Joyful Yoga Kirtan - Bhalay Amar Das & Ong Namo

Sat Nam,

Happy first day of the week!

On Friday night I did a kirtan with my longtime musical partner, Monica Page Subia. In all the years we have played live shows together, I had NEVER seen her lead chant herself. This is humorous not only because she does it way more often that I do, but also because she is AMAZING at it.

I will post one of the songs that she led very soon. For now, I did the opening invocation - "Bhalay Amar Das" (from -8) and an unrecorded version of "Ong Namo."

Monica wanted me to explain what "Bhalay Amar Das" meant in the beginning of the kirtan, and, honestly, I was a little stumped. Besides knowing that it is a song written in praise on Guru Amar Das by Bal the Poet, all I could do was say how it FELT to me.

That seems to be a lot more in the forefront of my chanting these days. I pick chants based on how I FEEL about them... how I FEEL when I chant them... how I FEEL when others chant them with me.

I have a bit of a different perspective when it comes to writing songs in English, where meaning is very important to me. I suppose that is because I am WRITING the words, rather than interpreting them with new melodies.

I really liked the way these songs turned out. Our band was great. The people who showed up were ready to use their "outside" voices. And how could you not love the name of the studio we played at: Joyful Yoga!?

If you enjoy the opening song, this is a video of the recorded version.

Sirgun Kaur

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