Friday, August 11, 2006

My Background Pops up in the Strangest Places

So I've been listening to The Essence, a collection of New-Age-ified Sanskrit mantras I highly recommend. Deva Premal has a beautiful and soothing voice.

Anyway, the melody (such as it is) of "Tumare Darsham" has been stuck in my head and as I was driving to work this morning, I realized that I was not only singing it, but that, not knowing Sanskrit, I'd filled in the syllables with words more familiar to me:

Dizaben abba bisroo-ze...

Yes, that's right, I was chanting an ancient Vedic mantra with slurred lyrics from the Passover seder classic Chad Gadya. (To be fair to my mangled recitation, Chad Gadya is usually sung while intoxicated.)

8 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Some things are just in our bones...

asher said...

Chad Gadya is usually sung at the conclusion of the passover seder, not when one is intoxicated. Since it has the same basic structure as "the house that jack built". it is said that it is intended for children to recite. One of the ideas I have heard is that it was inserted at the end of the passover seder to give the kids the incentive to stay up to the conclusion so they can sing this song. Other explanations say the song has some mystical qualities.

That's to enlighten those of you not familiar with a ditti written maybe 700 years ago and still sung at every seder in the world.

Raindrop said...

Hello there!

I grew up listening to the Gayatri mantra, but failed to learn Sanskrit despite my grandmother's efforts.

I managed to find a translation of the Gayatri mantra here:

http://hsc.cornell.edu/02-03/gayatri.html

I've heard that Judaism is sort of like Hinduism where you can choose not to believe in God, and still be considered Jewish. I'm an atheist Hindu, btw.:)

Jewish Atheist said...

WC: True.

asher: Aren't you supposed to have drunk 4 cups of wine before Chad Gadya?

raindrop: Yay! We need more Blank Atheists. :-)

LMark said...

raindrop-

The Jews are considered an ethnic group, as well as a religious one. Like JA, I am ethnically Jewish, yet I do not "believe" in the relgion. I observe some of the holidays to some extent, and I do not eat pork (grew up somewhat religious; why start eating that unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly meat now?), but that is the extent of my Jewish observance. I'm more like a "Jewish Agnostic," of which there are many. IMO, a "non-Jewish Jew" is no more inconsistent than a "non-Catholic Italian." I would even go so far as to say that the percentage of ethnic Italians who believe in Catholicism is higher than that of ethnic Jews who believe in Judaism.

Marina Grace said...

hehe.. Brilliant. I do this with Opera, but I just make up the words entirely out of gibberish.

Raindrop said...

lmark:

I know what you're saying. Some religions seem to foster a culture of independent thinking, whereas some others have very extreme anti-apostasy laws..

I understand the pork thing. :)I was raised vegetarian, and continue to stay vegetarian.

fontor said...

I've heard a bit of Deva Premal. I expected to hate it, but imagine my surprise to find that it was actually well-produced and very listenable.

However, I can't recommend it because any disc where the artist gives an acknowledgement to Osho automatically blows, a priori.