Welcome to the October 2017 Kirtan Newsletter.
Incorporating the idea of extending the reach of Kirtan Academy, there were numerous sessions and programs organised to inculcate & establish the Kirtan Standards among the masses. Time is now drawing closer to its implementation with the Kirtan Academy Course and Kirtan Mela 2018, and so is the opportunity to relish the inestimable nectar of the Holy Name in the association of senior Vaishanavas who will be unraveling the advanced concepts of accessing the bliss of Harinama Sankirtan in its full potency.
Read about it in this newsletter.
The Holy Name is non-different from Krishna!
In the material world we find a difference between the name and the object. If we are thirsty and simply chant “water, water, water, water,” it will not satisfy us. But, if we want Krsna and chant “Krsna, Krsna, Krsna, Krsna,” He is personally present in His name, and we can feel that presence of the Lord even in the beginning stages of chanting of the holy name. As one becomes more advanced, by uttering the holy name he can see Krsna dancing on his tongue. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Krsna says to Narada, “I am not in the hearts of the yogis, nor am I in Vaikuntha, but, O Narada, I am present wherever My devotees are engaged in chanting My holy name.”
There are no hard and fast rules for chanting the holy names of Krsna. Anyone can chant, anywhere and at any time. The chanting may be done loudly or softly, alone or in a group. Thus one can chant in the temple, while walking down the street, while working in the office, while attending school even in dream one can chant Hare Krsna. In this way, all the twenty-four hours of the day, one should be engaged in chanting the holy names. This does not mean that one must give up other activities, but whatever he is doing he should do in full consciousness of Krsna. It is not recommended that one go off to a solitary place and chant Hare Krsna; one should always be engaged in activities for the satisfaction of Krsna, especially the preaching of His glories to others.
(Sep 1, 1972 | A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Lord Caitanya, Volume-01 Number-49)
Receiving the Holy Name!
We have heard it so many times – in order to receive the holy name we first need to become focused. By being mindful to the sound vibration of the holy name we will bring the mind into connection with Krishna. To do this we need to actually hear the mantra and stay with it all the time, which requires some focus, willingness, and prayer.
Our biggest problem however is that we feel disconnected and “dry” while applying ourselves to the practice of chanting. We try to focus our minds on the sound vibration, but alas – the mind seems to be more difficult to control than the wind! What should we do? Where is our hope?
Our hope and solution lies in learning to chant in the mood of separation. This feeling of separation from Krishna is possible for the conditioned soul because we have turned away from Him.
How do we come to this mood? It is by feeling: “Krishna, I really need You!”
Everyone can experience that Krishna appears, if you absorb yourself in kirtan. When the options in life get “wedged” and nothing works out, there is always a reliable resort: chanting the Holy Names – done best in association of many chanting together.
Sometimes life seems void and Krishna or His arrangements seem to be far away. It is best not to despair in these moments – or worse – to distract oneself, but to call for Him by chanting His Holy Names. And I mean really call for Him! Perhaps He is only waiting for you to sincerely turn to Him.
– HH Sacinandana Swami
Kirtan Academy – Your chance to empowered chanting!
Covered by the brazen mode of ignorance, a living entity hankers and laments for his materialistic wealth, but once he is promoted to suddha-sattva when he realizes the true wealth of Krishna’s Holy Names, all this hankering and lamenting become source of abundant bliss and favorable for bhakti. A suddha-bhakt hankers for Krishna-prema and laments for his inability to achieve it. The state is inconceivable for a neophyte who employs his dense intelligence in reasoning against the existence of such ecstasy, leave alone the path to reach it. Lacking surrender and offending the Holy Name and Vaishanavas, such souls risk falling into deep gorge of anarthas.
Srila Prabhupada compares the spiritual life with a razor’s edge – if someone is shaving with a straight edge razor and they are a little careless, they can easily cut themselves, similarly a little bit of bodily identification, a little bit of mental concoction and we may get off the track. We say that technology is advancing rapidly and it is hard to keep pace with it for a normal human being, but for Mayadevi to keep pace with it by emerging as newer forms of distractions is no challenging task. So, is focused and alert devotion possible in today’s era?
“In the sun there is great heat and light, and by reflecting the greatness of the sun’s light, the moon in night also appears great. Actually the moon is by nature dark and cold, but in association with sun it has become accepted as great. Hence by association of the Great, one appears great.” The quote by Srila Prabhupada hints at the way out of this seemingly dead-end. Not only the association of those who have already crossed these rocky paths and are kind enough to extend help to those stuck in the midway, but also those who are in similar struggle to arouse pure love, can aid you to strengthen your determination and develop more and more eagerness to achieve the goal.
Kirtan Academy (KA) seeks to provide an environment where the pitfalls of devotion are minimized and even a smaller effort translates to bigger result thus providing a glimpse of the ideal world of nectar. Often devotees feel short of time for their devotional practices owing to their material position. With the enrollment of this course, you give your material life a break and avail the opportunity to dedicate each of your breath in service of the Holy Name. When Krishna appeared in the heart of Narada Muni, it amplified his desire to seek Him so this brief period of focused devotion can augment your desire to reach Prema too.
KA assists in deepening the chanting, increasing the attraction and attachment to the Holy Name. There are two sides to the KA curriculum: Nama Tattva – systematically going deep into the philosophical and practical aspects of chanting the Holy Name both in japa and in kirtan and also a music side of the curriculum consisting of daily music classes – learning to play mridanga, harmonium and karatals. Every evening we all be coming for Kirtan and every week we will have a 64 rounds day, where we all put our learning to the test, seing how much we can apply what we have learned in our practice of focused and prayerful calling out to the Holy Name. All this & more in the most auspicious Sri Dham Mayapur, also known as the Kirtan capital of the world.
The impact of KA is not only limited to enhancement of one’s personal taste for Nama but the spiritual grooming transforms the enrollee into Kirtan leader. The graduates feel energized and motivated to organize their own Nama Yajnas and Kirtan festivals. As the course culminates when the Kirtan Mela (KM) is planned to be initiated, the course graduates are immediately assigned to managing the KM activities which provides adequate exposure and experience in organizing and handling such events.
There is no criterion to take shelter of Lord Krishna except your own willingness; similarly there is no criterion to take shelter of the Holy Name which is the course’s main objective, except your willingness to participate in the Yuga-Dharma. There can be various reasons to hold you back from enrolling like managing a 2-month leave, justifying your ‘abnormal’ choice of vacation or what after that, but there is just one reason to join that it is your chance to connect to the Holy Names in most effortless way and the best time is NOW!
The next Kirtan Academy course starts on Nov. 23rd 2017, graduation is on Jan 26th as part of a kirtan mela in Ekachakra Dham which ends on Jan 30th.
Harinam sankirtan ki jaya
Param vijayate Sri Krishna Sankirtanam
The Holy Names are potent beyond our comprehension. Shastras proclaim that a sincere chant can absolve more sins than we can ever do in our lives. When the Holy Names are invoked in association of devotees, Their power enhances and deliver the complete association. More so, when a devotional activity is performed in Dhama, it is most pleasing to Krishna and therefore, the results are way more!!
Kirtan Mela is a glorious confluence of all these favorable factors – It gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Holy Names in a vibrant association of devotees in the most auspicious Dham Mayapur. It is a Maha-Yajna of Harinama Sankirtan where many thousands of devotees offer their time, resources and more importantly their heart for the pleasure of The Pancatattvas, either through physical presence or via live-streaming.
An international event, this big, is not a one-man show. Krishna is atmarama, he is the summum bonum yet He manifests into various life forms of Gopas, Gopis, Govardhan, Kundas, Kunjas etc to exchange the sweet nectar of His Lilas, similarly the Holy Name is all-potent yet with more and more devotees absorbed in the blissful exchange of nectar, the atmosphere becomes conducive to developing spontaneous love even for a neophyte!
So, we call upon each one of you to join us in making this Maha-Yajna grandest ever. Extend this invite to all your near and dear ones and inspire everyone to be a part of this event by any means suitable.
Kirtan Mela is an event by the devotees. Volunteers from all walks of life pour in to grab the exquisite opportunity to serve Lord Chaitanya in His birth land. Act now and you too can be a part of this auspicious mercy. You can serve the cause through your physical service or by offering your resources. You can choose to sponsor a specific kirtaniya or aspect of the festival such as sound, decoration, lighting etc. Through your donations you can bring internationally appreciated kirtaniyas such as Madhava, Ojasvi, Jahnavi, Acyuta Gopi & more who otherwise cannot afford to attend the event yearly.
We will be looking forward for your enthusiastic participation. For more details, contact us.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare – Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Kirtan Events – Not to be missed
- November 23-January 30th, Kirtan Academy in Mayapur
- January 26-30 2018, Radhadesh Mellows Radhadesh Belgium
- January 25-30 2018, Ekachakra Kirtan Mela, Ekachakra Dham, West Bengal
- February 12, 2018 – Kirtan Mela Adhivas
- February 13-17, 2018, Mayapur International Kirtan Mela
If you know of an upcoming Kirtan event of international nature, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other upcoming events can be found at:
Mayapur Seva Opportunity As we move forward towards the manifestation of the Kirtan Village, we need a lot of assistance and support. We are interviewing anyone interested in eco-friendly construction. We need to build a strong team of like minded servants, creators, managers… Construction is scheduled to start November 2017. We need help spreading the news worldwide, as we build a fund-raising team. Many more specific services will open up, tell us what talent you have to offer. Chances are we need you!
Kirtaniya Sada Harih