The magic Journey of Indian music
in its different styles and presentations
shared by someone who grew up in this culture and has been learning for 40 years in the company of Masters and Pandits from India.
Harmonium Workshops in a group are organized two or three times a year, you can see them here
For other upcoming workshops, look in our events
Although I compose different styles of Indian music, a lot of this music is sacred and devotional, like the popular mantras and kirtan. I was touring many years in the west and by having seen a lot, a big question mark has arisen about the authenticity in the presentation of this ancient Mantra tradition by western singers.
"Your music has always elevated my consciousness to another level, gratitude and love..." Nilima
Naad Shakti, The Power of Indian Sacred Music
MANTRA is a sound, a vibration - and the correct vibration is created only when it is recited correctly because it is a key which can unlock a higher dimension. The meaning is not as significant as the sound itself in mantra practice. That’s why there is a lot of significance and importance given in India to study and learn this properly.
But the discouraging truth is that due to a fast globalization, most of the mantra supply in the west just replicates mantras in a pop, lullaby and sometimes even rap or rock-style, just plugging the mantra text in any melody. This is not how this works (if you want it to work.) Not only it is not how it works, but it is also not respectful to this ancient culture. So one of the purposes through these workshops is to teach and explain the proper music related to mantras, if we put music to them, as well as the study of the mantras themselves. Mantra is a call - like a codified code - and it is important to do the right call.
some feedbacks received from participants
"Namaste, Thank you with all my heart for the beautiful workshop in Geneva. It meant a lot for me to chant with you, I had the chance to discover your music not long time ago. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I really enjoyed the time, the vibrations, the calm, the chant.... That time filled me up with light and love. So precious, and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of that experience." N. L.
"Thank you for the wonderful afternoon mantra workshop at Namaste Spa. I haven't stopped listening to your latest CD "Auspicious". Thank you for your beautiful sacred music." Tracey, UK
"Salute your devotion to your Guru and expression of gratitude to the source. You relentlessly make efforts to convey the message and teaching of Advaitha philosophy with your powerful instrument - Music. More importantly your honesty in acknowledging the teacher and ensuring you remain as messenger reflects your core values and personality. Thank you for composing scintillating music which is enabling thousands of listeners to deepen their meditation experience." Sanjeev
“I went to a retreat of a well-known American Yoga teacher and Manish Vyas happened to be there in Mexico co-conducting the music and the meditations. It was amazing how the genuine element of these practices was so present in the way he was conveying it to the participants. After doing the sessions with him there was a higher quality of peace and silence. Most of the group agreed that he had that knowledge of yoga and music deep in his being. We couldn’t find the same feeling in the western teachers, despite of maybe being popular. He delivers ‘the real stuff’ and not the commercial stuff. His workshops I would recommend to any true seeker of the yogic path and of course the music… which is out of this world. He is also a simple being with great energy and bright vibrations.” Anna Frisch, US
"This was just great. I was fascinated all through. Thank you. Seriously thinking of attending one of his retreats." Johanes, a participant in Luxemburg workshop 2019
"First of all thank you very much for coming to Luxembourg and as I mentioned it after 10 years following you and listening to your chanting to be able to meet and chant with you was a delight. It was also beautiful to see how you are open to different mystical traditions such as Sufism..." Bob, Bulgaria
"Magic! ... a pure moment of happiness; I came out of it all zen and deeply peaceful." Christine, FR
"Merci d’avoir rendu ceci possible avec la venue de Manish Vyas. C’était notamment très bien d’être en groupe et de pouvoir méditer et chanter ensemble." AN, Lux
"A big thank you for the amazing Pranayama Workshop last Saturday; without overstatement, your workshop really changed my perception of this practice." Larisa, CH
Indian Music and Harmonium Workshops
IN INDIA, harmonium was introduced by the missionaries who brought instruments in the 19th century. Since the instrument was portable and relatively easy to learn and handle, it became quickly popular and is being used in different genres of music across India. The hand-pump version was introduced in India since the European harmonium had a foot pedal instead This is because the foot pedals required one to sit in a chair; something which is unusual for an Indian musician - besides authentic Indian music has no chords, so there was no problem to have only one hand available to play the keys and blow the air with the other. Notice that what we see in western-mantra singers is not the real playing of harmonium for Indian music, kirtan and mantras.
THE USE OF HARMONIUM in Indian music is immense. The discovery of its affinity between reed and vocal timbre most likely was the prime motivation for singers to use and establish the harmonium as an accompanying instrument and it has actually helped people to create music. Harmonium is considered to be one of the most versatile instruments in Indian music usually used as an accompanying instrument for vocalists.However, some incredibly talented musicians, play it as a solo-instrument, such as Pandit Tulsidas Borkar from Mumbai (these style of players are extremely talented and spend a lifetime of study of Indian music and the depth of Indian ragas.) Indian music generally is melodic and usually Indian musicians don’t play cords on their instruments. When teaching in the west, Manish teaches a mix of cords and melodies (raga), to keep the Indian element alive and authentic.
SINGING with HARMONIUM : The benefits of singing Indian devotional songs can be quite broad: it can serve as a protection from typical thought patterns; it gradually increases the awareness, it heightens the quality of thoughts, it stimulates the use of the non-reactive-neutral-mind, it balances the left and right side of the brain, it lifts the stagnant energy, it brings into a state of pleasant relaxation. Also, according to the meaning and
purpose of the sound or text, it can work or stimulate different aspects, energies and planes in a subtle way, like: clarity, intuition, protection, willpower, healing, harmonization, creativity, confidence, potentiality, focusing, etc. Manish teaches the meaning and mythology behind each mantra, the right Sanskrit pronunciation, its properties, musical approach and suggestions on how to use a mantra.
Yoga - Pranayam - Meditation with Music
Manish has been conducting retreats for many years, following his spiritual Guru across India. In these retreats he learnt meditation techniques and how to use a combination of music and silence to produce an uplifting and meditative effect on the practitioner. He and his wife are both certified as yoga-asana teachers, though they don't actively teach, except in some of the retreats.
Manish has released a CD with music for pranayam "PRANA" which he composed to accompany the breathing sequence designed by his Guru, which he also teaches mostly in the retreat programs.
There are higher levels of meaning in our language and there are deeper levels of sound. The primal sounds of mantras are not mere ordinary words, they contain entire spectrums of meaning from the physical to the spiritual and reflect various qualities of energy. Primal sounds are connected to primal meanings, which go back to the universal sense of the sanskrit language.
Mantra is a vehicle to bring our minds, hearts and prana to the level of both primal sound and primal meaning, in which we can return to the original state of unity with all.
the right learning also will carry the right understanding
in the case of indian music, proper learning is key...
it allows to stay authentic and also to pass the tradition without damaging its true nature, then it will bring the right results to the practice.
"tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire"
“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” Patanjali
Course Cancellation and Cancellation Provisions
Cancellations for workshops or courses must be made in writing and are free of charge up to 14 days before the start of the event. For cancellations later than 14 days before the start of the course, the full booking amount will be charged.
Cancellations for multi-day events must be made in writing and are free of charge up to 30 days before the start of the event. For cancellations later than 30 days before the start of the event, the full booking amount will be charged.
upcoming workshops are published in events