After spending two years in India in the early '70s, Krishna Das returned to America, where he brought a contemporary sound to the Hindu chants he had studied. He released his first album in 1996, and quickly built a following that included Rick Rubin, who signed on to produce his Breath of the Heart.
Rubin produced the album at Cello Studios in Los Angeles, recording live with a 50-voice choir and an array of unusual instruments, including a Tabla (played by Ty Burhoe) and a Bansuri (played by Steve Gorn).
The lyrics to this song are various mantras to different Hindu deities, including Hanuman, Sita and Ram. The song is very popular at meditations where practitioners repeat these mantra to go deeper into their thoughts.
Krishna Das was at a Yoga Journal conference in Colorado when he came up with this song. "It was in the morning and I was in my room," he told us. "I was just kind of fooling around with the harmonium, singing a little bit. And you know, because I don't play harmonium very well, a lot of times my fingers don't go where I want them to. So, my finger went somewhere and I went, 'Oh! That sounds good. What is that?' And then there was the song. It just came through."
Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played organ on this track.