Devotion: Letters to Initiates 5 – Kirtan

by | 21 Nov, 2023

Kirtan is one of the best parts of my week. With other musicians, we prepare, we invoke, we practice, and we have come to know each other in deep ways.

We surrender to the sound and to the song. We surrender to the divine and ask to be pure channels through which the Goddess can sing, play and awaken us to bliss.

Kirtan, or singing the Holy names of the Divine is such an easy way to have a lived felt sensed experience of the Infinite. By allowing yourself to open up to the experience of the sound, letting it vibrate through your whole body, through your chakras and through your soul and mind, you open into a different echelon of consciousness. It brings inner stillness, and tender feelings in the heart, such as awe, gratitude, love, ecstasy.

Kirtan is not a performance. It is a sadhana. This means it is a spiritual practice. One can feel the difference. Two singers might sing the same devotional song. One is doing it to be on the stage, whereas the other is doing it to merge with the Deity, has practiced through good times and bad, has implored the Divine to be present with them; and in Kirtan, it is so. Sometimes this results in dancing, as the Divine energy awakens within and wants to move our bodies. It is a spontaneous practice, which can be tricky if the kirtan artist has in mind pre-planning set lists! That list will go out the window as the names and forms of the Divine present themselves to be sung up and awakened within the sacred revellers.

When the Divine enters into the sound, time has no meaning. The songs tend to be long, with repetition after repetition, and sometimes it is really hard to stop singing. This is because the merging is so strong. It really becomes an effort to end that which is productive of so much inner awakening, and of such an opening into the blessed sublime satisfying world of devotion.

The teachings on Bhakti include the proposition that when we sing sufficiently to the Divine with a heart full of developed bhakti, the Divine enters into the sound. The Divine comes to us in the form of the song, chant, dance. It IS the Divine, poured into this small container. It is one with all facets of the Divine, not in separateness, but in exaltation. Literally, the Divine takes the form of the music. It is tangible, and it affects anyone in the radius of the sound. What a blessing!

So, who is up for Kirtan??? We are here every Friday night at the Harmony Centre, blissing up a storm. Everyone is welcome to join us. You don’t have to go to India, just to Cooranbong, or listen online. CLICK HERE for details.



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