Namah Shivaaya

Album: Pilgrim Heart (1998)
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Songfacts®:

  • 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.

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