Manish Vyas was born in Gujarat, India and has been learning and later composing and performing music since he was 10 years old. The learning happened - and is still happening - throughout his life with different music gurus and inspirations in India. As a kid, his first connection to Indian classical music was when he learnt Tabla with Zinda Hussein in Rajkot. At the same time, he started learning Harmonium and singing in the company of local musicians who would gather to sing for enjoyment. At the age of 20, having moved to Pune to pursue his musical career, and also following his spiritual master, Manish continued learning Tabla for many years with non other than Ustad Allarakha in Mumbai. During those years, he was in charge of the music department at the Osho Ashram in Pune at its glorious times, organizing events and performing with Osho's presence. During this time, he also learnt to play Santoor.
Manish is composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and also assigns part of his time to teaching to some selected and earnest students. As a composer, he has composed hundreds of pieces, mainly in the devotional, mystical, folk, instrumental and Sufi genres. He has released more than 20 albums of his production and has also contributed to many other musicians from around the world. His album Shivoham was nominated for Grammy’s first round ballot.
Manish is currently based in Switzerland, and he's active in the concert scene all around the world. Additionally, his musical retreats and workshops offer the perfect blend of Indian genuine sounds merged with a touch of fusion, which makes his music so accessible and appreciated by all type of listeners in the search of earnest sounds from India. "When I talk about fusion, it refers to the incorporation of contemporary elements, but the quality and essence of Indian Raga-based music remains untouched, respecting and honoring its soul always."
His music styles or genres offer a wide range of sounds: Ghazal, Sufi, devotional, Mantra, Kirtan, Gujarati, instrumental, dance, folk. Until his thirties, Manish used to tour around the world, but since some years ago he travels only for selected concerts, as well as teaching to a smaller group of students. An interesting information is that Manish is also a certified Asana teacher - although he focuses his practice mainly on Surya Kriya, Pranayam, Dhyan and Naad Yoga, which he shares in his retreats.
Manish is multi faceted and vastly experienced, having performed in front for 50 thousand people at Sadhguru´s place in South India, in the wedding of Paul Mc Cartney in Ireland; from a band of 2 to a band of 12 musicians, from the most meditative and silent events to the most celebrative and dancing moods, he can take care of any scene in the music, being always sensitive to which is the right music, the right timing, the right feel and space, the right sound and rhythm, as well as the silence in between.
Carrying Indian music in his heart, one of his missions is to maintain the roots of Indian music, in a world where the Indian devotional genre has gotten globally spread, but not always showing the real, compromising the authenticity of this ancient culture. Manish is currently working on a documentary about sacred music from India, Mantra, use of devotional music and science of Sound, as discovered by the ancient Rishis in India - explaining and transmitting the deep roots and core of this tradition and how it has been used in India since thousands of years, revealing the true meaning of Mantra Yoga and its ramifications.
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first steps towards music.
1971 - 1985
Born 29. April,1971 in a Hindu family in the city of Rajkot, Gujarat, India. His family circle was surrounded by music gatherings and musicians who gathered to play on a regular basis, where he started absorbing his love for music.As a child, he started learning his first instrument, tabla, with with Zinda Hussain until 1985 - in the music school of his hometown where he studied 4 years.
receiving Osho's blessings and mala as a kid.
This was a very important moment in Manish's life - his first Guru, Osho, blessed him in his spiritual path and gave him a mala as a symbol. Also, Osho used to give a spiritual name to his disciples... but to him, he told him his spiritual name would be Manish, just like it was. Osho was the biggest influence in Manish's spiritual path. Him and his wife don't call themselves 'sannyasins' because they don't believe in religions, but in life inspirations. Another of their biggest life inspirations is UG Krishnamurthi - 'the most honest person you will ever find.'
"I am not interested in communicating something to you, I am interested in communion. Communication means my mind talking to your mind. Communion means I am not a mind, you are not a mind - just your heart melting into my heart, no word." Osho
"I have searched everywhere to find an answer to my question, 'Is there enlightenment?' but have never questioned the search itself. Because I have assumed that goal of enlightenment exists, I have had to search. It is the search itself which has been choking me and keeping me out of my natural state. There is no such thing as spiritual or psychological enlightenment because there is no such thing as spirit or psyche at all. I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end." UG
first steps as a singer.
1983 - 1988
With the guidance of his uncle Rajesh who was a singer - and also intuitively and inspired by Jagjit Singh, he started practicing singing and training his voice.(in the picture, Manish on the right with his younger brother, at the time he started his musical journey.)
His first concerts in india happened accompanying on tabla his uncle (singer and harmonium player) when he was just 12 years old. At those times, he also was playing in kirtans and folk dances.
harmonium and tabla.
1989 - 1999
To accompany his singing, he started playing harmonium, which he also learnt in Rajkot.In 1989 when he moved to Pune, Manish continued his tabla learning with Zakir Hussain’s disciple Nishikant.From 1990 to 1994 he attended tabla lessons with his unforgetable tabla maestro Ustad Allarakha in Mumbai, taking a train for many hours just to take a 1 hour lesson or less each time. After that, he continued learning tabla 4 years with Kausar Ali in Pune, from 1995-1999.
his tabla guru.
His maestro Ustad Allarakha, a true master. Tabla formed in Manish the solid ground to expand in classical and all other styles of Indian music that he currently performs. It was a seed that grew into a solid tree.
At the beginning, with no formal training, Manish learnt to play santoor (an ancient 100 string instrument from Kashmir) by listening and watching Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. Later, he took lessons with Sandeep Chaterjee, from Kolkata.
1989 - 2002
Actively involved in the music department from 1989-2002 at the International Osho Ashram in Pune, 'the golden times of that ashram.' On a regular basis, performing for the ashram in concerts and meditations, accompanying musicians and leading concerts, meditations, kirtans and cultural events. It was a very rich stage in his musical path. Also, the merging with musicians from the West, opened his music to other possibilities.A major event was in September 1989 when he was invited to play tabla in front of Osho, while he was leading a meditation with 10,000 people from all over the world. This continued till Osho left his body in 1990.At this time, he also met in the ashram Deva and Miten, lifetime friends of Manish, even these days.He also started working as composer and arranger for theatre groups, sound-engineering for Indian classical concerts and meditation music recording.
meeting and playing with jagjit singh, his lifetime inspiration.
Having been his fan since many years, Manish met Jagjit Singh and played with him in a big performance presented at the Osho Samadhi. This maestro of ghazals, classic and devotional music marked Manish s musical life - he would spend hours, days and weeks listening to his music. He was really a genius and his singing was outstanding. One of the main influences in Manish's path - as a singer and as a composer.
1995 - 2012
During almost 20 years, Manish was involved in the music of the retreats organized by Gurudev in different places in India, in which people from around the globe would participate. Lately, he was additionally involved in the administration and organization of these meditation and celebration events.
Gurudev always wanted him to organize these aspects of the retreat, due to his vision, sensitive understanding and great musical skills for meditation purposes... since due to his versatility, Manish is able to provide the most energetic music for dancing and dynamic meditations, as well as the most mellow music for deep relaxation or introspection. That is really a strong quality in him as a musician: knowing the sounds to create the needed atmosphere - which sometimes can also be just 'silence.'
His last contributions were with Osho Mystery School in Mysore, and now he's still offering these activities in the mode of workshops and retreats.
launching his first albums.
1998 - 2001
Rejoicing is his first ever solo project - launched in 1998 and still available worldwide. A beautiful meditative album with different moods and ragas in the most pure Indian style.Later, his first major collaboration on a CD - with Prem Joshua in 2001, with the amazing production of 'Water Down the Ganges.’
a very creative phase + touring around the world.
1999 - 2005
His first touring outside India started in 1999 Europe with Prem Joshua (Germany) and the band called HAMSAFAR, for two years.After the band HAMSAFAR dissolved, Manish continued duo concerts with Joshua in Europe, USA, South East Asia, Israel, and India from 2001-2006.It was a very creative phase, in which these two musicians complemented each other creating amazing music.
instrumental healing music series.
Together with the talented bansuri player, Bikram Singh, they created the series of albums of instrumental meditative music from India. In this way, the following works were released along the years: Healing Ragas I (2003), Healing Ragas II (2006), Moonlight Ragas (2009) and Healing Ragas III (last one in 2016 recorded with Millind Date in bansuri this time.)It is a master work, music for the ears and for the soul. Really worth listening.
wedding music... playing for paul mac cartney in UK.
Invited to play Indian fusion music at Sir Paul McCartney’s wedding in Ireland, UK as part of CELTIC RAGAS band.
merging east with west.
2002 - 2009
A stage in which Manish's merging with Western musicians but yet keeping the Indian elements intact and genuine, constituted a major step in his career. His music became accessible to Westeners, but his followers regognized in him the authenticity behind his work. And this is his true value : that his music is genuine, and has almost 40 years of learning.His audience has a refinement in its music culture, and recognizes these deeper roots.In the picture with peer and friend Deva Premal, and Snatam and Guruganesha.
touring with in the US and forming Manish+Friends band.
2006 - 2009
Snatam Kaur requested Manish to play in her band in 2006 and after this invitation, he toured with her band through USA, Canada and Europe between 2007 and 2009. His main role was tabla player and mantra singer. The CD 'Snatam, Live in Concert' was recorded during this stage. Eventually he decided to leave the band because he realized that in this surrounding, sacred music from India was not presented and honored as it is in reality, adding a lot of commercial-driven content as "from India" which is not from India. After this, he formed a band with other two musicians, under the name 'Manish Vyas and Friends' and they presented their music in the US in different concerts, events and retreats including Omega and Kripalu in US.
the birth of a Mystery School in India.
2008 - 2012
During all his musical career, Manish was always following a spiritual path. First with Osho, and then with Gurudev, a senior disciple from Osho. Eventually, he moved with Gurudev to Mysore, to support his work to create and ashram for meditation and higher consciousness. In this way, Osho Mystery School was built, at the side of the river Kaveri - and Manish became the Meditation Coordinator right-hand of his teacher, as well as the person in charge of music, video and photography for the 10 - 20 - 40 days retreats, with 20 days of silence, that were being organized with people from all over the world, under the direction of Gurudev. Manish was actively involved in this project and its construction - even in buying the materials and controlling the workers! So at this time, he stepped aside from the music touring scene... to work for a higher cause.
at the HWA EOM Buddhist Monastery South Korea.
2007 - 2008 - 2012
Taking his devotional music to Far East, and in the beautiful atmosphere of this hidden monastery, Manish was invited to share his music to their annual musical celebration in three different opportunities: 2007, 2008 and 2012. This was for him a wonderful experience, since the scene in these monasteries, is the right atmosphere for his music.
nomination for the Grammy's first round ballot.
It was a real honor to hear that the album SHIVOHAM is nominated for Grammy’s first round ballot. He didn't make it to the final stage, but it was an honor to be there, since he never asked for any votes (and this is what the Word/New-Age Music category requires, to "beg" for votes, since there is no judge in this category unfortunately - giving a lot of space for wrong decisions based on lobby.)
becomes a certified hatha yoga teacher.
Certified by the Association of Yoga and Meditation AYM, in Rishikesh, Manish becomes a certified yoga teacher. Mostly he does yoga-asana for his own practice and he teaches Surya Namaskar and light asana and focuses mainly on Pranayam and Meditation techniques during workshops and retreats.
"Let us remember that YOGA is not exercise, yoga is a lifestyle of excellence, a high code of ethics based in Sanatam Dharma (known as hinduism). It is mistakenly taken in the west that yoga is for fitness sometimes. Out of the yoga sutras, only 3 sutras are written about asana, and also that, was just sitting asana. So when we use the word Yoga, it should have the proper understanding, to honor the truth conceived behind this ancient tradition from India. It is important one does not "do yoga" for the wrong reasons." MV
marriage to sa and moving to Switzerland.