Shri Krishna, dark as a rain-filled cloud, adorned with peacock feathers, wild flowers and a gunja-bead necklace, graces the banks of the Yamuna River. When He applies His lips to the flute, melodious notes fill Vrindavan and enrapture the hearts of the love-smitten dairymaids, the Gopis. This Krishna, a herder of cows, the son of Yashoda and the beloved of the Gopis, is the object, means, and reward of these Beloved Chants. Beloved Chants is a journey into the divine realms. It follows the sacred sequence of Shri Krishna’s day in music. Beloved Chants blends classical and popular devotional melodies to evoke the divine moods of sweet union and intense separation.
Featuring Shyamdas, Krishna Das, John McDowell (piano, African drums), Ty Burhoe (tabla), Steve Gorn (Bansuri flute), Benjy Wertheimer (Esraj), Sharon Gannon (vocals) and authentic devotional musicians from India. Co-produced by Shyamdas and John McDowell, composer of the "Born into Brothels" soundtrack and acclaimed percussionist of "Speaking the Mamma Tongue."
After traveling to India in 1972 to meet Neem Karoli Baba, Shyamdas, well-known devotional practitioner, author, and musician, continued to explore the Bhakti lineages of India with his guru, Goswami Shri Prathameshji. Shyamdas has lived in Vraj, the sacred lands of Shri Krishna, for 35 years. He has written and translated more than 20 books on Bhakti Yoga and the Path of Grace. Shyamdas specializes in classical Dhrupada music and the mystic poets of North India and is a recognized speaker in the West as well as in India.
At holistic centers, yoga studios, and private venues around the world, Shyamdas presents Bhakti Yoga workshops on non-dual devotion, combining ecstatic kirtan singing with stories and teachings from the path of devotion. He speaks from his background as a Vedic scholar and Sanskrit translator to share the philosophy of non-dual reality. He explores with his audience the individual's soulful relationship with the Beloved, who is everything in existence and beyond, yet also very personal. Shyamdas’ presentations of authentic bhakti teachings are unique, yet firmly rooted in tradition and filled with the nectars of devotion.
Shyamdas has released four CDs which reflect the diversity of his musical and devotional experiences. They are Songs of Sweetness: Absolutely Live, the live double-disc Cool Dual, the ecstatic and poetic Sweet Radhe! and classic Beloved Chants.
Reviews of Shyamdas’ music and programs:
Ram Dass calls Beloved Chants, “Very Beautiful.”
"Shyamdas lives, breathes, sings, laughs and recites his love to the Divine. It is infectious! We feel deeply inspired by listening to him. He is a unique and bright light in the world." Miten and Deva Premal
"Shyamdas is the real thing. His chanting is straight from the heart, infused with the authenticity and depth of his years as a temple singer in India. Pick up a copy of Beloved Chants and fill your home and car with pure devotion." – Robert Gass
“I am listening to ‘Shyama Gori’ [from Beloved Chants] and chanting along. Every time I listen to it, it brings me to tears of joy! I feel transported back to Vrindavan and my guru’s (Maharaji's) ashram.” – Sundari
“Shyamdas is one of the wonderful ecstatic chanters ever produced by the West. The CD is one of my favorites - I play it all the time. Great energy. Beautiful!”
- Gil Punjabi (Review from amazon.com)
“The CD is different from others (Krishna Das, etc.) - more kind of "upbeat" and "funky," but it really grows on you. This CD has the "Song of Sweetness" on it that I love playing during yoga. Also check out his other CD, "Sweet Radhe" for a great "Priya Priya" chant.”
– Lisa T. (Review from amazon.com)