Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Previous kirtans

Here are some kirtans and talks that we recorded this autumn. The first bit is Claire's welcome and introduction to our November kirtan. Then we follow on with an invocation. We do this to create an auspicious and sacred space for ourselves. This one was by Abhiseka.

The October kirtan fell under the month of Kartik, which bears some similarities with the Christian Lent or Islamic Ramadan. Gopal therefore chanted 4 verses of the Damodarashtakam (try pronouncing that!), which is chanted during this month, followed on by the Hare Krishna mantra. You'll notice that the chant has a different beat from the others.

A few other chants during October, November were:

Rembert chanting the Hare Krishna mantra:

hare krishna hare krishna
krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare

Meru with the Govinda Jaya Jaya mantra:

govinda jaya jaya gopala jaya jaya
radha-ramana-hari govinda jaya jaya
govinda govinda govinda govinda
gopala gopala gopala gopala

Radhe Radhe Govinda by Gopal:

radhe-radhe-govinda – govinda radhe

Abhishek chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.

We usually have short talks between kirtans to help us deepen our skills and understanding of chanting, and in this recording Shaunaka speaks on how it helps us understand ourselves.

Let us know what you think of them. And of course, enjoy!

Tuesday, 5 December 2006


The practice of coming together to chant sacred sounds, mantras, prayers, or names of God exist in most, if not all, religious and spiritual traditions. It is a form of meditation which is truly powerful.

According to Hindu tradition, there are three ways of chanting mantras; (1) Manasa, chanting within ones mind, (2) Upamsa, soft chanting for one's own hearing (japa, or chanting on a rosary), and (3) Vacik, loud chanting together with others such as kirtans. Of them all, the last form is considered unparralelled in its potency. It's even stated that each are progressively 100 times more powerful than the previous...

Here are excerpts of chants from a variety of traditions, to give you a little taster:

Buddhism: Buddha-jaya-mangala-Gatha

Judaism: Qyria Yéféfia (Ora Sittner)

Islam (Sufi): Allah-Allah-Allah (Oruç Güvenç & Tümata), and Tum Agar Yuhi Nazren (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)

Christianity: Regina Caeli (Gregorian chant), and Taizé (click on anyone on this site)

Hinduism (Gaudiya Vaishnavism): Radhe Shyam (Vaiyasaki)

Sunday, 3 December 2006


Welcome! This blog is for all of us in Oxford who likes kirtan, and of course, for everyone else who also wants to tune in.

On this blog we'll put up various kirtans (chants) we recorded at our sessions, and some inspirational postings to help us deepen our understanding and appreciation of this form of meditation.

Kirtan is an ancient form of musical meditation from northern India, which is practised by Hindus and Sikhs alike. It stems from the bhakti-tradition, or devotional tradition, and is performed in a call-and response style. This means that the participants follow the chant, melodic variances, and mood of the lead chanter.

We started our kirtans in April 2006, and the experience has been so good that we plan to continue. The pace for now is about one kirtan a month, but we might increase the frequency in the future. Please feel free to join in.

If you have any queries about kirtan, or our sessions, please write a comment or contact us at: