Blessed Assurance: The Krishna Chorale

a cassette tape recorded in 1988 by the choir of the New Vrindaban City of God

The cover of the cassette tape Blessed Assurance by the Krishna Chorale (1988). To listen to Blessed Assurance, go to YouTube.

Liner Notes

The Choir of the Cathedral of Understanding
The City of God
New Vrindaban, West Virginia

His Divine Grace Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada, League of Devotees—Cities of God Founder/Acharya
His Holiness Devamrita Swami, Temple President
His Grace Hrishikesh Das, Director of Music
Professor Alfred R. de Jaager, Choirmaster


    Since the dawn of history, music and worship have been inseparably united. Brahmins in ancient India chanted Vedic mantras. Catholic priests in Medieval Europe recited Gregorian psalmody. The founder of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, said: “Next to theology, I give the first and highest honor to music.” Music has the power to transform spoken scripture into a rapturous communion of the soul with the divine.

    As the ages passed, new cultures borrowed heavily from previous civilizations. The high priests of ancient Persia recited melodies which had come from the Vedic brahmins. The Jewish cantors adopted musical styles from the Persians. The Byzantine clergy sang canticles based on the Jewish psalter, and Catholic priests intoned the Mass in Gregorian chants which often were derived from the Byzantine rite.

    The great Lutheran composer, J. S. Bach, based many of his works on Catholic plainsong chants, and subsequent Protestant denominations have transplanted entire songs, note for note, into their own hymnals, changing only the words to suit their particular doctrines.

    Today, at New Vrindaban, the ancient religion of the East—eternal sanatana dharma, or Krishna consciousness—is now uniting the music of the West with the texts of the Vedic scriptures. The cycle has gone around full swing!

    This is because service to God is dynamic, not static. It evolves, never withers to nothingness. It adapts itself to unique times and circumstances and constantly strives to bring all living entities back to the One Lord who created us all.

    In reality, the goal of all religion is to love God. Whether we call him Krishna or Allah, Yahweh or Christ, it doesn’t matter. What matters is our sincerity and determination to become perfect children of God, to render complete loving service to God.

    In New Vrindaban—and in all the Cities of God—we hope to create that ideal community where devotees of the Lord from every tradition can live and worship in a chorus of perfect harmony, united together by love of God. Hare Krishna.

    His Divine Grace Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada
    League of Devotees—Cities of God Founder/Acharya

Sopranos (* denotes section leader) Tammy Dixon, Mary Hadsell, Krishna-Bhakti, Kulangana, Pundarika, Purnima, *Ragamathani, Syama, Sikhi-Mahiti

Altos: Bhavisya, Daksinavari, *Janaki, Janesvari, Rohini, Sanatha, Shyama

Tenors: Barbara, Dhruva, *Mahabuddhi, Terry Logan

Basses: Ananta, *Dhirodatta, Steve Lembeck, Eric Thomas, Matthew Van Camp, Visvatamukha, Yadubara

Librarian: Shyama

Side One

1) Blessed Assurance
lyrics by Devamrita Swami
adapted from a poem by Fanny Crosby van Alstyne (1823-1915)
music by Phoebe P. Knapp (1839-1908)

    Blessed assurance, Krishna is mine!
    I’ve taken shelter—what mercy divine!
    Beyond salvation is love of God;
    Child of my guru—he’ll lead me on.

    This is my story, this is my song:
    Praising my master all the day long;
    This is my story, this is my song:
    Offering guru-puja all the day long.

    Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    A real disciple leaves darkness for light;
    Knowledge descending, Maya subsides;
    Cherished instructions will turn the tide.

    Determination to pass his test,
    I, in my service, am happy and blest;
    Hearing and chanting, reading his books,
    Filled with his goodness, my head at his foot.

2) What a Friend We Have in Krishna
lyrics by Krishna Bhakti Devi Dasi
adapted from a poem by Joseph Scriven (1820-1918)
music by Charles C. Converse

    What a friend we have in Krishna,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to him in prayer!

    O what peace we often forfeit,
    O what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer.

    Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!

    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows bear?
    Krishna knows our every weakness—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!

    Are we weak and heavy laden?
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Mighty Krishna, still our refuge--
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!

    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In his arms he’ll take and shield thee—
    Thou wilt find a solace there.

3) Onward, Krishna’s Soldiers
lyrics by Hrishikesh Dasa
adapted from a poem by Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1900)
music by Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900)

    Onward, Krishna’s soldiers, marching as to war!
    With the Bhagavad-gita, preaching up a storm;
    Krishna is our master, who leads against the foe,
    Forward into battle, chanting as we go!

    Like a mighty army moves Chaitanya’s zeal,
    In every town and village his holy name will peal;
    Maya cannot stop us as long as we’re sincere,
    Chanting sixteen rounds a day, to four regs we adhere.

    Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
    But chanting Hare Krishna constant will remain;
    Let’s go back to Godhead, for Krishna’s God, our King!
    This through countless ages men and angels sing.

4) Blessed Sound of Krishna’s Holy Name
lyrics by Sikhi Mahiti Devi Dasi
American Negro Spiritual

    Blessed sound of Krishna’s holy name,
    All sins flee when they glories we proclaim:
    Hare Krishna! Sometimes it causes me to tremble,
    Blessed sound of Krishna’s holy name!

    Every moment is the instant of our death;
    Let’s all chant Hare Krishna with each breath!
    All we need: thy precious holy name!
    Then our lives will never be the same.

5) Go, Tell It On the Mountains
lyrics by Sikhi Mahiti Devi Dasi
American Negro Spiritual

    Go, tell it on the mountains,
    Over the hills and everywhere;
    Go, tell it on the mountains,
    That Bhaktipada is born!

    While demigods kept watching o’er planet earth that night,
    Behold! throughout the universe there shone a heav’nly light!

    The suras feared and trembled, when lo! above the earth
    Sang the Gandharva’s chorus that hailed our savior’s birth.

    His birth was very humble, but his destiny was grand;
    He’s building Krishna’s temple; the finest in the land!

    Oh, people, please remember, whever you may roam,
    That Bhaktipada’s the one who built Prabhupada a home!

6) Forty Seasons
lyrics by H. D. G. Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada
adapted from a sonnet by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
music by Hrishikesh Das

    When forty seasons plow they brow
    And make deep furrows in beauty’s field,
    They youth’s proud face so gazed at now,
    To unwanted weeds will be forced to yield.

    Then ask, where thy beauty lies,
    Where’s the bounty of thy youthful days;
    To say, with deep sunken eyes,
    ’Twas illusion, only a phase.

    Real beauty is more than skin deep,
    It’s the soul that is beautiful,
    But its vision’s not very cheap.
    For we must give up everything sinful.

    Then canst thou see thy beauty
    New made when thou art old,
    And feel they blood turn warm,
    When it is turning cold.

Side Two

1) Dancing Down the Valleys Wild
lyrics by H. D. G. Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada
adapted from a poem by William Blake (1757-1827)
music by Hrishikesh Das
soprano solo by Ragamathani Devi Dasi

    Dancing down the valleys wild,
    Singing Krishna’s name with glee;
    On a cloud I saw a child,
    And he laughingly said to me:

    Play a song about a cow,
    So I piped one fit for Lear;
    Piper, pipe it again right now!
    So I piped while he wept to hear.

    Stop this song, its useless sensation;
    Maya’s illusion of pleasure and pain.
    So I began the holy vibration,
    Krishna, Krishna, the holy name.

    Then I made a simple pen,
    And I stained the waters clear.
    Writing down my happy songs ten,
    For one and all to hear.

2) Song of a Brahmachary
lyrics by H. D. G. Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada
music adpted from Piano Man by Billy Joel
baritone solo by Hrishikesh Das

    Sing me a song of a bharmachary,
    Sing me a song tonight;
    Sing me a song of celibacy,
    Sing me a song of delight!

    Marriage is a curse, a lifetime of shame.
    Singleness is beatitude, giving peace and fame.
    O foolish householder, why not stop this fatal flood?
    One drop of semen costs forty drops of blood.

    Preseve it with care, transute it to Shakti;
    Look at your toes while walking, and do not gaze at women.
    Feel oneness in Krishna, and unity in service;
    Be eager for japa, and anxious to read God’s world.

    You too, can be naishthika Brahmachary
    Afraid of neither lions nor men;
    Following in the line of Bhishma and Lakshmana,
    Devotees fully established in physical and mental celibacy.

    Avoiding hot curries and chutneys,
    Living on simple milk, fruits, and grains;
    Rising half-past-three in the morning,
    Taking cold shower amidst bursts of “Hare Krishna.”

    Relish the seclusion of Vrindaban,
    Feel inspiration in holy association;
    Think of Krishna always,
    This is the perfection of Brahmacharya.

    Laziness and inattention are two great obstacles,
    Careful hearing and chanting is the only sure cure;
    Mundane movies and novels are sure to degrade,
    Transcendental engagements just as surely elevate.

    “Whatever you do, do for me,” Lord Krishna advises,
    Then are you as beautiful and sweet as the lotus;
    Now your eyes glitter like the stars,
    And your voice as strong and charming as the nightingale.

    All these belong to the perfect brahmachary,
    Who chants the Lord’s holy name;
    Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare;
    Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

3) A Medley of Krishmas Carols
lyrics and musical arrangements by Hrishikesh Das, unless noted otherwise.

We Wish You a Hare Krishna

    We wish you a Hare Krishna, We wish you a Hare Krishna,
    We wish you a Hare Krishna, and a Jai Bhaktipada!
    Good tidings to you whever you roam,
    Just chant Hare Krishna and come back to home.

Silent Night

    Silent night, holy night;
    All is calm, all is bright.
    Kamsa’s watchmen are sleeping away,
    Demigods are shouting in joy:
    Hare Krishna, Hare Rama!

    Silent night, holy night;
    Demons quake at the sight;
    Glories stream from heaven afar,
    Heav’nly hosts sing the mahamantra:
    Hare Krishna, Hare Rama!

Joy to the World

    Joy to the world, the Lord is come
    Within the holy name: Hare Krishna, Hare Rama;
    And heav’n and nature sing, And heav’n and nature sing,
    And heav’n and heav’n and nature sing.

    He rules the world with truth and grace,
    Let’s chant his holy name: Hare Krishna, Hare Rama.
    Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy,
    Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

We Three Kings

    We three kings of India are
    Chanting Krishna’s name near and far;
    Field and fountain, moor and mountain;
    Chanting his name in love.

    Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare;
    Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

    Glorious is his name we behold,
    Love of God for young and old.
    Join us in our call above,
    Chanting his name in love.

Deck the Halls with Joyous Chanting

    Deck the halls with joyous chanting:
    Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, hey!
    ’Tis the seaon to be dancing:
    Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, hey!
    Follow me in mercy measure:
    Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, hey!
    While I sing of our great treasure:
    Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, hey!

    See the blazing fire before us;
    Strike the drum andjoin the chorus;
    Sing we joyous altogether;
    Heedless of the wind and weather.

    Chant the holy name I beg you;
    Far away your cares will leave you;
    Cymbals ring and singers sing;
    O what joy his name doth bring!

O Chant, All Ye Faithful

    O chant, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
    O chant ye, O chant ye the Lord’s holy name.
    God incarnate now in sound appearing:
    Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare.

    Sing, choirs of bhaktas, sing in exultation,
    Sing ye, O citiizens of New Vrindaban.
    Glory to God in the highest.

God Rest Ye, Merry Devotees
by His Holiness Umapati Maharaja

    God rest ye merry devotees, may all your cares be done.
    Remember Lord Chaitanya was born as Saci’s son,
    To teach us the philosophy of different and one.
    O chant ye Govinda’s holy name, holy name,
    O chant ye Govinda’s holy name.

O Tulsi Tree

    O Tulsi tree, O Tulsi tree, I bow down before thee.
    O Tulsi tree, O tulsi tree, this favor I implore thee:
    Let me take birth, if I deserve,
    In Krishna-Loka, my Lord to serve.
    O Tulsi tree, O Tulsi tree. Dear Vrinda, I adore thee.


Professor Alfred R. de Jaager, Ch.M., American Guild of Organists, received his B.A. at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, his M.M. at West Virginia University, and has completed course work on the D.M.A. in choral conducting at the University of Cincinnati College—Conservatory of Music. He is an associate professor of music at West Liberty State College, and has received the S. Lewis Elmer Award, for the nation’s highest score on the Ch.M. exam. Mr. de Jaager also directs three choirs at West Liberty State College.


Recording engineered by Vaikunthanath Das.
Piano, Organ, Accordion and Digital Sampler played by Hrishikesh Das.
Baldwin Concert Grand Piano courtesy of Gerror's Music, Wheeling, WV. Copyrights for all lyrics plus the music for Forty Seasons, Dancing Down the Valleys Wild, and A Medley of Krishnmas Carols are owned by Palace Publishing, except music for Song of a Brahmachary.

For a free catalog of books and tapes write to: Palace Publishing, RD 1 Box 320, New Vrindaban, WV 26041.

The Krishna Chorale performs at the New Vrindaban RVC Temple. Professor de Jaager directs, Hrishikesh accompanies from the piano.

The Krishna Chorale: Jagad Guru

Back to: Gold, Guns and God, Vol. 8