Divas & Devas

by Dave Stringer

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This 6 panel digipak is signed by artist Dave Stringer. Includes 6 page booklet insert.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Divas & Devas via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    edition of 100 

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  • Sheet Music + Digital Album

    Music book contains easy to use transcriptions for harmonium and guitar of all Kirtans and Bhajans recorded by Dave Stringer, both original and traditional compositions. 212 pages in A5 format fits comfortably on top of a harmonium. This is the book that Dave gives to students at Kirtan Flight Schools in Europe, Australia and North America. Includes guitar chord charts and many translations of the original Sanskrit into German, French, Spanish and English.

    A limited number of physical books are available for shipping. This book is also available from Dave Stringer's website as a PDF (4 MB) that is sized for an iPad. store.davestringer.com/products/kirtans-bhajans-mantras-music-book

    Includes unlimited streaming of Live At Bhaktifest via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Cute pocket size (5 in x 5 in) version of the Radiance Sutras, perfect for use in yoga classes. Contains 35 of Dave Stringer and Denise Kaufman's favorite selections. 110 pages includes forward by Shiva Rea and comments by Lorin Roche.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Elixir via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 12 Dave Stringer releases available on Bandcamp and save 40%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Udaya Sessions, Live At Bhaktifest, IQ & EQ Remix Series, Brink, The Satellite Sky - EP, Elixir, Ojas, Yatra, and 4 more. , and , .

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“Elegant and engaging, a timeless piece of art”
--- Yoga Chicago

“Eloquently mixing the spiritual mysteries of the East with the grooving rock of the West, Dave Stringer is more than just a devout seeker of musical wisdom and beauty—he's a unifier. By the time you've reached the final, blissful "Saraswati Ma," with its gently strummed guitar, slow percussion, and gorgeous harmonies, you can take off into the celestial realms of timeless, perfect love.”
--- Daily Om

“Achingly beautiful!”
--- CD Baby customer review

Divas & Devas is a CD of East Indian bhajans, sung as male-female duets, in Sanskrit, Hindi and Marathi. The overall feeling is romantic, with the intimate interplay of masculine and feminine gesturing toward the larger relationship of the human and the divine. You can play the CD for spiritual effect if you like, but it also works great as a soundtrack for making love.

The instrumentation is an airy and eloquent blend of Indian tablas, sitars, and tambouras with Western guitars, cellos, and trumpets. Whether the songs melt into you like smooth Sarah McLachlan-flavored balladry—as on the gorgeous "Gunghata"—or power up your lower engines with hot rock steam and black orchid incense, the unshakable foundation of faith and bliss remains intact.

Produced by Hans Christian. Special guests include Karnamrita Dasi, Donna De Lory, Suzanne Sterling, C.C. White, Wah!, Kim Waters, Sat Kartar, Joni Allen and Allie Stringer.

"During the time that I lived at Gurudev Siddha Peeth in Ganshpuri, India, many notable bhajan and qawaali singers passed through the ashram. I was very moved by the ecstasy and the stillness that radiated from them. The words they sang were written in India centuries ago during the era of the bhakti poet-saints, but they still spoke to me in a voice that seemed clear and modern, and these words continue to inform my thinking and my practice. In this recording, I have set some of these poems to my own original musical compositions. Other songs come directly from the rich musical tradition that has been transmitted to me through the lineage of Siddha Yoga, for which I will always feel a sense of deep gratitude.

The English word diva conveys a number of shades of meaning, some complimentary and some pejorative, ranging from accomplished artist through demanding ego. The origin of the term, however, is the Sanskrit word deva, which means luminous, shining, god, or heavenly one. And it is toward this original meaning that much artistic expression ultimately points. For me then, the title of this CD, ‘Divas and Devas’, refers to the relationship of our limited sense of self to the expansive awareness that we call divine love, as one reaches toward the other. According to Kabir, all life is an interplay of two spiritual principles: the personal soul (Jivatma) and the universal soul we call god (Paramatma). It is Kabir's view that liberation is the process of bringing into union these two principles.

This dance of the ego and the divine can be found in our most loving and intimate relationships. To see god in one another is one of the principal directives of yoga, seemingly simple, and yet one of the hardest to fulfill. It is said that the experience of divine love is always available within us, but we are blinded by our sense of smallness, of difference, of powerlessness. Seeking to transcend these illusions, grace is the force that we turn to, and compassion the quality we cultivate. Love is thus both the process and the product of our passage. And music is one of the most exquisite means we have to express it."

Dave Stringer


released October 2, 2007

Produced by: Hans Christian and Dave Stringer
Executive Producers: Karan Khalsa and Ditta Khalsa
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by: Hans Christian

More information and tour schedule: www.davestringer.com

Booklet / Inside Panels:

Bhaja Govindam and Shri Ram Jay Ram Produced by: Saul David Raye, Ganapathy Das and Hans Christian
Bhaja Govindam and Shri Ram Jay Ram Recorded by: Andrew Behla, Adam Berg and Hans Christian

Recorded in Los Angeles July /August 2007
Additional recording in Austin, Chicago, Detroit and Nashville by:
Erik Telford, Scott Schenke, Bill Lucas and Kirby Shelstad

Bill Lucas: Flugelhorn (Saraswati Ma)
Dave Stringer: Harmonium, Acoustic Guitar, Dulcimer, Melodica, Tamboura
Domonic Dean Breaux: Flute
Doug Brush:Vibes
Ganapathy Das: Swaramandala (Bhaja Govindam)
Hans Christian: Sarangi, Cello, Bass
Jeff Andrews: Santoor, Swaramandala
Krishan Khalsa: Mridangam
Miles Shrewsbery: Tablas, Shakers, Kartals, Bells, Udu
Patrick Richey: Cajon, Cymbals, Ghatam, Djembe, Dumbek
Paul Leudke: Trumpet (Gunghata)
Phil Rodriguez: Trumpet (Shri Ram)
Scott Schenke: Lap Steel, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar

Aja Uttama – Karnamrita Dasi
Arati Karu – Suzanne Sterling
Bhaja Govindam – Allie Stringer, Suzanne Sterling, C.C. White, Donna Delory, Wah, Sat Kartar
Gunghata – Donna Delory
Gurukripanjana – Kim Waters
Pasayadan – Sat Kartar
Samba Sadashiva – Wah
Saraswati Ma – Joni Allen
Shri Ram Jay Ram – C.C. White

Designed by:

Photo Credits:
Ganapathy Das (C.C. White) Michael Longstaff (Dave Stringer) + additional credits

Special Thanks:
To Dearbhla Kelly for her patient love, careful listening, honest feedback and devoted support during the writing and recording of this record. To Kim Waters for the gracious hospitality and ministrations that helped smooth the recording process. To Antoine Bonsorte for making his beautiful house available to us as the primary recording studio. To Swamis Muktananda and Chidvilasananda for introducing me to the words and wisdom of the poet-saints of Maharashtra.

Publishing Credits:
Bhaja Govindam, Gunghata, and Shri Ram Jay Ram © by Dave Stringer, Published by Magnetic Melodies BMI / Saraswati Ma © 2007 by Dave Stringer, Published by Magnetic Melodies BMI / Aja Uttama, Arati Karu, Gurukripanjana, Pasayadan and Samba Sadashiva – Traditional, Arrangements © 2007 by Dave Stringer, Published by Magnetic Melodies BMI


all rights reserved



Dave Stringer Los Angeles

Grammy-nominated producer, singer, composer and innovative international Kirtan artist. Stringer’s sound connects the transcendent mysticism of East Indian ragas to the exuberant grooves of Gospel and the ringing harmonies of Appalachia.

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Track Name: Bhaja Govindam (featuring Allie Stringer)
Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
Govindam bhaja mudha-mate
Dinam-api rajani saayam praatah
shishira-vasantau punar-aayaatah;
Kaalah kridati gacchaty-aayus
tad-api na munchaty-aashaa-vaayuh.
Baalas-taavat kridaa-saktas
tarunas-taavat taruni-raktah;
tasmin brahmani ko’pi na lagnah.
Punar-api jananam punar-api maranam
punar-api janani-jathare shayanam;
Iha samsaare bahu-dustaare
krpayaa’paare paahi muraare.
Vayasi gate kah kaama-vikaarah
shushke nire kah kaasaarah;
Nashte dravye kah parivaaro
jnaate tattve kah samsaarah.
Kas-tvam ko’ham kutah aayaatah
kaa me janani ko me taatah;
Iti paribhaavaya sarvam-asaaram
vishvam tyaktvaa svapna-vichaaram.

Worship the truth, O ignorant one!

Day and night, evening and morning, winter and spring come again and
again! Time rolls on, life is spent, yet the wind of desire does not leave

In childhood, one is engaged in play; in youth, one is attached to a lover; in old age, one is burdened with anxiety; but no one is ever concerned
with the ultimate reality.

Born again, dying again, sleeping once again in a mother’s womb– this ocean of worldly existence is difficult to cross. Grant me the protection of grace, O Lord.

When youth is gone, where is passion? When the water dries up, can
there be a lake? When wealth is lost, where are one’s relatives? When the
truth is known, where is this world?

Who are you? Who am I? Where have I come from? Who is my mother?
Who is my father? In this way, think of everything as meaningless and
renounce this world, knowing it to be just a dream.

Shankaracharya (788-820)
Track Name: Gunghata (featuring Donna de Lory)
Gunghata ka pata khola re! to he piya milenge.
Ghata ghata me vaha sai ramata, katuka vachana mata bola re.
Dhana jobana ko garab na kijai jhutha pacharanga chola re.
Sunna mahala me diyana barile, asana se mata dola re.
Jaga jugatase ranga-mahal me piya payo anamola re.

Lift up the veil and meet your beloved!

When it’s the Lord who dwells in every heart, why do you say such bitter things? Speak sweetly, and you will meet your beloved!

Your money and your good looks make you proud! But when the masquerade is over, this costume you call your body will unravel into the elements again.

A lamp is shining in the heart’s palace, and in its light the world becomes divine.
Once you’ve found that lamp, don’t ever lose it!

Wake up! Wake up! Explore the palace there within you! Go and meet your beloved! His love is the love no one sells or buys.

Kabir (1440-1518)
Track Name: Aja Uttama (featuring Karnamrita Dasi)
Aja uttama sudina
Zale darshana santantse
Papa tapa dainya gele Santa paule pahata
Avagha yajna phala ala Avaghe bhetale santajana
Avaghe karma sukarma zale Santa paule pahata

Today is the best day of my life because I had the darshan of a saint.

All my sins and sorrows vanished when I saw the saint’s feet.

The fruits of my good actions came to me all at once when I met this saint.

All my accumulated karmas turned into merits when I simply gazed at the feet of this saint.

Eknath Maharaj (1548-1600)
Track Name: Shri Ram (featuring C.C. White)
Shri Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram

Ram represents god, the sun, the light, in human form. His story, as told in the Ramayana, can be read as a parable of the journey of everyone’s heart. We are born into the palace of the divine, but eventually find ourselves exiled from this kingdom, moving through a forest of demons that steal our love. The demons are desire and attachment and doubt, and we eventually have to achieve victory over them in order to find our way back home. Ram also represents dharma, or righteousness, and his journey to rescue his wife Sita from the demons is a testament to the enduring power of love and faith.
Track Name: Guru Kripanjana (featuring Kim Waters)
Guru kripanjana payo mere bhai Rama bina kachhu janata nahi Guru kripanjana
Antara Rama bahara Rama Jaha dekhau taha Ramahi Rama
Jagate Rama sovata Rama Sapane me dekhau raja hi Rama
Eka Janardani bhava hi nika Jo dekhau so Rama sarikha

Oh brother, I have received the lotion of my Guru’s grace. I don’t know about anything except Ram.

Inside, only Ram; outside, only Ram; Wherever I look, I see just Ram, Ram.

Awake in Ram; in sleep and in dreams, I see only Ram.

Eknath says: My Guru Janardan Has given me this unique state: Whoever I see, I see as Ram.

Eknath Maharaj (1548-1600)
Track Name: Pasayadan (featuring Sat Kartar)
Ata vishwatmaké dévé yéne vagyajné toshave Toshoni maza dyavé pasayadana he.
Zé khalanchi vyankati sando taya satkarmi rati wadho Bhuta parasparé pado maitra jivantché.
Duritanché timira zawo
vishwa swadharma suryé paho Zo zé vanchhila to té laho pranijata.
Varshata sakala mangali ishwaranishthanchi mandiyali Anawarata bhumandali bhetatu bhuta.
Chala kalpataruntché arava chetanachintamanitche gava Bolaté ze arnava piyushantche.
Chandramé zé alanchhana martanda zé tapahina
Te sarvahi sada sajjana soyaré hotu.
Kimbahuna sarvasukhi purna houni-tihi loki Bhajizo adi purushi akhandita.

May the Self of the universe be pleased with this sacrifice of words and bestow its grace on me.

May sinners no longer commit evil deeds, may their desire to do good increase, and may all beings live in harmony.

May the darkness of sin disappear, may the world see the rising sun of righteousness, and may the desires of all creatures be satisfied.

May everyone keep the company of saints devoted to God, who will shower blessings on them.

Saints are walking gardens filled with wish-fulfilling trees, and they are living villages of wish-fulfilling gems. Their words are like oceans of nectar.

They are moons without blemish and suns without heat. May these saints be the friends of all people.

May all beings in all the worlds be filled with joy, and may they worship God forever.

Jnaneshwar Maharaj (1275-1296)
Track Name: Arati Karu (featuring Suzanne Sterling)
Aaratii karu sadguru kii karu sadguru ki pyare guruvara ki Aaratii karu guruvara kii
Jaya gurudeva amala avinaashii / jñanarupa antara ke vaasi Paga-paga para dete prakaasha / jaise kirane dinakara ki Aaratii karu guruvara kii
Andhakara se hame nikaalaa / dikhalaaya hai amara ujaala Kaba se jaane chaana rahe the / khaaka suno dara-dara kii Aaratii karu guruvara kii
Karo krpaa sadguru jaga taarana / satpatha darshaka braanti nivaarana Jaya ho nitya jyoti dikhalaane / vaale liilaadhara kii
Aaratii karu guruvara kii
Om chaitanyam shashvatam shantam vyomatitam niranjanam Nada-bindu-kalatitam
tasmai shrigurave namah

Let me wave lights to the true guru.

Hail divine love, pure, indestructible, dwelling within us in the form of knowlwedge, illuminating every step like the rays of the sun. Let me wave lights to the true guru.

This love has led us out of darkness; this love has shown us the immortal flame. Listen, for so long we were (fools) going around from door to door just picking up dust. Let me wave lights to the true guru.

Give us your grace, to help us cross over the world. Show us the true path; dispel wrong ideas. Hail the one who has revealed the eternal light and whose existence is a divine play. Let me wave lights to the true guru.

Om. The Guru is consciousness, eternal, peaceful, beyond space, stainless. He is beyond the divine music residing in the subtle abode of the inner Self. I bow to that Guru.
Track Name: Samba Sadashiva (featuring Wah!)
Samba Sadashiva Samba Sadashiva Samba Sadashiva Hara Shambho
Hey Girijaavara Hey Girijaavara Hey Girijaavara Hara Shambho
Hey Shiva Shankara Hey Shiva Shankara Hey Shiva Shankara Hara Shambho
Hey Mrityunjaya Saachita Sukhamaya Hey Kaarunamaya Hara Shambho

Shiva is the god of destruction and regeneration, and the witness of all that passes. The end of one thing is the beginning of another, and this image points toward non-attachment as a spiritual ideal. When all things are seen as being equal, a feeling of great compassion for all beings arises. The divine couple of Shiva and Parvati (also known as Girijaa or Shakti) symbolize the union of form and energy, renunciation and fidelity, and victory over the endless cycle of death and rebirth.
Track Name: Saraswati Ma (featuring Joni Allen)
Ya kundendu tushara hara dhavala ya shubhra vastravirta
Ya viñavara danda mandita kara ya shveta padmasana
Ya Brahmachyuta Shankara prabhirtibhir devaih sada vandita Sa mam patu Sarasvati bhagavati nihshesha jadyapaha
Saraswati Ma
Mahadevi Namo Namah Saraswati Mahadevi Bhagavati

Praise Goddess Saraswati, white as the lotus flower, like the moon glistening on the snow in the Himalayas. From her the music of the universe streams forth. May she grant me her abundance and assistance, may she take away my laziness!

The name Saraswati means "one who flows", a quality that applies equally to breathing, thoughts, words, or the movement of a river. According to Vedanta, Saraswati represents creativity, fertility, intelligence, consciousness, communication, education, enlightenment, music, and the arts. Mahadevi means “great goddess”

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