It was an honour to interview the spiritual music legend Miten for our Winter 2019/20 issue. He spoke about his life’s journey, his work with Deva Premal, and his thoughts on music as a guru. Read on to learn more!
Music is the Guru: Musical Journeying into the Beyond
by Alison McEvoy
I spoke to Miten recently from his hotel room in Tallinn, Estonia, ahead of his evening concert. From the company of a folk/rock band to now, the company of his beautiful, mantra singing partner Deva Premal, Miten’s musical path has been a long and winding one. He recently took another turn on this road by re-entering the “solo spotlight” with his new album of transcendental music entitled ‘Devotee’. Devotee, says Miten, is “a word used for the mysterious – and often misunderstood – relationship between guru and disciple.” Miten still speaks about Osho, the guru who led him to a more fulfilling relationship with his ever-living guru – Music:
“I see music itself as an alive, living breathing guru, that teaches, challenges, elevates and encourages me to move with gratitude through these final years of my life. The great spirit of Music has been ever-present ever since the dawn of time, and there will be the music of the spheres long after humanity has wiped itself off the face of the earth. Music is the Guru.”
Just last year, Miten had open heart surgery. In the wake of this experience, he has become acutely aware of being in the harvest stage of his life; a time to look back on and be grateful for the life he has lived, knowing that he is now closer to the end than the beginning. He reminisced about his earlier musical life which he had become disillusioned with, his experience of deep, inner cleansing upon entering Osho’s ashram in Pune where he also met Deva, their early musical wanderings around the world giving small, meditative concerts and the large audiences they now regularly join with in song and praise.
Miten’s new album has as its touchstone the monumental themes in life; living and dying, love and loss. He says, “The vision was to create a deeper sense of peace through music. Deva and I know that many people use our music to accompany such moments as giving birth to their children or for saying goodbye to loved ones as they take their last breath – this was very much in my mind during the recording of Devotee. So my direction for the musicians: Could you die to this music?”
The album itself is has a wandering spirit, roaming in a variety of directions, from the upbeat sounds of reggae, to sensual, tantric sounds. The tracks themselves encourage reflection, surrender, healing and transformation. As always, Miten’s music takes us into the vulnerable, defenceless spaces in ourselves – the places where there is the greatest potential for healing and blossoming. This is indeed what devotees are blessed with in the presence of a guru;
“The guru is not there to create a fan club, but to help devotees to move beyond their boundaries and into their full potential.”
Music enabled Miten to live into his fullest potential and this is the gift he aims to share with all his listeners. You cannot help but feel encompassed by the circle of life on listening to his music. It seems to take you to the centre of yourself, the place where you are in unity with all of life. This is the essence of transcendental music, music which takes us beyond boundaries, home to ourselves and makes us feel more at home in the world and in lives which we live.
For more on Miten, see: devapremalmiten.com