Deva met her partner in life and music, Miten, at the Osho ashram in Pune, India in 1990, where she was studying reflexology, shiatsu and cranio-sacral therapy, and massage. They have been touring together since 1992, offering concerts and chant workshops worldwide.
Best known for her top-selling chant CDs, Deva is a classically trained musician, who grew up singing mantras in a German home permeated with Eastern spirituality. Her albums have topped the New Age charts throughout the world since her first release, The Essence (1998), featuring the "Gayatri Mantra". Deva & Miten's record company, Prabhu Music, reports sales of over 900,000 albums.
Deva began her journey with mantra in her mother's womb, as her father chanted the "Gayatri Mantra", one of the most sacred mantras of Hinduism, to her daily, and it continued to be her bedtime lullaby after she was born. Many years later, she heard a friend singing the "Gayatri" and was inspired to put together an album featuring it. She and Miten recorded The Essence (1998) in her mother's apartment in Germany, the same one in which she was born and where her parents had sung the "Gayatri Mantra" to her years before.
Deva brought this journey with the Gayatri Mantra full circle in July, 2005, when she and Miten chanted the "Gayatri" for her father as he was dying: "We kept singing for what must have been over half an hour, when suddenly the monitor showed that he was about to leave. I continued to sing and the last sound he heard as he passed on was his beloved "Gayatri Mantra". Finally we ended with the mantra Om and the circle was complete. He had welcomed me onto this planet with the "Gayatri" and I accompanied him out of this physical existence with it. What a blessing this was for me! It was the first time that I was present at a death, and to be at my father’s is a memory I will cherish all my life.
In an interview with Sam Slovik of LA Yoga Magazine, Deva discussed the potent effect many notice when chanting Sanskrit mantras:
“The meaning is secondary. The word table is not the table...With Sanskrit, the word ananda is the sound vibration of bliss. In sound the energy of bliss. We have to say bliss; we have to make it smaller by putting it into an English word. Just the sound; ananda, If we were sensitive enough we’d just feel the entire scope of that energy that’s contained in this sound... It’s working on a cellular level. It’s much deeper than the mind. It’s not a language that you need to understand the meaning of before you use it. It’s a deep universal sound code that connects us all.”
Deva's chants have been used in a wide variety of settings in recent years. Cherfeatured Deva's version of the "Gayatri Mantra" on her Farewell Tour and Russian Prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva danced to Deva's "Gayatri" in Moses Pendleton's F.L.O.W. series. Actor/director Edward James Olmos is said to have handed out copies of Deva's "Gayatri Mantra" to the entire cast and crew of Battlestar Gallactica, as well as citing her music as a source of inspiration in preparing his role as Commander Adama in the series. Mr. Olmos also used "Om Hraum Mitraya" from Deva's album Dakshina (2005) to close his HBO movie Walkout.
Deva and Miten performed for The Dalai Lama during a 2002 Conference in Munich, Germany on Unity In Duality, which brought top figures from the scientific community together with members of the Buddhist community. They gave a concert for the full conference, and were also invited to sing for the Dalai Lama at a small pre-conference gathering. They had heard that his favorite mantra was the Tara Mantra, dedicated to the Green Tara of Compassion, and that he had asked for it be chanted recently when he was ill, and so they chanted it for him.
Deva's most recent release, Tibetan Mantras for Precarious Times (2010), was recorded with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet and was created as a support for mantra meditation practice, featuring eight mantras chanted 108 times each. It is a benefit CD, with all proceeds going to the Gyuto Monastery in Dharmsala, India, The Phowa Project, and Veggiyana.
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