What is Kirtan?
Kirtan is a call and response musical meditation that takes a minute to learn, and makes you feel good just as fast. It is the most powerful means of meditation to invoke the inner beauty of one’s own identity in relation to the Supreme spirit.
In kirtan, we chant different mantras. Mana means the mind and tra or triate means to free. So when we chant mantras we are, at the very basic level, trying to free our mind by awakening ourselves to higher states of awareness and perception. In this way, layers of illusion and confusion are peeled away giving one clarity and focus.
The spiritual sound vibration has been invested with the unlimited divine qualities of the Lord; being fully replete with the spiritual potency, kirtan is the easiest method to connect to the divine.
"Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the holy name of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offences, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of God."
- [Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya Lila, 4.71]
The soul is of a spiritual nature and is naturally pleasure-seeking. Despite economic development and the world of consumerism in which we live in today, no amount of fanciful gadgets and hi-tech devices satisfies the soul - the soul is still yearning for something much deeper and no amount of superficial delights can appease the soul’s hankerings. Since time immemorial it has been crying out to be absorbed and reconnected to its spiritual source. The act of Kirtan nourishes and supplies that missing ingredient and pacifies the soul within.
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.”
- [Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila, 17.21]
All can participate in this chanting - the more participants, the greater the efficacy. You don’t need to be a good singer, a practitioner of yoga, or a follower of any religion or set of beliefs to experience the power of kirtan. An open mind and your voice are all that is required!
Yours in seva,
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