Friday, January 23, 2009

Snatam Kaur -Voice that makes you listen



SNATAM KAUR

For those who listen to the Sikh music, kirtan, the name Snatam Kaur is not new. She is a famous song writer and a singer. She sings the kirtan in a very devotional voice -with which she is gifted by the Almightly.
Before you read the full post just listen her.


Snatam Kaur was born in 1972 in Trinidad, Colorado.
Like Mr. Sikhnet (Gurumustuk Singh) she too was born to Sikh parents who had adopted the Sikh way after coming in contact with Shri Harbhajan Singh Yogi Ji. Just like Gurumustuk Singh she too was sent to listen the lectures and attend the classes of Harbhajan Singh Ji. One day, while she was not even two, Snatam began to chatter away in the middle of the class. Harbhajan Singh stopped speaking, looked at her and said, "You will have your turn soon to teach, little one." To the truth of the sentence Snatam is dong this -teaching yoga, chants, meditation and singing kirtan for children, adults, Sikhs and every other human on the face of the earth. She is a devoted 'sevadar' (servant) of the Almighty -The True Lord and is spreading His word in the entire human race. Spreading peace all across the globe is her message and her aim. She is constantly doing work for this.

When Snatam was two, she and her family moved to Long, Beach, California. Her parents always brought her to morning sadhnana, the early morning spiritual practice consisting of yoga, meditation and chanting. She discovered her creative side in the Waldorf School in Sacramento, California. She learnt to play violin over there. Music was in her veins. Her father loved to play flute, piano, and tablas. Her mother too used to sing Sikh devotional songs. Finally when at the aft of six, when she along with her mother came to India they met Bhai Hari Singh who taught both mother and daughter everything about Sikh music -kirtan. Bhai Hari Singh's entire family embraced Snatam like a granddaughter and a lifelong relationship was ensued.

You know Sikhism is more than just a religion, it's a way of living. No body is a Sikh by simply getting born into a Sikh family . To be a Sikh you have to know Sikhism and you have to adopt the Sikh way of life. You have to choose Sikhism by your own will, only then you will be able to call yourself as Sikh. Test of time comes for every Sikh and Snatam Kaur's test came at the age of eight. Her father decided to leave Sikh path so the child Snatam was in dilemma. She tried to live the life of a non-sikh American but she couldn't. Something was there that made her come back to the Sikhism so she began practicing what she had learned. She recognized her spiritual path even more and finally decided to spend her life as a Sikh constantly working for the spread of Sikhism, teaching Sikhism and working for the good of the mankind -something for what Sikhs are born. Snatam remembers, "I learned to go to the family meditation room and sing as a way to pray and release emotions. I learned the power of healing though sacred chant.
I think you also would be feeling like to listen one of the Sikh chants. So I have put it below to facilitate you.
These lines were written by the first Sikh Guru -Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Playing kirtan in Sikh temples with her mother was a constant part of Snatam's teenage years. After completing her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Mills College in Oakland, California she again came to India to study music with Bhai Hari Singh. In India she lived near to the Golden Temple, the most sacred Sikh place on the earth. In 1997 she began her career as a food technologist for Peace Cereals in Eugene, Oregon. As a musician she shared sacred chants and music at the 3HO Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations in New Mexico and Florida. While practising with Livtar Singh and Guru Ganesha Singh, all tree realized the power of their music together and under the name Peace Family, they recorded an album called 'Reunion'. Since 2000 she is working with the Spirit Voyage Records.

After 9/11 Snatam met with religious leaders of various faiths in Eugene and proposed a regularly monthly gathering that continues to take place even now on the 11th of each month. In 2005, Peace Cereals promptly moved Snatam from her position as food technologist to peace ambassador. She teaches children and often calls them up on the stage to sing. She says, "I always see myself as being a part of initiating children into their role as leaders and peacemakers. It is how my parents raised me and how my spiritual teacher treated children." She and her musical group also travels to many schools, impoverished communities and even jails to sing music for the people who don't always get the chance to listen live music.

She is married to Sopurkh Singh and both live happily together in Eugene, Oregon.

The happy couple.

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