Jai Anand photo by Kelly Fogel
Jai Anand Explores the Healing Power of Ra Ma Da Sa
Jai Anand (née Julie Yannatta) is a yogi, musician, and the founder of Club Kundalini, a global digital community of yoga teachers, artists, and students, whose purpose is to heal the planet by exploring and applying the wisdom and sacred technology of Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma. Club Kundalini was launched earlier this year as the first sangat of its kind on the Clubhouse app. Now, a community of over 3,400 people from around the world gather each week for 30-plus hours of practice and teaching on Club Kundalini.
Jai Anand is also the founder, owner, and now, a recording artist on Be Why Music. The California-based, multi-Grammy-winning record label is dedicated to releasing music that uplifts humanity.
The two ventures have long roots in Jai Anand’s life and through the years have grown together to culminate in her first song for the label — a lush, symphonic rendition of the healing Ra Ma Da Sa Mantra, which she co-produced with Japanese musician/arranger, Heday Ikumo. Also known as the Siri Gaitri Mantra, Ra Ma Da Sa is said to embody the radiant healing energy of the cosmos. Prior to its official release on November 26, on November 21, Jai Anand’s track was publicly debuted by renowned KCRW DJ Chris Douridas who, upon hearing the song, declared, “This is stunning.”
Hearing the Healing Mantras
“In yoga classes or personal practice, mantras are chanted in continuous repetition, and that’s how most of them are recorded,” said Jai Anand. “I recorded mine more like a popular song, with instrumental phrases between the lyrics and a structure related to the usual verse, chorus, bridge. It makes the mantra accessible to a broader audience. My intention is for its frequency as a healing mantra to project beyond the yoga community and go around the world reaching people who wouldn’t usually hear it.”
A Journey through Mantra
“The eight syllables, Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung
, comprise a cyclical mantra and a journey of sorts,” she said. “The first half — Ra Ma Da Sa — ascends to the high ethers, to the infinite, and then pivots with Sa Say So Hung, bringing the etheric and the infinite back down, weaving them into the finite and the earthly. The frequency of that blend generates the vibratory capacity for us to heal ourselves and each other. This is the healing anthem for our times. Listen and I promise you will feel better, and help others feel better too.”
Recorded at Apogee Studios in Santa Monica, California, Jai Anand brought in Billboard Top-10 New Age artist Joss Jaffe to play tabla on Ra Ma Da Sa. The track was mixed by Brandon Duncan, an engineer known for his work with Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Nick Cave, and others. Part of Jai Anand’s spiritual work includes creating mandala art and she also created the cover design for the release.
Ra Ma Da Sa as a Daily Healing Prayer
Every day, as one of Club Kundalini’s core practices, Ra Ma Da Sa
is chanted in its traditional style. “It’s our daily prayer for healing ourselves and our loved ones, Mother India, and Mother Earth,” said Jai Anand. “Then, we always conclude with the recitation of names from our list of healing requests, invoking Ra Ma Da Sa’s healing power. Via Clubhouse or Instagram, anybody may send us the name of someone who’s sick or in need of healing. We’ll add them to our list and pray for them for 30 days. If needed, names can be resubmitted and we’ll continue to pray for them for another 30 days. It’s one of our sangat’s ways to be in service to humanity.”
Through the years, Jai Anand has lived a rich and varied life but is no stranger to the need and process of healing. Along the way, she has sustained a series of injuries, losses, and severe challenges requiring intense care and recuperation. These setbacks not only fueled her drive to heal herself, but also to alleviate suffering endured by humans across the planet. Music and Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, emerged as her personal and shareable vehicles for this process. Thus, the inspiration for her current Ra Ma Da Sa release
Healing through Mantra
“When something hurts, when we’ve been injured physically or emotionally, we want to be cured,” said Jai Anand. “Yet, to be cured means trying to get back to the way things were before whatever happened happened — as if it never happened. Healing is a different matter altogether. Healing is a flow state involving integration of what happened. If we don’t integrate, we’re unable to learn from what happened and unable to find the lessons that might otherwise help us develop our human experience. Daily practice of Ra Ma Da Sa reconnects us on an ongoing basis with the frequency of healing as a journey, as a process, as integration. It has helped me transform wounds and challenges I’ve faced from having happened to me, to having happened for me.”
After living much of her life in various parts of the U.S., an extended stint in Finland where she recorded and sang in a rock band, completing college and a law degree, Jai Anand directed her lifelong love of music into working in the business. Settling in Los Angeles, industry icon Jeff Ayeroff hired her at the indie label Shangri-La Music, where she became General Manager.
In 2007 the pair executive produced Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur benefit album, an anthology of John Lennon covers for which Yoko Ono donated the publishing. In 2012, they released a follow-up — Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. The 76-track collection features an unparalleled assemblage of well-known artists who covered songs from Dylan’s catalog. Bob Dylan also donated his publishing and together, the two albums have raised over five million dollars for the charity.
The Journey of Be Why Music
Leaving Shangri-La Music in 2010, Jai Anand launched Be Why Music in association with the Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), the independent label distribution arm of the Warner Music Group. She released the work of artists in various genres but, in time, came to embrace her affinity for music that lifts and inspires. In addition to growing the label, from 2013-15 she also served as president of Sandbag USA, the U.S. division of Radiohead’s merchandise company.
In 2017, Be Why’s release of White Sun II won a Grammy for Best New Age Album. Two years later, her release of Opium Moon’s self-titled album won the same award. With the label’s recent signing of Jim “Kimo” West, who won the award in 2021, Be Why Music now has three Best New Age Album winners in its artist family.
In November, 2021, Be Why Music released Snatam Kaur’s “River Ganga”, featuring Krishna Das, Deva Premal, C.C. White Soul Kirtan, Manose, Todd Boston, and Ramesh Kannan, benefitting the WASH Alliance, an interfaith environmental group based in India serving the Ganga and her people.
“The Ganges is the third largest river in the world. More than 400 million people rely on it for their livelihoods, and it’s incredibly polluted. It’s said that if the Ganga (Ganges) dies, India dies. I am humbled to be a part of a campaign to raise money to help heal the Ganga and to spread awareness about how much it needs to be healed by releasing this incredible song. It aligns entirely with my philanthropic history,” said Jai Anand.
How to Listen to Ra Ma Da Sa
Now, with the release of her powerful interpretation of Ra Ma Da Sa
, and in the spirit of Sat Nam, the sacred seed mantra of Kundalini Yoga from which great things are said to grow, Jai Anand continues to entwine her passions to share healing light with the world through yoga and music.
Marina Muhlfriedel is a native Angeleno and self-described creative omnivoire with extensive experience as a writer, film producer, and musician. She teaches Mindfulness Meditiation to at-risk populations, speaks pit bull, practices Tai Chi, and is a senior teacher at Club Kundalini, having begun her spiritual journey in high school as a student of Yogi Bhajan.