Thursday, 30 June 2011

Celebrating the Shakespeare of Kirtan...

From a post on the Mantralogy website about the festival day of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura - a prolific writer of poetry, songs and prose about the practise of kirtan:

Though his life was materially successful, Bhaktivinode was fully absorbed in his desire to see the culture of kirtan and of bhakti spread all over the world. He wrote thousands of songs and many books, as well as creating systems for forming small groups to meet and share their practice together. One day, looking out from his balcony over the sacred Ganges River, he had a vision of a beautiful temple across the water, and hundreds of people, chanting and dancing in true happiness. He wrote ‘Oh for that day when the fortunate English, French, Russian, German, and American people will take up banners, mridangas, and kartalas and raise kirtan through their streets and towns. When will that day come? Oh, for the day when the fair skinned men from their side will raise up the chanting of ‘jaya sacinandana, jaya sacinandana’ . When will that day be?

You can read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

May Kirtan

Three young kirtaniyas charmed us with their strong, youthful voices and heartfelt chanting: Manu, Tulasi and Madhva.

April Kirtan

In honour of Sri Rama, our April kirtan began with a very ancient chant to Sita and Rama - heroes of the great epic the Ramayana, whose feast day was celebrated that week. Since kirtan has been introduced in the West, Sita-Rama chants have been particularly popular; theirs is a universally loved story and these chants have been sung for many thousands of years.

One of our kirtaniyas for April was Dr Rembert Lutjeharms, Sanskrit scholar, who kindly elaborated on the inner meaning of the chants and on the word kirtan itself.

As chanting and dancing often go hand in hand, I thought you might be interested in this beautiful depiction of part of the Ramayana in classical Thai dance.