From Joy I Came features beautiful guitar interpretations of chants by Paramhansa Yogananda. This first CD is a collection of instrumental interpretations of devotional chants written by Paramhansa Yogananda and performed by Panduranga. Performing on 12-string, 6-string steel, and classical guitars, Panduranga creates a soundscape of meditative and inspirational music. Live performances are highlighted by masterful guitar work as well as devotional interludes.

Along with the teachings of yoga, Yogananda brought his own style of chanting. He translated many traditional Bengali chants into English while composing many original devotional chants. What makes the chants unique and powerful is that Yogananda would chant each of the melodies until he achieved Samadhi, a state of ecstasy and union with the Divine. In this state, he sowed the vibrations of the chants into the ether, making it available to all devotees for eternity. These chants, offered in instrumental form and performed by Panduranga, provide music for contemplation and devotion.

Panduranga Heater

Playing guitar since the age of 13, Panduranga has performed and recorded in diverse styles over the past five decades. Though once a dyed-in-the-wool rock’n’roller, Panduranga has lived the last twenty-two years at Ananda Village in Nevada County, California, a spiritual community founded on the teachings of the great spiritual master, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi. Over the years, he developed his own expression of sacred chants performed on acoustic guitar, bringing inspirational arrangements and instrumentation to timeless melodies. This first CD, “From Joy I Came,” is a collection of instrumental interpretations of devotional chants written by Paramhansa Yogananda. Performing on 12-string, 6-string steel, and classical guitars, Panduranga creates a soundscape of meditative and inspirational music. Live performances are highlighted by masterful guitar work as well as devotional interludes.

Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda (often spelled 'Paramahansa' Yogananda) was born on January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India. He was the first yoga master of India to permanently live and teach in the West. Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and traveled throughout the United States on what he called his 'spiritual campaigns'. His enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls in America. Hundreds of thousands came to see the yogi from India. At some packed venues thousands were turned away nightly. A national sensation, Yogananda's lectures and books were extensively written about by the major media of the era, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Life. He was even invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952.

Yogananda's initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting impact has been even greater. Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution throughout the world. His message was nonsectarian and universal. Yogananda's Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, sent him to the West with the admonition, "The West is high in material attainments, but lacking in spiritual understanding. It is God's will that you play a role in teaching mankind the value of balancing the material with an inner, spiritual life."

Yogananda brought clarity to hundreds of thousands of people regarding the ancient teachings of India - previously shrouded in the cultural assumptions and terminology of an era long past. These teachings include the path of Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda called the 'jet-airplane' route to God, consisting of ancient yoga techniques to hasten the spiritual evolution of the student.

"The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul's power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God," said Paramhansa Yogananda in the book "The Essence of Self-Realization". He further wrote that "Self- Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God's omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing."

If you'd like to read more about Yogananda's work, click here.

Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, was the first Indian Master to live permanently in the United States. Arriving in 1920, he lived hi remaining 32 years in America offering the ancient yogic teachings of the Rishis. He is well known for introducing the wisdom of the East to the spiritually hungry West, as he was able to present this timeless wisdom in a scientific way, acceptable to the western mind.

Along with the teachings of yoga, Yogananda brought his own style of chanting. He translated many traditional Bengali chants into English while composing many original devotional chants. What makes the chants unique and powerful is that Yogananda would chant each of the melodies until he achieved Samadhi, a state of ecstasy and union with the Divine. In this state, he sowed the vibrations of the chants into the ether, making it available to all devotees for eternity. It is my blessings to offer these chants in an instrumental form, providing music for contemplating and devotion. I pray you feel their joy, as I have, in producing this music.
In Joy,
Panduranga
Nevada City, California, May 2016