Kirtan Yoga

Meditation doesn't come easy for many people. And that's how kirtan (pronounced keertahn) - an ancient participatory music experience offers another way. One of the oldest sacred music traditions of the world, the kirtan call-and-response chanting genre, originally comes from India and is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Using ancient Sanskrit mantras to the accompaniment of instruments such as the harmonium, tamboura, mrdanga drum and karatal cymbals, without the work of mentally quieting the mind, kirtan calls upon sacred energies which effortlessly lift us into a clear and joyous state invoking a sense of peace and divine love that bring us back to the centre of our being.

Kirtan is another dimension of yoga - it is the yoga of sound. It is a spiritual journey, which usually starts off gently with a slow tempo and gradually builds up to a euphoric crescendo bringing with it the emotions of ecstatic joy and elation. Anyone can participate in this chanting, the more the participants, greater is the efficacy. Whether one is musically gifted or hasn’t got a rhythmical bone in their body (as they suppose), without the consideration of creed, colour, religious background or gender; all are welcome to come together through the medium of sacred sound, transcending the mundane platform of separation to be transported into a spiritual realm.

What is kirtan?

Ever feel like you can’t shake a downer mood, or something is getting to you and you can’t stop thinking about it? Is life too fast and furious to catch a calm breath and reflect? Or maybe you feel like accessing a deeper level of experience than the daily grind, exploring your untapped unique potential.

Just like there are yoga postures for the body to relax and strengthen and tone, there are mantras (special sound vibrations found in the ancient yoga texts) that act as a revitalizing tonic for the mind. 

Using these mantras for meditation brings the mind to rest in a space free from stress and anxiety. The word “mantra” literally means to “free the mind”.

If you’re curious to explore more, then the extraordinary practice of mantra meditation can take you deeper still: come explore and taste the realm of consciousness beyond body and mind – mantra meditation is a natural passage to the spiritual dimension where there is joyful relationship between individual spiritual consciousness and Ultimate Consciousness.

Ever feel like you can’t shake a downer mood, or something is getting to you and you can’t stop thinking about it? Is life too fast and furious to catch a calm breath and reflect? Or maybe you feel like accessing a deeper level of experience than the daily grind, exploring your untapped unique potential.

Just like there are yoga postures for the body to relax and strengthen and tone, there are mantras (special sound vibrations found in the ancient yoga texts) that act as a revitalizing tonic for the mind. 

Example mantras

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Govinda Jaya Jaya
Gopala Jaya Jaya
Radha-ramanahari
Govinda Jaya Jaya

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Some examples of the mantras which we use in mantra meditation: 

What do the mantras mean?
The yogic texts of ancient India recognize that the world we call home, including our own bodies and minds, is made up of many different energies. These energies break down into three categories:

  • Material: solid, liquid, radiant, gaseous and empty space

  • Subtle: mind, intelligence and false sense of ego (thinking ourselves to be entirely composed of material energy)

  • Spiritual: the real self of pure consciousness

The ancient yoga texts also explain that these energies can’t exist without an energetic source. Just as the rays of light which illuminate our days are coming from an energetic source: the sun.

Mantras are the sound representation of this energetic source: by repeating the mantras we connect ourselves with that original reservoir of all energies. The more we establish this connection, the more we become revitalized, empowered and harmonized with our environment and our own self.

Last but not least, we are pleased to offer you a vegan snack to share together after the session. The snack is, of course, prasadam, cooked by our highly qualified yoga chefs (who practice mantra meditation as they cook). It helps lift our body, mind and consciousness to even higher levels.

We look forward to meditating with you.

ISKCON Scotland, Karuna Bhavan, Bankhouse Road, Lesmahagow, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, ML11 0HQ 

Registered Charity No. SC001127

General Enquiries: info@iskconscotland.org

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