What is Kirtan?

Kirtan is an ancient ‘call and response’ devotional chanting practice from the Vedic yoga traditions of India.  The word “kirtan” is a Sanskrit term short for “namasamkirtana” which literally means “repeating the Name together”.   In Kirtan, “The Name” refers to the name of the Divine in its many different manifestations.

Kirtan is an integral practice of “Bhakti Yoga”, the Yoga of Devotion.  Kirtan is an easy yet powerful yogic practice that has no prerequisites or requirements for participation.

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

[Adi 17.21]

“In this age of Kali there is no other religion than glorifying the Lord by utterance of His holy name, and that is the injunction of all the revealed scriptures. There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way.”

This verse appears in the Brhan−naradiya Purana. Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam. Simply chant Hare Krsna. There is no other alternative. Kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. In this age of Kali, there is no other alternative for Self Realization. So we have to accept it.  There is another similar verse in the Srimad Bhagavatam. In the Twelfth Canto, Third Chapter (12.3.51), Pariksit Maharaja was informed by Sukadeva Gosvami of the faults of this age, and now all the symptoms of the age of Kali are apparent. In the conclusive portion, however, Sukadeva Gosvami said, kaler dosa−nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah: “My dear king, this age, Kali, is full of faulty things, but there is one good opportunity.” What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta−sangah param vrajet: “Simply by chanting this Hare Krsna mantra one can become liberated and go back to Godhead.”

Chanting opens the heart and purifies the mind.  Chanting can also increase our awareness of the constant pulsations of love that surround us and emanate from us at all times.

“Kirtan Orlando” is a seva-based, local initiative which informs the subscribers to this list about some of the “call and response” devotional chanting events happening in Central Florida.

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