Inspired by the deep devotional mood of Indian singing and music, Jaya Lakshmi began leading kirtan with harmonium and 12 string guitar and writing her own devotional songs in the early 1990’s on the island of Hawaii, shortly after receiving harinam initiation from Srila Govinda Maharaj, a great Vaisnava saint from West Bengal, India, who graciously bestowed on her the name “Jaya Lakshmi”, which means “victory to the goddess Lakshmi”, the Hindu goddess of fortune and spiritual wealth.
Her ecstatic singing and kirtan leading, often accompanied by other talented artists, has had a powerful effect amongst various communities in the islands of Hawaii, the West Coast, and Europe, always creating a deep sense of intimacy with the divine. She has a unique style that blends beauty, power and purity to create a truly transcendental sound driven by her deep connection with spirit. Singing mostly original and some traditional chants and songs in Sanskrit in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition of ‘harinam sankirtan’ (call and response chanting of the Holy Names), she includes chants from other Vedic traditions in her kirtans as well. She also performs her original songs in which Sanskrit is woven in with English lyrics. Because of her pure mood, deep sincerity, passion for God and remarkable musical talent, Jaya Lakshmi is rapidly becoming well known and loved as one of the few touring female kirtan leaders in the West.