About Mata Mandir Singh
Mata Mandir Singh Khalsa is an international teacher of Naad Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Gatka (Shakti Yoga). He is a talented musician, and pioneer of the chant/mantra genre, having recorded over 28 CD and cassette titles spanning from the 1970's to present day.
Mata Mandir is now a featured artist on Invincible Records label, with many new CD albums in progress. He is also author of the forthcoming book, Naad Yoga: The Yoga of Sound Workbook. Read special excerpts from the book in our Book Blog featured on this website.
Mata Mandir continues to teach and play music mantra concerts around North America, Canada, Mexico, Europe and China.
Amrita Adi Kaur
Invincible Records invinciblemusic.com
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Biography - Mata Mandir Singh
Mata Mandir Singh Khalsa has dedicated his life to the practice and teaching of Naad Yoga: The Yoga of Sound, and Gatka - the martial art of the Sikhs. A skillful guitar, mandolin, rabab, harmonium and cittern player, he is a pioneer of the yoga music genre, having recorded more than 28 CDs and cassette tapes since the late 1970’s.
Mata Mandir was born in 1952 in Bangor, Maine. From an early age he was drawn to the world of music, beginning with classical piano lessons at 8 years old. Around age 11, Mata Mandir was exposed to The Beatles and other influential bands of the time, which inspired him to take up the guitar. In a self-taught approach, he studied chord charts, records, and learned tips from friend guitarists to improve his skill.
In his adolescent years, Mata Mandir played piano and percussion in the high school orchestra, while starting up a few garage bands on the side. His early musical influences include The Beatles, Donovan, James Taylor, Motown Sound, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Buffalo Springfield, the Steve Miller Blues Band, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, and more.
An early yogi at heart, Mata Mandir left high school in his junior year and journeyed out into the world – in his words, “went on the road as a hippie”– eventually returning to his home state of Maine where he lived in the woods and took up Zen meditation and Hatha Yoga.
In 1971, Mata Mandir discovered Kundalini Yoga in an intensive 3-day course. This event marked an important turning point in his life. Intrigued and inspired by the science of Kundalini Yoga (especially the focus on chanting and mantra), Mata Mandir traveled to Washington D.C. several months later to join the Kundalini Yoga Ashram and work in the first Golden Temple Restaurant.
Mata Mandir passed his time at the Ashram as a dedicated student of Kundalini Yoga, a musician and a cook, learning invaluable teachings from Yogi Bhajan and deepening his spiritual path. Mata Mandir began to compose music to the Guru Ram Das chants – his first composed chants – and shortly after he wrote songs for many other mantras.
Inspired by Yogi Bhajan’s life-changing teachings, Mata Mandir embarked on a journey of helping others come into tune with the rhythm of the universe. “Everything has a frequency and vibration, everything has its own song,” he says. “When you tune in to sounds of the world, like the sound of your breath or your heartbeat, for example, the world becomes different. You create a new intelligence in your life and you begin to see rhythm where before you only saw chaos.”
In the late 70’s Mata Mandir began to travel to India to initiate studies in Indian classical music and the Sikh martial art of Gatka. He recorded his first two cassette tapes, Longing for the Lord and God Loves Us When We Sing.
In 1984, Yogi Bhajan sent Mata Mandir back to India to continue his studies. He left India just days before Operation Blue Star at Golden Temple (an assault on the Golden Temple of Amritsar) to go to the Kundalini Yoga Ashram in Amsterdam, Holland and help in the Golden Temple Restaurant in Amsterdam. During this time he started teaching Gatka in Europe, mainly in Italy, and attended the first Kundalini Yoga Festival in France, and every year thereafter..
Mata Mandir bought the Amsterdam Golden Temple Restaurant in 1986, lived above it, and ran it for twenty-two years. During this period he recorded all Yoga of Sound series and many other titles, as well as traveled throughout Europe teaching Naad Yoga seminars and playing Kirtan concerts, before Kirtan concerts were well-known.
In 2007 he sold the restaurant and moved back to the U.S. to Española, New Mexico, the former home-base to Yogi Bhajan. While living there he helped start a Food Co-op and Community Farm Project and ran a vegetarian café with family members. He also continued to teach and play music in the U.S., China, Canada and Mexico.
Mata Mandir moved to San Francisco in 2014 to start a business venture called The Dosa Brothers with his son. The business involves various food carts set up on the streets of San Francisco that sell Dosas (a type of South Indian Crepe), and it has since gained a successful following of their delicious eats.
Grateful for the opportunity to create music that vibrates in harmony with universal consciousness, Mata Mandir humbly shares the music and teachings from his own journey and from his years of experience as a longtime disciple of Yogi Bhajan. Mata Mandir repeats the invaluable advice from his teacher: “Yogiji told me a long time ago that if you play any instrument in a rhythmic pattern, that will put you into harmony with the whole universe.”