MAA CHETAN JYOTI
Swami and founder of the school
Maa Chetan Jyoti, of Canadian origin, lived in North India for over 34 years. She was a sannyasini (like a nun) initiated in 2000 by her beloved Guru Sri Poojya Chandra Swamiji Maharaj in the Udasin order. She had a small ashram right on the banks of Mother Ganga outside the Holy city of Rishikesh, with a wonderful view of the Himalayan Mountains, where she lived for 20 years.
In October 2005, Maa Chetan founded a children’s music academy on the rooftop of her ashram, where she also regularly sang spiritual music (Kirtan). Many musicians visited there every day. Selflessly, her love for music went far beyond herself to promoting Indian music near and far, but most especially to develop the musical potential in local impoverished children. The children’s orchestra for classical Indian music – heretofore unheard of in India – was entirely her creation and love offering. She founded the music school in Rishikesh, sought donations for instruments, offered free lessons and engaged her accompanist, friend and fellow world musician, Shivananda, as their teacher and director.
Maa Chetan Jyoti left this world on 20 April 2008. Our efforts to keep the music school running is not only for the children; it is also an homage to “Mata Ji’s” selfless heart.