Music and songs have a strong emotive effect on us. To comfort or facilitate tears to flow; to uplift and re-energise; to calm and soothe. We need only bring to mind images of thousands of sports fans chanting their team’s ‘mantra’ during a game, or concert goers singing along with their favourite band, in order to recognise the euphoric effect that chanting can have on the human psyche. But Kirtan is on a whole other level!
So, what is Kirtan?
Kirtan is a Sanskrit word meaning to praise or recite a story and is used during meditation sessions. Some Kirtan involves a ‘call and response’ type of chanting, where the lead singer chants one line and the audience responds by chanting the next line, and so on. Musical accompaniment is often provided by an harmonium (see below) and small drums.
The amazing effects of Kirtan chanting!
I discovered chanting a few years ago when I joined a regular meditation circle and the effects on me are amazing. Chants are phrases or stanzas repeated over and over; sometimes the tempo increases, then decreases; there is no breathing gap left at the end of lines/stanzas. Chanting for me is devotional, to praise God; and some are fast tempo, some slow. All are uplifting spiritually and induce a deep sense of calm and peace. The positive vibrational effect of chanting in a group is wonderful. I can feel my whole body physically tingling during and afterwards and it really helps to relax body and mind prior to meditation. When I include a chant in my morning meditation, I find myself chanting it all day – as I walk the dog, wash dishes, prepare meals etc. This is one way to “practise the presence of God” which many spiritual devotees seek to do. It reminds us of who we really are and of our purpose on Earth.
It’s over to you!
If you’d like to experience a chant which has quite an hypnotic, calming effect on body, mind and soul, try this one: I will be thine always. I love it! Have a wonderful day. Much love, Anita.🙏😊