by SS Guru Prem Singh Khalsa, Los Angeles, CA
I experienced a unique relationship in my practice of Naam Simran under the guidance of the Siri Singh Sahib. It began in 1981, when he asked a favor of me that would take the next seven years to accomplish. I was placed in a challenging situation, during which I fought doubt and despair. Blessedly, I suspended my doubt, didn’t despair and started pouring my time, energy and money into building a music studio and learning how to create, arrange and produce music.
Utilizing this creative outlet, I managed to grow through my discomfort by putting my faith in the Naam and in service. Naam Simran seemed to make this painful time a medicine for my healing. It took me seven years of faith and fortitude to really begin to listen deeply, and that was just the start of my Simran journey!
In 1988, while on my way to Sunday Gurdwara at the Guru Ram Das Ashram, I noticed the Siri Singh Sahib walking unescorted! I quickly walked to catch up with him. After about a minute of our walking together he stopped, turned to me and said that this consciousness cycle of seven years was finally over. This brought instant relief to me! As we continued to walk, he stopped again and stated that we were going to start a music business! This really caught me by surprise. At that time I had only recorded a few songs in my studio and didn’t think any were that well done.
That I would be in partnership with him came as a shock! I didn’t think I was worthy. There were so many great musicians in the Dharma. But in that moment – having practiced suspending my doubt – I did so again, in receiving this gift.
I actually received the gift. I believed it. I believed that I was being given the ability to create music – that I now had the gift to listen and that I could do this, even without formal training. He started sending me mantras and lyrics. I believed that the melody and the structure would come, and it did! I would just look at the words and the melody and harmony would come. Certain more complicated songs might take longer, but they always came together. The Siri Singh Sahib gave me the gift, and thus I knew I could do it. I felt his support throughout the whole process.
The mantras usually came with very specific instructions. The first was “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.” He told me to use Nirinjan Kaur’s voice, saying that her voice cut through our neurotic patterns and helped to shift people. For this first project, I was given a cassette recording of the Siri Singh Sahib chanting the mantra in a particular melody – not the usual one we use for tuning in. And then I got to put it to music with his tune!
God, Guru and the Siri Singh Sahib were very sneaky in getting me to practice Naam Simran. I wanted to make the recordings as good as possible, so I spent endless hours listening deeply to each mantra. When I wasn’t in the recording studio, the mantras played over and over in my mind, tricking me into constantly vibrating God’s name. I was gifted with a wonderful relationship to these mantras, the names of God, and the Siri Singh Sahib’s poems of higher consciousness. For this I am so humbled and grateful!
The Creative Process
There are many stories about what the Siri Singh Sahib wanted with specific songs and mantras, and the creative process that went into producing them. Here are two in particular:
A lady who had been quite hurt and traumatized had come to the Siri Singh Sahib for guidance. He asked me to record the mantra Siri Simritee, saying that it was to heal the dignity, divinity and grace of women. As I worked on this mantra and its sound current, I thought of all the women with whom I had not acted gracefully in my life. I felt the mantra restoring a state of grace in me, and that vibration spreading to the women who I had hurt or treated without respect.
One time when I thought that I’d really gone ‘over the top’ with the recording of Peace and Tranquility – the louder version – the Siri Singh Sahib called me and had me come over and play it on the sound system in his bedroom. He sat there and listened to the whole thing, without moving, without saying a word. At the end he said: “You’ve created a nuclear reaction! Do you know what this is? Do you know the power of this?”
During this time of our collaboration, he had said that we would record the 21 songs of the Age of Aquarius, I had almost completed this hukam/meditation, when I was introduced to my wife-to-be, Simran Kaur. Unbeknownst to me, she was coming up on a completion of a 1000-day Simran meditation herself—Kirtan Kriya. I feel that both of these meditative relationships with chanting God’s Name allowed us to come together and set the foundation for a long and happy marriage and partnership.
The music business continues today. Simran Kaur and I sing in Gurdwara and yoga classes, and record songs by the Siri Singh Sahib, as well as shabads and mantras. I still feel the hand of God guiding me. The Siri Singh Sahib’s words and the vibration of each mantra echo not only in my head, but now in homes, Kundalini Yoga classes and White Tantric Yoga courses all over the world.
I feel privileged to have worked directly with the Siri Singh Sahib composing the “21+ songs of the Aquarian Age” —most of these song were used in White Tantric Yoga courses and in Kundalini Yoga classes.
About the Author
SS Guru Prem Singh is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. He was named “Posture Master” by Yogi Bhajan (the Siri Singh Sahib), and is an expert on body awareness in relationship to personal growth. Guru Prem Singh is a KRI-certified Teacher Trainer and has been practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga for over 40 years, participating in Kundalini Yoga teacher training programs worldwide. He has had an active practice at the Khalsa Medical Clinic in Beverly Hills, as a teacher, structural, breath, Yogic and Massage Therapist for over 40 years. He has also authored three books, Divine Alignment, The Heart Rules and Everyday Devotion and is a musician, producer, and composer. For more information, visit www.simranandguruprem.com.