Kirtan opens the heart and stills the mind. It is the yoga practice of ecstatic chanting. Through repeating the Divine Names in Sanskrit, the mind is cleared of worry, doubt, fear and all limiting concepts. The joy of peace and infinite love is given to the practitioner, and transmitted through the world by chanting. This is the practice of bhakti yoga or the yoga of devotion.
A year ago, Toronto’s kirtan yoga lovers consisted of small, fragmented groups of chanters around the city and it’s suburbs. Over the last few months, GTA kirtan lovers have been gathering and feverishly connecting both in person and online via mediums like Facebook’s “Toronto Kirtan Community” group.
Many of us, it seems, shared the same dream. We had a vision of creating a sacred place of resources and connection for all kirtan lovers in our vibrant city. Amongst us, we have a reservoir of knowledge and experience to introduce and guide new kirtan seekers, while re-fuelling our own “bhakti energy”. Collectively, we can bring peace, light and love into our world! Our drive to do this work is fuelled by a desire to be a service to humanity and divinity, not as a business venture.
Apart from on-going, monthly community kirtans, our members organised a joyfully festive Holiday Kirtan in December, and are connecting with kirtan artists outside of Toronto to assist them with bringing their gift of chanting to our city. A group of us are also exploring the development of a Bhakti Outreach programme with the goal of bringing bhakti yoga to Toronto’s under-privileged. In January, TKC volunteers assisted the Hare Krishna Temple with the preparation and distribution of meals to Toronto’s homeless. Spiritual nourishment in the form of chanting was delivered along with the meals, of course!
Our Facebook group members can explore a wealth of kirtan information and links on the group page and receive a weekly newsletter with listings of all the upcoming chanting events in GTA. We are very excited about the future of kirtan and bhakti-yoga and where it will lead us in 2010. When we sing alone it is a single gift to the Divine. When we join together and share our energies in friendship and in kirtan, our community soars and dances tenfold with this same bhakti energy.
For information about chanting and kirtan events in Toronto:
or join the ‘Toronto Kirtan Community’ Facebook group page.
May chanting the Sacred Names bring Love and Peace to your Heart. Om Shanti!