Prajnaparamita (Sutra of Transcendental Wisdom in a Single Letter)
The one thus gone (Tathagata in Pali and Sanskrit) – that’s how Buddha called himself instead of "I". The name refers to liberation from samsara, a cycle of death and rebirth. Not only the Buddha, who lived 2,500 years ago, but any person can become "thus gone". Those who have "thus gone" explain to the rest of us how everything works, and what kind of problems and obstacles keep us in samsara.
My composition is based on three ancient texts.
"The Last Words of Senge Wangchuk", a great yogin and meditation master who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries. This text is constituted of the words he pronounced at the moment of his death as his body was dissolving into a cloud of rainbow light.
"The Prayer of Samantabhadra". This text was hidden in the 9th century by the great master Padmasambhava, and revealed in the 14th century by another great master Rigzin Godem (1337-1408). The authorship of this text is attributed to primordial Buddha Samantabhadra. Samantabhadra embodies enlightened mind which is present in everyone’s mindstream. After having heard our true voice we start to wake up from ignorance. In the conclusion of this text it is said that all beings who hear this prayer will attain enlightenment within three lifetimes.
"Prostration to the 35 Buddhas". In Buddhist tradition there is a practice of confession of sins: pronouncing the 35 names of "The One Thus Gone" while doing prostrations (full bows).
It is not at all necessary to be a Buddhist to set off on this journey. These words are universal. Like the laws of physics, they do not belong to any religion. Neither does music.
The text of the 4th (final) movement contains just one letter: A. It is said that the most profound wisdom that needs hundreds of volumes for its detailed explanation can be transmitted through one single letter A. When we sing the sound Ah for a long time and listen to it we become that sound. We become who we really are, and all the knowledge of the universe and that of ourselves enters our mind without any words and philosophy.
releases March 31, 2017
Alexander Manotskov: lead vocals, guitar, dryna
Asya Sorshneva: electric violin, electronics
Sergey Kalachev “Grebstel”: bass guitar, electronics
Vladimir Zharko: drums
Anton Batagov: piano
Composed by: Anton Batagov
Texts: Buddhist prayers
1st century BCE - 12th century CE
Live recording by: Anastasia Lukina (Rybakova),
Svetlanov Hall, Moscow International House of Music, June 9, 2016
Mixed by: Anastasia Lukina (Rybakova)
The Grand Hall Studios, Moscow State
Mastered by: Eric Xu
Central Sound at Arizona PBS
Cover photo by: Alisa Naremontti
Booklet cover photo by: Liana Darenskaya
Liner photos by: Liana Darenskaya,
Sergey Tischenko (p. 29)
Design: Sergey Krasin
Produced by: Anton Batagov
Executive producer: Sergey Krasin
Special thanks to: Veronika Kamaeva, Vladimir Gubatov, Tatiana Zadorozhnaya, Mikhail Spassky, Anton Bushinsky, Diana Gorovaya, Alexey Lukin, Yekaterina Jorniak, Olesya Karpacheva, and a very special thanks to Lama Sonam Dorje (Lama Oleg)
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