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What is Kirtan?

“Kirtan is a participatory, cross-cultural music experience that incorporates the audience into the performance. This call-and-response sacred experience is swiftly gaining popularity throughout the U. S. as it follows on the heels of the yoga movement. All ages and cultural backgrounds are welcome to the event – no prerequisites for participation.

Though it involves music, the practice of kirtan is not about musical ability or training, it is about the heart. These ancient chants contain powerful healing and transformational energies that serve to reconnect us to the Ever-present Eternal Self that is inherent in all Beings. All the mantras, melodies and instruments are used to lead us toward this meditative state. Although the language of kirtan is often Sanskrit, the true language of kirtan is universal; it is the language of the heart. As part of the bhakti yoga path (devotional), kirtan utilizes nada yoga, the yogic science of sound. Through absorbtion in the sound, the eternal love that lies within each of our hearts can awaken. Chanting the different names and aspects of the divine, by calling out to the divine, we naturally reflect upon and call forth the inner Divine. Indeed, this call-and-response style chanting, is a means of finding our way back to the core of our being, to our heart, and to our connection to each other.”

Adapted from

Kirtan is a traditional yogic call-and-response singing of mantra, a practice that can draw participants inside to a meditative state. Singing changes the rate of the breath and facilitates greater awareness of the Divine within all things and all beings. If the spirit moves you…singing (whether you think you are good at it or not) is encouraged!!…and you are also welcome to just come and listen!


(from Clair Oaks)