The Spiritual Fire of Brahmachari Francis Jyoti

The Spiritual Fire of Brahmachari Francis Jyoti

Jyoti rose and said, “I saw the Mother Kali with all the red hibiscus, and these verses came to life. Jai Ma!” He had tears of joy and devotion in his eyes.

And now tears fill my eyes. Tears of love for this soul Jyoti, who truly was a light in my life and in this world. That was the last time I saw him, but in my mind I see him and in my heart I feel his spirit, his smile and light, and the blazing fire of his devotion and sadhana. 

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New Video: Sacred Music at The Guibord Center, St. John's Cathedral

New Video: Sacred Music at The Guibord Center, St. John's Cathedral

The video of this special musical worship has been edited and posted by The Guibord Center, who hosted Sangita Yoga at St. John's Cathedral in Los Angeles. Naren is accompanied by Pankaj Mishra on sarangi and Saumya Jain on tabla, Lopamudra Bose on tanpura and vocal, Justin Greene on cymbals. Songlist is provided.

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A New Year's Resolution: Hanuman Chalisa

A New Year's Resolution: Hanuman Chalisa

New Year's Resolutions can be daunting. I used to make radical resolutions that resulted in a stressful set-up for failure. Now I use them as inspiring goals. One year I chose to learn the Sri Hanuman Chalisa with devotion and authentic pronunciation (rather than a "gringo" accent). It change my life. I had a whole year to learn it, so there was no pressure. I took my time and savored it.

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Paramahansa Yogananda and Divine Mother Kali

Paramahansa Yogananda and Divine Mother Kali

Read (or listen to the complete talk) the first part of Naren's talk, given at the Kali Mandir, on Sri Paramahansa Yogananda's worship of the Divine Mother Kali and his intimate relationship with Her throughout his life in India and America.

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Saraswati Vandana

Saraswati Vandana

Saraswati's name refers to the One who is like a flowing river of Self-knowledge. She is worshiped not only by yogis and sadhus but also by musicians, dancers and scholars. She is prayed to for knowledge of the Self, purity, artistic expression, scientific knowledge, and the receptivity necessary to learn from the guru. Her lunar day of worship (Saraswati Puja) takes place in January-February (February 12th in 2016). This day is also Vasant Panchami, which is celebrated as the first day of Spring in India. Part of the ceremonial offerings on this day are items of learning and skill such as tools, books and instruments. Song and dance are important on this day. A joyous day indeed for the Goddess of creation and art! 

The Sanskrit verses at the end of this article were written in India by an unknown devotee of the Goddess, describing Her many attributes. Inspired by these words, I composed a chant in the raga Hamsadhwani ("Call of the Swan") as a vandana, or devotional offering, to Saraswati.

In the various depictions of Saraswati, such as statues and paintings, She holds the Vedas, symbolizing that She is the source of all teaching and the guru tattwa (the principle of guru that flows through all sincere teachers and gurus). She also holds the veena, an ancient stringed instrument, as a symbol of...

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Nirvana Shatakam

Nirvana Shatakam

Nirvana Shatakam is attributed to the great Adi Shankara. In this short treatise he defines all that we are not (neti, neti—not this, not that), and positively affirms that we are Spirit. This declaration, "I am He" or "I am Spirit" is an English translation of "Shivohum". Often set to music, these verses are a powerful affirmation of our true nature in the face of the many limitations our soul's are identified with.

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Too Near: A Divine Poem by Paramahansa Yogananda

Too Near: A Divine Poem by Paramahansa Yogananda

In honor of the birth commemoration (January 5th) of the great Satguru, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, I would simply like to share one of his divine poems. His tremendous impact both on my own life and the Western culture of spirituality is beyond words. Sri Yoganandaji arrived in Boston in 1920 and gave a lecture on “The Science of Religion” which later became his first publication. Shortly after, he released his second book—not on yoga, nor Vedanta, nor the Bhagavad-Gita, nor the second coming of Christ. It was a book of poems, Songs of the Soul.  "Why poetry?" you may ask. How did this fit into his mission?In India, poetry is considered a divine art...

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Sacred Roots: India's Divine Music

Sacred Roots: India's Divine Music

Thousands of years ago, beyond the scope of scholarly research, the rishis (seers) of ancient India created a society and culture wherein religion, art and science thrived in harmony, without any competition or need of comparison. Music was known to be a divine art interwoven with the sciences of sound, psychology and mathematics. It was partially intended for pleasure and entertainment, but primarily intended to assist in man’s quest for Self-realization.

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Mind Your Feet

Mind Your Feet

Feet are beautiful, full of character and extremely useful. They also are often the most dirty part of the body because of their contact with the ground. Did you know that there is an important etiquette regarding feet in India? At first I thought this etiquette was just “cultural” and “outward”, not necessary for me to follow because I had access to the yogic teachings right here in America. But then I realized that the etiquette, the spiritual culture, is actually a manifestation of awareness, awareness of the sacred. This article on feet will be the first in a series about this spiritual etiquette of India. I feel that this is very practical way to help you bring the experience of sacred India into your life.

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Live Video of Concert at The Guibord Center

Live Video of Concert at The Guibord Center

Watch the full concert in HD! Provided by The Guibord Center. This video was filmed at Naren's concert and presentation entitled, "Sangita Yoga". Accompanying Naren was Pankaj Mishra , Saumya Jain on tabla, Lopamudra Bose on tanpura and Justin Greene on cymbals. The event took place in the beautiful St. John's Cathedral in Los Angeles, hosted by the Rev. Gwynne Guibord, founder and director of The Guibord Center.

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New Album Release with New Earth Records

New Album Release with New Earth Records

Sangita Yoga: Sacred Chants of India, Naren's first full production album, was released April 7th in the digital marketplace, and on May 26th everywhere else. We are delighted to announce that Naren signed with New Earth Records, a New Age and World Music record label that has been going strong for over 25 years. 

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The Spiritual Life of Brahmachari Marcelo Gangadhar

The Spiritual Life of Brahmachari Marcelo Gangadhar

I received a phone call telling me that Br. Marcelo had suddenly passed away in his bedroom on February 1, 2015, from natural causes. Tears filled my eyes. Memories of him have been flooding my mind ever since...

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Sangita Yoga Album Underway

Sangita Yoga Album Underway

The essence of Naren's music and Sangita Yoga work is being beautifully captured on his second album. Recording is already underway at Coupe Studios in Boulder, CO with producer/engineer John McVey.  A variety of sacred songs and divine moods will be presented in this album, and, as always, featuring talented musicians of India's acoustic instruments—Saumya Jain (tabla), Pankaj Mishra (sarangi) and Kamaljeet Ahluwalia (santoor).

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A Visit to Spiritual Mexico

A Visit to Spiritual Mexico

Throughout my youth many friends and family members would invite me to Mexico—but I always declined because they would either be visiting the resorts or Tijuana.  I knew that those places could not reveal to me the real Mexico that heralds from the great civilization of the Aztecs and other indigenous peoples.

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Lecture Demonstration for Graduate Students

Lecture Demonstration for Graduate Students

Sangita Yoga had the joy to host graduate students from Claremont Lincoln University for lunch and a four hour lecture demonstration with Naren K. Schreiner. The students came from various religious and musical backgrounds in education and culture. The day was organized by Professor Brianne Donaldson as part of her special course, "Chanting, Social Change, and the Traditions of India".

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New Single: "Jai Bolo Hanuman Ki!"

New Single: "Jai Bolo Hanuman Ki!"

I composed this kirtan especially for the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence as a tribute to the many Hanuman-bhaktas present there...My desire is to make this song available for everyone all over the world to download and sing along with joy and devotion to Hanuman, who is the embodiment of strength, wisdom, devotion and humility

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