Sita Rama is the second CD from the popular Brazilian-born Boston-based musician Karana. Like his previous release, Vancha Kalpa, Karana sets traditional Indian devotional songs (Bhajans) to Brazilian pop arrangements. The result is inspiring both soles and souls. The title track is a silken textured homenage to the beloved Lord Rama, one of the most revered avataras of Vishnu.
Karana and his band (including a few Boston-based monks and other members of his adopted devotional community) unite traditional Indian and Western acoustic instruments. Melodic sax interludes compliment interweaving guitar lines to the rhythm of electronic drums in "Prayer to the Six Gosvamis". The result is eleven songs that often invoke the ancient, exotic presence of India while maintaining a rhythmic sensibility that appeals to modern World Music lovers.
Karana's passion for mantra music is heartfelt. A former monk, Karana has been chanting bhajans for twenty years from the Amazon rain forests where he established several temples to Boston and New York, where he plays for Brazilian, Hindu and American audiences. Hearing and singing mantras is believed to uplift the soul by elevating the participant's consciousness (a mantra refers to divine sounds that free the mind from worldly anxieties - something we could all use a little more of!).
Karana presents the mantras in their original Sanskrit.
Sita Rama brings the reverence and intimacy of India's devotional music heritage to an international audience through the infectious guitar and rhythms of Brazil. It's a smorgasbord pleasing to the eye and belly, the ear and heart.
(by Premananda Das)