sraddha meaning

SRADDHA is the title of my new collection of songs. It’s a word that might not be familiar to a lot of people, so I want to explain the meaning of SRADDHA; where the word comes from and why I chose it.

The word ‘Sraddha’ has two slightly different forms, and two different meanings, depending which form is used.

In one form (sraadha or shraadha), it is a Sanskrit word which describes a Hindu ritual performed for one’s dead ancestors, particularly one’s parents. It is a prayer for their peace, and it is a way of honouring them, and of showing gratitude to our ancestors (both immediate and those in the distant past) for giving us life and helping us become what and who we are.

In another form (sraddhaa, shraddhaa, saddha), it is a word significant in both Hinduism and Buddhism whose translation sits somewhere between ‘faith’, ‘insight’, ‘understanding’, and ‘conviction’, and, in particular, it can be used to describe the conviction or confidence that one develops as a result of their own experiences.

In my case, rather than choosing one meaning, I chose to try to honour both by simply calling my collection of songs SRADDHA. I did this because SRADDHA is a collection of music that arose in response to a great personal loss. In the beginning, it was an expression of personal grief, but over time, I realised that what I was feeling spoke to something much deeper than my own circumstances. The process of coming to terms with the loss of life of someone who was dear to me led me to an acknowledgment of the past which is always with us, and a desire to seek meaning from the endless cycle of life and death to which all of humanity is bound.

Ultimately I realised that what I’m expressing relates equally to both of the interpretations of the word; in a literal sense, this collection of songs is like a ritual I am performing, a cathartic expression of the emotions I felt as, over time, I dealt with the sudden and unexpected death of my father.

In a deeper sense, this collection of songs is also a reflection of something else; the realisation that through this personal suffering I had somehow gained a deeper understanding of the paradox of Life; it is fleeting, but it is constant; it is ever in decay and yet ever in renewal – and the keystone of my discovery was the ability to live with this paradox and to find hope and purpose in my existence and relationships despite the promise of their eventual end.

I also came to understand that a single life is but one expression of something much greater – after all, we may be a tiny grain of sand, but we are still part of the bedrock of a vast ocean that will continue to ebb and flow long after we are, personally, gone. This, strangely, I found very comforting. Being able to accept this paradox of the significance and insignificance of a single life was for me the key to accepting death. Because where we shall end, more shall continue. And while we are here, may we pave the way for them with courage, compassion, and fire in our hearts.

SRADDHA will be released one song per month, from the 1st of September 2014 to the 1st of June 2015. The songs will be made available as a digital download on iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp and selected streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer on the first day of each month. Join my mailing list to get access to secret videos about each song of SRADDHA and email updates about the release of each song.