Deva Premal and Miten find a feeling of spirituality when playing thousand-year-old mantras and chants, writes Alexander Sorochan on VueWeekly.
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swah Tat-savitur Vareñyam Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayāt, which loosely translates to “We meditate on that most adored supreme lord, the creator, whose divine light illumines all realms. May his divine light illumine our intellect.” This is one of the mantras that Deva Premal heard and repeated often growing up. Even before she was born, Deva Premal’s mother and father would chant to her in the womb.
Deva Premal & Miten are a pair of musicians who met 27 years ago in Pune, India. Miten was a British musician who had opened for the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Lou Reed during the 60’s and 70’s, but the ‘sex, drugs, rock and roll’ mindset of the era wasn’t for him. Instead, he decided to travel to India in search of something else.
“I didn’t really know what I was looking for, actually,” Miten says. “But, I knew it wasn’t in the music business, cause I felt like in the end, I was just making music for money, and I knew that music was too sacred to do that.”
In India, Miten found himself at the ashram of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, or Osho. If that name sound familiar, it’s because Osho has returned to the public eye recently with the release of Netflix’s new documentary Wild Wild Country. There, Miten met and fell in love with a girl from Germany, Deva Premal. It was at the commune as well, that Miten received his name from Rajneesh himself. Miten means “Friend of God.”
Since then, the couple has been travelling the world playing a combination of Sanskrit mantras and meditative music for fans. A few of their fans include his holiness the Dalai Lama and Cher.
“The music comes out of meditation,” Miten says. “It’s not there to excite anybody’s senses or to create any kind of career ambition or anything like that. We never looked at it on that level. The music is very much our spiritual practice.”
“It’s a very unifying place to meet, where we can all sing and chant together and use the power of those chants to take us to a place of silence and peace,” Deva Premal adds.
A mantra is a sort of hymn or phrase that is repeated to help with concentration during meditation. According to Miten, they are “a scientific collection of sounds that create responses in the body and metaphysical body.” They are “refined sound bites that were discovered and channelled by the wise men of India six to seven thousand years ago” and help to relax and heal the body.
During their performances, Deva Premal & Miten’s show focuses less on entertaining the audience and more on bringing people together to meditate and find some feeling of spirituality.
“People come to experience meditation and the meditation happens through the communal singing and chanting – it’s not like a concert where you go and say ‘Show me what you have or entertain me,’” Deva Premal says. “We’re facilitators of an experience where chanting and music and singing leads to silent space.”
Keeping with the idea that their show isn’t about entertainment – when the duo finishes a song, they ask the audience not to clap after and instead take a moment to focus on the silence. It’s part of the meditative process.
“This feeling of silence that happens after the mantra or the song is so precious,” Deva Premal says. “There’s thousands of people in the room and you have pin-drop silence and that’s so, so incredibly healing and relaxing.”
Related articles on Osho News
Gayatri Mantra – Deva Premal spreads the Gayatri Mantra around the world….
Miten on Deva Premal, Manose and Osho – Miten is interviewed in Corfu where he held a concert and the singing workshop together with Deva Premal and Manose