When You See the Sun: A Song Inspired by the Gayatri Mantra

Lyrics


OM bhur bhuvah swaha
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyoyo nah prachodayat

Hail to the Sun
Radiating beauty all around you.
And blessings to the Moon
Offering her solace in the dark of night.
Peace to the Earth
Basking in the glow
Of a Love that moves the Sun and all the other Stars.
O Holy Spheres,
Help us Remember
Who we are
Who we really are.

(Background vocals: Aham Prem)
When you see the Sun, be Love,
When you see the Moon, be Love
As You Walk the Earth, be Love,
When you see me, be Love.
As you live and breathe, be Love.

Hail to you,
Divine Emanation of Beauty
And blessings to your loved ones,
Kindred Spirits in Space and Time
Basking in the glow
Of a Love that moves the Sun and all the other Stars.
O Holy Spheres,
Help us Remember
Who we are
Who we really are.

(Background vocals: Aham Prem)
When you see the Sun, be Love. . .




Here powers failed my high imagination:
But by now my desire and will were turned,
Like a balanced wheel rotated evenly,
By the Love that moves the sun and the other stars.


-last lines of Dante's Divine Comedy


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Aham Prem I am Love

About this Song

My intention was to create a song that reflected the course of one's day from morning to evening, and how we can infuse that time being more attuned to being loving beings. The Gayatri mantra is a wonderful vehicle for that practice. After all, our bodies are aware of the presence of the sun everyday, so it made sense to me to associate love with the sun. Initially, I had associated the mantra with wisdom: the illumination the sun provides is an apt metaphor for the light of wisdom. And then I heard a beautiful quotation from the last lines of Dante's Divine Comedy that included the line: "Love that moves the sun and all the other stars."

What a beautiful notion: that the prime mover of the universe is Love. And so it made sense to me that each time we look upon the sun, we may be reminded to love. And we can extend that practice when we look upon the moon, and when we walk the earth. . . and hence the lyrics to the song.

I recorded "Be Love" on Logic Pro with a Blue Tooth USB mic. All tracks were recorded acoustically in my studio apartment in Hell's Kitchen, NYC. If you listen closely, you may be able to hear the siren of a fire engine wailing in the background.

This song is a sort of a musical autobiography. It incorporates musical experiences from many parts of my life: the cello, my first instrument; my cello choir at Brown U.; my a cappella group that I was in and eventually directed at Brown; Kirtan and mantra meditation, which I fell head over heals in love with 7 years ago; and most recently guitar and mridanga, and Indian drum.

I'm now an advanced beginner in the recording arts, and working on this song exposed me to all the limits of my recording ability and musical ability...and singing ability. I got really frustrated at the start. But then I heard the author Cheryl Strayed once prescribe, "Surrender to your own mediocrity." Just be where you are right now. Write that crappy novel, that lopsided portrait, that rickety song, and grow from it. And that really helped me to follow through and enjoy the process.

Gayatri Mantra

OM bhur bhuvah swaha
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyoyo nah prachodayat


bhur = Earth, bhuvah = Sky, svaha = Heavens, tat = that, savitur = Sun God, varenyam = brilliant, bhargo = luminous, devasya = divine, dhimahi = we meditate, dhiyo = mind yo = which, nah = us, prachodyat = illuminate

We meditate upon the brilliant light of that divine Sun, so that He may illuminate our minds.

About the Gayatri Mantra

The Gayatri Mantra was first put into written form in the Rigveda, one of the oldest known sacred texts of India, dating back to between 1700 and 1100 BC. The Rigveda is a collection of mantra to a wide range of deities, many of whom were replaced by more modern deities. Surya today has replaced Savitri, the sun god mentioned in the Gayatri mantra.

However, the mantra itself has been continuously recited since time immemorial. The name Gayatri here refers to a type of meter of three lines consisting of eight syllables each. There are actually many Gayatri mantra — at least one for all of the well–known devas— but THE Gayatri mantra refers to this particular verse.

The first line is not actually part of the mantra proper, but is composed of what are called mahavyahritis. They are prescribed introductory mantra to precede the mantra, and here they refer to three of the seven worlds: earth, sky and heavens.