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Passionate about the planet

As the Bhajan Boat forged the troubled waters of Manhattan’s East River last weekend, SRI Kirtan punctuated their set with a passionate rap against “fracking,” one of the latest threats to water quality perpetrated by Big Oil & Gas.  The very UNtraditional lyrical riff was brilliantly wrapped inside a traditional chant venerating Ganga Ma — the troubled holy river revered in India as symbolic of the Divine Mother, the source from which all life and salvation flows. 

It was mantra with a message, a take-no-prisoners warning not to frack with Ma’s water…

 

Fracking — a moniker for hydraulic fracturing — is the process of pumping millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand into shale rock to extract natural gas.  The practice has gained favor with gas drillers as a cost-effective way to harvest vast natural gas reserves, but many questions about its safety and how it affects the water supply remain unanswered.  In New York State, regulators are still debating whether to allow fracking.  A state-wide moratorium is in effect temporarily, while environmental and health reviews continue.  Meanwhile, with the state dragging its feet, more than 100 upstate NY municipalities have banned fracking, but these local rules are also under attack:  in the first of many legal battles, a state judge recently invalidated Binghamton’s municipal ban.

‘Are You Serious?/Are You Delirious?

Don't Frack with her

Fracking has “shortsighted benefits,” says Ishwari, SRI Kirtan’s female half, because it offers access to a “cheap resource” — untolled billions of gallons of natural gas preserves.  But the process is environmentally suspect, at best.  At worst, it’s a “Molotov cocktail/right at your tap,” as the song goes.  “We can’t afford to sell out on this one,” she says, with line-in-the-sand determination.

“There is no life on earth without water.”  Only about one percent of the Earth’s water reserves are suitable for drinking, Ishwari points out.   “Fresh, drinkable water is our most precious resource.”

SRI Kirtan's Sruti Ram & Ishwari at Bhakti Fest Midwest

Ishwari and SRI Kirtan’s other half, Sruti Ram, recorded a studio version of “Don’t Frack” last year with Srikalogy’s Srikala Kerel Roach, a NY-based conscious hip-hop artist who is making his mark on the new wave of experimental kirtan-rap fusion now gaining momentum  in the “yoga-music” world.  (Hear Don’t Frack here.) 

 The Message in the Mantra

The words to SRI Kirtan’s anti-fracking rap and Ganga Ma mantra are:
 
Jai Jai Ganga Ma
Jai Jai Shankara
Bham bolo Mahadeva Shankara
 
I’m gonna get my water back,
don’t frack
Not gonna let you fracture…

It’s Undrinkable
Unthinkable
We’re on the brink
to sell our souls
to make a buck
so we can say
we lost our minds & gave it
away to Exxon/Mobil
they made their bottom line
America, your mantra
Will leave the world behind.

Are you serious?
Are you delirious?
on CNN with a
ridiculous grin
About the gas below
What do you know?
Chemical madness in your water flow.
Molotov cocktail
right at your tap
spontaneous combustion
delivered while you nap
There is so little time, we have
So much to learn
Please don’t let our water burn!

See also:
www.srikirtan.com
www.mantralogy.com
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More Coverage from the Bhajan Boat:
‘Bhajan Boat’ Charity Kirtan Cruise Circles Manhattan With a Boatful of Bhaktas (Video)
Bhajan Boat Photo Journal on The Bhakti Beat’s facebook page
Stay tuned to this space for more from the Bhajan Boat (subscribe here), and check our YouTube channel for the latest uploads.
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  • Ekayani Chamberlin October 4, 2012, 11:49 pm

    Dear Brenda,
    Thanks for posting this. On the historical tip of the community roots of this version of “Water Back ” by Raymond Norwood. I am supplying a link here to our dearest heart Raymond Norwood. Raymond had the inspiration to go on a Green Bus tour (yay Charlie Gonzalez!) for a “We Love Water Tour” that consisted of a band of musicians and spiritual activists like Meagan Perry, Lucas Chute, Charlie G, myself, Truth Now, Ryan Reid, Miguel C, Vanette and many others were on this Water Back We Love Water Tour stopping in Ithaca, the Twin Rivers,Woodstock, Hancock..brining music, action tables, awareness and some love to the atmosphere. Versions of Water back are 7 in number to date including this one! Raymond was present in the studio this time in the role as back up singer for this yoga version of the recording done in Saugerties, NY at SRIKIRTAN’s studio with Srikala mixing. Please look at this interview conducted by Colleen Whitaker from Starliner events to get more on the story from Gasland to The Water Back Project by Raymond Norwood. Thank you! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNFeQE12Z4I

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