BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — Baton Rouge may not be a typical destination for a world-renowned musician and yoga guru, but Sri Swamiji is in town, showing how his music changes lives.
Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji has performed for millions of people around the world. He has a devoted following because of the way he mixes music with yoga and meditation.
"And if you listen the music," he said, "more light and more freedom to mind, not only body."
Sri Swamiji is a leading teacher of Kriya Yoga, which places special emphasis on breathing. He has created thousands of songs, all of which are designed to impact listeners psychologically or medically.
"This all healing," he stated. "We are using for the healing."
He is a guest this week of Datta Temple. He first visited Baton Rouge in 1988, and he returned several times since. He took a swamp tour on his visit in 2013, and believes people in the South are friendlier than in the rest of the United States.
"I have seen so many other side (of the country). They're very busy, and money. But this side has very soft people, I have seen."
Datta Temple is one of three temples outside India founded by his disciples. But he tries specifically to keep religion out of his work.
"So that the music is not Muslim, not Christian, not Hindu, not Buddha," he mentioned. "Everyone likes music."
Sri Swamiji runs an ashram in his native Mysore, India, with a school and a medical clinic for the poor. People turn to him to solve their problems. But he believes people spend too much time focusing on the negative.
"So many different problems came and gone," he noted. "And problems is normally, normal life."
Sri Swamiji has played his music at venues such as the Lincoln Center in New York and Royal Albert Hall in London. But he tries to live a simple life, and jokes that he is not a musician, but a kind of servant.
"After that my studies were over, then I will join the post office," he said. "I am like a postman. No, still also I am postman. Some people's problems I will carry, and pray. That is only postman."
Sri Swamiji claimed he does not set goals, because they would distract him from everything life has to offer.
"I will experience today," he said. "If you have anything bad today, anything bad, tomorrow, this experience I will put as my experience in tomorrow," he said. "But tomorrow comes good, okay?"
For the full list of events during Sri Swamiji's visit, click here.