The basic idea of this post is, “Please put links to recordings of Ramana’s songs in comments below.”
I recently added Michael James’s translations of Ramana’s written works to realization.org. I like Michael’s translations very much because he emphasizes the meaning of Ramana’s words above everything else. I think his translations are probably the most accurate ones available.
Translators face a tradeoff between the meaning of the original text and its aesthetic qualities (style, sound, emotional impact, etc.). It’s usually the case that the more precisely a translation conveys the first, the less precisely it conveys the second, and vice versa. Translators must choose how much weight to place on each. I think Michael has chosen to go all out on meaning to the most extreme degree possible. I think this is the best choice in this case, but it means that almost nothing of the feeling of Ramana’s words comes through.
But many or most of Ramana’s written works are songs! Their aesthetic qualities are extremely important.
So I decided to put links to recordings at the top of every translated song. My friends Jyothi and Rama, who both grew up in Karnataka, are much more attuned to this kind of music than I am, and they suggested some good ones. I’ll link them below. Please tell me which ones you like best.
What other recordings of Ramana’s songs can readers recommend? I’d like to find at least one recording for every sung work that Michael has translated. You can see the complete list of Michael’s translations on the homepage of realization.org.
Rama sent the first recording below. It’s not one of Ramana’s songs but it’s so wonderful I’m posting it here anyway. I thought I was so ignorant about this kind of music that I couldn’t distinguish a good version from a bad one, but the moment this video started playing, I began to cry and waves of cold energy went through my body even though I don’t understand the words, so I guess the music is more powerful than my ignorance. 🙂 This singer, M.S. Subbulakshmi, is famous in India. There’s a big page about her on English Wikipedia.
By the way, people occasionally ask me how Jyothi is doing. She and I described some of her experiences on this blog years ago. We plan to do an update soon.
The first and last aren’t Ramana’s songs but I love them:
Here’s another one from M.S. Subbulakshmi that Jyothi sent me. Again, not one of Ramana’s songs but there’s something amazing about this: