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Snatam Kaur Khalsa is an emerging and celebrated spiritual music ambassador. Snatam, a Sanskrit word, meaning universal, nucleus, and friend to all; Kaur, a Punjabi word and a faith-mandated surname for all Sikh women, means a princess and lioness; and Khalsa, a Sikh term that defines the Order of the Pure; Snatam truly embodies a rare composite of those qualities through her devotional music and her radiant persona.

Her music is another bridge between the traditions and cultures of East and West. Snatam Kaur brilliantly interfaces Gurbani Keertan, the Sikh style of religious music, and the western classical and popular styles in her music and concerts. Snatam is popularizing her own unique style, rhythms, musical arrangements, and is introducing the Sikh sacred music to global audiences. Her music transcends traditional musical familiarities and frontiers, reaches deep into our soul where Gurmukhi, the language of Sikh scriptures, offers no formidable threshold that our spirit cannot cross or joyfully embrace.


Snatam Kaur is many attributes in one. She is an accomplished music soloist, songstress and poet, Kundalini Yoga master, spiritual healer, teacher, and cultural commentator. Her music is a bridge that combines many musical, cultural, and spiritual textures: of a Sikh Ragi (a musician well versed in Indian musical patterns known as Ragas); sacred Sanskrit, Buddhist, American Indian chants; Celtic song and music tradition, use of western orchestra, folk genre, jazz, and many other musical influences.

She presents her music with a deep sense of reverence. Snatam is modest and approachable, unassuming, and friendly. Her contagious optimism captures the imagination and attention to her words, message of peace, and music as a shared and precious human legacy. With a gentle passion, she offers:

"For people of all faiths, all walks of life, and through the power of our own voices singing songs of peace, we provide a place for the spirit of humanity to rise."

She reminds us of the words of her mentor, Sri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogijee or affectionately, Yogi Bhajan:

"If you cannot see God in all, you cannot see God at all."

The sacred Sikh commandments and spiritual wisdom that formed the foundation of Snatam's faith and her spirit since she was a young child remind us:

"O mortal, recognize all humanity as One Race, One Brotherhood."
"Every living being is a repository of Divine Light."
"No one is outside the circle of God's boundless benevolence."

Snatam's music and teachings seem to affirm this deep conviction and respect for all life, cultures, and faiths. Her interfaith, multi-cultural, and multi-generational audience and admirers of her music see her as an ambassador of goodwill and peace.

Snatam's album Shanti, was nominated for a Grammy in 2002 and made it to the semi-finals in the New Age music category. This emerging star is now enthralling audiences of music lovers on her current "Celebrate Peace" World Tour, sponsored by Spirit Voyage and Peace Cereal and others, recently brought her to Indianapolis. Snatam Kaur's Concert, at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, was sponsored by the Indiana Yoga Association and Midland Yoga Center in Bloomington.

Snatam Kaur Khalsa, dressed in traditional Punjabi clothes with a neatly-tied white turban supporting a jeweled Sikh emblem, arrived without much fanfare and greeted the audience with some opening thoughts about Naad: Divine Sound Current. The concert venue was a very intimate space and full to capacity. There was a remarkable simplicity in the room with a tastefully decorated stage. A large blue mural with a sacred lotus design reminded the audience about peace as a central nucleus of our humanity.

Snatam, playing the harmonium and violin, led a moving rendition of songs and chants. Accompanying Snatam were Guru Ganesha Singh on the guitar, dressed in Punjabi kurta-pajama and the traditional white Sikh turban and young Krishan on the tabla (a pair of Indian drums) and percussion instruments dressed in Punjabi kurta-pajama with a patterned scarf on his head. Guru Ganesha Singh is a very spirited, exuberant, and expressive member of the group. Krishan offers youthful energy and impeccable sense of timing on the tabla and other musical instruments. Each musician gave an incredible account of his talent and complimented the richness of the experience. There seemed to be an invisible thread guiding their music in perfect harmony.

At a few points during the two-hour Concert, taped instrumental music, from her four CDs (Mother's Blessings, Prem, Shanti, Grace, and latest album Celebrate Peace) under the label of Spirit Voyage Music, was added to the musical mix to further embellish the rich experience. One could hear the resounding echoes of sarod, enchanting sitar, versatile keyboard, and other ancient music instruments forming the musical backdrop.

It is the lilting and shimmering voice of Snatam that leaves a hauntingly beautiful resonance and imprint on the spirit, whether she is singing "Ek Ong Kar;" "Jut Paharah Dheeraj Suni-aar;" chanting "Tudhe Aagay Ardas …Guru, Guru, Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das;" or singing "By Thy Grace," "Long Time Sun," or an inspired rendition of a composition by a Sufi Saint in English. She invited the children to the stage and led them in a song inspired by another hymn in Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture of the Sikhs, "Sun shines on everyone, it does not make choices….One spirit is in everyone, it does not make choices."

With a serene glow on her face, Snatam offered sacred chants and mantras of "Ek Ong Kar;" "Gobinda, Gobinda, Hari, Hari;" several hymns by Guru Nanak (Founder of the Sikh faith) from Japji Sahib (morning Sikh prayer). Each sacred song was presented in a voice that seemed to originate from the deep sanctum of her soul. I felt that my spirit was being carried in and was a part of the powerful Divine Sound Current. I imagined the celestial realms reverberating with music and melodies of Praise at all times, as revealed in Raag Sodar in the Sikh evening prayer. I imagined singers and chanters like Snatam with divinely inspired melodious voices performing sacred music in the Highest Court.

When Snatam picked up her violin, played a few magical notes, and began to sing, "Aad Guray Nameh, Jugaad Guray Nameh, Sutguray Nameh, Sri Guru Devay Nameh," the opening lines of Sukhmani Sahib of the Fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev, the glorious history, culture, spirit, and heritage of the Sikh faith came into my mind. I imagined standing at the magnificent Golden Temple in prayer and thanksgiving for the all-embracing and universal message of the Sikh faith that has traveled to the farthest corners of the earth.

I imagined music angels directing Snatam's spirit, voice, and fingers; her cathedral voice emanating from realms beyond my sight or understanding and caressing the sacred. I felt the sound currents of the Sikh spirituals that she was singing descending into the innermost core of our being and gently stirring up some unopened chambers about the Immaculate Glory of God and His Divine Messengers. I felt that I was being given a privilege to witness the beauty, power, grace, and inspirations enshrined in the scriptures and music of all faiths and sacred traditions. When music critics talk about transforming music, I understood that in that fleeting moment of bliss. I had seen the sacred facade of music, the universal language of humanity that has the power to connect us with the Divine and with one another.

Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
April 11, 2006


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Snatam Kaur Khalsa