If the raging pandemic and world issues are taking a toll on your mental health, it's time to press pause and take a deep breath. Music can provide a soothing getaway to a troubled mind when the going gets tough.
Musician Shivali Bhammer shares her pick of spiritual tracks that can help you de-stress:
The beauty of spiritual music is that they are a source and force of positivity. They speak only of good things, and when you listen to that, even if you are not registering it, it will seep into your subconscious and fill you with love.
When I am not feeling my best, my go-to spiritual tracks are from my first album, The Bhajan Project. They are Jag Mein Sundar Hain Do Naam, the Hanuman Chalisa and the Gayatri Mantra.
Jag Mein Sundar Hain Do Naam was beautifully sung by Anup Jalota Ji and he very graciously gave us the rights to reproduce it, it was nominated for best debut song at the Global Indian Music Awards.
However, what makes it truly special is that there is a very universal message in this track. It says that despite the many names we have for God or a higher consciousness/prana, all names are equally beautiful. When I listen to it, I remind myself that I come from a philosophy that doesn’t seek to divide but through its many manifestations of deities, it has illustrated that Godliness can be found in everything.
When I was a child my great-grandmother (Mota Ba) would insist that we recite the Hanuman Chalisa every time we were in the car and my father has always told me that the Hanuman Chalisa has protected him in times of need. In such turbulent times, we really need to tap into our inner strength. My rendition of the Hanuman Chalisa is pretty fast and upbeat because it is designed for you to be able to listen to it anytime anywhere, even if you’re running, or to help your kids learn it since it is rather catchy.
The Gayatri Mantra was written by Sage Vishvamitra. He was born a king but gave up his kingdom after being inspired by Sage Vasistha’s power. Despite many obstacles in his path to becoming a Brahmarishi, his sheer persistence and self-belief helped him achieve his goal. It is said that he was given the name Vishvamitra (friend to all) by Goddess Saraswati. The Gayatri Mantra gives us the power to acknowledge our own vital energy. It will help the listener feel calm and diffuse any negative thought patterns you may have.
When you listen to the Gaytri Mantra try and identify with the sun and infinite light.
Apart from these three, I also have a few favourites on my second album, Urban Temple. Shivoham, Aum Namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya, and Vaishnava Jana To.
Shivoham will remind you to be in a state of meditation and poise like Lord Shiva. The Vishnu mantra will enable you to surrender and tap into a spiritual love, and Vaishnava Jana To will remind you of your higher ideals and morals. Humanity needs all of us to pull together. There is no one who is above us, nor beneath us. You may feel differences with others due to upbringing, culture, religion, etc. but these are very superficial. Vaishnava Jana To reminds us to be compassionate towards everyone.
So, happy listening!