Chanting is an ancient technique for focusing and uplifting the mind and soul into higher states of consciousness. Paramhansa Yogananda, great Yoga master and author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, writes, “Chanting is half the battle.” He also wrote, “Sound is the most powerful force in the universe.” The chants on this recording will help you establish a devotional connection with the Divine as you prepare your mind for meditation.

Thou Art My Life features chants written by Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Yogananda. They are performed by Ramesha Nani, one of the directors of Ananda Music Worldwide. The chanting is accompanied by harmonium.

1. Thousands of Suns (5:47)
2. Who is in My Temple? (6:04)
3. Blue Lotus Feet (5:34)
4. Thou Art My Life (5:12)
5. From Joy I Came (4:23)
6. Come out of the Darkness, Mother (4:35)
7. Door of My Heart (7:47)
8. I Am the Bubble (6:25)
9. I will Never Forget Thee (4:18)
10. Polestar of My Life (5:44)

Ramesha Nani

Ramesha (Fabio) Nani began his formal music training with classical guitar at the age of seven. After switching instruments at thirteen, he received his Diploma in violin performance from the Music Conservatory in Como (Italy). But by the time he finished his studies he had become disillusioned with music as a career and instead became a music teacher in his hometown of Lugano, Switzerland. During this time he shifted his musical focus to studying voice with Swiss soprano, Giovanna Zaugg-Casella. Years later, during repeated visits to the Ananda meditation and retreat center in Assisi (Italy), Ramesha was introduced to Ananda Music, and as he tuned into it more deeply he felt himself changing. His love of the violin was rekindled and he began to play again. But now, music has a completely different meaning for him. He realizes that what matters most is not how well he plays or sings, but rather how open he is as a channel for blessings to flow through the music and touch people’s hearts.

Ramesha met his wife, Bhagavati, when they performed together at Ananda Assisi and moved with her to the United States in 2006 in order to participate more fully in the music ministry of Ananda. Ramesha is in demand as a vocal instructor; in addition to in-person lessons, he teaches online to students throughout the world (www.vocalbliss.net).

Bhagavati and Ramesha formed The Harmony Duo soon after their marriage. At that time they realized that—being of different races, from different countries and cultures, speaking different languages, but sharing spirituality and a deep love for music—harmony was (and is) the foundation of their life together. Bhagavati and Ramesha continue to perform together as The Harmony Duo, while also serving as directors of Ananda Music worldwide and as members of The Joy Singers vocal quartet.

Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters, 1926–2013) was a direct disciple of the great spiritual master Paramhansa Yogananda (author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi), a bestselling author, and an internationally known lecturer and composer. Widely recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on meditation and yoga, he taught these principles and techniques to hundreds of thousands of students around the world.

In 1968 Kriyananda founded Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, dedicated to spreading the spirit of friendship, service, and community around the globe. Ananda is recognized as one of the most successful intentional communities in the world, and over 1,000 people reside in Ananda communities in the US, India, and Italy. The European retreat and community located in Assisi, Italy, also serves Ananda meditation groups in Europe and Russia.

Ananda Village is home to The Expanding Light, a world-renowned guest retreat facility where thousands of visitors annually visit for renewal or instruction in many aspects of meditation, yoga, and the spiritual life. The nearby Ananda Meditation Retreat, located on Ananda's first property, functions both as a retreat and as the site for Ananda's Institute of Alternative Living.

An advocate of simple living and high thinking, Swami Kriyananda's more than 140 books cover a wide range of subjects emphasizing the need to live wisely by one's own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas.

A composer since 1964, Kriyananda wrote over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. Many of his later albums are instrumental works with brief affirmations or visualizations. Chuck Dilberto of Awareness Magazine wrote, “[His] words and music are full of his life and light. His sole intention is to heal, something we could all use during these chaotic times.”

Through Crystal Clarity Publishers, his works have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 25 languages.

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.

Chants:

1. Thousands of Suns (5:47)
2. Who is in My Temple? (6:04)
3. Blue Lotus Feet (5:34)
4. Thou Art My Life (5:12)
5. From Joy I Came (4:23)
6. Come out of the Darkness, Mother (4:35)
7. Door of My Heart (7:47)
8. I Am the Bubble (6:25)
9. I will Never Forget Thee (4:18)
10. Polestar of My Life (5:44)