Kirtan is ultimately something which cannot be explained by words - it has to be experienced...

"Kirtan is ultimately something which cannot be explained by words - it has to be experienced.  It's always a higher connection - even if you are not consciously feeling it. It's alive, progressive, and rich with the fine nuances of an unfolding relationship.

Sometimes it may act as a mirror which reveals to you the pulse of your inner life.

How can you describe the relish of honey, the emotion of love, or the event of giving birth? In some mysterious way, kirtan can be compared with all of that - but then it is also completely different.

Words can show us the direction in which to look for the kirtan-experience, but only when you sit down, move towards your inner space, and then sing out, will you start to know what kirtan really is.

Because at that time your soul will rise up and start to dance..."

Written by Sacinandana Swami

Nectar about kirtana and the Holy Name

(13. January 2010)

The idea of organizing the “Holy Name Retreat” emerged from a realization we made during our many Japa Retreats. Simply put: We became aware that the dharma for the age of kali is sankirtana – singing with devotion the Holy Names in the association of others. It is primarily through this process that realization of Krsna can take place.

Krsna das Kaviraja Gosvami writes in this regard:

tattva-vastu—krsna, krsna-bhakti, prema-rupa 
nama-sankirtana—saba ananda-svarupa

“The Absolute Truth is Sri Krsna, and loving devotion to Sri Krsna in pure love is achieved through congregational chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all bliss.”

(CC Adi-lila 1.96)

Our vaisnava scriptures contain a wealth of information on kirtana. When I began to seriously research the subject, I was overwhelmed by the nectarean information on the proper moods, proper styles, proper skills, etc. of doing kirtana. Step by step my enthusiasm to share all this information has grown unlimitedly.

Now, I am dedicating a good part of my service to research this exiting subject matter even further and systematically give training in the art of kirtana.

The Holy Name Retreats will summarize the insights of the Japa Retreats and then go further into explaining and doing kirtana. Good kirtana improves japa – and good japa also brings about improved kirtana. Really, both of them are complementing each other, because they are based on the same thing: Krsna’s most merciful form - the Holy Name.

As the research on kirtana deepened I felt like a spiritual archeologist who had just found a lost treasure and who now wants to share it with the world. So I decided to develop the Holy Name retreat with my “Vedic Way” team.

This Holy Name is so merciful that devotees have even glorified the kali-yuga as the best yuga, since the yuga dharma of this age is chanting.

Let’s look at the following quote:

“I am most satisfied by this particular yuga – the kali-yuga. This is because the result of all spiritual processes (meditation, sacrifices, Deity worship) can be obtained in kali-yuga simply by chanting the Holy Names of Lord Kesava (sankirtya kesavam). O great sages, a small effort in kali-yuga is the cause of the greatest good fortune for mankind. No doubt, I am most satisfied by this particular yuga.”

(Visnu Purana 6.2.15-17)

I am unlimitedly grateful to Srila Prabhupada and the previous acaryas of our gloriousparampara, who reveal the deepest knowledge to us. This gratitude will manifest during the seminar in lectures, workshops and lila-katha, all centered on becoming deeply absorbed in the Holy Name - and of course in soul-uplifting kritanas.

These retreats are open to anyone sincerely interested in practicing Krsna consciousness. I am most enthusiastic to receive and serve all of you.

Written by Sacinandana Swami