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—and was the home of KD’s first recordings, as well as other artists such as Jai Uttal, the Indian music legend Ali Akbar Khan, and jazz musician Jackie McLean, among others. The company also pioneered transformational media projects with spiritual teachers including Ram Dass and Deepak Chopra. Over the years, KD has released music with other recording companies and now he has launched his own label, Krishna Das Music.

The recordings below are listed from newest to oldest. Krishna Das has also contributed tracks to compilations like Taos Hanuman: The Neem Karoli Baba Hanuman Temple Collection of Chalisas and A Bhaktimala for Ram Dass, as well as collaborating with other artists (David Nichtern, Nina Rao, Ty Burhoe, Devadas, MC Yogi . . .). He has appeared in documentaries such as Mantra: Sounds Into Silence and Ram Dass, Fierce Grace.

You will also find here a list of KD’s books, films, podcasts, and other media. But keep in mind that he does not stick to traditional formats: In 2013, he recorded the narration for The Ramayan Wars, a videogame app available for smartphone and tablet.

Music

 

Peace of My Heart: Chants to Calm the Mind and Ease the Heart (2018)
KD describes this double album in his own words: “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)
On this album, all music was recorded in a live studio setting with KD singing and musicians playing 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 being sung in a temple as being 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—weaving together what is perhaps his most stripped-down, elegantly uncompromising collection of recordings since Door of Faith (2003), and the carefully crafted simplicity of its delivery is powerful.

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 on the 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 musical 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. While he evolves as a kirtan wallah, KD continues to move closer to his Western roots, the heart of this album is still in the Names that he’s singing. Kirtan is the spiritual practice of calling out to the Self through these Divine Names, and the depth of KD’s devotion to this practice is revealed in his singing.

Live Ananda (2012)
Nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age album category, Live Ananda is the first-time release of 2007 live recordings of classic Krishna Das favorites drawn from his early studio work. These tracks capture the depth and spirit of the group of chanters on a three-day retreat in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains (NY), at the Ananda Ashram. Krishna Das is accompanied by tabla, khol mridanga, bass, violin, flute, and cymbals, blending the musical and spiritual tradition 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)
Original Soundtrack for the award-winning documentary about Krishna Das. Featuring two previously unreleased Krishna Das recordings—“Shiva Puja and Chant” and a version of “Hallelujah Chalisa”—and the score by J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr.) and Devadas, created to combine the musical worlds of the East and West.

Heart as Wide as World (2010)
Revealing the merging of KD’s youth in the American rock’n’roll world with his spiritual roots in the Indian tradition, this album brings new tracks of original English songs flowing into chants from the East, beautifully accompanied by Western and Eastern instrumentation. The idea for this album came after a chat 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)
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 that accompanies the book Flow of Grace. For the stand-alone CD version, a booklet offers background on the Hanuman Chalisa—40 lyrical verses that give praise to Hanuman, the monkey god known as the pinnacle of bhakti (devotion) and the remover of fears and obstacles—and translations. On the CDs you will find six different melodies of the Hanuman Chalisa with musical accompaniment and two instructional recitation 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 starts off on the simpler side, with Krishna Das’s slow, richly textured chanting, the drone of his harmonium, and the responses of the Ever-Changing Kosmic Kirtan Posse. The other musicians waiting in the wings, including Steely Dan’s Walter Becker (bass) and Def Leppard’s Rick Allen (drums), then step forward, sit down, and turn up the volume, when this pensive melody spreads its wings wide and takes off. Largely recorded in single takes at New York’s Avatar Studios over three days in November, 2004, All One is a mantric suite in four movements: the simple opening instrumentation; the second movement, a sort of Western classical section; the third track, which drops back down briefly for a restful moment; before opening up into a rock-and-roll ride; and the final movement, kicking in with “Radhe” to a dance party of South African township jive, trumpet and all: seventy singers and eigtheen musicians took part in this recording.

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 version 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 coming 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. Mostly, it’s Krishna Das’s sonorous voice and his harmonium, joined here and there by instrumental tracings—Western strings, horns, and keyboards. A departure from Krishna Das’s signature call-and-response-style chant this is a deeply moving collection of solo prayers—a duet with his daughter, Janaki, on “Mere Gurudev” is a most tender invocation.

Breath of the Heart (2001)
The best of the three worlds: the passionate magic of a live kirtan with Krishna Das recorded in the ultimate environment of Hollywood’s famed Cello Studios, produced by rap/rock legend, Rick Rubin, known for his transparent, essential sound. Add to the mix the contributions of 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 heartfull singing of the fifty-strong Kosmic Kirtan Posse Choir (including Beastie Boy Mike D), 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 Pittisburg, 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)
Krishna Das’s deep tones mix and mingle with African beats, finger cymbals, sarangi, khol, and electronic programming to create the signature pop-worldbeat sound of this ever-popular recording—including “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. British world-famous musician Sting is a guest collaborator in this album, with vocals in “Mountain Hare Krishna,” and bass in “The Ring Song”—which KD learned at the foothills of the Himalayas, 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 US. 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 the later recordings, with contributions by backing musicians, Diana Roger’s duet vocals, and Jim Wilson’s (Little Wolf, Tulku) programming. 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.

Books

 

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 also from his life as a kirtan leader—and the audio that is offered exclusively in the book consists of a number of “private” chanting sessions with KD. Instead of just being performances of chants for listening, the recordings make it seem as if Krishna Das himself is present for a one-on-one chanting session. 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 88-page richly illustrated book, accompanied by two CDs, was specially 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 40-verse hymm 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 recitation of all 40 verses, as well as a wonderful rendition of the “Ring Song.”

Spoken Word

 

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 with the same title, 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 podcast series with talks taken from the many questions received during KD’s workshops. In addition, these recorded sessions also include KD interviewing teachers, colleagues, and friends, covering various topics and including transcriptions for easy reference. 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, continuing its legacy and 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 and wonderful stories of his life on the Path and Maharaji-ji, through chanting, devotion, and love.

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.

Sheet Music

 

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 songsheets in two notation styles (Western and Indian) for all the songs on Krishna Das’s Breath of the Heart album. Each chapter is illustrated with rare photos from Krishna Das’s times in India with his guru Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji) and exclusive behind-the-music stories from Krishna Das, illuminating how the songs were composed, what the mantras mean, and more.

Film

 

Krishna Das Live in New York City, Vol. 1 (2013)
Recorded in October 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Paul and St. Andrew in the Upper West Side in New York City, this is a multicamera professionally recorded full-length live kirtan. In more than two hours of chants, 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 taking you behind the scenes this album released in 2014. Available for download and online stream.

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 chronicle of Krishna Das’s life and journey that 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.

 

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