Waduda and Bhikkhu present a video of journeys through India, with music by Chinmaya Dunster.
‘On Sacred Ground’ is the first episode of our new video series, Inner Voyages, where we combine some of our favorite music with video footage from around the world. Since the pandemic has forced us to go inside, both physically and otherwise, we wanted to create a way of traveling while remaining at home.
This continues our series of videos released earlier this winter which transported us to places ranging from Ireland to Arizona, from the depths of the ocean to outer space, to awaken something deeper inside of us. As we created the videos, we were reminded of the many beautiful experiences we’ve had traveling the world over the years, and out of these remembrances emerged a profound sense of gratitude.
We felt inspired to express our gratitude to our beloved India with this visual pilgrimage where we pass through many of the sacred places we’ve visited in our travels, from Ladakh to Varanasi and of course the magnificence of the Taj Mahal. Over the years we visited countless monasteries and temples, learning from the monks and locals about the history, teachings and traditions of each region still upheld today.
In particular, we were inspired by our visit to Hemis Monastery in the Ladakh region in the late 1980s, where we were doing research for a film project about Jesus in India. According to local legend, Jesus had lived there for a time. We were immediately struck by the strong otherworldly energy of the place and the wisdom and kindness of the monks. Perhaps it was lack of oxygen due to the high elevation, but we felt almost as if this place existed in another dimension. We wanted to share this beauty with our fellow travelers who, like us, fell in love with India and its ancient heritage.
The music is from Chinmaya Dunster’s 1998 live performance with Prasad [Harry] Manx in the city of Pune, India. Their spontaneous duet incorporated slide guitar, sarod, percussion, and bass guitar, with mouth harp and gongs later added in Chinmaya’s studio in Maui, Hawaii. The piece captures the essence and the mystery of India as only Chinmaya can.
Our intention is that celebrating our planet’s diverse beauty will remind us all of the importance of protecting our most priceless treasure: the Earth we all call Home. We are continuing the greatest pilgrimage of all: the journey from Here to Here.