Friday, January 30, 2015
My Sweet Lord: MC Yogi (featuring Sharon Gannon) and "Krishna Dub"
When I lived in New Orleans, just down the street from my house was a large Hare Krishna temple. All I knew about the Hare Krishnas was that they often walked around with flowers and they often chanted "Hare Krishna." I didn't know what the connection was between them and George Harrison's My Sweet Love, if any. They always seemed cultish and were lumped in with other, similar groups such as the Moonies. But the temple down the street did some good works that I was aware of. They fed homeless people and I think they may have even housed some of them. They had a community dinner every week and invited the rest of the neighborhood to come - sadly I never went. The official name for the Hare Krishnas is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and they are dedicated to the practice and spread of bahkti yoga. Of course, knowing next to nothing about Hinduism, I would not have known that the Hare Krishna mantra they sang was a devotional prayer to Krishna, who is seen as the highest avatar of the Supreme God Vishnu in their religious beliefs. Indeed in Hinduism, depending on the way you practice, Krishna can himself is the Supreme Being. And Krishna is considered a great figure in Buddhism, and even in a branch of Islam
So let the love of Krishna wash over you today with this song, Krishna Dub, by MC Yogi and featuring Sharon Gannon. MC Yogi is the avatar of Nicholas Giacomini, a Bay Area hip hop artist and yogi who promotes themes of Hindu religion and philosophy. In fact, many of his songs and raps are bhajans, or Hindu devotional songs. Giacomini began rapping at 13 and, while living in home for at-risk children at age 17, he became a practitioner of yoga after his father took it up. Sharon Gannon is a yogina (female yoga master), animal rights activist, musician, dancer, choreographer and painter who co-founded the Jivamukti Yoga Method that fueled the popularity of yoga in the west in the late 20th century. As such she has taught yoga to high profile celebrities such as Sting and Madonna, and as musician she has collaborated with Run-DMC's Rev. Run and the Beastie Boys' Mike D, as well as founding the influential Seattle music collective Audio Letter. Krishna Dub can be found as a bonus track on MC Yogi's 2008 album Elephant Power.