John Schlenck was born in Indianapolis. At age 21, he graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a major in composition and moved to New York City. There, he soon discovered his affinity with Indian thought and joined the Vedanta Society of New York. Serving as its music director since 1961, Schlenck has composed many songs and a number of larger works with Vedantic and other spiritual texts. His instrumental works include three symphonies, a piano concerto, and numerous chamber and solo compositions. After traveling the length and breadth of India for three years as a mendicant friar, Swami Vivekananda arrived at Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the country, in late December, 1892. This place of pilgrimage contains a temple to Goddess Kanyakumari, an aspect of the Universal Mother. About a quarter mile from shore, twin rocks jut out from the sea. After worshipping at Mother's temple, Vivekananda swam through the turbulent, shark-infested waters to the farther of the two rocks. He remained there for three days and nights on the solitary rock, meditating intensely on the condition of India - her present degradation, the misery of her people, her past glory and future potentialities. The composer writes: "in the winter of 1981-82, I spent three months in India, visiting many of the places where Vivekananda had stayed, meditated and taught. A high point was my visit to Kanyakumari. I was profoundly moved by the drama and pathos of Vivekananda's tour through India, by his compassion for the suffering people and by the nobility of his vision." It was from the recollections of this trip that the music on this CD was composed.