For Gaura Vani, the road to As Kindred Spirits took a few detours and scenic byways, but now the view behind him couldn’t be better. Gaura was born into an American Hare Krishna family and left the US at age six for a gurukula (temple school) in the holy city of Vrindavan, India. He studied ancient Sanskrit and Bengali prayers, learned to play traditional instruments and sing sacred music. It was here that a lifelong desire to make inspirational music was born. After returning to the states and a typical American lifestyle, Gaura rebelled against his spirituality: he drank, ate meat, and committed other Hare Krishna no-nos. He started a rock band and flirted with Hollywood, landing bit roles in a few blockbuster movies and TV shows.
When waves of inner emptiness became too hard to ignore, Gaura switched gears and became a monk at a temple in Venice, CA. Later, he went to India, found his guru, Radhanath Swami, and through an interesting turn of events, became the lead singer of a Slovenian rock band. In Washington, DC, Gaura met his beautiful wife and started a wonderful family. A desk job in the State Department was made slightly less claustrophobic by evening and weekend kirtans. A rotating cast of fellow kirtaniyas gelled into a band, and As Kindred Spirits was born. Over time, the desire to inspire and serve the world through music consumed him, and the cubicle was traded in for a kurta, the briefcase for bhakti.
In January 2009, Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits launched the radical, first ever Chant4Change, when 1,000 people gathered in Washington, DC on the eve of the presidential inauguration to empower the new Obama administration. Since then, they have performed for NPR, CBS, Lollapalooza, Burning Man, Bhakti Fest, as well as in countless yoga studios and grassroots get-togethers on every continent.