Namah Shivaaya

Album: Pilgrim Heart (1998)


  • If you practice yoga, there's a good chance you have done some sun salutations to this 7:17 track by the chant artist Krishna Das. His most popular song, it is based on a Hindu mantra:

    Om Namah Shivaaya
    Shivaaya namaha, Shivaaya namah om

    This translates to "I bow to Shiva, again and again." Shiva is a Hindu deity.
  • In our interview with Krishna Das, he told the story behind this song: "In '97, the closest person to me in the world died. He was an old devotee of my guru Neem Karoli Baba, and he was like my teacher and my friend. He was my best friend in the world, and he died. And one day I was sitting, and the whole song just came to me while I was fooling around with the harmonium.

    My experience was - and I can't prove this to you - but my experience was that he just dropped that whole thing on me. It was like an impetus from him after he had died. Like a gift, because he was a devotee of Shiva, and had done a lot of very, very deep practices and meditations over his life. He was an incredible being and that was like a gift to me."
  • The voice at the beginning and end of the song is Krishna Das' good friend, for whom the song was written. Das recorded him in India many years earlier chanting mantras to Shiva, which is what you hear on the track.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino EditionMusic Quiz

Whether he's splitting ears or burning Nazis, Quentin Tarantino uses memorable music in his films. See if you can match the song to the scene.

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?

Jim McCarty of The YardbirdsSongwriter Interviews

The Yardbirds drummer explains how they created their sound and talks about working with their famous guitarists.