My name is Chandra-Shekar.
In the Fall of 2006, I was hiking in the Arizona Mountains outside Tucson. Mesmerized by the beauty around me, I recited the Gayatri Mantra. It has been a part of my daily practice for many years.
I stopped dead in my tracks as the realization hit me that I really knew nothing about the Gayatri.
As a young boy of ten growing up in India in a Brahmin family, I had been initiated by my father into the Gayatri Mantra during the sacred thread ceremony. I had to recite the Gayatri 108 times, three times a day for a few months. It was a cumbersome chore. I had never been taught the beauty of the Gayatri, its origins, its true meaning and its power. All I was told was that it would help me get good grades in school!
I had a strong vision that I should do a project on the Gayatri. I had no idea at the time what this project would look like. I just needed to do it.
Not being a Vedic scholar versed in Hindu teachings, I started to research the subject of the Gayatri Mantra. A great deal had been written over the ages about the Gayatri. But, in doing my research, I failed to be inspired. It was all too complex, intellectual and it remained pretty much a dry discourse on the subject, like someone’s doctoral thesis. It seemed so stagnant, so sterile, dominated by the traditions and dogmas of the male priests of yore. The prayer had been used to discriminate and divide, rather than to unite.
While my mind understood, my heart and my soul were not captured. I was saddened by the mispronunciation of the Sanskrit syllables in many of the interpretations that I acquired, even though the musical background was often enchanting.
So why not attempt to describe the magic of the Gayatri Mantra in a way that would appeal to the layperson who, more than anyone, needed the basic foundation to begin to love and embrace this powerful invocation to the Supreme Being? Why not chant it in a way that would help me and others heal? And why not create an interpretation of the Gayatri that celebrated the feminine and helped the listener evoke the Divine in themselves?
And so, the “Magic of Gayatri” was born.
I have tried to give you the listener, a fundamental understanding of the origins of this Mantra and its importance to our personal growth and development. I have kept it simple and yet through my emotional attachment to the Gayatri, tried to capture your imagination as to its potential.
I received the Gayatri Mantra from my father many decades ago and this is now my gift back to him – we have come full circle.
It is also my gift to you.
The Magic Spreads
When I began this project, little did I realize that the magic was going to spread its reach well beyond being a spiritual CD. As the project took shape, I came to understand that I could perhaps do some good with it.
A couple of years ago, I had begun to support an orphanage for blind children in Bangalore, India to honor my wife Steffi’s memory.
Annually, on multiple occasions, my kids and I provide for the feeding of five hundred or more orphans. I am trying to help the founder of this orphanage expand his reach to other cities in India.
There are over 20 million blind orphans in India.
One Dollar can provide three daily meals to one of these kids.
Tomas and I decided that a portion of the proceeds of the CD would go to this orphanage in Bangalore.
If you have enjoyed this CD, I hope you will find joy in the thought that you are helping a child in need. If the music and the story have moved you or contributed to your joy or healing, please do me a favor… tell at least 10 of your friends or relatives about The Magic of Gayatri. Let us spread this magic for a worthy cause.
Thank you a million times for your support.
Mission and Purpose of this CD Project
The mission and purpose of The Magic of Gayatri project is multifold.
Firstly, the whole experience of producing this CD has been a personal learning and healing journey that has helped me define and expand my own path as an author, story-teller, coach and healer.
Secondly, I hope this CD provides a joyful and spiritual experience for you, the listener. Regardless of your belief system, I hope that this experience helps you achieve calmness, peace of mind, healing support and a guide to your own inner wisdom. I find that that indeed, is the magic within Gayatri.
Last but not least, I find great joy in my support of The Rakum School for Blind Children in Bangalore. I am always inspired when I visit them.
My intention is to forward a third of the net profits from the proceeds of this CD to benefit The Rakum School.
I want to attract at least 1 million people to buy this CD. This translates into almost 6 million meals for these kids, or three to four additional orphanage sites for expanding the school’s scope of activities.
This may seem like a lofty goal, but it is a worthy one and I intend to achieve it.
It is my hope that like the mantra itself, this CD will have universal appeal and that the project will outlive the recording artists!
Acknowledgement and Resources
During the course of creating the Magic of Gayatri, I have gone from knowing nothing about the Gayatri Mantra to knowing just a little bit. Enough to keep me wanting to know much more. During the past year, I have read many books and studied hundreds and hundreds of web pages. I read translations of aspects of the Vedas. I spoke to laypersons and experts. I am indebted to all these people.
I am especially in deep debt to
Satya Sai Baba (http://www.vinnica.ua/~sss/gayatr_l.htm),
Shanti Mayi (http://www.shantimayi.com/),
Wahiduddin (http://wahiduddin.net/mantra/gayatri.htm), and
the late Pandit Shri Ram Sharma Acharya (http://www.vatikashaktipeeth.com/library/gayatri_sadhana.html)
for the information they have provided in their books and websites, which I have had the good fortune to discover, study and apply.
The ultimate source for all these wisdoms are, in most part, the Vedas, and I continue to marvel at the wisdom and the insights of the sages of ancient times who recorded these truths based on channeling the Divine and through deep meditation.
I also owe thanks to the many friends and family members who gave me ongoing feedback on all aspects of the project – from artwork to musical interpretation to just encouraging me to believe that I could do something I had never done before in my life.
“We can do no great things; we can only do small things with great Love.”
– Mother Teresa