveda. The name of the Upanishad comes from the word mund (to shave) metaphore being one who has been liberated from his ignorance.
The Upanishad contains three chapters each of which is called a mundak. These chapters are further divided into sub sections called Khanda the Upanishad is in the form of mantra containing a total of 64 verses.
The Mundak Upanishad preaches that three are two types of knowledge (Vidya) Paraa Vidya the higher one is the knowledge of the Brahman Aparaa vidya the lower one is the knowledge of the physical world. The Upanishad goes on to say that all knowledge collected by mankind phonetics, grammar, etymology, even the teachings in the Vedas is aparaa vidya. Only the true knowledge of the supreme being is paraa vidya.
As plants come up from the earth as hair grows on a living person the universe arises from the imperishable.
2. Chapter One (Section One)
3. Chapter One (Section Two)
4. Chapter Two (Section One)
5. Chapter Two (Section Two)
6. Chapter Three (Section One)
7. Chapter Three (Section Two)
8. Shantipaath (Conclusion)
Brihadaranyak Upanishad (Selected Verses)
The Brihadaranyak Upanishad is a part of the Shukla (white) Yajurveda. It is possibly the most voluminous of all the Upanishads. The name literally translates to a large forest book (Brahad-large aranyak forest book).
This Upanishad contains six chapters divided into three sections (kaands)
• Madhu Kaand (Chapters one and Two)
• Yagyavalkya Kaand (Chapters Three and Four)
• Khila Kaand (Chapters five and Six)
The Madhu Kand explains the teachings of the basis identity of the individual and the self. This is the section that describes in great detail the sacrificial horse used in the Ashvamedha Yagya.
Yagyavalkya Kaanda also known as the Muni Kaand provides the philosophical justification of the teaching. It is in the form of dialogue between Yagyavalkya and other philosophers. When asked to described the divine Yagyavalkay replied neti neti (not this, not that) in other words human vocabulary is sufficient for an apt description of God. This Kaand also includes the famous dialogue between Yagyavalkya and his wife Maitreyi on the absolute Self.
The Khila Kaand discusses various methods of Upasana (worship) corresponding to the three states to the path of self realization shravan (listening to the guru’s teachings) manna (reflection on the learned material in order to produce intellectual convition) and nidiyhasana (contemplative meditation).
The Upanishad concludes by stating the three virtues one should practice daan (giving) dayaa (compansion and daman (Self restraint).
2. Chapter One (First Brahman)
3. Chapter One (Third Brahman)
4. Chapter One (Fifth Brahman)
5. Chapter Two (Second Brahman)
6. Chapter Two (Third Brahman)
7. Chapter Two (Fourth Brahman)
8. Chapter Two (Fifth Brahman)
9. Chapter Three (Fifth Brahman)
10. Chapter Three (Ninth Brahman)
11. Chapter Four (First Brahman)
12. Chapter Four (Second Brahman)
13. Chapter Four (Third Brahman)
14. Chapter Five (First Brahman)
15. Chapter Five (Second Brahman)
16. Shantipaath (Conclusion)
The Ish Upanishad is contained in the final chapter of the Shukla Yajurveda. It consists of 17 two line verses covering a wide spectrum of philosophy, religion, ritualism and metaphysics in a concise manner. It assumes Lord (Ish) of the universe who has the capacity to know everything infinitely including everything that can be known about a character such as his/her thoughts feelings fears desires etc.
The Ish Upanishad is also called the Ishavaasyoponishad it derives this name from the first word of the first verse which reads.
• Ishaavasyam Idam Sarvam
• Yat Kinha Jagatyam Jagat
• Ma Gridhah Kasya Svida Dhanam
Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada has very succinctly given the meaning of this verse as thus:
Everything animate or inanimate that is with the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One Should therefore Accept only those things necessary for oneself which are set aside as one’s quota and refrain from accepting other things knowing full well to whom they truly belong.
In other words. This universe is enveloped by the Lord this explanation is what forms the gist of the Ish Upanishad.
2. Verses 1-2
3. Verses 3
4. Verses 4-5
5. Verses 6-8
6. Verses 9-11
7. Verses 12-14
8. Verses 15-16
9. Verses 17
10. Verses 18
11. Shantipaath (Conclusion)
Kritan is a Sanskrit word for a group musical expression of the divine spirit within.
It is a meditative practice unlike any other. One is not required to be quiet or still. Traditionally it is in the call and response form where the lead singer sings a line and the chorus repeats it. Thus there are no verses to memorize and everyone can join in the worship. It is an inclusive and participatory experience. The meditative state comes from the vibrations that the chanting creates.
Bhakti or devotion means intense longing and love for God. A Kirtan is the expression of that longing. Singing a kirtan creates feelings of joy satisfaction inspiration and calmness. Listening to Kirtans improves mental health and reduces fear and stress.
Performing a kirtan is very easy as one not need to be an expert in any musical instrument or have any knowledge of classical music. Nor is necessary to have a good singing voice or know the intricacies of various ragas all that is required is the complete involvement of the self sincere participation can bring you closer to the divine.
Shri Shiva Upasana
This Album features the Shiva Tandava Stotra. Indian mythology tells us about Ravana the king of Lanka who was a great scholar an unconquered warrior and a devotee of Lord Shiva. He was so well versed in the Vedic Literature that he was also called brahma gyaani or the one who had discovered the secrets of the universe.
The Shiva Tandava Stotra is said to have been created by Ravan himself. This album has been composed using this powerful stotra as the central theme.
The second track of the album is the Shambhu stuti. This prayer is said to be the one that was composed by Lord Rama himself at Rameshwaram where he invoked the divine blessings of Lord Shiva before. He started on his quest to vanquish Ravan.
The fourth track in this album is the Rudraashtakam which was composed by Tulsidas and is part of the epic Ramayan Tulsidas states that Lord Shiva grants his blessings to those who recite or hear this prayer.
These Mantras are followed by the Lingasshtak Stotra and the Dwaadesh jyotirling Stotra which form part of the Indian ritual of praying to the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva called the linga.
Nest is the Shiv Appraadh Kshama Prarthana a prayer for forgiveness. The album ends will the aarti of Lord Shiva in his kailashvaasi form (the lord who resides atop Mount Kailash).
2. Mahamrityunjaya Stuti
3. Shri Shiva Taandav Stotra
4. Rudraashtak Stotra
5. Lingaashtak Stotra
6. Dwaadash Jyotirling Stotra
7. Kshama Prarthana
8. Shri Shiva Aarti
According to the Indian system of calculating time the day is divided into eight prahars of three hours each. The second half of the second prahar i.e. from 4.30 am to 6.00 am is called the brahma mahurat. This is the best time for a person to engage in meditation and prayer. Those who wake up at this time are able to soak up nature’s energy in order to invigorate their minds and rejuvenate their bodies.
The great sage manu the law giver said Brahma mahurate chaanu chintayate. This means that man should awaken during the brahma mahurat and reflect on his dharma and its meanings as are relevant to him. He will then understand and grasp the real meaning of the scriptures like the Vedas and the Upanishads. Early dawn is thus the most suitable time for spiritual and intellectual growth. At this time man through prayer and contemplation is able to experience the vastness of the supreme consciousness. Man is able to go beyond the narrow confines of his brain but dwell in the limitlessness of his thoughts. Those who follow this principle of getting up early and praying are able to unlock the infinity of their minds.
With this objective the great sage Sri Aadi Shankaracharya had composed special morning prayers to the eight foremost gods. These are Lord Ganesha, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Goddes Bhagawati, Lord Rama, Goddess Lalita and Lord Surya.
3. Kar Darshan and Bhumi Vandan
4. Morning Mantra Shri Ganesha
5. Morning Mantra Shri Brahma
6. Morning Mantra Shri Vishnu
7. Morning Mantra Shri Shiva
8. Morning Mantra Shri Bhagvati
9. Morning Mantra Shri Rama
10. Morning Mantra Shri Lalita
11. Morning Mantra Shri Surya
Shir Shiva Prachaankshar Stotra
The Panchaakshar stotra is the five syllable mantra in praise of Lord Shiva. Namah Shivay is one of the foremost mantras and has such power that mere intonation of these syllables purifies the soul and brings peace within. Each stanza starts with these five syllables Na, Ma, Shi, Va and Ya. These five syllables are preceded by the mystical syllable Om and its chanting is considered auspicious.
The mantra which was composed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya has been soulfully rendered in this album by Bhuvnesh Komkali, grandson of Pandit Kumar Gandharva. He has also sung Mahamritunjay Mantra also known as the great Death conquering mantra.
1. Panchaaskar Stotra
2. Mahamrityunjaya Mantra
Shri Durga Upasana
According to Hindu thought man represents the positive charge and woman the negative charge. No creation can be brought about without both these charges being connected. Durga represents the glorification of the female form. She is the Shakti behind Lord Shiva.
This album features durga kavach which is a collection of shlokas from the Markandeya Purana. It was narrated by Brahma Dev to sage Markandeya for the benefit of mankind. This kavach is a part of invocation mantras for reading Durga Spatashati and is considered very powerful.
The first track is Mangalacharan an invocation prayer to the Goddess. This is followed by Durga Mahima and Bhagvati Stuti. Next to hear is Durga Kavach with a explanation about what the Kavach is and why it is recited. After this one can hear Argala stotra Keelak stotra and Kshamapan stotra. The album ends with durga Aarti Jai Ambe Gauri invoking the beauty of the goddess the one who protects people from evil forces of selfishness jealousy hatred anger and ego.
Durga symbolized divine power fearlessness and patience and is the creative feminine force. She is worshipped in various forms in various parts of India and invoked in times of distress. One who worshipes the supreme goddess is blessed with divine energy.
2. Durga Mahima
3. Bhagvati Stuti
4. Durga Kavach
5. Kavach explanation
6. Argala Stotra
7. Argala Explanation
8. Keelak Stotra
9. Kshaapan Stotra
10. Jai Ambe Gauri (Aarti)