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The world is in need of spiritual, physical, and emotional healing during these challenging times of isolation and disease. This project was born out of the desire to support people in moving through the uncertain times of COVID-19 and beyond, supporting ongoing wellness.
During the first weeks of the pandemic, while she was quarantined in a cabin in the Sierras, Johanna Beekman discovered a beautiful Kali “Mantra for Removing All Diseases” from Sri Sakthi Narayani Amma, a beloved teacher from Southern India. She began a morning Sadhana practice with the Sanskrit mantra as a way to deal with her own sense of isolation and her fears during the pandemic. As she chanted the mantra, a melody began to come through.
As the song evolved, she developed a vision of an opportunity to connect and heal through song and practice. Once she arrived at home, she recruited an inspiring cast of yoga and kirtan luminaries to bring it to life (including Krishna Das, Gina Salā, Ragani, Girish, Masood Ali Khan, Sianna Sherman, Kamini Natarajan, Ben Leinbach, Hans Christian, and many others). More than twenty musicians gathered from around the globe to sing and play with her on a recording—with the blessing and the voice of the Indian guru credited with transmitting the mantra.
She created a music video that includes performances by all of these artists, who generously donated their time and talents. Proceeds from sales of recordings go to support Mitrata Nepal Foundation for Children (St. Louis, MO) to help the organization deal with the challenges of navigating and surviving COVID-19 in their own community. Their work focuses on the most underprivileged children in the country, with services that wrap around all aspects of their lives, including supporting their families and communities during crises. Doctor Sudan Adhikari was a sponsored child through Mitrata’s program and is now volunteering his medical knowledge and skills in his village. He shares his perspective on the realities of the pandemic in Nepal here.
About the Mantra
Kreem (beeja /seed mantra for Goddess Kali)
Sarva (all) Rogam (diseases)
Nasi Nasi (be eliminated/ vanquished)
According to Sri Sakthi Amma’s teachings, “In ancient times the sages discovered the beej sounds for the panchabutas (5 elements) that make up life itself. These are NA – earth, MA – air, SI – water, VA – air, and YA – space, which comprises “Nama Shivaya.”
The sages also used this wisdom to bring balance to the elements by using other mantras, such as this mantra (Om Kreem Maha Kali Sarva Rogam Nasi Nasi).
The Na of Nasi refers to the earth element (where the disturbance of negativity or disease is).
The Si of Nasi refers to the fire element and will bring balance by destroying the negativity found in the earth.
Sarva means “all” and Rogam means “disease.”
So we are praying to Maha Kali and invoking these vibrations to remove and destroy the disease (or negativity) from the earth.
This mantra has its roots in the Ancient Tamil Siddha Tradition and was especially utilised in times of major crisis or increased negativity.”
Kavita Kat Macmillan
Sri Sakthi Amma
Guitar – Jim Beckwith
Tabla – Ankush Vimawala
Bass – Danny Solomon & Hans Christian
Sarangi – Hans Christian
Harmonium – Kavita Kat Macmillan
Hang – Masood Ali Khan
Aakansha Maheshwari (BollyPop)
Chant arranged by Sri Sakthi Amma from traditional chants
Music by Johanna Beekman
Sanskrit Consult: Sri Sakthi Amma, add’l help from Gina Salā, Krishna Das, Ankush Vimawala
Production by Johanna Beekman
Arrangement consultation, percussion programming by Ben Leinbach
Mixing and mastering by Hans Christian
Cover image adapted from a design by River Ananda
© 2020 Johanna Beekman Music
Footage of Mitrata children supplied by Mitrata Nepal Foundation for Children and Nonfiction Media
Production by Johanna Beekman and L Cooper