Monday, May 30, 2011

Best of Reverbnation - June 2011

The purpose of life is to sing ... but one cannot sing if one does not learn. So I often listen to different kinds of music that inspires me. This month, I am listening to the following tracks by some of my favorite musicians on Reverbnation.

By the way, these are exceptional musicians ... they have a lot more tracks out there. If you like any of these tracks, please go check their respective profiles on reverbnation and check more tracks out, share them with your friends and buy them.


Ted Rubin - Life and Rain

@TedRubin "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. Its about learning to dance in the rain."

I came across these beautiful lines and they reminded me of Mirabai's rain dance song that I am currently working on. That is what I mean by "the purpose of life is to sing." Mirabai knew it and Ted. Describes it beautifully.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Leonara Carrington - painting

Leonara Carrington: "Painting is a need, it is not a choice."

http://www.guardian.co.uk//artanddesign/2007/jan/02/art?mobile-redirect=false

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Dulhani" by Kabir - Translation and Discussion

In the past few months I have have enjoying singing Kabir's poem "Dulhani." In this beautiful poem, Kabir envisions himself as the bride and the universe (or God, which he personifies as "Raag") as her groom. Its a beautiful poem that shows the marriages in three stages depicted in the three stanzas: (1) the bride dresses up, then the wedding ceremony, and the departure of the bride with her love.

Following are links to a recent recording of the song. I recorded some of the music in India in a recent trip, and finished recording in California. Below these links, I also have a translation of the poem in English, followed by my own English poem reflecting the sentiments of Kabir's poem. Hope you enjoy it.

MUSIC

http://www.reverbnation.com/tunepak/3333297 -
Dulhani




TRANSLATION

Gaa-o gaa-o ree dulhanee mangalchaaraa.
Mayray garih aa-ay raajaa raam bhataaraa.

Sing, sing, O soul bride,
sing the song of my marriage
King Raam has come to my house
to become my husband

Tan rainee man pun rap kar
ha-o paacha-o tat baraatee.
Raam raa-ay si-o bhaavar laiha-o
aatam tih rang raatee. ||1||

To beautify myself I have annointed my body with good deeds
and that color was so strong my mind has also been dyed.
Five elements have come together as guests
and as I circumambulate with Raam*
my soul is too imbued with His Love.

* Note: In the Hindu Marriage ceremony, the couple takes 7 circles around the sacred fire. The word used by Kabir is "Bhaavar" - likening the marriage to a bee circles a flower - the word used in current Hindi is "Phera" or "circle.

* Note 2: The word "Pun" is sometimes translated as "again," but that is wrong.  Pun is the plural of "Punu" which comes from Sanskrit and means good deads.  The words used for again in Gurbani is "Phun."  Professor Sahib Singh explains this in his punjabi teeka of the Guru Granth Sahib and I agree with this definition. In Sohela we also sing a shabad in raag Gauri Purbi where we say, "Kar Sadhu Anjuli Pun wadda hay, Kar Dandaut Pun Wadda Hay" - it is a virtuous deed to bow to the "Sadhus" or the ones who have achieved inner peace.

Naabh kamal meh baydee rach lay
barahm gi-aan uchaaraa.
Raam raa-ay so doolahu paa-i-o
as badbhaag hamaaraa. ||2||

Make the navel-lotus my bridal pavilion
And let Brahma* recite holy mantras
I have obtained the Raam as my Husband
such is my great good fortune. ||2||

* Note: According to old scriptures, Brahma, the creator (also the God of knowledge) sits on the lotus that grows from the Navel of Vishnu. Lotus obviously also reminds the reader of purity despite maligned surroundings. Brahma is also credited to first having "recited" the "Vedas" -- some of the oldest scriptures written in human history. There is a temple in India (near Thanesar) called "Kamal Naabhi" or "Lotus Navel" where Brahma was born from the Navel of Vishnu.


Sur nar mun jan ka-utak aa-ay
kot taytees ujaanaaN.
Kahi kabeer mohi bi-aahi chalay hai
purakh ayk bhagvaanaa. ||3||

Angles, holy men, sages, and deities have come
in thousands of heavenly chariots to see
my husband take me with him
because Raam is none other than the One Almighty ||3||


POETRY

Sing O Soul, O soul you sing!
sing freely sing, O fondly sing!
sing sated sweet savory song
sing I hear my wedding bells ring!

Start to sing a song so complete
that with my love, five elements sing
and rain my body and mind so replete,
that you too drenched delighted sing

Sing O soul, a song so pure
as sacred vows that I need sing
on a lotus altar white for sure
sitting I hear mantras Brahma sing!

Sing O soul, a song so magical
come angels, fairies, maidens sing
on heavenly chariots so fanciful
as my Love whisks me away and sings!

Sing of my fortuity sing!
sing the beauty of purity sing
sing this mystical magical song
sing I hear my wedding bells ring!

***************************
- Shiv
http://www.shivpreetsingh.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shivshivshiv
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shivpreetsingh
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shivshivshiv
Poetry: http://shivspoetry.blogspot.com
Music: http://www.reverbnation.com/singh

Other Music:


Monday, May 23, 2011

Vande Mataram lyrics and translation

Vande Mataram is the national song of India[1], distinct from the national anthem of India "Jana Gana Mana". The song was composed by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay in a mixture of Bengali and Sanskrit and the first political occasion where it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.

In 2003, BBC World Service conducted an international poll to choose ten most famous songs of all time. Around 7000 songs were selected from all over the world. According to BBC, people from 155 countries/island voted. Vande Mataram was second in top 10 songs.

"Vande maataraM
sujalaaM suphalaaM malayaja shiitalaaM
SasyashyaamalaaM maataram ||

Shubhrajyotsnaa pulakitayaaminiiM
pullakusumita drumadala shobhiniiM
suhaasiniiM sumadhura bhaashhiNiiM
sukhadaaM varadaaM maataraM ||

Koti koti kantha kalakalaninaada karaale
koti koti bhujai.rdhR^itakharakaravaale
abalaa keno maa eto bale
bahubaladhaariNiiM namaami taariNiiM
ripudalavaariNiiM maataraM ||

Tumi vidyaa tumi dharma
tumi hR^idi tumi marma
tvaM hi praaNaaH shariire

Baahute tumi maa shakti
hR^idaye tumi maa bhakti
tomaara i pratimaa gaDi
mandire mandire ||

TvaM hi durgaa dashapraharaNadhaariNii
kamalaa kamaladala vihaariNii
vaaNii vidyaadaayinii namaami tvaaM

Namaami kamalaaM amalaaM atulaaM
SujalaaM suphalaaM maataraM ||

ShyaamalaaM saralaaM susmitaaM bhuushhitaaM
DharaNiiM bharaNiiM maataraM |"

Translation by Shree Aurobindo

Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Mother free.

Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.


Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands
And seventy million voices roar
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,
To thee I call Mother and Lord!
Though who savest, arise and save!
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove
Back from plain and Sea
And shook herself free.


Thou art wisdom, thou art law,
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath
Though art love divine, the awe
In our hearts that conquers death.
Thine the strength that nervs the arm,
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.
Every image made divine
In our temples is but thine.



Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,
With her hands that strike and her
swords of sheen,
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,
And the Muse a hundred-toned,
Pure and perfect without peer,
Mother lend thine ear,
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleems,
Dark of hue O candid-fair

In thy soul, with jewelled hair
And thy glorious smile divine,
Lovilest of all earthly lands,
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!
Mother, mother mine!
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,
Mother great and free!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Raag Malhar - So many types

Pour love in your heart, like the rain pours on the land today.

As I am working on a Meerabai song I am doing research on the different varieties of Malhar being sung. As of now, I have not found the one that I am singing. I guess it does not hurt to have another Malhar kind!

Miya ki Malhar


Megh Malhar


Surdasi Malhar


Nat Malhar


Gaud Malhar


Meerabai ki Malhar


Dhulai Malhar


Gaudgiri Malhar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSftlnK8ID4&playnext=1&list=PL515E97F67EC500B5

Charju ji Malhar


Jayant Malhar


Chhaya Malhar


Shudha Malhar (rare now)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Elle Camino - An Inspirational Writer

Krishna told Arjun, that your duty is to take aim and participate in the war. Not think about useless details. That is the lesson for a Karma yogi. That is why the purpose of life is to sing, not to listen. Take control and sing. Action is our hands, and for fruits we do not care. And that is why Elle Camino is inspirational. This is what she says about her writing:

So, I've been in the process of obtaining an agent for a while now. Publishers have also expressed some interest, though my book isn't even completely done, but I've declined everyone.

Do you know why?

Of course not. That's why I'm writing this post!

I've decided to be an indie author. I want to be in control of the designing, creating, and publishing process, plus I don't want to sign over any rights to my novel. I want to earn more percentage profit than I would if I went with a traditional publisher, and honestly - I'm not expecting my book to be a huge hit.

Why? Because I'm not writing a book to get famous. I'm not writing a book to make money. Those things are nice, but honestly I'm writing my novel because it's what I do. It's what I love, and what inspires and drives me. I've always been better with a pen (or a keyboard) than I have with my words verbally, and so it's all just how I express myself and where I escape to. I write because I'm a writer/I'm a writer because I write.

Go here to read more: http://ellecamino.blogspot.com/2011/05/decisions.html and like her facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristen-Camino-Writer/161583870567763?sk=wall

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Barbara Bush - What matters

"At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent."
--Barbara Bush

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meerabai - Barsai Badariya Saavan ki

It is raining today in San Ramon and I am reminded of a beautiful poem from Meerabai (see below for info on Meerabai). I have been singing this poem in Raag Malhar and hope to publish it soon. Rain reminds Meera of the presence of her love, Krishna, nearby and she sings songs of love to welcome him.

Here is this beautiful Meerabai bhajan from an old Bengali film:


Meanings by words (from Sree's Blog):

barse badariyaa sAwan ki - let the clouds (badariyA) of spring (sAvan kI) shower (barsE)
sAwan ki man bhavan ki - the clouds of spring (sAvvan kI), the clouds that entertain (bhAvan kI) the mind (man)

sAwan mein um agyo merO manvA - my (mErO) mind (manvA) always exults (umag AgyO) in (mein) Spring (sAvan)
bhanak suni hari aavan ki - I hear (sunI) the sounds (bhanak) of krishNa's (hari) arrival (Avan kI)

umad ghumad cArun disA sE aayo - I hear the sounds of thunder (umaD ghumaD) coming (AyO) from (sE) all 4 (cArUn) directions (disA)
dAmini damke jal aavan ki - lightning (dAmini) flares (damkE) heralding the arrival (Avan kI) of the rains (jal)

nanhi nanhi boonde meghA barse - the clouds (mEghA) shower (barsE) tiny (nanhI) droplets (bUndE) of water
SItal pavan suhAvan ki - as cool (SItal) and pleasant (suhAvan) wind (pavan) blows by

meerA kE prabhu giridhar nAgar - It is the time for mIrA's (mIrA kE) Lord (prabhU), giridhar to
Anand mangal gavan ki - sing (gAvan) and make happy (Anand) and auspicious (mangaL) music


More on Meerabai (See more on wikipedia)

Meerabai (Rajasthani: मीराबाई) (c.1498-c.1547AD) was an aristocratic Hindu mystical singer and sahajiya (apasampradaya) devotee of lord Krishna from Rajasthan and one of the most significant figures of the Sant tradition of the Vaishnava bhakti movement. Some 12-1300 prayerful songs or bhajans attributed to her are popular throughout India and have been published in several translations worldwide. In the bhakti tradition, they are in passionate praise of lord Krishna.

Details of her life, which has been the subject of several films, are pieced together from her poetry and stories recounted by her community and are of debatable historical authenticity, particularly those that connect her with the later Tansen. On the other hand, the traditions that make her a disciple of Ravidas who disputed with Rupa Goswami are consonant with the usual account of her life.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sir Ganga Ram - A story of Giving

Sir Ganga Ram (1851-1927) was a civil engineer and leading philanthropist of his times, who established the Renala Hydral Power Station in Renala Khurd in 1925.

In 1873, after a brief Service in Punjab P.W.D devoted himself to practical farming. He obtained on lease from Government 50,000 acres (200 km²) of barren, unirrigated land in Montgomery district, and within three years converted that vast desert into smiling fields, irrigated by water lifted by a hydroelectric plant and running through a thousand miles of irrigation channels, all constructed at his own cost. This was the biggest private enterprise of the kind, unknown and unthought-of in the country before. Sir Ganga Ram earned millions most of which he gave to charity.

In the words of Sir Malcolm Hailey, the Governor of Punjab, "he won like a hero and gave like a Saint". He was a great engineer and a great philanthropist.

He designed and built General Post Office, Lahore Museum, Aitchison College, Mayo School of Arts (now the NCA), Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Mclagan Girls High School, the chemistry department of the Government College University, the Albert Victor wing of Mayo Hospital, the Hailey College of Commerce, Ravi Road House for the Disabled, the Ganga Ram Trust Building on The Mall and Lady Maynard Industrial School. He also constructed Model Town, once the best locality of Lahore, the powerhouse at Renala Khurd as well as the railway track between Pathankot and Amritsar

He built Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Mclagan School and Renala Khurd Power House with his own money.

He was a promising agriculturist, too. He purchased thousands acres of barren land in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) on lease and by using engineering skills and modern irrigation methods, turned the arid lands into fertile fields. He retired in 1903. He died in London on July 10, 1927. His body was cremated and his ashes were brought back to India. A portion of the ashes were consigned to Ganga River and the rest buried in Lahore on the bank of the Ravi.

A statue of Sir Ganga Ram once stood on Mall Road in Lahore. Saadat Hassan Manto, the famous Urdu writer, in one of his stories on the frenzy of religious riots of 1947writes that an inflamed mob in Lahore, after attacking a Hindu residential area, ‘turned to attacking the statue of Sir Ganga Ram, the Hindu philanthropist. They first pelted the statue with stones; then smothered its face with coal tar. Then a man made a garland of old shoes climbed up to put it round the neck of the statue. The police arrived and opened fire. Among the injured were the fellow with the garland of old shoes. As he fell, the mob shouted: “Let us rush him to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.”

Bahadur Shah Zafar - Lagtaa nahin hai


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pNTLOZup2c&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Lagtaa nahin hai dil meraa ujday dayaar mein
kis ki bani hai aalam-e-naa_paayedaar mein

kah do in hasraton se kahin aur jaa basein
itani jagah kahaan hai dil-e-daagdaar mein

umr-e-daraaz maang kar laaye they chaar din
do arzoo mein kaT gaye do intezaar mein

kitnaa hai bad_naseeb "Zafar" dafn key liye
do gaz zamin bhi na mili kuu-e-yaar mein


More from him: http://www.urdupoetry.com/zafar.html

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eduardo Villarreal - Because there is no difference in Math and Music

Eduardo Villarreal is an Engineer, Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Mathematician and New Age Music Composer. Eduardo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in November 1982. He started to play keyboards at the age of 15 but it wasn’t until the age of 18 that he discovered his true passion: Composition. Eduardo holds a Master Degree in Operations Research by UNAM. During his MC studies, he developed a mathematical algorithm in order to generate random music using Marcov Chains and Montecarlo Simulation.

He reminds me that there is music in math, one of my favorite subjects growing up (which I used extensively in all of my jobs being a Scientist, Statistician and Financial Analyst). He reminds me again that the purpose of life is to sing of oneness ...


Gao Gao Ri Dulhani - Translation of Kabir's "Dulhani"




Translation of Dulhani (A song written by Kabir, Sung in Raag Asa)

Gaa-o gaa-o ree dulhanee mangalchaaraa.
Mayray garih aa-ay raajaa raam bhataaraa.

Sing, sing, O soul bride,
sing the song of my marriage
King Raam has come to my house
to become my husband

Tan rainee man pun rap kar
ha-o paacha-o tat baraatee.
Raam raa-ay si-o bhaavar laiha-o
aatam tih rang raatee. ||1||

To beautify myself I have annointed my body with good deeds
and that color was so strong my mind has also been dyed.
Five elements have come together as guests
and as I circumambulate with Raam*
my soul is too imbued with His Love.

In the Hindu Marriage ceremony, the couple takes 7 circles around the sacred fire. The word used by Kabir is "Bhaavar" - likening the marriage to a bee circles a flower - the word used in current Hindi is "Phera" or "circle.

The word "Pun" is sometimes translated as "again," but that is wrong.  Pun is the plural of "Punu" which comes from Sanskrit and means good deads.  The words used for again in Gurbani is "Phun."  Professor Sahib Singh explains this in his punjabi teeka of the Guru Granth Sahib and I agree with this definition. In Sohela we also sing a shabad in raag Gauri Purbi where we say, "Kar Sadhu Anjuli Pun wadda hay, Kar Dandaut Pun Wadda Hay" - it is a virtuous deed to bow to the "Sadhus" or the ones who have achieved inner peace.

Gur Arjan Dev says, "Among all religions, the best religion is to remember the Name and do good deeds" in Sukhmani Sahib: "Sarab Dharam mai Srestha Dharam, Har ko Naam Jap Nirmal Karam"


Naabh kamal meh baydee rach lay
barahm gi-aan uchaaraa.
Raam raa-ay so doolahu paa-i-o
as badbhaag hamaaraa. ||2||

Make the navel-lotus my bridal pavilion
And let Brahma* recite holy mantras
I have obtained the Raam as my Husband
such is my great good fortune. ||2||

* Note: According to old scriptures, Brahma, the creator (also the God of knowledge) sits on the lotus that grows from the Navel of Vishnu. Lotus obviously also reminds the reader of purity despite maligned surroundings. Brahma is also credited to first having "recited" the "Vedas" -- some of the oldest scriptures written in human history. There is a temple in India (near Thanesar) called "Kamal Naabhi" or "Lotus Navel" where Brahma was born from the Navel of Vishnu.


Sur nar mun jan ka-utak aa-ay
kot taytees ujaanaaN.
Kahi kabeer mohi bi-aahi chalay hai
purakh ayk bhagvaanaa. ||3||

Angles, holy men, sages, and deities have come
in thousands of heavenly chariots to see
my husband take me with him
because Raam is none other than the One Almighty ||3||

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bhagat Dhanna - Gopal teraa Aartaa

Listened to this on the radio today. Why does Bhagat Ji name all these worldly goods as something he wants. There must be a problem with this translation.

gopwl qyrw Awrqw ]

O Lord of the world, this is Your lamp-lit worship service.

jo jn qumrI Bgiq krMqy iqn ky kwj svwrqw ]1] rhwau ]

You are the Arranger of the affairs of those humble beings who perform Your devotional worship service. ||1||Pause||

dwil sIDw mwgau GIau ]

Lentils, flour and ghee - these things, I beg of You.

hmrw KusI krY inq jIau ]

My mind shall ever be pleased.

pn@IAw Cwdnu nIkw ] Anwju mgau sq sI kw ]1]

Shoes, fine clothes, and grain of seven kinds - I beg of You. ||1||

gaU BYs mgau lwvyrI ]

A milk cow, and a water buffalo, I beg of You,

iek qwjin qurI cMgyrI ]

and a fine Turkestani horse.

Gr kI gIhin cMgI ]

A good wife to care for my home

jnu DMnw lyvY mMgI ]2]4]

- Your humble servant Dhanna begs for these things, Lord. ||2||4||

Dulhani - Translation of Kabir's Wedding Song

Translation of Dulhani

gaa-o gaa-o ree dulhanee mangalchaaraa.
mayray garih aa-ay raajaa raam bhataaraa.

Sing, sing, O soul bride,
sing the song of my marriage
King Raam has come to my house
to become my husband

tan rainee man pun rap kar
ha-o paacha-o tat baraatee.
raam raa-ay si-o bhaavar laiha-o
aatam tih rang raatee.

I make my body the dying vat, and within it, I dye my mind.
I make the five elements my marriage guests.
As I take my marriage vows with the Lord, my King;
my soul is too imbued with His Love.

naabh kamal meh baydee rach lay
barahm gi-aan uchaaraa.
raam raa-ay so doolahu paa-i-o
as badbhaag hamaaraa. ||2||

Make the lotus from the navel (where Brahma sits) my bridal pavilion
And let Brahma say the wisdom
I have obtained the Lord King as my Husband
such is my great good fortune. ||2||

suir nr muin jn kauqk Awey koit qyqIs aujwnW ]
sur nar mun jan ka-utak aa-ay
kot taytees ujaanaaN.
kahi kabeer mohi bi-aahi chalay hai
purakh ayk bhagvaanaa. ||3||2||24||

Angles, holy men, sages, and deities have come
in thousands of heavenly chariots to see
my husband take me with him
as I am married to the One Almighty ||3||2||24||

Dulhani - Poetry Inspired by Kabir

Poetry Inspired by Kabir:

Sing O Soul, O soul you sing!
sing freely sing, O fondly sing!
sing sated sweet savory song
sing I hear my wedding bells ring!

Start to sing a song so complete
that with my love, five elements sing
and rain my body and mind so replete,
that you too drenched delighted sing

Sing O soul, a song so pure
as sacred vows that I need sing
on a lotus altar white for sure
sitting I hear mantras Brahma sing!

Sing O soul, a song so magical
come angels, fairies, maidens sing
on heavenly chariots so fanciful
as my Love whisks me away and sings!

sing of my fortuity sing!
Sing the beauty of purity sing
sing this mystical magical song
sing I hear my wedding bells ring!

- Shiv