Pilgrim Heart by Krishna Das
Pilgrim Heart - by Krishna DasIndia's "Greatest Hits" performed with style and grace. Guest performances by Sting and Amit Chaterjee. Excellent follow-up to One Track Heart.Tracks Namah Shivaya Govinda Hare Mountain Hare Krishna Mahamantra Meltdown Hare Hare Mahadev Kalabinashini Kali/Goddess Suite Mother Song Devi Puja Jaya Jagatambe Yah Devi Devi RaveWhat Krishna Das says about Pilgrim Heart: Welcome to The Greatest Hits of the Kali Yuga. Part 2! The songs on this CD reflect a process that has been going on a long time, at the very least, the last 51 years since I was born this time. It seems that everything has led perfectly to this moment...Growing up on Long Island, hiding under the covers late at night listening to Rock and Roll on the radio. Music dreaming. Dreaming of freedom and the songs that brought me a taste of it. Dreaming of mountains and sky and open space and then getting on my bike and riding off to the prison of high school. What torture it was to be stuck in a life that I didn't even know I was stuck in because I didn't know that you could get out of it. "I was floating down the river of life, caught in the current of this world. In the river, I met the Guru and he led me to the other shore." In 1968, I was living with some friends who were Jungian acid head mountain climbers. They had heard that Richard Alpert had returned from India and were going to go to New Hampshire to see him. They asked me to come along, but I wasn't interested in any 'American Yogis.' What can I say? So I stayed home. They were supposed to be back the next day, but it was three days later that I saw their old beat up Jaguar sedan cutting across the road through the field that led to the house. I had just finished milking our two goats, Alice Bailey and Madame Blavatsky and was standing there waiting for them. My friend got out of his car and turned around. He was lit up like a light bulb and had this totally insane grin on his face. He just stared at me and didn't say anything. I dropped the milk cans and said, "Just write the directions down for me. I'm leaving right away!" I jumped into my car and headed out into the coldest night of the year. I had the heater on full blast but only cold air was coming out. The snow was so bad that it took me all night to make a 6 hour trip, but I didn't care. I was on my first pilgrimage and I was cruisin'! I pulled into the driveway early in the morning and turned the engine off. There was total silence, surrounded by snow covered fields and huge pine trees. As I turned to walk to the house, I felt a thump in my chest, as if my heart 'skipped a beat.' I thought, 'Gee that's weird, I'm not nervous.' I walked up to the house and the door was opened by a smiling bearded guy who just silently pointed up the stairs. 'Weird', I thought. I walked up the stairs and saw this huge head smiling at me, looking like it was perched on the ledge over the stairs. It was Ram Dass. We sat and exchanged a few pleasantries. I was very uptight. We spent the whole day together but I don't remember anything of what went on that day except he gave me a mantra to repeat. Many hours later, Ram Dass said that it was time to eat dinner and I could stay or go, but that I should decide at this point. Then he said, 'Whether you stay or go, your mantra will protect you." Weird, again. I had to go because I had to drive my school bus in the morning and I hadn't slept all the previous night. So off I went into the sunset. After a while I started to get really tired, so I pulled off the road and set my alarm clock for and hour's sleep and put it up on the dash. I woke up kind of confused, not knowing where I was when all of sudden I realized that I was driving!!! Somehow the alarm had gone off and in my sleep, I turned it off, started the car and headed of down the road. I had no idea how long I had been driving or how far. The first thought I had when I realized what was happening was, "Your mantra will protect you." I yelled that mantra at the top of my lungs all the way home! After meeting Ram Dass, my whole life changed. I immediately felt that whatever it was that I was looking for actually existed. I didn't know if I would ever find it myself, but just knowing that IT was real, allowed something in me to relax. Of course, when I returned home, my whole life immediately fell apart. But the falling apart led to the coming back together in a different way. The years I spent with my Guru and all the years since then have been a process of opening the heart, letting go of fear and self judging and allowing myself to be me. Chanting has deepened and continues to deepen the pathway for the river of love to flow into me and through me. Chanting has been my constant companion on the journey. It has been a mirror and the face in it. It is the car and the road the car is travelling on. It is the caress of love and the cry of ecsacy. It is tears and longing. It is finding and losing. It is the soundtrack of my life-movie that I listen to as I sit back and eat popcorn, watching it all unfold. Chanting, or Kirtan, is the heart practice of Devotional Yoga. When we are in love, our hearts are constantly calling out the name of our lover. Chanting is that calling. Chanting opens the inner eye of the heart. It cleans the mirror of the heart so it can clearly reflect what is already within us. The great Ones who have reached the other shore and returned for our sake, have given us as a gift these mantras, these Names of God, as they are called in India. We don't have to create anything; we don't have to manufacture any emotions or feelings. We don't have to make something happen. It already is. All we have to do is remember. This year (1997) has witnessed the passing of two of Maharaj-ji's great old devotees: K.C Tewari. and Dada Mukerjee K.C. Tewari was like a father to me and without his love, wisdom and sense of humor, I would have been dead meat a long time ago. Dada was the manifestation of surrender and faith in the Guru. To spend time with him was to take a bath in Maharaj-ji. The stories flowed from his lips endlessly and they still can be heard if we are quiet enough inside. I offer these songs to their lasting presence in my heart and the hearts of all who met them. Jai!