Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Satsang 2011 05 25 Krishnamurti - The Real Revolution

Welcome! _/\_

This 43 minute virtual satsang features Jiddu Krishnamurti speaking in 1966 on "The Real Revolution" (Consciousness) and includes 5 segments:

1 - Opening chant: Sanskrit Chant - Gayatri Mantra 5:15
2 - Speaker part one: Krishnamurti - The Real Revolution - Part 1 of 2 (1966) 14:2
3 - Interlude: Take 5: The Forest Awakens - Nature Sounds for Stress Relief
4 - Speaker part two: Krishnamurti - The Real Revolution - Part 2 of 2 (1966) 14:37
5 - Closing chant: Sathya Sai Baba singing "Subramanyam Subramanyam" Bhajan 3:08

YouTube Playlist address:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kirtan Playlist 2011 05 23

Eight songs are in this 52-minute kirtan playlist:
(There were supposed to be 11 songs....see end of this post for additional selections)

1 - Gayatri Mantra with Sathya Sai Baba  5:17 Traditional opening chant.
2 - Ganesh Mantra 8:28 Also traditional is to sing first to Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
3 - Om Purnam BY KESAVA ACHARYA DAS 3:47
4 - Jai Uttal~Sita Ram~Aesthetic Chant 10:01
5 - Aum Namah Shivaya (~Jai Jai Shiv Shankar~) 8:33
6 - Goddess Lakshmi Mantra 8:20
7 - Shanti Mantra ( Peaceful )  6:24

A traditional closing chant:
8 - Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu 1:08

Additionally, if you watch on YouTube, you can see three Bhagavan Das videos that I am absolutely delighted to bring you. (Embedding them is apparenlty not allowed.)

This Bhagavan Das concert at the Old Stone Church in Bend, Oregon in August of 2008 was my introduction to kirtan. Happily, I have not been the same since! :-) 
Bhagavan Das Live Kirtan 2008 om namah shivaya 2:46
Bhagavan Das 2008 Bend Oregon Live Kirtan 3:42
Bhagavan Das Old Stone Live Kirtan hare krishna 4:08

This playlist on YouTube:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kirtan Playlist May 2011

Six songs are in this 46-minute kirtan playlist:
1 - Gayatri Mantra (traditional opening chant, see lyrics below)
2 - Radhe Jay Sri Radhe
3 - Om Namah Shivaya
4 - Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
5 - Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
6 - Om Tryambakam - The LIfe-Giving Prayer (traditional closing chant, see lyrics below)


Gayatri Mantra:
Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

Om Tryambakam - The LIfe-Giving Prayer:
Om Trayumbakam Yajamahe
Sughandhim Pushti Vardanam
Urvar-ukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Muksheeya Mamritat.

This playlist on YouTube:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Indian-derived stress relief practice Kirtan gains popularity

Ragani leads Kirtan ceremony once a month,0,6904200.story

Ted Perry FOX6 Anchor
10:17 p.m. CDT, May 25, 2011

If you have absolutely no stress in your life than this story isn't for you. The stress relief method we found takes place at a church, but isn't part of any organized religion.

If you want to compare stress levels at work, Fred Bliffert can match you bolt for bolt. As the owner of a handful of neighborhood hardware and lumber stores, Bliffert feels the pressure everywhere. His laid back demeanor belies the gazillion fires he must put out each day and you're about to learn one of his secrets.

The woman in the center of all the action is Ragani. She says, "So a Kirtan is a kind of music experience that comes from India. It's a sacred music experience that is for everybody, but it's the sound of the words that are going to give you the experience of what's going to happen in Kirtan."

For the next two hours, those open to the experience will sing along to get along. The chants start slow, almost painstakingly so as Kirtan newbies wonder what they've gotten into. As the tempo of the music quickens and the chants become more comfortable than complicated, people report feeling a sense of vibration and relaxation that is clearly better than explained.

Sounds a bit odd doesn't it? No one knows that better than Ragani herself who by day is a successful acupuncturist. Her voice may be soothing, but it's her self-deprecating sense of humor that helps her win over skeptics.

So who comes to these Kirtans? We met lawyers, school cafeteria workers, barbers, people with very mainstream jobs with very modern stress who were willing to try something new to them.

Bliffert experienced something the first time he came, he's now one of the musicians who plays along side Ragani.

Ragani adopted her name after visiting India and performed her first Kirtan as a teen. After moving to Milwaukee she started holding one on the first Friday of every month. At first a handful showed up and now more than 300 attend.

What Is a Mantra and How Does It Work

What Is a Mantra and How Does It Work

 A Selection from Healing Mantras

A saying from the Vedas claims that "Speech is the essence of humanity." All of what humanity thinks and ultimately becomes is determined by the expression of ideas and actions through speech and its derivative, writing. Everything, the Vedas maintain, comes into being through speech. Ideas remain unactualized until they are created through the power of speech. Similarly, The New Testament, Gospel of John, starts "In the beginning was The Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God..."

In mainstream Vedic practices, most Buddhist techniques and classical Hinduism, mantra is viewed as a necessity for spiritual advancement and high attainment. In The Kalachakra Tantra, by the Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins, the Dalai Lama states, "Therefore, without depending upon mantra...Buddhahood cannot be attained."

Clearly, there is a reason why such widely divergent sources of religious wisdom as the Vedas, the New Testament and the Dalai Lama speak in common ideas. Here are some important ideas about mantra which will enable you to begin a practical understanding of what mantra is and what it can do.

Definition # 1: Mantras are energy-based sounds.

Saying any word produces an actual physical vibration. Over time, if we know what the effect of that vibration is, then the word may come to have meaning associated with the effect of saying that vibration or word. This is one level of energy basis for words.

Another level is intent. If the actual physical vibration is coupled with a mental intention, the vibration then contains an additional mental component which influences the result of saying it. The sound is the carrier wave and the intent is overlaid upon the wave form, just as a colored gel influences the appearance and effect of a white light.

In either instance, the word is based upon energy. Nowhere is this idea more true than for Sanskrit mantra. For although there is a general meaning which comes to be associated with mantras, the only lasting definition is the result or effect of saying the mantra.

Definition #2: Mantras create thought-energy waves.

The human consciousness is really a collection of states of consciousness which distributively exist throughout the physical and subtle bodies. Each organ has a primitive consciousness of its own. That primitive consciousness allows it to perform functions specific to it. Then come the various systems. The cardio-vascular system, the reproductive system and other systems have various organs or body parts working at slightly different stages of a single process. Like the organs, there is a primitive consciousness also associated with each system. And these are just within the physical body. Similar functions and states of consciousness exist within the subtle body as well. So individual organ consciousness is overlaid by system consciousness, overlaid again by subtle body counterparts and consciousness, and so ad infinitum.

The ego with its self-defined "I" ness assumes a pre-eminent state among the subtle din of random, semi-conscious thoughts which pulse through our organism. And of course, our organism can "pick up" the vibration of other organisms nearby. The result is that there are myriad vibrations riding in and through the subconscious mind at any given time.

Mantras start a powerful vibration which corresponds to both a specific spiritual energy frequency and a state of consciousness in seed form. Over time, the mantra process begins to override all of the other smaller vibrations, which eventually become absorbed by the mantra. After a length of time which varies from individual to individual, the great wave of the mantra stills all other vibrations. Ultimately, the mantra produces a state where the organism vibrates at the rate completely in tune with the energy and spiritual state represented by and contained within the mantra.

At this point, a change of state occurs in the organism. The organism becomes subtly different. Just as a laser is light which is coherent in a new way, the person who becomes one with the state produced by the mantra is also coherent in a way which did not exist prior to the conscious undertaking of repetition of the mantra.

Definition #3: Mantras are tools of power and tools for power.

They are formidable. They are ancient. They work. The word "mantra" is derived from two Sanskrit words. The first is "manas" or "mind," which provides the "man" syllable. The second syllable is drawn from the Sanskrit word "trai" meaning to "protect" or to "free from." Therefore, the word mantra in its most literal sense means "to free from the mind." Mantra is, at its core, a tool used by the mind which eventually frees one from the vagaries of the mind.

But the journey from mantra to freedom is a wondrous one. The mind expands, deepens and widens and eventually dips into the essence of cosmic existence. On its journey, the mind comes to understand much about the essence of the vibration of things. And knowledge, as we all know, is power. In the case of mantra, this power is tangible and wieldable.

Statements About Mantra

1. Mantras have close, approximate one-to-one direct language-based translation.
If we warn a young child that it should not touch a hot stove, we try to explain that it will burn the child. However, language is insufficient to convey the experience. Only the act of touching the stove and being burned will adequately define the words "hot" and "burn" in the context of "stove." Essentially, there is no real direct translation of the experience of being burned.

Similarly, there is no word which is the exact equivalent of the experience of sticking one's finger into an electrical socket. When we stick our hand into the socket, only then do we have a context for the word "shock." But shock is really a definition of the result of the action of sticking our hand into the socket.
It is the same with mantras. The only true definition is the experience which it ultimately creates in the sayer. Over thousands of years, many sayers have had common experiences and passed them on to the next generation. Through this tradition, a context of experiential definition has been created.

2. Definitions of mantras are oriented toward either the results of repeating the mantra or of the intentions of the original framers and testers of the mantra.

In Sanskrit, sounds which have no direct translation but which contain great power which can be "grown" from it are called "seed mantras." Seed in Sanskrit is called "Bijam" in the singular and "Bija" in the plural form. Please refer to the pronunciation guide on page 126 for more information on pronunciation of mantras.

Let's take an example. The mantra "Shrim" or Shreem is the seed sound for the principle of abundance (Lakshmi, in the Hindu Pantheon.) If one says "shrim" a hundred times, a certain increase in the potentiality of the sayer to accumulate abundance is achieved. If one says "shrim" a thousand times or a million, the result is correspondingly greater.

But abundance can take many forms. There is prosperity, to be sure, but there is also peace as abundance, health as wealth, friends as wealth, enough food to eat as wealth, and a host of other kinds and types of abundance which may vary from individual to individual and culture to culture. It is at this point that the intention of the sayer begins to influence the degree of the kind of capacity for accumulating wealth which may accrue.

3. Mantras have been tested and/or verified by their original framers or users.

Each mantra is associated with an actual sage or historical person who once lived. Although the oral tradition predates written speech by centuries, those earliest oral records annotated on palm leaves discussed earlier clearly designate a specific sage as the "seer" of the mantra. This means that the mantra was probably arrived at through some form of meditation or intuition and subsequently tested by the person who first encountered it.

4. Sanskrit mantras are composed of letters which correspond to certain petals or spokes of chakras in the subtle body.

As discussed in Chapter 2, there is a direct relationship between the mantra sound, either vocalized or subvocalized, and the chakras located throughout the body.

5. Mantras are energy which can be likened to fire.

You can use fire either to cook your lunch or to burn down the forest. It is the same fire. Similarly, mantra can bring a positive and beneficial result, or it can produce an energy meltdown when misused or practiced without some guidance. There are certain mantra formulas which are so exact, so specific and so powerful that they must be learned and practiced under careful supervision by a qualified teacher.

Fortunately, most of the mantras widely used in the West and certainly those contained in this volume are perfectly safe to use on a daily basis, even with some intensity.

6. Mantra energizes prana.

"Prana" is a Sanskrit term for a form of life energy which can be transferred from individual to individual. Prana may or may not produce an instant dramatic effect upon transfer. There can be heat or coolness as a result of the transfer.

Some healers operate through transfer of prana. A massage therapist can transfer prana with beneficial effect. Even self-healing can be accomplished by concentrating prana in certain organs, the result of which can be a clearing of the difficulty or condition. For instance, by saying a certain mantra while visualizing an internal organ bathed in light, the specific power of the mantra can become concentrated there with great beneficial effect.

7. Mantras eventually quiet the mind.

At a deep level, subconscious mind is a collective consciousness of all the forms of primitive consciousnesses which exist throughout the physical and subtle bodies. The dedicated use of mantra can dig into subconscious crystallized thoughts stored in the organs and glands and transform these bodily parts into repositories of peace.

10 Reasons to Chant: On the Benefits of Mantra Meditation

10 Reasons to Chant: On the Benefits of Mantra Meditation
By Donna Quesada on March 21, 2011

The Benefit: Reduces Anxiety and Depression

The Technology:
By combining sound, breath and rhythm, mantra meditation channels the flow of energy through the mind-body circuit, adjusting the chemical composition of our internal states and regulating brain-hemisphere imbalances, contributing to a natural abatement of fear and despair–emotions that underlie both of these common afflictions. By balancing the nervous system, chanting regulates the chronic stress and tension that is the norm for many people in today’s hyper-stimulated lifestyle. And by balancing the endocrine system, chanting normalizes hormone production, which balances our moods and overall sense of well-being.

The Benefit: Releases Neuroses

The Technology:
Chanting delivers us from the excessive preoccupation with our bodies and with material concerns. It delivers us from fear of old age and death. We begin to identify with the timelessness of the soul and consequently begin to shed neurotic habits that no longer serve and that no longer seem relevant. By returning us to what is essential, it clears away subconscious habit patterns. Embraced by the steady rhythm and by the vibration that connects us all, our thoughts combine wholly with the sound current. As the captain sets the canvas to the wind, thus pulling the boat out of trouble, it is through mantra that we steer ourselves out of our own stormy seas and into clear waters.

The Benefit: It is Soothing

The Technology:
The power of mantra is betrayed in the roots of the sanskrit word, man, meaning mind, and, tra, meaning deliverance, or, projection. Thus, chanting the sacred sound of the mantra delivers us from our sense dependency, from our unrelenting habit of looking toward the senses for gratification; pleasures that are and that will always be, fleeting and limited–how much can you eat? Or drink? Or buy? Sense gratification never really gratifies. We are always left either unfulfilled and guilty–wishing we had never started, or else, wanting more and lamenting the loss.

Chanting is a pleasure that transcends the senses, it takes us beyond the bounds of time and space (which is why we don't have to understand the mantra). Thus it soothes in a most profound way. It soothes on a cellular level. It merges our finite identity with the infinite, and so dissolves us. It relieves us from the sights and sounds and stimulation of the material world and delivers us into a spiritual space, where the sound is God. The material needs are reduced to nothing but mind chatter, and like smoke pumped into the sky, will be scattered into the expanse. Through the sweetness of devotional surrender, mantra turns the negative into positive. I once heard it said: "as music has charms to soothe a savage beast, so the spiritual sound of mantra soothes the restless mind."

The Benefit: Engenders Compassion

The Technology:
While the first stages of mantra meditation deliver our restless minds from their self-inflicted distress, eventually, chanting into the all-engulfing wave of vibrations arouses our experience of ourselves as spiritual beings. It opens our perception of ourselves as undifferentiated from God. It awakens the divine light and love within us. As George Harrison has said of his lifelong Bhakti practice, chanting is “a direct connection with God." When our spiritual identity is awakened, we experience the unity of all life, which consequently awakens our hearts and opens our capacity for compassion, whereupon we may live out our material lives free of animosity, envy and pride.

The Benefit: Boosts Immunity

The Technology:
It’s all about the hypothalamus. The control tower of the brain, it regulates communication between the nervous system and the endocrine system, taking in information from the entire body, before transmitting outward again, via chemical messengers. These couriers, such as serotonin and dopamine, are known as the “happiness hormones,” due to the impact they have on our moods. The hypothalamus is Office in Charge of many bodily functions we tend to think of as automatic, like temperature, metabolism and nervous system, as well as pituitary secretion, affecting everything from mood to appetite to sleep. It is perhaps the single most important link in the mind-body connection.

What common western manuals won’t tell you, is that it is the breath that turns the key to this super-circuit, this central hub, this brain of brains.

Breath helps to adjust all the rhythms of our body–not only the familiar circadian rhythms, but the lesser known ultradian rhythms, which monitor the smaller-scale energy cycles that occur throughout the day. Because our nervous systems are often overtaxed, these rhythms are thrown out of balance. But through the technology of sound, we begin repairs. And when breath is set to sound–Wowee Zonkers! The positive effects on the parasympathetic nervous system - that part of the nervous system that tells us everything is alright - are multiplied and the healing response is triggered and it all translates into healing and stronger immunity.

The Benefit: It is Easy

The Technology:
You don’t have to sing well because it’s not about singing, in the usual sense. We’re not memorizing complex lyrics, layering harmonies, and we’re not certainly not busting out powerhouse solos. It works whether it’s done alone, or in a group, as in a powerful kirtan. It works whether it’s done softly or in full voice, as long it is from the heart and with the belly. Although for enhanced effect, we can add eye-focus and a gentle hand mudra, these are simple to include and can be incorporated gradually.

The Benefit: It is Free

The Technology:
All you have to do is show up. As Krishna Das has said, it won’t work if you don’t do it! All that is needed is some time and an open heart. The benefits of chanting cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can only be experienced through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the Mantra.

The Benefit: Opens Intuition

The Technology:
Pronunciation: By enunciating the mantra, the tongue taps certain points along the roof of our mouths, sending signals to the hypothalamus, which in turn, regulates the chemical activity streaming into all parts of the brain and body. It might be likened to tapping the keys of a piano–inside the casing, a hammer bounces up and strikes the strings which are tuned to produce a specific and foreseeable note; behind the curtains a remarkable vibratory process is going on.

Rhythm: Through repetition of the mantra, patterns of sound are inscribed onto the brain. The unconscious becomes the conscious, the automatic becomes the deliberate, the mindless becomes the heartfelt. The repetition frees us from our destination-fixation–from our need to rush to the end. The repetition is the whole point. Through repetition, the mantra washes over us, as the waves in the sea gradually get us wet. It dissolves us into unison, which is the essence of yoga. We "die” in a sense, as our ego fades into the infinite, as it gets unavoidably absorbed by the sound.

Projection: When we chant from the navel point while articulating the mantra, we not only stimulate the upper palate, but  we vibrate the central channel by which prana, or, life force, flows–what yogis for millennia have referred to as the shushmuna (or shushumna by some translations). This dual process is said to move us into the realm of anahat–the realm "without boundary."

The Benefit: Increases Radiance

The Technology:
Our thoughts reflect and affect our mood, our attitude and our general tenor. Our thoughts are silent sounds. And sounds are electromagnetic vibrations. The more refined our thoughts, the more elevated our vibration; the more elevated our vibration, the closer we get to the highest vibration of all–our own divine nature. The entire universe was built on sound, which is nothing but vibration. By vibrating a certain combination of sounds, we are able to tune into various levels of intelligence, or consciousness. Thus, chanting mantras is a conscious method of controlling our moods, and in turn, our frequency and resultant all-around radiance, much like changing the channel on the television.

The Benefit: It is Empowering

The Technology:
In the Hindu and related Dharmic traditions that use mantra meditation as a regular part of practice, you will find there is a mantra for everything–for every ill and every challenge. To note just a few examples, in the Tibetan tradition, the Om Mane Padme Hum mantra has been used for centuries to invoke the blessings of compassion. In the Hindu tradition, the Ganesh mantra–Om Gam Ganapataye Namah–is chanted to the elephant-headed deity to remove obstacles. And, in the Kundalini Yoga tradition, the Siri Gaitri Mantra–Ra Ma Da Sa–is chanted for healing.

Bhajan (Song) Lyrics

December 2014: New Lyrics page created, contains every entry below plus new bhajan lyrics.
I hope to update it more often.

Here are lyrics (in alphabetical order) to accompany some of the bhajans featured in the videos. You may want to open this page in a new window or tab so you can sing along while enjoying the videos.

Gayatri Mantra:
Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

Goddess Lakshmi Mantra
Om Shreem Mahalakshmiyei Namaha

Har Har Har MahadevHar Har Har Mahadev,
Shiv Shankar Adi Dev,
Parmeshvar Akhileshvar,
Tandav Priye Shashishesvar,
Vishvdhaar Vishvnath,
Gangadhar Dheernath,
Jatajut Chandradhari,
Tennan Ke Hitkari,
Goripati Nandieshwar,
Shaleshwar Jagadishwar

Hay Shiv Shankar Hey KarunakarHey Shiv Shankar Hey Karunakar,
Suniye Arj Hamari,
Bhav Sagar Se Par Utaro,
Aaye Sharan Tihari,
Chandra Lalat Bhabut Ramaye,
Gatgambar Hari,
Karn Mein Damru Gale Bhujanga,
Nandi Kharo Dware,
Hey Ganga Dhar Daras Dikha Do,
Hey Bhole Bhandari,
Janam Maran Ke Tum Ho Swami,
Hey Shankar Abhilashi,
Kan Kan Mein Hai Rup Tumhara,
Hey Bhole Kailashi,
Charan Sharan Mein Aaya Jo Bhi,
Rakhyo Laaj Hamari

JAI RADHA MADHAV"Jai Govardhanadhari"
All glories to Krishna who has lifted the mountain Goverdhana on His little finger
"Yasodanandana Brajajanaranjana"
The son of mother Yasoda, The delight of the inhabitants of Vraja (Vrindavan)
"Jamunatira Vanachari"
The one who wanders in the forests along the banks of the River Yamuna
"Jai Radha Madhava Jai Kunjabihari"
All glories to the master of Madhurya rasa (transcendental amorous pastimes) Lord Krishna and His divine consort Srimati Radharani enjoying in the forest groves? of Vrindavan
"Jai Gopi-janavallabha"
All glories to the One who brings divine pleasure to the gopis (beautiful cowherd damsels) of Vrindavan
"Murali Manohara Karunasagara"
That flute player who steals my mind, The ocean of compassion

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-hi

Om Purnam
Om purnam-adah purnam-idam
purnaat purnam-udacyate.
purnasya purnam-aadaaya,

The literal translation:
That is infinite, this is infinite;
From That infinite this infinite comes.
From That infinite, this infinite removed or added;
Infinite remains infinite.

Om Tryambakam - The LIfe-Giving Prayer:
Om Trayumbakam Yajamahe
Sughandhim Pushti Vardanam
Urvar-ukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Muksheeya Mamritat.

Shanti Mantra
Om sarveshaam swastir bhavatu
Sarveshaam shantir bhavatu
Sarveshaam poornam bhavatu
Sarveshaam mangalam bhavatu
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
Sarve santu niraamayaah
Sarve bhadraani pashyantu
Maakaschit duhkha bhaag bhavet
...Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti...

Auspiciousness (swasti) be unto all; peace (shanti) be unto all;
fullness (poornam) be unto all; prosperity (mangalam) be unto all.
May all be happy! (sukhinah)
May all be free from disabilities! (niraamayaah)
May all look (pashyantu)to the good of others!
May none suffer from sorrow! (duhkha)

Subramanyam (Sathya Sai Baba) 
Subrahmanyam Subrahmanyam Shanmukha Natha Subrahmanyam
S'iva S'iva S'iva S'iva Subrahmanyam Hara Hara Hara Hara Subrahmanyam (2)
S'iva S'iva Hara Hara Subrahmanyam Hara Hara S'iva S'iva Subrahmanyam
S'iva Sharavana Bhava Subrahmanyam
Guru Sharavana Bhava Subrahmanyam
S'iva S'iva Hara Hara Subrahmanyam Hara Hara S'iva S'iva Subrahmanyam

Sita Sings the Blues Movie

(Text from YouTube )

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Buy DVDs, etc, here:

"Sita Sings the Blues" is based on the Hindu epic "The Ramayana". Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina Paley is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Ramayana. Set to the 1920's jazz vocals of torch singer Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as "the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told." It is written, directed, produced and animated by American artist Nina Paley.

"Sita Sings the Blues" was released in 2008 only after long negotiations with the copyright holders of the 80-year-old songs recorded by Annette Hanshaw. Following the experience of almost having her film blocked from distribution, Nina Paley released it freely under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, and now devotes a significant portion of her time to free culture activism. She is Artist in Residence at the non-profit

If you'd like to help pay off the $50,000.00 loan she took out to pay the music monopoly fee, you can donate to the Sita Distribution Project (tax-deductible in the US) at . Donations to that project go exclusively to that purpose and other expenses Nina incurred in releasing the film. You can also purchase DVDs, prints, shirts, and other Sita-related merchandise at ; revenue is shared with Nina Paley.

For more about the film and about Nina Paley's other work, see .

For more about how retroactive copyright restrictions almost prevented the release of the film, see this interview with Nina Paley: .

For more information about and its projects, please see our web site: . is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and donations are fully tax-deductable to the extent permitted by law. You can support our work at .