Deva Premal

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Deva Premal, mantra singer, from October 2006

Deva Premal (born in 1970 in Nürnberg, Germany) is a musician known for her meditative spiritual New Age music, which puts ancient Buddhist and Sanskrit mantras--as well as chants in other languages--into atmospheric contemporary settings.

Biography[edit]

Premal met her partner in life and music, Miten, at the Osho ashram in Pune, India in 1990, where she was studying reflexology, shiatsu, cranio-sacral therapy, and massage.[1] They have been touring together since 1992, offering concerts and chant workshops worldwide.[2]

Best known for her top-selling chant CDs,[3] Premal is a classically trained musician who grew up singing mantras in a German home permeated with Eastern Spirituality. Her albums have topped the New Age charts throughout the world since her first release, The Essence (1998), which features the "Gayatri Mantra." Premal and Miten's record company, Prabhu Music, reports sales of over 900,000 albums.

Deva Premal began her journey with mantra in her mother's womb, as her father chanted the "Gayatri Mantra"--one of the most sacred mantras of Sanatana Dharma--to her daily. The mantra continued to be her bedtime lullaby after she was born. Many years later, she heard a friend singing the Gayatri and was inspired to put together an album highlighting its sacredness. Premal and Miten recorded The Essence (1998) in her mother's apartment in Germany, where she was born and where she first heard the Gayartri mantra.[4]

Deva Premal brought this journey with the Gayatri Mantra full circle in July 2005, when she and Miten chanted it for her father as he was dying; "We kept singing for what must have been over half an hour, when suddenly the monitor showed that he was about to leave. I continued to sing, and the last sound he heard as he passed on was his beloved "Gayatri Mantra." Finally we ended with the mantra Om and the circle was complete. He had welcomed me onto this planet with the "Gayatri," and I accompanied him out of this physical existence with it. What a blessing this was for me! It was the first time that I was present at a death, and to be at my father’s is a memory I will cherish all my life."[5]

In an interview with Sam Slovik of LA Yoga Magazine,[6] Deva Premal discussed the potent effect many notice when chanting mantras:[7]

“The meaning is secondary. The word table is not the table...with Sanskrit, the word ananda is the sound vibration of bliss. In sound the energy of bliss. We have to say bliss; we have to make it smaller by putting it into an English word. Just the sound; ananda, If we were sensitive enough, we'd just feel the entire scope of that energy that's contained in this sound... It's working on a cellular level. It's much deeper than the mind. It's not a language that you need to understand the meaning of before you use it. It's a deep Universal sound code that connects us all.”

Deva Premal's chants have been used in a wide variety of settings in recent years. Cher featured Premal's version of the "Gayatri Mantra" on her Farewell Tour[8] and Russian Prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva danced to Deva Premal's "Gayatri" in Moses Pendleton's F.L.O.W. series.[9] Actor/director Edward James Olmos is said to have handed out copies of Premal's "Gayatri Mantra" to the entire cast and crew of Battlestar Gallactica,[10] as well as citing her music as a source of inspiration in preparing his role as Commander Adama in the series.[11] Mr. Olmos also used "Om Hraum Mitraya" from Deva's album Dakshina (2005) to close his HBO movie Walkout,[12]

Deva Premal and Miten performed for The Dalai Lama during a 2002 Conference in Munich, Germany on "Unity in Duality," which brought top figures from the scientific community together with members of the Buddhist community.[13] They gave a concert for the full conference, and were also invited to sing for the Dalai Lama at a small pre-conference gathering.[14] They had heard that the Dalai Lama's favorite mantra was the Tara Mantra, dedicated to the Green Tara of Compassion, and that he had asked for it be chanted recently when he was ill, and so they chanted it for him.

Deva Premal's release, Tibetan Mantras for Precarious Times (2010), was recorded with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet (who are known for their tradition of overtone singing, also described as "chordal chanting") and was created as a support for mantra meditation practice, featuring eight mantras chanted 108 times each. It is a benefit CD, with all proceeds going to the Gyuto Monastery in Dharmsala, India, the Phowa Project, and Veggiyana.

Creative Method[edit]

Deva Premal and Miten use a process of "natural selection" to choose the mantras on their albums. Premal has said she gravitates toward Sanskrit mantras, rather than mantras from other languages. She says that, for her, removing her ego from her understanding of the mantra allows the creative process to express the true meaning of the mantra.[15]

The purpose of her work was explained: "Our objective is to be open to the Goddess of music – to be true to ourselves, as musicians, as 'teachers;' as partners, and ultimately, as individuals – fellow travellers. We accomplish this by not 'trying' to accomplish anything. We take very little credit for what is happening around our so-called success (we have sold over a million albums now!) – we see our selves as messengers of a 5,000 year old tradition...so, our part in the process is simply to show up and chant." [16]

Discography[edit]

  • 1997 – Trusting the Silence (with Miten)
  • 1998 – The Essence
  • 1998 – Strength of a Rose (with Miten)
  • 2000 – Love Is Space
  • 2002 – Embrace
  • 2002 – Satsang'' (with Miten)
  • 2003 – Songs for the Inner Lover (with Miten)
  • 2004 – More Than Music (with Miten)
  • 2005 – Dakshina
  • 2005 – Live in Byron Bay (with Miten)
  • 2007 – Moola Mantra
  • 2007 – Soul in wonder (with Miten)
  • 2008 – Into Silence
  • 2009 – In Concert – The Yoga of Sacred Song and Chant (with Miten and Manose)
  • 2009 – Mantras for Precarious Times
  • 2009 – DevaSonic Vol 1
  • 2009 – DevaSonic Vol 2
  • 2009 – Download Singles (with Miten)
  • 2010 – Into Light
  • 2010 – Tibetan Mantras for Turbulent Times
  • 2011 – Password
  • 2013 – 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey (with Miten)
  • 2013 – A Deeper Light (with Miten and Manose)
  • 2013 – Mantra Love (with Miten)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brachfeld, Aaron (2 June 2013). "An Interview with Deva Primel". the Meadowlark Herald. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Dubrovsky, Anna. Yoga Rock Stars, Yoga International, September 2008.
  3. ^ Widran, Jonathan. Review: Dakshina AllMusic.
  4. ^ Spirit of Things. Mantras Go Mainstream, Interview with Rachel Kohn on ABC Radio, Feb 2008.
  5. ^ Deva Premal. Wolfgang And The Gayatri Mantra, Article, DevaPremalMiten.com.
  6. ^ Slovik, Sam. Soul Balancing: Path of the Sacred Road Dog, LA Yoga Magazine, March 2010.
  7. ^ Shapiro, Ed & Deb. Do Mantras Really Work, Huffington Post, 20 October 2009.
  8. ^ Tsering, Lisa. "Cher Chants Gayatri Mantra At Her Concerts", Times of London, 5 September 2003.
  9. ^ "Beauty In Motion-F.L.O.W. Part III", YouTube.
  10. ^ Stailey, M. Battlestar Gallactica: All Access, DVD Verdict Legal Briefs, 8 June 2007.
  11. ^ Ruby, Jamie. "Edward James Olmos: Exclusive Interview With MediaBlvd", Battlestar Aries, 5 August 2009.
  12. ^ Educate Your Thinking, YouTube.
  13. ^ Tarab Institute. Unity In Duality-Tendrel Congress, Tarab Institute, 10–13 Oct 2002.
  14. ^ Attwood, Janet Bray Songs of the Divine: An interview from the Dialogues with the Masters Series, Healthy Wealthy nWise, Feb 2008.
  15. ^ Brachfeld, Aaron (2 June 2013). "An Interview with Deva Primel". the Meadowlark Herald. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  16. ^ Brachfeld, Aaron (2 June 2013). "An Interview with Deva Primel". the Meadowlark Herald. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 

External links[edit]