Yoga Music Review: “Suite:Kirtan Soheila” by Guru Prem Singh Khalsa and Simran Kaur Khalsa

Finally there is a recording of Kirtan Soheila and it is a great one! Just as the Japji Sahib is part of the morning prayers upon waking, Kirtan Soheila is the evening prayer before bed. It is also recited at the time of death. Kirtan Soheila is a collection of shabads written by Guru Nanak, Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan that expresses the pain of separation, surrender, and joy that comes from union with the Infinite. The prayer helps bring about peace, and puts to rest the thoughts and tensions from the day. Suite: Kirtan Soheila Wisdom and Music for the Rest of Your Life is a great album to listen to when learning to recite this sacred prayer. It can also be played while sleeping, resting in savasana and during healing treatments.

The primary vocals on Suite: Kirtain Soheila are sung by Simran Kaur who is the voice behind many of the mantras played during White Tantric Yoga such as: Tantric Har, Tantric Sa Ta Na Ma and Tantric Mool Mantra.

Simran Kaur is joined by Jai-Jagdeesh (I am Thine) and GuruPrem Singh (Divine Alignment) on support vocals.

Suite: Kirtan Soheila’s first 7 tracks, “Suite ~ Kirtan Soheila,” are a composition of the entire prayer in English with the Mool Mantra serving as the introduction. These tracks have a wonderful arrangement of cello, violin, piano and guitar. You can also hear Jai-Jadgeesh and GuruPrem on backup vocals. These first 7 tracks total approximately 25 minutes together. The “Suite~ Kirtan Soheila” can be great to play during a relaxing yoga set before bed or to help deepen your understanding of the prayer in English.

The “Suite~ Kirtan Soheila” is followed up by “In the Lap of Guru Ram Das,” which is a beautiful Lullaby originally written by GuruPrem and Wah! over 20 years ago. This modernized version has the sounds of the music box, as well as violin, piano and accordion to give it a very peaceful and dreamy feel. After reciting Kirtan Soheila, it can be a great song to play while going to sleep.

The next track is “Kirtan Soheila Gurmukhi” which is an approximately 7 minute traditional recitation by Simran Kaur in Gurmukhi. Her vocals are accompanied by the harmonium and swarmandal (Indian harp). “Kirtan Soheila Gurkmukhi” is a wonderful version to chant along with before bed.

The “Mool Mantra” follows the Gurmukhi version of Kirtan Soheila. The Mool Mantra is the first words Guru Nanak spoke when producing the Japji Sahib and contains the essence of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. This is a very moving rendition of the mantra with the instruments removed and the choir of voices from Simran Kaur and Jai-Jagdeesh remaining. It can be used for a meditation calling for the mantra or with the Aquarian Sadhana morning chants.

The album closes with the “Kirtain Soheila Acapella” which is sung in English without instruments. The Acapella Kirtan Soheila is an enchanting version with Jai-Jagdeesh singing beautiful vocal improvisations. GuruPrem also offers delightful background vocals. This is an especially divine version of Kirtain Soheila that can be used for ceremonies.

Overall Suite: Kirtan Soheila Wisdom & Music for the Rest of Your Life is a special album that will help you deepen your relationship with this beautiful prayer. It can also be played while sleeping, in savasana and during healing treatments. Many yoga practitioners are focused on their morning practice, but it also important to have a practice in the evening to close out the day. Suite: Kirtan Soheila is an absolutely beautiful album and it would make an incredible addition to your music library.

Look out for the Spanish version coming out around Summer Solstice 2012!

Also to aid in recitation, you can pick up Sacred Nitnem to follow the prayer line by line.

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Nihal Singh

Nihal Singh is an IKYTA Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Craniosacral Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master/ Teacher, Sat Nam Rasayan and Celtic Shamanic Healer. He specializes in emotional consciousness, personal development and inner body awareness. Nihal is also a writer for Spirit Voyage’s blog, a career consultant and corporate trainer. He resides in Philadelphia, PA.

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