KRISHNA DAS CATALOG
In the early 1990s, Krishna Das co-founded the Triloka Records/Karuna Music label, which established itself as a pioneering leader in the development of world music. The label served as the exclusive home to KD’s first recordings, and its roster of artists included pioneering musicians Jai Uttal, Hindustani Classical Sarod master Ali Akbar Khan, and the innovative and experimental jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean, among others. The company also pioneered transformational media projects with spiritual teachers, including Ram Dass and Deepak Chopra. After releasing projects on a number of record labels over the years, Krishna Das launched his own label, Krishna Das Music in 2008.
The recordings below are listed from newest to oldest. In addition to these recordings, Krishna Das has also contributed tracks to such compilations as “Taos Hanuman: The Neem Karoli Baba Hanuman Temple Collection of Chalisas,” and “A Bhaktimala for Ram Dass,” and has collaborated on recordings with a number of like-minded artists, including Trevor Hall, David Nichtern, Nina Rao, Ty Burhoe, Devadas, MC Yogi, and more. He has also appeared in several documentaries, including “Mantra: Sounds Into Silence” and “Ram Dass, Fierce Grace,” and in 2013 he recorded the voice over narration for the videogame “The Ramayan Wars,” available on smartphones and tablets.
We’ve also included a list of KD’s books, films, podcasts, and other media, along with descriptions.
Peace of My Heart: Chants to Calm the Mind and Ease the Heart (2018)
Krishna Das, in discussing the specific intention behind the recording of 2018’s “Peace of My Heart,” a collection of lengthy, slow and evenly tempo-ed chants, said that, “many times over the years, I’ve been asked if I could record longer versions of the chants that I have been doing. I have a dear friend who works with children with autism and special needs. She teaches them yoga using my CDs. The chanting has a soothing and relaxing effect on the kids, but when the chants speed up, they get anxious and become distracted. So, I offered to make longer versions of the same chants but keeping a steady tempo. This recording, done live in the studio with the great musicians that I regularly play with, is the result of her request. This music can also be used for relaxation, for meditation, for breathwork, for body work/spa, and in many other ways. It’s the sound of the Divine Names resonating in our Consciousness that creates new opening and plants seeds for spiritual connection.” This album is an offering of the Kirtan Wallah Foundation.
Trust in The Heart (2017)
“Trust in the Heart” was recorded in a live studio setting, with KD and the band playing together live in the same room at the same time. It is a return to the roots of kirtan, a collection of prayers and chants that would feel equally at home in a traditional temple or cranked up on a car stereo on a cross country sojourn, with melodies that recall both American rock as well as traditional Indian influences. Krishna Das produced this album along with longtime friend Jay Messina, a veteran engineer/producer who’s worked with legendary artists like Aerosmith, Miles Davis, John Lennon, Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, and many, many others, and together they have crafted a stripped-down, elegantly uncompromised and deeply felt collection of recordings.
Laughing at the Moon: A Collection of Classics, 1996-2005 (2015)
A collection of Krishna Das’s classics from 1996 to 2005, these songs have been favorites of our family of chanters over the years. Along with the lyrics in the accompanying booklet, Krishna Das has included a few words about each track.
Kirtan Wallah (2014)
A successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter (“New Music from My Heart to Yours,” in 2013) yielded almost four times its initial pledge and enabled the production of KD’s 14th album, Kirtan Wallah, “one who sings kirtan.” At its heart, this album is a natural confluence of KD’s musically inspired streams, drawing a heart-connection between Indian kirtan & Western rock, between the foothills of the Himalayas & Nashville. The album’s defining statement might just come during the second track, “Sri Argala Stotram (Selected Verses) / Show Me Love,” a mash up of traditional Hindu prayer and Foreigner’s rock ballad “I Wanna Know What Love Is”. Perhaps the sweetest track is “Saraswati,” a chant written by Russian pop icon, Boris Grebenschikov, complete with acoustic guitars and deep backing vocals offered by Grebenschikov himself.
Live Ananda (2012)
Nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age album category and recorded live in 2007 over a three-day retreat at Ananda Ashram, a quiet and idyllic spiritual center nestled in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, Live Ananda captures the profound depth, moods, feel and experience of KD’s live kirtans. Krishna Das is accompanied by expert musicians on tabla, mrdanga, bass, violin, flute, and cymbals, blending the musical and spiritual traditions of the East with the voice of the West to create this rendition of call-and-response chanting that leads us into ananda—happiness and our true state of being.
One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das (Soundtrack, 2012)
The Original Soundtrack for the award-winning documentary about Krishna Das features two previously unreleased Krishna Das recordings, “Shiva Puja and Chant” and a version of the “Hallelujah Chalisa.” The film’s original score, composed by J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr.) and Devadas, is included in the soundtrack, and sonically melds the musical worlds of the East and West.
Heart as Wide as World (2010)
“Heart as Wide as the World” offers new and original English songs flowing into chants from the East, beautifully accompanied by Western and Eastern instrumentation. The project took shape conceptually following a conversation KD had with his friend and coproducer of 2005’s “All One,” Walter Becker of Steely Dan. “Walter came to hear me sing out in Maui and said, ‘We’ve got to do a garage band record,’” KD remembers. “That was the first conscious awareness I had that I wanted to do a record that was . . . rockier.” KD’s longtime collaborator David Nichtern encouraged him to pursue this vision and ended up playing guitar and producing the album. The “band” includes bassist Mark Egan (Pat Metheny Group, Sting, Marianne Faithfull), drummer Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney), and keyboardist Kevin Bents (Donald Fagen, Jewel, Boz Scaggs).
Heart Full of Soul (2008)
“Heart Full of Soul” is a vibrant live recording that immerses the listener in the joyous experience of an evening of devotional chant with Krishna Das, from beginning to end. This double CD is rich with the burnished treasure of the Divine Name, passed back and forth between KD and the audience, as they travel together the varied terrain of the heart: from the funky rhythms of “Radhe Radhe Shyam” through the intense longing of “All One (Hare Krishna)” and the balm of “Jaya Bhagavan,” ending with KD’s joyous version of the gospel classic “Jesus on the Main Line.”
Gathering in the Light (2007, with Prana)
After hearing Prana, Baird Hershey’s overtone singing group, Krishna Das ended up inviting the group to sing at his larger benefit Kirtans in the New York area. As a part of those evenings, KD would join Prana to sing Baird’s arrangement of his chant, “Puja.” In 2006 Baird and KD decided to record “Puja” for Prana’s new CD, but the resulting 12-minute piece was so striking, they resolved to record an entire CD together. The result is “Gathering in the Light,” with Krishna Das singing seven of his most beloved chants over arrangements created by Baird and sung by Prana. The only sound on this recording is the human voice and percussion.
Flow of Grace: Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa (2006)
This double CD is the same recording that accompanies the book, “Flow of Grace.” For the stand-alone CD version, a booklet offers a translation of the Hanuman Chalisa, as well as some background on the 40-verse chant, which is a lyrical invocation praising Hanuman, the monkey god known as the pinnacle of bhakti (devotion) and the remover of fears and obstacles. On the CDs you will find six different melodies of the Hanuman Chalisa with musical accompaniment and two instructional recitations of all 40 verses, as well as a wonderful rendition of the “Ring Song.”
All One (2005)
This 50+ minute, in-depth exploration of the Hare Krishna mantra is a suite in four movements. Featuring Steely Dan’s Walter Becker on bass, Def Leppard’s Rick Allen on drums, and the Ever-Changing Kosmic Kirtan Posse, the album stylistically touches on influences ranging from Western Classical to South African Township and builds in mood throughout the movements from the meditative to the ecstatic. Largely recorded in single takes at New York’s Avatar Studios over three days in November 2004, “All One” features 18 musicians and 70 singers.
Greatest Hits of the Kali Yuga (2004)
Ten years after he started to “sing with people,” KD launched his first compilation, an overview of the journey so far. Tracks include choice selections from his first five solo albums, as well as a new studio recording, “Bhajelo-ji Hanuman,” and a Dub Farm remix of “Baba Hanuman” (from “Breath of the Heart”). Included with the CD is a DVD of the feature-length documentary, “One Life at a Time,” directed by Mahavir Michael Drumm, featuring clips of live kirtan and interviews with Krishna Das and friends. The DVD also contains full-length videos of four of the live chants that are excerpted in the documentary.
A Drop of the Ocean (2004, with Sultan Khan)
This project was originally conceived as a recording of Sultan Khan (1940-2011), one of India’s greatest contemporary musicians, performing traditional compositions on his signature sarangi, an intensely demanding and hauntingly beautiful classical Indian bowed instrument. But the recording took an unexpected turn in the studio as Khan insisted to include a vocal call-and-response between him and Krishna Das. The result is an extraordinary conversation between two men from very different musical traditions, in the shared language of bhakti, of the heart. In a continuing spirit of collaboration, Krishna Das later added readings of devotional texts in further response to the depth and sweetness of Khan’s singing and playing, as additional “windows . . . into the beauty that lies within.”
Door of Faith (2003)
Like “Breath of the Heart,” this album was produced by the legendary Rick Rubin, in his home studio. Known not only for his seminal rap and rock recordings, but also for his definitive work with Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash, Rubin is deservedly famous for his ability to capture the essence of an artist’s expression. There is nothing extraneous on these tracks. This album is centered solely on Krishna Das’s sonorous voice and his harmonium. There is only sparse instrumental ornamentation, with traces of strings, horns, and keyboards moving in and out of the landscape. A departure from Krishna Das’s signature call-and-response-style chant, this is a deeply moving collection of solitary prayers. A duet with his daughter, Janaki, on “Mere Gurudev” is a most tender invocation.
Breath of the Heart (2001)
Breath of the Heart marks the first collaboration between Krishna Das and legendary producer Rick Rubin. Recorded at Hollywood’s world-famous Cello Studios in 2001, Rubin elegantly captures the magic of a live kirtan with KD. The recording boasts a stellar group of supporting musicians, including Ty Burhoe (tabla), Steve Gorn (bansuri), Lili Haydn (violin), John McDowell (percussion), Benmont Tench (keyboard, piano), and Benjy Wertheimer (esraj), along with the heartful singing of the fifty-strong Kosmic Kirtan Posse Choir (including Beastie Boy Mike D), and the result is both transcendent and exquisitely embodied.
Live on Earth . . . For a Limited Time Only (2000)
After a few years on the road, Krishna Das wanted to put out a record that brought the experience of a live kirtan to everyone’s homes. He started recording events in San Rafael (CA) and Seattle (WA), where Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic played one of his most famous basses (on “Hanuman Puja,” “Hanuman Chaleesa,” and “Sita Ram”) before sending it to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame the next day. The recordings continued in Pittsburgh, by invitation of Rusted Roots’ Jim Donovan, and resulted in a double album where KD leads call-and-response kirtan, interspersed with several more meditative solo prayers.
Pilgrim Heart (1998)
“Pilgrim Heart” features a dozen popular tracks, each anchored by KD’s deep and heartfelt vocals. The arrangements are colorfully rich, driven by African beats and adorned with finger cymbals, sarangi, khol, and electronic programming to create the signature pop-worldbeat sound of this ever-popular recording. The album includes, “Namah Shivaya,” which KD jokingly calls his “greatest hit,” and “Devi Puja,” the cycle of prayers to the Goddess that he often sings in his kirtans and workshops. Pop icon Sting is a guest collaborator, with vocals on “Mountain Hare Krishna,” and bass on “The Ring Song,” which KD learned at the foothills of the Himalayas. “The Ring Song” is presented with a short narrative of the Ramayana, playfully set to an ebullient township jive.
One Track Heart (1996)
This is Krishna Das’s first recorded collection of prayers and chants, his calling card when he first started “chanting with people” in the U.S. Filled with the simple chants he had learned while living in India, it’s a mix of upbeat, drum-driven tracks and lush, meditative ones. There’s less call-and-response (kirtan) structure than in some of his later recordings, and the album features vocal contributions from Diana Rogers programming by Jim Wilson (Little Wolf, Tulku). The album, produced by Jai Uttal, ends with a special gift: a rare and precious recording of Maharaj-ji (Neem Karoli Baba) chanting “Sri Ram.”
Chants of the Lifetime: Searching for a Heart of Gold (2010)
Krishna Das offers a unique book-with-audio download combination that explores his fascinating path, from his youth to his time with his Guru and beyond, exploring his experiences on the Spiritual Path. This memoir includes photos from Krishna Das’s years in India, and from his life as a kirtan leader. The exclusive audio that accompanies the book consists of several “private” chanting sessions with KD, each recorded to simulate a one-on-one chanting session with him. The idea is for the listener to explore his or her own practice of chanting and develop a deepening connection with the entire chanting experience.
Flow of Grace: Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa (2006; revised edition 2019)
This richly illustrated, 88-page book is accompanied by two CDs, and was especially created to deepen our understanding of Hanuman, the monkey-God, one of the greatest Sacred Beings in India. It is through the chanting of the “Hanuman Chalisa,” a traditional 40-verse hymn of praise, that the story of the monkey-God is revealed to us. Hanuman is the pinnacle of bhakti (devotion) and the remover of fears and obstacles. Krishna Das explores the correct pronunciation of each of the verses, the means of invoking Hanuman’s grace and healing, and the power of chanting. On the CDs you will find six different melodies of the Hanuman Chalisa with musical accompaniment and two instructional recitations of all 40 verses, as well as a wonderful rendition of the “Ring Song.”
Chants of a Lifetime: Searching for a Heart of Gold Audiobook (2021)
Recorded by KD on the 10th anniversary of the first publication of his memoir by the same name, the audio version includes an updated introduction and is accompanied by a PDF with photos, sheet music, glossary, and recommended reading. The chants offered with the print/electronic book, especially designed for the listener to develop their own chanting practice, are also included in the audio version.
Call and Response Podcast (2018 – ongoing)
Krishna Das and Kirtan Wallah Foundation offer this ongoing podcast series with talks taken from the many questions received during KD’s workshops. Additionally, special edition podcasts include KD’s conversations with teachers, colleagues, and friends, and span a wide range of discussion topics. All podcasts include a transcription for easy reference, and the episodes are downloadable and available for streaming on various channels.
Pilgrim Heart Podcast (2014 – ongoing)
The Be Here Now Network is inspired by “Be Here Now,” Ram Dass’s iconic aphorism and seminal book, and aims to continue its legacy by supporting today’s rapidly expanding new generation of spiritual seekers with accessible platforms to propel these heart-centered teachings into the future. The platform includes podcasts by renowned spiritual teachers, among them Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield. In the Pilgrim Heart Podcast, KD shares his kirtan practice, personal stories, and remembrances of Maharajji.
Pilgrim of the Heart Workshop Recording (2001)
Recorded in Boulder, Colorado, before a live audience, this three-CD collection (now available as a digital download) is a kind of early spoken memoir where KD tells the story of his life, offering it as a metaphor for those seeking to follow the Bhakti Yoga path of loving devotion, the total surrender of all acts, thoughts, and emotions to the heart of the divine. Includes stories of Neem Karoli Baba, Hanuman, and the Devotional Tradition of India.
Krishna Das: Selected Sheet Music Volume I (2014)
Created especially for the Kickstarter campaign “New Music from My Heart to Yours” in 2013, which made possible the launching of the Kirtan Wallah album in 2014, this book offers sheet music for 23 different chants from the albums, “Live on Earth” and “Pilgrim Heart,” as well as from the music included in KD’s memoir Chants of a Lifetime. Soon to be available as a digital download.
Krishna Das: Breath of the Heart Songbook (2012)
This first volume of Kirtan Central’s “Chantcyclopedia” series features song sheets in two notation styles, Western and Indian, for each composition on Krishna Das’s “Breath of the Heart” album. Each chapter contains rare photos from Krishna Das’s times in India with his guru, Neem Karoli Baba (Maharajji), and includes exclusive behind-the-music stories from Krishna Das, as he illuminates how the songs were composed, what the mantras mean, and more.
Krishna Das Live in New York City, Vol. 1 (2013)
Recorded in October 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Paul and St. Andrew on the Upper West Side of New York City, this film is a cinematic immersion into a live and full-length Krishna Das kirtan. Checking in at more than two hours, the setlist includes chants from the “Kirtan Wallah” album, as well as classic old favorites. Also included is a bonus short film, “The Making of Kirtan Wallah,” bringing you behind the scenes of KD’s 2014 release. Available for download and online streaming.
One Track Heart – The Story of Krishna Das (2012)
This documentary follow’s young Jeffrey Kagel’s journey to India in the early 1970s and back, his struggles with depression and drug abuse, and his eventual emergence as Krishna Das, the world-renowned spiritual teacher, chant master and Grammy-nominated recording artist. Featuring interviews with “Be Here Now” author Ram Dass, Grammy-winning producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash), New York Times bestselling author Sharon Salzberg, and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Daniel Goleman, as well as a score by Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis and Devadas, “One Track Heart” is the inspiring story of how one man’s journey continues to transform countless lives. Directed by Jeremy Frindel, this film won the Best Documentary Award at the Maui Film Festival in 2012. It has been screened in over 100 US cities and 10 countries. Available on DVD and online stream.
One Life at a Time (2004)
Presented as a DVD accompanying the album, “The Greatest Hits of the Kali Yuga,” this feature-length documentary, directed by Mahavir Michael Drumm, is a chronicle of Krishna Das’s life and spiritual journey. The film includes extensive live kirtan footage and in-depth interviews with KD, as well as insightful commentary from several friends and colleagues, including Ram Dass, Sharon Salzberg, and Ty Burhoe.