As far as couples go, Deva Premal and Miten seem to have it all –love, adventure and successful music careers.
On paper, they appear to be quite the odd couple. Premal was born in Germany and is a classically trained musician who actually grew up singling mantras taught to her by her parents. Miten, born Andy Desmond, grew up in London during the 60’s, which means that he left a life of sex, drugs and rock & roll to look for something “more substantial.”
They met 17 years ago in India and ever since have toured the world spreading peace, love and beauty through their music and the art of tantra.
I was able to catch up with Premal and Miten via email while they were in Mexico giving a tantric workshop in between performances of their 2007 North American tour, which includes a Dec. 11 performance at the Maui Prince Hotel in Makena:
MAUI TIME WEEKLY: I briefly read about your “love story” meeting in India many years ago. How is your relationship different today?
DEVA PREMAL and MITEN: No different. Still fresh, still clean. We met 17 years ago (in an ashram in India). Our connection with each other is based on freedom, respect, encouragement and fun. And of course love, but our experience has shown us that love grows as a by-product of these things.
What exactly is a mantra?
It is the name of God in her/his many different aspects in Sanskrit. It is a collection of sounds, which… create certain beneficial responses in the body/mind organism. To chant them repeatedly is very effective on many different levels.
Do people need to be able to sing to experience the power of mantra?
No. You can sit in silence and be showered by the sound. It would have the same effect. But singing mantras doesn’t require a great singing voice.
Mantras have their own intrinsic power and they have a way of supporting you. Even if you “think” you can’t sing, you find your voice blending with others. And in addition to that, when people sing together, they breathe together. This creates a sense of synchronicity, which in itself creates a great sense of communion.
Do you believe music affects the veil between the physical and the ethereal worlds?
Music is the veil between the physical and the ethereal world. It is the bridge.
Please explain what a person does at a tantric retreat.
Our particular tantric retreat is called “Tantra-Mantra,” in which we use the singing voice, and the mantras, to open us up to the world of tantric love. Basically we sing and meditate together, with tantric exercises, which are facilitated by our friend and tantra master, Swami Rafia.
Do you have any recommendations for couples that seem to loose touch over the years?
We don’t really have any answers. We just feel blessed to have been able to be with each other and live a life that has been guided by a spiritual teacher –in our case, Osho. The music we make together is a huge chunk, too. It has become a great addition to our tantric practice. To be creative together is a beautiful thing.
In your interview with Yoga Journal, you implied that making love is a sacred moment. What is a simple way for couples to start embracing this idea if they don’t feel the sacredness?
Look for it… Be open to the possibility that there is something beyond “The Known.”
What is your favorite area or thing about Maui?
The nature around Hana. MTW