Professional Travelers and Mantra Artists Deva Premal and Miten Share their Secrets
Mantra artists Deva Premal and Miten have been traveling the world for more than 27 years living life on and off the stage. As professional travelers, they’ve had to develop some routines and rituals to maintain their health and vitality. Between mantra repetitions, they took a break to share some of their secrets with us.
What are some practices that you do to maintain your own health while on the road?
It’s obvious – we chant mantras – day in, day out! We have been traveling for 27 years now, without a home base—so we don’t waste time looking over our shoulders wishing we were home. For us, home is wherever we find ourselves. This feeling of being fluid and going with a cosmic flow of healing mantric energy is the way we maintain our health.
Up until Miten’s heart surgery [March 20, 2018], we’d only missed three concerts through illness in our 27 years together. As you might have heard, Miten just underwent open heart surgery due to a blocked artery. The doctors couldn’t understand why that happened with Miten’s vegetarian diet and healthy body. But it is hereditary and many in his family had the same thing. So that made us miss our Gayatri Festival in Costa Rica. But Manose stepped in and oversaw the festival while Miten had heart surgery. Miten is healing amazingly well and we’re all hoping he will join us on stage during our Soul of Mantra – Live! Tour.
What are some of your daily wellness rituals?
The basic go-to is shaking our bodies first thing in the morning. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain in certain hotel rooms, but we’re pretty disciplined.
Shaking is a great meditation. Feeling your feet safely on the earth, relaxing your knees …allowing the shaking to happen…loosening your arms, your shoulders…your hands and wrists…extending the belly with deep breaths…relaxing the jaw (we hold much tension in the jaw)…opening the mouth…and relaxing the neck…relaxing the throat/fifth chakra…letting the head drop…so the whole body becomes fluid energy…for around 15 minutes – we have special music to accompany this practice.
Then, depending on time, we do our various movements and stretches we learned in the ashram, called ‘Divine Healing Exercises’ which are based on shiatsu. Deva practices her mix of yoga and Pilates.
We eat organic food, no meat, no fish. Deva was born a vegetarian and has never tasted meat nor fish. Miten has been a vegetarian for 40 years. We find that diet is so important. In every city we visit, we’ve been able to find vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Even airports are offering more options.
How do you suggest that people utilize mantra in their own lives while traveling?
The best way to utilize a mantra is to fundamentally make friends with one. First, find your mantra. Before the age of technology in which we now live, you would have had to travel to India and sit at the guru’s feet for lifetimes and then one day he/she might just whisper in your ear your personal mantra. Now, these days, you can Google a mantra!
So, do some inner and outer research. Find a mantra that resonates with you. There are mantras for sacred love making, for removing energy blocks in your life, mantras for inner peace. There is even a mantra for attracting a life partner. Find your mantra and then you can begin your exploration. Make a commitment to at least 21 days of practice and see what happens.
Do you have a particular meaningful recent experience on the road that you’d like to share?
Every step is a meaningful experience. This includes chanting with inmates at San Quentin prison, receiving messages that a child has been born to our music, and people telling us they were suicidal before making contact with mantras. We’ve met people in airports who just want to say ‘Thank you’ and share a hug because they have been touched by their experiences of how the music has supported them in extreme times.
Once we were asked to help raise money by a young woman who had had a stroke, was paralyzed, and needed a guide dog. So, for our subsequent three concerts in Germany, we told the audiences about the young woman needing a guide dog and asked for donations. We had buckets in the lobby of the theater. In the three concerts we raised the 10,000 Euro needed for her guide dog.
This is the power of our ecstatic chant sangha or community. It is global, and we have the sense of community and support as we go through life. Chanting is a shortcut to the heart….from darkness to light. (This is the journey of the mantra “OM Asatoma.”).
What are some of your favorite things about living life on the road?
We like movement. No matter how beautiful a place is, we are always ready to leave and get on the road. This movement keeps everything fresh between us as a couple so we don’t stagnate. The music, the people who come to sing with us, our great road crew, it is all a constant flow.
Do you find that the mantras that you share have universal appeal across different countries and languages?
Well, the mantras are in Sanskrit, which is an energy-based language. It is not a descriptive language like English, Spanish, or German. Sanskrit is the mother tongue –which means it resonates with us all.
For instance, if the sound ‘ananda’ is chanted continually, it will deliver the chanter to a state of ecstasy. Ananda is the actual sound of the energy of bliss. We are chanting sacred healing sounds with thousands of people, night after night. These sounds are not descriptive, not emotional, they are much more.
So whether we are chanting in Moscow, Miami, Buenos Aires, or wherever, we are all chanting in a language that is not our own. It’s not that we sing a French song because we are in France…in actual fact, everyone is chanting in this unfamiliar language.
Actually, Sanskrit is not a language, it is a collection of scientifically determined healing sounds that were discovered and channeled by the ancient Rishis of India. So, we are in it together.
There are no leaders and no followers. Our cultural restrictions and boundaries are dissolved with the first OM of the evening. The circle is complete, and our journey into redemption begins. It’s a matter of life and death.
Chanting mantra is definitely not entertainment. It is not a show. There are no fans, just a circle of kindred spirits.
That’s the way we see our events: as a huge circle of kindred spirits!
Chant Mantra with Deva Premal & Miten
Deva Premal & Miten with Manose bring their Soul of Mantra-Live! Tour to Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 8 at the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre. For more information, visit: http://store.devapremalmiten.com/tour/.
Cheyanne Sweet works with several organizations in the conscious community. She currently lives in Central Florida.