Kirtan, And Why You Should Practice It

By on March 14, 2016

When the word yoga is mentioned you would usually think of people twisting like pretzels or levitating mystics. This is a major misconception about yoga. Yoga is not all about difficult and complex things and practice. In fact the easiest forms of yoga are highly recommended nowadays.

One form of easy yoga practice that is becoming more and more popular today in the west is Kirtan or Sankirtan. It is one of the most recommended methods today in this age of Kaliyuga, or period of chaos, quarrel, and confusion. Regular practice can help one control the mind, purify oneself from material contaminations, and achieve the ultimate goal of yoga. Kirtan is sound meditation or congregational chanting and singing of the holy names of God. This is usually done accompanied by musical instruments such as mrdanga, conga, guitar, karatal, and harmonium, etc. Kirtan is done in two ways, first is through call-and-response form, and second is by singing all together.

Anyone can practice Kirtan, because it is easy and even an ordinary person can practice it. It does not require extreme yoga practices, all you need is to listen, sing, and dance. This is recommended in this age because many people are too busy to practice meditation and yoga that involves so much concentration and discipline. And Kirtan is a simple and easy process that is not difficult to understand and perform.

Unlike any other types of mundane song that you usually get tired of listening when played over and over again, Kirtan sounds sweeter as you listen to it more and more. This is because Kirtan makes use of transcendental sound vibration, meaning it’s beyond this material world.

Kirtan became popular in the west in the 60’s, the time of the hippies. Hippies are peace advocates and lovers of life so it is not surprising that they would love joining Kirtans and spreading it as well. One of the most popular icons who became hooked with the practice was George Harrison of the Beatles. He even sang Kirtan in his album, which made it to the top ten of musical hit lists.

Why Practice Kirtan?

  • It promotes relaxation. Listening and joining Kirtan helps relax the mind and relieve tension in the body. This is a perfect form of relaxation because it can actually make you feel more detached from your problems, troubles, worries, and material attachments. It helps you control your mind, which can be very difficult to manage. It relieves stress and prevents anxiety attacks and depression.
  • Helps you in meditation. Kirtan is a form of meditation, that helps people connect with God. As spiritual beings we need spiritual food to become happy, and you can achieve this through the practice of Kirtan. As you practice Kirtan regularly you will achieve inner peace, and develop within yourself the natural characteristic of a spark of God, who is loving and compassionate
  • Helps you achieve true happiness. As you practice Sankirtan, you will experience blissfulness or “ananda”. Your heart will feel natural joy as you sing and chant the names and glorifications of God.
  • It purifies you. Kirtan cleanses the heart from all material contaminations such as lust, anger, jealousy, and greed. As a person advances in the practice, he will feel more and more connected with God, and he will develop a stronger relationship with the Divine.



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