Kirtan has been enjoying increasing popularity in the West. Kirtan originated in India and was popularized in Bengal by Sri Chaitanya - considered to be Krishna in the form of his supreme devotee - in the 16th century as an ecstatic devotional chanting practice to concentrate the mind on feelings of devotion. Chanting works at breaking the shell of the ego and expanding the heart and consciousness. Many great souls have reached Self realization just through this practise. Now it has become diverse and cross-cultural and also incorporates mantra. The instrumentation has evolved from drums and finger cymbals (karatal) and later harmoniums to guitar and Western and world instruments. A lot of the power of kirtan can be attributed to the repetition - the mind gets more and more concentrated with each repetition and creates an intensity of deep devotion. One pointed concentration is the goal of all yogic practices. Concentration or Dharana leads to meditation or Dhyana which leads to Samadhi (state where there is no subject or object, one is not aware that one is meditating - even the witness disappears). Although kirtan enhances an uplifting and wonderful sense of community, it has a deeper and more important personal value - that of stilling the mind of it’s chatter and discursive thought and tapping the primal wellspring of intense and causeless Love within each one allowing healing on all levels - physical, mental and causal.
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being - Hafiz
The mantra is the oar of the boat; it is the instrument you use to cross the samsara of your restless mind, with its unending thought waves. Amma
For mantra meditation and chant evenings, workshops and Deep Listening See event page for upcoming dates
Prashant has performed with Kirtaniyas from East and West, the most memorable for him in the West being the iconic Bhagavan Das and the delightfully versatile, Gina Sala. Prashant has performed and recorded for the prolific charities of his beloved spiritual preceptor and world teacher, humanitarian and recipient of the 2003 Gandhi-King Award, Mata Amritanandamayi. He has been graced with the physical Darshan of Anandamayi Ma among other well known and hidden spiritual masters.
Prashant offers Deep Listening, Concerts and Kirtan/mantra chanting (participatory),
Music and sound have been an integral part of Sanghavasini's life since early childhood. Besides her unaffected devotion filled vocals, she brings to Naad Maala her natural feel for rhythm and love for percussion. She has played for many years in a percussion band in Holland where she grew up. She also plays harmonium and has played trumpet. Sanghavasini uses her voice in her spiritual practice and healing work to heal and transform herself and others using chanting, singing, toning and devotional music. By the grace of her beloved Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda, she has been blessed to discover the rich path of Bhakti which offers a way to combine meditation and experience one's true nature through devotional chanting and the celebration of life..
Oscillating Memories of Stars
Patrick Pennefather MFA, BFA, CELTA, PhD (soundscape) in sonic conversation with Prashant Michael John (bamboo flute). This sound recording is part of the Sonic Satsang Project directed/ instigated by Sheinagh Anderson PhD.