1 What is your main vision, when you produce a CD of ancient Indian devotional music, like Sahaj Atma? There is a lot of commercialization when it comes to meditation. Through these mantras, my purpose is that the person that is looking for a place of peace with himself and with others, can find it through music. Without techniques, speaches, meditation ‘theories’ and complicated stuff - most of that is just not needed - it's like 'going back to the simple things'
2 Does this music have a purpose? I choose the mantras, compose, arrange, sing and play some of the instruments. So, being involved from the very roots of it, when I make a CD, the idea is very clear that it will be music for a certain purpose. Taking the listener and myself to a place beyond the mind is certainly a great description. It is music to create an atmosphere of innocence and grace. In this direction, I never compromise with the authenticity of Indian music and its genuine elements, keeping the sacredness of the mantras alive and intact, with all my respect 3 How can you explain the name, Sahaj Atma? Sahaj Atma in Sanskrit is the natural state of being. In simpler words, it is to be ourselves, without masks and society inputs and expectations. I am very keen on ‘defending’ human individuality 4 Do we need a Guru to practice meditation? Having grown up in India, I’ve been with Gurus most of my life. The moment I left that idea or pre-concept, I started being more true to myself, more authentic - a lot of masks fell out. So in my case, I became more religious due to my own awareness - that’s why this CD is about ‘the inner guru’ 5 Do you think we can all find that inner guru? My own experience is that many times we cheat ourselves… finding excuses in outer models, communities or organizations to grow as persons. It is true that some people or situations may be very inspiring of course, but to turn into ‘the inner guru’ makes us more responsible towards ourselves, not towards outer voices and concepts that many times become mechanical 6 So your way seems to be quite simple… There’s a Zen proverb which says, ‘simple is right, right is simple.’ I have observed that for different reasons - mainly commercial of course - people are offering a lot of things out there, which are not needed - and many people 'buy them' but in the end they are just excuses - or fear - not to search inside... just being silently with oneself... most times less is more 7 How would you describe this album? This CD is a collection of powerful and sacred Mantras that, to me, they illuminate the soul. With the soundscapes of beautiful vocals and craftsmanship of highly talented Indian musicians, this music creates a space in which one can dive, either through chanting along or just listening, allowing the ancient sounds to go deeper within and connect with the innermost space of peace 8 Any other comment you would like to add? UG Krishnamurti said, ‘you don’t need to change yourself’, and I love this frase, because it supports the idea to accept ourselves as we are, with no judgements and dualities to want to be something else that we're not. I make music that can create the atmosphere to look inwards and become more conscious of our beings 'as they are' - and here we arrive again to an important ingredient for harmony and peace: consciousness. Just observe around ... acting with consciousness brings excellence - no need of long talks and complicated philosophies that most times our mind doesn't even understand, or even worse, mis-understands. Raising our consciousness, and from that place hearing our inner voice and trusting ourselves, brings the right changes and the right people in our life - at least it's my experience, and i am very thankful... and i express it with music
Interview by Aaditya Soni, music journalist from Gujarat India