Mahatma, by Dean Marshall of Swath Publishing as preformed by Barrage on the self-titled album.

Bho-mee mongalam
Oo-da-ka mongalam
Ag-ni mongalam
Vhy-you mongalam
Ga-ga-na mongalam
Soo-ri-ya mongalam
Chan-dra mongalam
Ja-ga-ta mongalam
Jee-va mongalam
Day-ha mongalam
Ma-no mongalam
At-ma mongalam
Sar-va mongalam bha-ba-tu bha-ba-tu bha-ba
Sar-va mongalam bha-ba-tu bha-ba-tu bha-ba

Ok, so the words are a bit hard to make out. Here is the translation from the ancient Sanskrit:

May there be tranquility on earth
On water
In fire
In the wind
In the sky
In the sun
On the moon
On our planets
In all living beings
In the body
In the mind
In the spirit
May that tranquility be everywhere and in everyone

I first heard this song surfing through stations one night and stumbling across it on PBS (KQED in the Bay Area)...

First of all, realize that Barrage is a fiddle group out of Canada. This traditional Indian (I found out later) had a slight hint of Celtic in the tune. However under this fiddle work was a baritone voice singing in a monotone (or would that be saying?). On top of this, the women of the group where 'ooh'ing in a melody. In a most amusing addition, the words were close captioned - the 'Bho-mee mongalam' appearing on the bottom of the screen.

The music itself is a an entrancing combination of fiddle and vocals with a strong bass layer of traditional Indian instruments. Occasionally one of the fiddlers would take the foreground in the music and emerge from the intertwining of vocals and instruments. The overall effect is memorizing. The words themselves are repeated over and over as a chant and are near impossible to identify from the rest of the music. You can listen to a clip at:

The word Mahatma is made up of two parts

This word means 'great' and can be seen in such terms at mahant and maharishi (both meaning great sage). Mahasattva means great being - this is similar to the Mahatma title that is used in Hinduism, though found in Buddhism.
The Atma is the self or soul. Such words as atma-jnana meaning knowledge of the self and atma-svarup which is the essential nature of the self. Atman (diffrent form of the word?) is the true self - as opposed to one's body, personality or individuality. In Buddism, one sees Anatman refering to the 'non-self' (I'm going to bet that the 'an' in the Sanskrit is related to 'anti' in Greek). Atma alone is seen at the end of the song and is translated as 'spirit'.
Combined, this forms the word 'mahatma' to mean 'Great soul'. This title is given to people who are believed to be highly developed in a spiritual sense. This is most commonly (searching Google for mahatma) attached to Mahatma Gandhi in recent history.

Unfortunately, the lyrics I have found do not use the Harvard-Kyoto transliteration - this makes searching for various words very difficult. If anyone does know Sanskrit, I welcome translation help and new insight into the deeper meanings of paticular words.

Ma*hat"ma (?), n. [Skr. mahAtman, lit., great-souled, wise.] (Theosophy)

One of a class of sages, or "adepts," reputed to have knowledge and powers of a higher order than those of ordinary men. -- Ma*hat"ma*ism (#), n.


© Webster 1913

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