Fr Carlos Luis SAC
Sina Siav is an Indo-Persian multi-instrumentalist, multimedia artist, photographer, sound healing meditator and yoga teacher based in Goa, India. His music is influenced by Parsi Sufi scriptures, transcendental chantings of tribal people, and a fusion of classical, folk, electronic and world music.
He plays instruments like tanbour, didgeridoo, handpan, singing bowl, bansuri, keyboard instruments, Native American flutes, gongs, cajón, percussion instruments, setar (a Persian instrument) and classical guitar, and mostly performs in yoga and sound healing sessions and ceremonies.
It is not unusual that he began studying music at the age of 8 as his father was a musician and his grandfather was a Sufi poet. It is their encouragement that enabled him to gain such a firm grasp over so many instruments.
Greeting you with a calm, “Namaste,” he explains why and how he juggles all the things he does, saying, “Music makes my soul happy. Yoga helps me keep my body in order. And photography is just an expression of those elements of my life!” Further explaining, he says, “Well, except for yoga, I started most of the above as hobbies. I can say my three main juggling balls are music, yoga and the visual arts. Having yoga and sound meditation at the centre (Ashiyana at Mandrem, Goa), I access a world of infinite possibilities, practice it and get used to being there in that infinite space of shunya, or emptiness. Anything is possible and nothing is really a lot. But that comes actually from a very rich ‘Nothingness’.”
While engaged in the visual arts, he aims to intermingle culture, humanity and nature, pointing out particular angles and perspectives. He recounts, “In my music video of the song called ‘Shamanic Healing’, I added footage from Goa, Varanasi, Rishikesh, Pushkar and some other holy places in India and Persia where the spiritual practices of yoga and sound healing are taking place.” He believes that they are all connected, and are interesting for different people and different nations.
When gracefully playing varied instruments, he desires “to access a very deep state of meditation in which, with the use of the instrument (body) and the direction of the experienced mind (transmitted by the great masters), a deep realisation of self and the atman (self or breath) is taking place. Just as it’s said: ‘Nādbrahma.’”
Sina Siav has recently released a simultaneously restful and energising instrumental composition called “Whirlpool”, which he confirms took a shorter production time. “Normally the production process takes weeks and months, but ‘Whirlpool’ took just a week. And that was my challenge, to make something for my very present situation and vibe, which was great due to the start of monsoon and the joy of swimming in lakes made of sweet rainwater.”
A wellness influencer, Sina tries to heal his clients through workshops or retreats. He explains how he can perform the healing, “It is partly because of the sound healing and mainly because of my yoga classes and retreats, and my holistic and artistic approach towards yoga, which inspires many young people to practice the lifestyle and the teachings of yoga and Omkara.”
Watching his Instagram reels, you notice that he combines music with yoga. Upon being asked if there is a trick involved, he explains, “There’s no trick. My music is only a loud silence, which indicates inner silence and sometimes the expressions of that joyous and beautiful space which come naturally but through the practice of yoga and meditation.”
Currently, he is working on his yogic aspect while proffering everyday sessions to people visiting Goa for a retreat. He helps them experience the wonder of nature, connecting with it intimately and understanding how joyful it is to live a simple, natural and meditative life. He advises, “Take care of yourselves, take care of our Mother Nature, take care of the environment, and access that infinite amount of joy and bliss which is contained within her.” He is, furthermore, grateful to Goans and emphatically says, “I would like to thank the people of Goa for being so warm-hearted and welcoming, and holding and giving space to holy practices of all kinds, especially those that have their roots in Vedic culture.”
(Fr Carlos Luis is a priest belonging to the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottine) and is currently the Mission Secretary of the ABVM Province, Bangalore. He comments on literature and films that mirror life.)