Longing ~ Lyrics & Translations


Longing_Front_Cover



1. AUM Namah Shivaya Shivoham

AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA SHIVOHAM
“AUM. I bow down to the Auspicious One, Consciousness Itself. I am That One.”



2. Six Syllable Mantra

AUM MANI PADME HUNG
“AUM. The Jewel is in the Lotus.”

3. Hey Govind Hey Gopal

HEY GOVINDA HEY GOPALA. HEY DAYALU NATH.
“O Lord of the Universe, O Lord of the World, O Dear Merciful Beloved.”

PRANA NATHA ANATHA SAKHE. DEENA DARDA NIVAAR.
“You are the Master of the breath of life, the Companion of the lost and forsaken, the Destroyer of the pains of the poor.”

HEY SAMARATHA AGAMA PURANA. MOHO MAYA DHAAR.
“O All-powerful, Inaccessible, Perfect Lord, please shower me with Your Mercy.”

ANDHA KOOPUR MAHA BHAYANAK. NANAKA PAARA UTAAR.
“Please, carry Nanak (“Not many” = One) across the terrible, deep dark pit of the world to the other side.”

4. Jaya Sita Ram

JAYA SITA RAM, RAM RAM RAM.
BABA HANUMAN, RAM RAM RAM.

"Victory to the Divine Couple, the Union of Opposites, Supreme Subject and Object.
And to the intrepid Hanuman, paragon of devotion."

5. Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

AUM TRAYAMBAKAM YAJAMAHE
SUGANDIM PUSHTIVARDHANAM
URVA RUKAMIVA BANDHANAAN
MRITYOR MOKSHIYE MAAMRITAT.

“AUM. We worship the Three-Eyed Lord Shiva, whose eyes are the Sun, Moon, and Fire; who is fragrant and nourishes all beings.
May he protect us from all disease, poverty and fear, and bless us with prosperity, longevity and health. May he liberate us from death, as the ripened cucumber is automatically released from its bondage to the creeper when it fully ripens.”

6. Bismillah

BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHIM
ALHAMDULILAH HI ROBBI LALAMEEN

“In the name of God, most gracious, most compassionate.
All the praises and thanks be to God, the Lord of the world.”

In the morning when we wake: Bismillah, Bismillah 
With every step we take: Bismillah, Bismillah
With every word we say: Bismillah, Bismillah
And every game we play: Bismillah, Bismillah

CHORUS

With everything we do: Bismillah, Bismillah 
And everything that’s new: Bismillah, Bismillah 
With every place we go: Bismillah, Bismillah 
And every friend we know: Bismillah, Bismillah

CHORUS

With every song we sing: Bismillah, Bismillah
On every mountain peace will ring: Bismillah, Bismillah

CHORUS

7. Heart Sutra

AUM GATE GATE PARAGATE
PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA.

“AUM. Gone, gone, gone beyond,
Gone completely beyond. Homage to Awakening!”

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Longing ~ “Liner Notes"

1. AUM Namah Shivaya Shivoham

This was the first melody that I wrote for a mantra on the mandolin. From the first, the sequence of notes had for me a quality of inevitability so strong that I wondered if I was remembering a melody rather than composng one.
There are actually two mantras at play here: When singing the first, 'AUM Namah Shivaya’ (“I bow down to Shiva”), one's focus is external, fixed upon Lord Shiva as the Object of worship, someone “out there” worthy of devotion and emulation. When singing the second, ‘Shivoham’ (“I am Shiva”), one identifies with Shiva as Consciousness Itself, the Subject who sees with one’s eyes, hears with one’s ears, sings with one’s voice. Together, these mantras function like the out-breath and the in-breath, uniting the twin dimensions of every experience, the objective and the subjective.

Instruments: dhotara, mandolin, bass, udu drum, percussion, sitar

2. Six Syllable Mantra

This version features two different traditional Tibetan melodies that I learned from the monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery in 1996.
Although brief, this mantra is composed of several distinct parts. ‘AUM' is the most distilled sound form, its three phonemes (A, U, and M) are said to represent the entire range of vocal sound of which the human being is capable. Because it contains all sounds, it is understood to represent all mantras. As such, it often appears at the beginning of other mantras as a signal by which the repretition-conditioned mind is oriented toward the contmplation of the Supreme. ‘Hung,’ occurring at the conclusion of this mantra, functions as a sonic exclamation point. It is said to release the energy of the mantra as a whole. Between these vocal “book-ends,” occurs the heart of the mantra: ‘Mani’ (“jewel”), and ‘Padme’ (“lotus”); “the Jewel is in the Lotus.” The lotus represents the human condition: arising out of muck and mire, transforming impurity into beauty. When chanting this mantra, one is invited to recall this fundamental truth: that the greatest possible treasure, the jewel of Radiant Awareness and Care, resides within oneself—even when it seems to be very far away indeed.

Instruments: mandolin, french horn, percussion.

3. Hey Govind Hey Gopal

I first heard this traditional ghazal in a recording by the late Jagjit Singh. "The ghazal is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain.” What an elegant description of longing! I was so captivated by the qualities of heartache and hope conveyed in the tune and lyric, that I determined to learn it, singing while playing the tampura.

While the vocal portion of the song is in a 3/4 time signature, the instrumental interlude—with the melody echoing the refrain and couplets--is in 4/4. 

Instruments: tampura, mandolin, percussion.

4. Jaya Sita Ram

The composition of this song involves the clearest case of instantaneous “downloading” that it's been my privilege to witness. I was noodling on the mandolin one day, and in a moment I knew the whole song. As I played it, I sang the mantra, as familiar as a favorite song from my youth—though I’d never heard it before. I can’t chant this mantra without remembering my Guru and Paramaguru ("Guru’s Guru"): singing to Hanuman is one of my Guru’s chief preoccupations. Many regard his Guru as an incarnation of this Son of the Wind, the paragon of devotees. And what was Neem Karoli’s preoccupation? You guessed it, Lord Ram. And of whom did Ram obsess? Why, Lady Sita, of course!

Instruments: dhotara, mandolin, udo drum, percussion.

5. Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

I took up the practice of this healing mantra while living near Asheville, NC. I was recording the music for my album, Following Sound into Silence, when I was struck down with a bad illness, leaving the left side of my face paralyzed. It was scary and miserable. A friend suggested that I work with this mantra and visit one of the area waterfalls; I did both, and this song (as well as my recovery) was the result.
I love the imagery of Lord Shiva freeing us from death, like ripe fruit falling from the vine.

Instruments: dhamaru, dhotara, udu drum, percussion.

6. Bismillah

I loved this song from the first moment I heard it, on Yusef Islam’s compliation album, Bismillah (2001). I was surpised to learn that the singer/songwriter was an anglo-Canadian convert to Islam, Dawud Wharnsby. It is with his permission and enthusiastic endorsement that I present this heartfelt prayer-song “In the name of God.”
Doing everything in the name of God is a method for approaching each moment, a disposition of remembrance cultivated in the recitation of sound forms intimately associated with the Supreme. In this way, we invoke and presence the Divine, our best Beloved. In that rarified atmosphere, we then act with excellence in honor of that same most cherished One. Such activity—perfumed with the Name, and the feelings its remembrance engenders—is itself an offering, a worthy expression of Divine Love.

Instruments: mandolin, dumbek.

7. Heart Sutra

Back in 2007, I had the privilege to participate in a Dzogchen rereat with the American proponent of Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Surya Das. We had occasion during that week to work a great deal with this text of the Heart Sutra. While I was on break in the woods, I sang the mantra to this melody for the first time. Later on, I got to lead the group in singing it with great joy.
The singing bowl with which I begin and end this track is a treasure I was fortunate to find in Dharamshala, India. Its purity of tone, volume, and sustain are beyond any other I’ve encountered. The heartbeat rhythm track is based on a recording of a living human heart. The Heart Sutra is composed of 14 shlokas in Sanskrit, with each shloka containing 32 syllables. The portion that is traditionally treated as a mantra is the epitome of the Heart Sutra, which enjoins and equips the practitioner to progress through phases of awakening until all limitations of ignorance and fear have been transcended (i.e., “gone beyond”).

Instruments: singing bowl, dhotara, “heart beat” percussion.

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Co-produced by Wes Boatman and Kurt “Kailash” Bruder.
Engineered by Wes Boatman.

Recorded at Sabbath Song Studio, Brooksville, KY.

All songs written by Kurt “Kailash” Bruder ©2013
except Bismillah, Traditional and Dawud Wharnsby.
and Hey Govind Hey Gopal, Traditional, Lyrics by Shri Guru Arjan (1563–1606), the fifth of eleven Sikh Gurus.

© Kurt “Kailash” Bruder 2017