Chants & Songs

(Selected)

NOTE: You are welcome to use this music for your own spiritual practice, for meditation, for healing sessions for yourself or others and for private and public musical events. Please give credit to Kathleen Karlsen at all performances and include a copyright notice for Living Arts Enterprises, LLC in all written materials. Donations to support the creation and publishing of these chants are much appreciated.

Support the publication and sharing of this music. 

 
Chakra Chant: Heart 
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
Chakra Chant: Seed Syllable YAM (Solo)Kathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 07:30

Lyrics: Yam (heart seed syllable)

 

Meaning: The fourth chakra is the heart chakra or the Anahata chakra. In Sanskrit, Anahata means "unhurt, unstruck, unbeaten." At the same time, Anahata means pure or clean.

 

As the seat of love, the heart expresses compassion, charity and kindness. The heart is also a focus for beauty and culture.

 

The energy of this chakra integrates opposite forces or brings two parts together. The energy of this chakra is symbolized by a twelve petal lotus with interlocking triangles in the center. This is a depiction of yin and yang or male and female.

 

The seed syllable for the heart chakra is YAM (yum). The vowel associated with this chakra is AH. The Sargam syllable is MA. The core energy for this chakra is devotion.

Chakra Chant: Heart Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Chant to the Sun
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 
Chant to the SunKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 09:34

Lyrics: Om Bhaskaraya Vidmahe; Om Maha Tejaya Dimahe; Om Surya Namaha, Om Surya Om; Tanno Surya Prachodayat

 

Meaning: "Let me meditate on the Sun. Let me think about the highest power. I bow before the Sun. Homage to the Sun. Let the giver of life illumine my mind." 

Surya, also known as Bhaskaraya or the giver of wisdom and illumination, is the Hindu god of the Sun. Surya is often depicted surrounded by the physical sun, riding in a chariot pulled by seven horses representing the seven chakras. His charioteer is Aruna.

 

This chant is like a vocal equivalent of the Sun Salutation sequence of poses often done in yoga classes.

Chant to the Sun Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Devakinandana Gopala
Kathleen Karlsen and the Vocal Medicine Band
 
Devakinandana GopalaKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 07:34

Lyrics: Devakinandana Gopala (repeat); Gopala, Gopala, Gopala 

 

Meaning: Gopala is one of the childhood names of Krishna, the son of Devaki, queen of the Chandravanshi clan. Devaki’s brother was Kansa, an evil tyrant. Fearful that Krishna would be a threat to his throne, Kansa set out to murder the young Krishna.

 

Krishna was sent to live in the country for his own protection. As a result, Krishna’s childhood was spent as a herder. This is the origin of Krishna’s childhood names, Gopala and Govinda.

 

“Go” means cow, a sacred animal that may also symbolically represent sacred scriptures. “Go”is sometimes translated as “light.”

Devakinanadana Gopala Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Durga's Protection Mantra
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 

Lyrics: Om Hrim Krim Dum Durgayei Svaha

 

Meaning: Om is the primal sound of all creation. This is the hum of the universe or the first sound of God’s consciousness manifesting as form (Sri Yantra). The seed syllable “hrim” is a combination of “ha” for prana, space and light with “ra” for fire, light and dharma and “im” (pronounced “eem”) for energy, focus and motivation.

 

The “k” in "krim" is a hard consonant that creates an initiatory energy. The “r” adds the fire element and the “i” adds focus. The “m” is usually a reference to the feminine energy. "Dum" is the seed syllable of Durga and brings a protecting fire energy. This is an earthly fire like burning wood. "Dum" can eliminate sorrow, obstacles and barriers. "Dum" has a positive martial energy that brings self-control and self-discipline.

 

“Svaha” is similar to “Amen” or “let it be so.”

Durga's Protection Mantra MP3_FINALKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 10:39

Durga's Protection Mantra Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Durga's Primary Mantra
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 

Lyrics: Om Dum Durgayei Namah, Om Dum Durgayei Namah

 

Meaning: Durga carries many physical symbols of her power: a spear, a mace, a bow, a sword, a discus, a lotus, and a rosary. She received many of these gifts from masculine deities who wished to empower her to deal with both larger and smaller crises in our personal worlds and the greater universe.

 

In Hindu mythology, the forces of light and darkness are the devas (shining ones) and the asuras (anti-gods). According to Sally Kempton in her book Awakening Shakti:

 

“Both sides wear bodies of light and thought. They use weapons empowered by the force of their secret mantras….”  

Durga's Primary MantraKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 09:32

Durga's Primary Mantra Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Durga's Shield
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 

Lyrics: Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundaye Vicche

 

Meaning: The word “Chamundaye” is a reference to Durga and the slayer of Chamunda, an evil demon. “Viche” or “vicche”means a “shield” and indicates Durga’s role in protecting her own. Durga has the role of destruction for the sake of universal harmony.

In addition to Durga, this mantra incorporates three other feminine deities. HRIM is the seed syllable for Parvati, AIM is Saraswati’s seed syllable and KLIM is Kali’s seed syllable.

 

The Durga mantra is based on the consciousness that it is better to proactively divert misfortune whenever possible. Durga is a warrioress with indomitable strength. Like Kali, she will help you to let go of anything that is no longer serving you. In addition, she can serve as a shield on many levels as you move through the world.

Durga's Shield Download PDF

Durga's ShieldKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 08:24

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Gate Gate Paragate
Kathleen Karlsen (Studio Version)
 
Gate Gate (Studio Version)Kathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 01:51

Solo Version

Meditation Version

Gate Gate ParagateKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 12:05

Lyrics: Gate Gate Paragate Parasum Gate Bodhi Svaha

 

Meaning: This mantra is found at the end of the Heart Sutra, one of the best-known Buddhist scriptures and a popular sacred text in Mahayana Buddhism. Most translations use something along the lines of the following meaning: “Oh, awakening that is gone, gone,  gone to the furthest shore, gone completely to the furthest shore.”

 

The words of this chant are in the feminine vocative case. “Svaha” is the name of the feminine counterpart of Agni, the god of fire. This is a performative word used at the end of burnt offerings and is similar to “Amen” or “let it be so.”

Gate Gate Paragate Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

 
Goddess of Mercy (Solo)Kathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 09:12

Lyrics: Goddess of Mercy, Let your healing flow; Goddess of Mercy, let your grace be known; Let your love be felt on earth;

Let your voice be heard

 

Meaning: Kuan Yin is the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion. She is the Buddhist Savioress, a bodhisattva who has taken a vow to save all beings from suffering. She will forego full Buddhahood until all sentient beings are free.

 

A beautiful legend is that Kuan Yin was on the threshold of heaven when she paused and heard the anguished cries of the world. She returned to earth to help all who are suffering.

 

Her full name, Kuan-shih-yin, means "one who regards, looks on and hears the sounds of the world". There are hundreds of mantras in honor of Kuan Yin, goddess of compassion, mercy, kindness and love. 

Goddess of Mercy
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Kyrie Eleison
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 
Kyrie Eleison (Solo)Kathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 08:13

Lyrics: Kyrie, Kyrie, Kyrie Eleison

 

Meaning:  A chant of mercy beginning in pagan traditions, later adopted into Jewish rituals and brought into the Christian tradition in the 5th century. “Kyrie” is a transliteration from Greek into Latin and is usually translated as “Lord.” The full translation is “Lord, have mercy.” The expression was used as an acclamation in Roman times in both religious and civil ceremonies. In this context, the phrase was proclaiming the benevolence and mercy of the Roman emperor.​

 

In the early Christian usage, it was often followed by "Christe eleison," meaning "Christ, have mercy." These phrases were often sung as call and response between a priest and the congregation. This practice continues today in many Catholic masses, though often the English translation is used.

Kyrie Eleison Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Lalita Shanti Om
Kathleen Karlsen and the Vocal Medicine Band
 

Lyrics: Shanti Shanti Om (2x), Jaya Ma Lalita, Shanti Om
Ma Amba Jaya Ma, Lalita, Devi Devi Sundari, Jaya Ma
Shanti Shanti Shanti Om, Jaya Ma Lalita, Shanti Om 

 

Meaning: The name Lalita means “she who plays.” Lalita is highly independent. She insists on retaining complete freedom.

 

Lalita is a consort of Shiva, signified by the garland she places around his neck. Lalita’s beauty is noted in the term “sundari” meaning beautiful.

 

“Ma amba” means “mother of the universe” and “shanti” means “peace.”

 

This chant can be translated along the following lines: “Victory to Lalita, the beautiful goddess who is the Mother of the universe and brings peace.”

3. Lalita Shanti OmKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 08:29

Lalita Shanti Om Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Lochana Chant
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 

Lyrics: Om Vajra Lochana Lom Svaha

 

Meaning: Lochana is a female Buddha, the feminine counterpart of Akshobya, one of the five Dhyani or "self-born" Buddhas. Lochanā is pale blue in colour, and her name means "The One with the Eye,” or the "Clear Visioned One.” She is associated with pure awareness, she represents the pure, simple, direct awareness of things as they are. Her left hand is in the dhyana mudra and holds a vajra-bell, while her right hand is in the bhūmisparśa mudra and holds a five-pointed vajra.

 

This chant is inspired by the work of Vessantra (Tony McMahon), a British expert on Buddhism: "The Five Female Buddhas are a set of figures visualized in meditation. They embody aspects of wisdom, and through visualizing them and reciting their mantras gradually something of that wisdom ‘rubs off’. Most of these five figures have not played a very important role in the Buddhist tradition."

Lochana ChantKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 09:23

Lochana Chant Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Lokah Samastah 
Kathleen Karlsen and Vocal Medicine Band 
 
7. Lokah SamastahKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 07:31

Band Version

Solo Version

Lokah Samastah (Solo)Kathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 10:44

Lyrics: Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu

 

Meaning: This well-known Sanskrit chant is often translated as, "May all beings be happy and free and may my life contribute to the happiness and freedom of all." 

 

This mantra is one of the most beautiful of all prayers, universal in its sentiment and intention.

 

I wrote the melody for this chant specifically for an event devoted to preserving peace in spite of political differences and difficulties through the world.

Lokah Samastah Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Mantra for the Heart
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 
Mantra for the HeartKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 08:25

Lyrics: Om Hrim Namah; Om Hrim Namah; Hrim; Om Hrim Namah

 

Meaning: 

A mantra of fire honoring the energy of the heart. “Hrim” is associated with the sun and solar energy. The seed syllable “hrim” is a combination of “ha” for prana, space and light with “ra” for fire, light and dharma and “im” (pronounced “eem”) for energy, focus and motivation.

 

This syllable relates to Parvati or Shakti and includes all three main powers of the Hindu trinity: creation, preservation and destruction.

 

“Namah” or “Namaha” means “I bow” or “I give honor.” “Hrim” purifies the physical heart, the emotional heart and the spiritual heart although it operates mainly at the functional level of the heart.

Mantra for the Heart Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

 
Mata Om
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording, Minute Mantra)

Lyrics: Om Mata Om, Mata Om, Mata Om; Maha Mata Mamma Om

 

Meaning: Cultures around the world have similar words to refer to a mother figure: Ma, Mamma, Mata, Mater, Matre, Mor, Mom, Mommy and so forth. 

 

This chant focuses on the Divine Mother as the highest expression of the feminine aspect of God. "Mata" is the Hindu word for "Mother." This is an honorary title of respect.

 

"Maha" means "great, big, high." It is used as part of a compound word. "Mahamata" is the highest or greatest Mother.

The meaning of the chant is "Honor to the highest Mother."

Mata Om (Minute Mantra)Kathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 00:54

Mata Om Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

 
Nataraja 
Kathleen Karlsen (Studio Version, Traditional Chant)

Lyrics:

Nataraja, Nataraja

Nartana Sundara Nataraja

Sivaraja, Sivaraja,
Sivakami Preya Sivaraja
Chidambaresa Nataraja

Parthi Puresa Sivaraja

 

Meaning: This mantra is dedicated to the dancing form of Shiva known as Nataraja. Nataraja is associated with the crown chakra and expresses the joy of enlightenment and liberation.

Shiva takes many forms, sometimes ferocious. Shiva is known as the destroyer of all illusion. 

Nataraja (Dancing Shiva)Kathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 03:58

Nataraja Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

 
Om Mani Padme Hum
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)

Lyrics: Om Mani Padme Hum (3x) Hrih

 

Meaning:

The “Jewel in the Lotus” is one of the names of Avalokitesvara. "Mani" means jewel or "bead." "Padme" is the lotus flower, a sacred Buddhist flower. "Hum" means "that," a reference to identification with all reality or all of the universe.

 

The symbol of the white lotus is associated with Avalokitesvara as he holds the flower in his hand as a gift to eliminate the suffering of all sentient beings.

 

He bestows both temporary and ultimate benefit and bliss. The syllable “hrih” is his seed syllable, a mantric condensation of everything else expressed in the mantra.

Om Mani Padme HumKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 07:07

Om Mani Padme Hum Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

 
Om Tare Tuttare
Kathleen Karlsen and the Vocal Medicine Band
Om Tare TuttareKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 06:22

Lyrics: Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha

 

Meaning:

This is called the Green Tara Mantra. The lyrics are from a traditional Buddhist mantra. The word-name Tara is variously interpreted as Shining Star, Liberator, Rescuer, Savior, or One Who Ferries Across.

 

Tara is a Bodhisattva of compassion who manifests in female form. In particular she represents compassion in action.

Tara exists as a goddess in many traditions and countries including Hinduism, Polynesian mythology, Druidism, Finland (Tar, Woman of Wisdom), Roman mythology (Terra, Earth Mother), and South America (the goddess Tarahumara).

Om Tare Tuttare Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

 
Padmadevi Chant (Band Version)
Kathleen Karlsen and Vocal Medicine Band 

Band Version

2. Padmadevi ChantKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 07:19

Solo Version

Padmadevi ChantKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 08:38

Lyrics: Om Padmadevi Puspadevi Pam Svaha

 

Meaning: 

This is a chant to Pandavarsini, the consort of Amitaba. Pandavarsini is the "white robed one" vested with purity. “Pam” is her seed syllable. “Padma” means “a lotus flower” and “devi” means a “goddess” or “queen.” “Pushpa” also means “flower.”

 

The mantra honors Pandaravasini as the goddess of lotuses and the queen of flowers. Pandaravasini is one of the five female Buddhas associated with the five male Dhyani Buddhas. The five Dhyani Buddhas are said to have existed since the beginning of time. They symbolize divine principles or forces. This chant is inspired by the work of Vessantra, a Buddhist scholar who has researched the female Buddhas extensively.

Padmadevi Chant Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

 
Parvati Parashakti
Kathleen Karlsen and the Vocal Medicine Band
6. Parvati ParashaktiKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 06:52

Lyrics: Parvati Parashakti Parvati, Jai Parvati Shakti Mata

 

Meaning: 

Parvati, also known as Uma, is the Hindu goddess of love and devotion as well as divine strength and power. She is the gentle and nurturing aspect of the Hindu goddess Shakti. 

 

Parvati carries a trident. The three-pronged trident removes evil on the physical, mental and spiritual levels.

 

In the human body, the trident represents the place where the three main nadi or energy channels meet at the third eye. This is a comforting chant calling to the divine feminine in all of us.

Parvati Parashakti Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Sacred Fire Chant
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 

Lyrics: Sacred Fire burn through me, Sacred fire burn through me, Send your light through my soul, Sacred Fire burn through me

 

Meaning: 

The concept of sacred fire exists in nearly every spiritual tradition. Fire is a physical symbol of the removal of obstacles within and without, though used with caution!

 

Many traditions focus on the idea of the fire in the heart. In the West, this is sometimes referred to as the flame within the heart or the three-fold flame (power, wisdom, love) as in the fleur-de-lis symbol.

In the East, this fire may be referred to as lightning or a divine spark that exists within the cave inside of the heart or a secret chamber of the heart. The heart is the place where earthly fire meets etheric fire for literal illumination and enlightenment.

Sacred Fire Chant Download PDF

Sacred FireKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 11:00

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Sita Ram
Kathleen Karlsen (Vocal Medicine Band Album)
 
Sita RamKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 06:10
Lyrics: Sita Ram Jai Jai Ram

 

Meaning: Sita Ram refers to the Hindu goddess, Sita, and her consort, Ram, or Rama.Sita is the main female character in the Hindu epic poem, the Ramayana, and is an incarnation of Lakshmi.

 

Rama is the central male character and an incarnation of Vishnu. Reciting these names is believed to balance both sides of the brain. They represent the yin and the yang or the masculine and the feminine.

Sita Ram Download PDF

"Sita Ram" Mantra Meanings and Benefits

Click on the image or link to the left for an explanation of the meaning and impact of the "Sita Ram" chant. How do the vowels and consonants combine to effect the nervous system? What are the benefits of this chant on physical, emotional and spiritual levels?
 
Or find @vocalmedicine on Instagram for ongoing series of Mantra Meanings videos and chant recordings. 

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

 
Supreme Light Mantra
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)

Lyrics: Om Hrim Hamsah Sohum Svaha

 

Meaning:

 Om is the primal sound of all creation. Om can be viewed as the hum of the universe or the first sound of God’s consciousness manifesting as form. The form that this sound takes is the Sri Yantra, and ancient symbol featuring nine interlocking triangles.

 

The seed syllable “hrim” is a combination of “ha” for prana, space and light with “ra” for fire, light and dharma and “im” (pronounced “eem”) for energy, focus and motivation. This syllable relates to Parvati or Shakti and includes all three main powers of the Hindu trinity: creation, preservation and destruction.

 

“Hamsa” focuses on the inhale and exhale, helping to create a vibration that connects you to your heart and is healing for the heart, lungs and spirit. “Soham” functions in the same way, often using the reverse order of in and out.

Supreme Light MantraKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 08:51

Supreme Light Mantra Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

The Three Jewels
Kathleen Karlsen (Solo Recording)
 

Lyrics:
Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sungham saranam gacchami

 

Meaning: 

“To the Buddha (teacher) for refuge I go, to the teachings for refuge I go, to the community for refuge I go.” Going for refuge to the Three Jewels (Triratna) is the unifying factor in all the varying forms of Buddhism. This ideal is also known as the three treasures, the cornerstone of living a spiritual life.

I found the words of this chant and a number of traditional melodic variations after having a dream of three wild ducks who dove underneath the water in a pond and came back up in three beautiful jewel colors: emerald green, sapphire blue and royal purple. It was one of those dreams that come at a turning point in life: the decision to find or create a new community of people who love to chant!

The Three JewelsKathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 07:35

The Three Jewels Download PDF

©2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved     Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Transform Your Life with Your Voice!

 

Vocal Medicine brings together a personal journey through mantras, chanting and kirtan as well as many years of research into the power of sacred art and sacred music.

 

Topics include the building blocks of sound; bija seed syllables; mantras and the chakras; and the transformative power of sound, color and the arts. 

 

Features musical notation and descriptions of over two dozen mantras and chants for transforming the body and mind. Extensive illustrations by Rose Karlsen.

 

Book: 186 pages + CD: 50 mins

Follow Vocal Medicine on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram!

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
Subscribe for Music and Updates on Vocal Medicine

Resources

Contact Us

Location

DISCLAIMER: All information and services related to Vocal Medicine are for educational purposes and for the support of general wellness. No guarantees or claims regarding the efficacy or accuracy of this information are expressed or implied. Testimonials are not intended to indicate that other individuals will necessarily achieve the same results. Statements, courses, articles, videos, consultation services and all accompanying materials are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Vocal Medicine is not liable for any injury, accident, or health impairment befalling any individual utilizing the techniques suggested in association with Vocal Medicine. Please check with your health care providers for all health-related questions.

© Copyright 2019-2020 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC