Cassette Tape Project: India Field Recordings

Preserving a precious bhakti resource: the audio record of Shyamdas' lifetime of spiritual study

About this Project:

The Shyamdas Foundation has inherited a collection of over 400 cassette tapes of field recordings, made mostly by Shyamdas himself and his assistant Madan Mohan in India, and also from kirtan and satsang sessions in the West. These rare and precious recordings contain music and conversations of not only Shyamdas, but also his gurus, bhakti associates, music teachers, and friends. Some recordings date back to 1979. These provide an audio record of a lifetime of spiritual study and exploration that will inspire scholars and bhaktas into the future.

What's on the tapes?

Preliminary estimates based on the tape labels suggests that we have ~16 hours of Shyamdas and ~140 hours of his guru Shri Prathameshji speaking and singing. In addition, there are many hours of Shyamdas' singing teacher Rasik Tailang, hours of his satsangs with great bhaktas of that time (such as Gopilal, Jetabhai, Bapa, Vitthaldas, Joshnaben, Krishna Mukhiyaji, Panditji and others), as well as lectures by another gurus and luminaries of the Pushtimarg lineage like Goswami Shyam Manohar, Gokulotsav Maharaj, Indira Betiji, Vraj Ramanlalji Maharaj, Dikshitji Maharaj and others. There are ~60 hours of kirtans by Shyamdas, Prathameshji, and temple singers from Gokul and Nathdvara, as well as even the recordings of when India's most famous classical singer, Pandit Jesraj, came to Shri Prathameshji in Bikaner to learn the Pushtimarg singing style called Haveli Sangeet.

Where does my donation go?

We have secured a generous discount from MediaLocks, the same company that digitized thousands of tapes for the Ram Dass' Love Serve Remember Foundation. Still, it will cost $8 per tape for Media Locks to digitize, repair, and perform basic editing for our collection of 400+ tapes. Your contributions support this immediate digitization cost, but also the ongoing costs of storing this data on our online server and website, as well as the further editing, cataloguing, and in some cases transliteration and translation of the materials.

The Project FAQs

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes! The Shyamdas Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) Public Charity with federal tax exempt status effective May 2, 2013. Contributions to the Shyamdas Foundation are therefore deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Is this a safe payment method?

Donations are made via paypal, either with a paypal account or a credit card. This is a totally secure payment method, and no one besides paypal has access to donors' payment information.

Can I pay by check?

Sure! Please write 'Cassette Tape' on the front of the check, made out to The Shyamdas Foundation, and mail to us at:
The Shyamdas Foundation
c/o Marguerite Prentice
18 Ocean Ave.
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107


Preserving a precious bhakti resource: the audio record of Shyamdas' lifetime of spiritual study
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