Tattva (song)

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KULA CD3. The black oblong to
the bottom right is a sticker.
Single by Kula Shaker
from the album K
A-side "Tattva"
B-side "Dance In Your Shadow"
Released 24 June 1996 (1996-06-24)
Format 7", CD
Genre Britpop, psychedelic rock
Length 3:46
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Crispian Mills
Kula Shaker singles chronology
"String Module Error: Match not found"
"Hey Dude"

"Grateful When You're Dead/
Jerry Was There"
"Hey Dude"

"Tattva" is a song by the British psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker, released as the band's debut single. It was first released in the United Kingdom on 1 January 1996 as "Tattva (Lucky 13 Mix)", then reissued on 24 June as a re-recording from their debut album K with a different sleeve and track listing. The re-recording reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] and #10 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in the United States.[2] The guitar riffs (at the beginning of the song) are similar to the four-note riff from Pink Floyd's "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond".


The chorus of the song is: Tattva, acintya bheda abheda Tattva. In Hindu philosophy tattva is a Sanskrit word meaning 'thatness', 'principle', 'essence', 'reality' or 'truth'.[3] Likewise, acintya can mean 'the inconceivable', 'the unthinkable', or 'he who cannot be imagined',[4] bheda translates as 'difference', and abheda translates as 'one-ness'. For this song, acintya might best be thought of in terms of apophatic theology, also known as 'divine darkness', a Christian notion whereby God is so far beyond our conceptions that we can only speak of what God is not. Not that the word acintya would necessarily correspond to the Western idea of God, but the same kind of ineffable mystery is implied here. As such, one possible translation of the chorus would be: "Truth, Mystery, difference oneness Truth."


The "Lucky 13 Mix" was issued on 7" and Compact Disc in the United Kingdom, both formats including "Hollow Man (Part II)" as the B-side. The 7" edition was limited to 1000 copies.[5] This version of the single reached #86 on the UK Singles Chart.

The second edition was released on the same formats but with an additional CD. The 7" comprised "Tattva" plus a different mix titled "Tattva On St. George's Day" as well as the principle B-side "Dance In Your Shadow". The first CD featured "Moonshine" and the "Lucky 13 Mix" as its exclusive tracks, and the second disc contained "Red Balloon (Vishnu's Eyes)". An Australian maxi single was released in 1996 which contained most of the tracks from these latter releases.[5]

Both CDs (KULA CD3 and KULA CD3K) were housed in card picture sleeves. The second CD had a printed spine and also contained an inner sleeve, much like a vinyl LP. The first edition of "Tattva" came in a standard slimline jewel case.

Music video[edit]

Two music videos for "Tattva" were produced: one for Europe and a second made for the United States.

Track listings[edit]


  1. ^ Chart Stats
  2. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/artist/p194896/charts-awards/billboard-singles
  3. ^ Dictionary.com
  4. ^ Gupta, Ravi M. (2007). Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami's Catursutri tika. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-40548-3. 
  5. ^ a b kulashaker.net Archived 8 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.