VAIYASAKI DAS - VRINDAVAN CHANDRA THE KIRTAN CD THAT STARTED IT ALL! First kirtan CD by a Westener!!!! A must have for those kirtan lovers who want to go deeper in their sacred journey. 3 Ragas - over one hour of magic by the first Westener to take to kirtan. Vaiyasaki Das has now travelled to more than 60 countries sharing his wonderful chants and sacred mantras. In 1975 I journeyed to India and Bangladesh where I learned the art of Raga Kirtan from the local kirtaniyas, descendants of the original singers that have practiced kirtan for generations. Many of these kirtaniyas can trace their roots centuries back to the spiritual renaissance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who introduced Krishna Kirtan in the 16th century. In 1982 I returned to the West and did a concert tour of America and Canada. I wanted to recreate the live temple atmosphere that I experienced while chanting during those years in India. The best of these live recordings were in Los Angeles and Toronto, which appear on this CD. Because these songs are recorded in a live temple atmosphere, these kirtans have a special feeling that is not present in a studio recording. Thus, the listener will be transported to the spiritual dimension just the same as being right there at the original concert. -Vaiyasaki Das ABOUT THE ARTIST: Internationally recognized for his musical abilities to perform the ancient art form of Kirtan & Bhajan, Vaiyasaki Das provides a rare opportunity to experience a taste of authentic devotional music from the Vedic tradition. Though born in London, England, Vaiyasaki Das came of age in Winnipeg, Canada. After many years in the music business - and a personal search for the divine -- he is now one of the premier singers on the kirtan circuit. Starting out as a rock and blues guitarist with a penchant for singing, his taste for Indian culture came at an early age. By 1970, he found himself back in London and enamored by Krishna devotion. Soon, in 1973, he was committed to the path of devotion, or bhakti-yoga, and, just two years later, he received formal initiation from His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. On his Guru's request he journeyed to India in 1975, both for personal purification and to proclaim the renaissance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's bhakti movement. He traveled the entire subcontinent, and Southeast Asia, serving the mission of bhakti-yoga. By 1978, he arrived in Bangladesh, where he imbibed the culture through his pores, becoming fluent in Bengali and learning the ways of the local people. On a boat trip down the Meghna River, he chanced upon a local kirtan band on their way to a festival. Deciding to follow these happy minstrels and their soulful kirtan music, he would also attend that same festival, changing his life forever. It was there that he discovered the ancient Bengali art of raga-kirtan, which touched his soul in the deepest possible way. Never before had he heard such angelic singing, and he resolved to use his own considerable vocal talents to spread this technique around the world. He returned to London with his own style of kirtan, a blend of ancient Bengali and modern contemporary music. His first album was released in 1982 followed by numerous CDs, which are now considered seminal in the yoga/kirtan/world music universe. Today Vaiyasaki Das is a much sought-after performer, conducting workshops and leading yoga festivals and retreats worldwide. Sharing his heart through music and chanting is the basis of his life. He has been a practitioner of bhakti yoga for 34 years and performs his music with a mission to uplift the consciousness of the planet. His considerable knowledge of the vast repertoire of Indian bhajans and kirtans has provided the foundation for a new generation of artists, in the flourishing genre of music for yoga and mantra meditation. His CDs include: Way of Love, Charana Kamal, Kirtan Rasa, Hari-Nam-Ananda, Transcendence, Vrindavan Chandra, Chaitanya Chandra, Ratha-Yatra USA, The Turning Point, Best of Vaiyasaki, Kirtan Explosion-High Energy Kirtans, & Sri Krishna Divya Nam.