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Learning Mantras for Children

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HOW MANY parents there are, who would dearly love to open their children's minds to the rich heritage of Sanskrit slokas, at the right age, but are handicapped because their own knowledge is scrappy or scanty. For them Times Music's new album: "Naman: Mantras for Children" will come as a Godsend. "The invisible vibrations they generate have the power to silently work their magic and change our lives for the better," says the narrator, introducing the selections.

The collection of 25 mantras and shlokas, has been designed by Ears Inc., with Shaarang Dev directing the music, with taste and understatement. Rattan Mohan Sharma, provides the lead vocals - clear and precise as anything meant for teaching the young should be and he is backed by three youthful voices in chorus. Pandit Jasraj voices the signature prayer.

The app is divided into four sections: morning, daytime evening and night time shlokas, with the well-known voice of Harish Bimani introducing each section in English, with a few crisp sentences. It begins with the Prathaha vandana", invocations to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. This is followed by the Gayatri Mantram and a Shanti Mantram: a prayer for peace.

The day-time prayers open with the Saraswathi vandana", and a Guru stotram to the teacher as a well as a prayer to Lord Krishna. It ends with the prayer to Lord Vishnu. The evening shlokas include "Lakshmi Stuti" and "Parvati stuti" as well a prayer to Lord Rama. Night-time slokas include the Kaarya Sampoornam": "Kaayen vaacha..".

It is rounded off with a secular prayer, "Prabhu Vandana" - a seven- minute rendering by a children's chorus in Hindi. The album is enhanced by inlay notes where the full text of all the mantras are provided in Devanagiri and Roman script, with meaningful notes in English by Sarita Pandit.