Album Review: Unity
posted by Daniel on August 29th, 2014
I never realized the oneness of all divine names until last night. I think I probably honored that truth intellectually, but had never tasted it. I would sing or repeat one mantra at a time only, avoiding "mixing and matching," trying to focus on the experience of Krishna's name, or Hanuman's, etc.
Well, last night I sat down with Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band's new album Unity. Listening to "Nur Allah," I am grooving along, but when a second mantra is added it distracts me, then a third comes in, which confuses me, and a fourth and fifth – Om Guru, Sat Nam, Shalom, Allah, Om Mani Padme Hum, all being sung in one interplaying choir – and suddenly, I am pushed over the edge and into the experience they are singing of: all the names are dancing in the same light, naming the same love... Oh, my God!! Have I gotten hung up on the name? On preferring one name over another? While each may have its own beauty, its own characteristics, that's not where to focus... I should be focusing more on what the name is naming – which is always the same – and the band sings, "it's about love… It's about love."
For me, this album is as important as KD's Pilgrim Heart or Jai's Shiva Station, expanding and deepening the vision of modern kirtan music. In this increasingly interconnected world, we can no longer afford to think that one name of God is higher than another, otherwise we inadvertently judge our neighbors. Of course we have our favorites and love them dearly, but the truth must come out: there is only one God, called by so many names, and if concepts about God get in my way I will just remember, "It's about love."