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INSPIRE #221: How to Heal Your Soul through Music, Meditation & Your Practice!

Krishna Das, The Rock Star of Kirtans, Shares His Journey & How Music, Meditation, Chanting & Your Practice Can Transform Your Life & Heal Your Soul.

Listen to the podcast below!



If you’ve ever wanted to feel love, be love, or heal from the inside out, then do we have the show for you!

Today we’ll be talking with a magical human being, and a soul-touching artist, his name is Krishna Das, he’s the creator of at least 14 albums, and at the 2013 Grammy’s was known as the Rockstar of Kirtans. He’s also the author of Chants of a Lifetime: Searching for a Heart of Gold.

Today we’ll talk with him about the power of music, of chanting, and of kiertans, to touch someplace deep inside of ourselves, that’s always been there, and always waiting, and how it’s one possible path, to help you connect and heal your soul.

That plus we’ll talk about Ram Dass, Mahara-ji, hearing tests for draft boards, a big form, why there’s no pooping on the bus, (Blue Oyster Cult) turning down a record deal, and how to discover our own oceanness even as we’re waves.



Layering traditional kirtan with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation, Krishna Das has been called yoga’s “rock star.” With a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest chord in even the most casual listener, Krishna Das – known to friends, family, and fans as simply KD – has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and the best-selling western chant artist of all time. His album ‘Live Ananda’ (released January 2012) was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age album category.

KD spent the late ‘60’s traveling across the country as a student of Ram Dass, and in August 1970, he finally made the journey to India, which led him to Ram Dass’ own beloved guru, Neem Karoli Baba, known to most as Maharaj-ji.

Given the name Krishna Das, KD began to chant as part of following the path of Bhakti yoga – the yoga of devotion.

After two and a half years with Maharaj-ji, returned to USA – alas, six months after his return, word came that Maharaj-ji had died.

He took solace in music, finding peace and strength in both his Bhakti yoga practice as well as in such heroes as Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Steely Dan, and Bruce Springsteen (whom he laughingly calls “the Bodhisattva of New Jersey”). KD also co-founded Triloka Records, a California-based label specializing in world music, releasing such artists as Jai Uttal, sarod virtuoso Ali Akbar Khan, and legendary jazz musician/composer Jackie McLean.

In 1994, KD started leading chant at Jivamukti Yoga Center, NYC, with an evergrowing audience of yoga students that has led him to chant with people all around the world. In February 2013, Krishna Das performed at the Grammy awards in Los Angeles, CA streamed online to millions of viewers. The awardwinning film ‘One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das’ has been in over 100 US cities, over 10 countries worldwide and is available on DVD everywhere.

With the release of his 14th album, Kirtan Wallah—one who sings kirtan, KD offers a westward-leaning album, fully embracing his American roots in rock and country and yet embodying the spirit of deeply devotional Indian chants – the heart of this latest album is still in the Names that he’s singing.

“The chanting just hits you and you want to be a part of it,” KD promises. “That’s the point of this whole thing. That’s what cuts through all the ‘stuff’. You get lit up. You don’t have to know what it means.”


Krishna Das Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Krishna Das Performing Live at 2013 Grammy Awards:

Documentary on Krishna Das:

Key Topics:

  • The power of music to touch, connect and heal your soul.
  • What was Krishna Das’s last trip to India like.
  • Why people in India have such respect for bavana, a true depth of emotion that helps you to transcend yourself
  • How a loop was completed with Krishna Das’s last trip to India where he was able to give back and play in India
  • What happened with college AND with the draft board.
  • How he ended up meeting Richard Alpert (aka Ram Dass)
  • How Maharaji got Krishna Dass to India
  • How the play of God was in the works with Maharaji
  • How Krishna Das began singing, chanting, and playing music when he was first in India
  • Why the practice helps you to dissolve your evaluator
  • What happened when Maharaji said Krishna Das had to return to the US
  • Why “if you ask about service it’s not service”
  • What happened after Maharaji died.
  • What Krishna Das wasn’t ready to do after Mahaji died
  • How he overcame an addiction to freebase cocaine.
  • How did Krishna Das start coming back to the music or how did the music start bringing him back?
  • What kept Krishna Das alive in 1984
  • What was going on with Krishna Das in 1994
  • How he got the awareness that if he didn’t sing with people he’d never be able to remove the dark shadows from his heart
  • Why it was so important for Krishna Das to sign with people.
  • How Krishna Das helped bring Kirtan’s to the western stage
  • How the band he had quit became the Blue Oyster Cult (and how he turned down a record deal after a Jimmy Hendrix concert)
  • How he keeps the ‘little me’ in check during concerts
  • How the music and success is coming through Maharaji’s grace
  • Why the practice is the ‘repetition of the divine name’
  • What is our wave and oceanness?
  • What to do when someone’s suffering?
  • Why it’s so important to do their practice, whatever that may be.

Related Podcasts:

How to Calm Your Mind & Discover Inner Peace & Bliss through Music (Yuval Ron, Metta Mindfulness Music)


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