Sing Godís name, hear His name, write His name, draw His picture, talk about Him, live with people who talk about God. This will not only make you free from tension, high blood pressure and so on, it will make you immensely happy, a kind of happiness that you cannot imagine, which cannot come from anything else in this world. The point of singing Godís name is divine intoxication, divine ecstasy.
In this age, the simplest and best practice is mantra repetition. It is very simple, but at the same time very powerful - more powerful than any other practice. Your body may not even be fit to practice all the hatha yoga postures or to do rigorous penance. You may not have a lot of money to go on pilgrimages. You may not have a big altar or go to church every Sunday, but you can always repeat a mantram. Wherever you are, whatever you do, whether you are rich or poor, it doesn't matter. Repeating the mantram is like cultivating a seed. It's a powerful seed that, once planted, will slowly take root and grow in you. In the beginning you have to nurture it carefully and regularly. Then it will grow into a beautiful, big, divine tree and bring forth much fruit. Certainly the whole world will enjoy that fruit.
The holy part for me is this: at the end of a really great Kirtan, we reach a point individually and collectively of an incredibly transcendent and beautiful silence.
~ Dave Stringer
If you've ever experienced this, you will know exactly what he's talking about. It's beyond blissful. I want to do Dave's Kirtan Flight School so I can learn to lead kirtan and give that gift to others.
"By constantly repeating the name of God who resides in our heart, gradually we become conscious of Him. That consciousness purifies our heart, fills our mind and senses with a strange and powerful light of the Divine, which eradicates all the low desires lurking within us. Ultimately, we become perfectly conscious that God is dwelling within us. This is the greatest gain."
mmmm ~ Govindas and Radha. I really don't believe there are words to fully describe the radiance of this kirtan couple. They founded the Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, which is completely donation based. They sing kirtan with such devotion and love.
Here's a link to one of Bhakti Beat's blog entries that includes some more praise for them, as well as a video from Bhakti Fest Spring OMmersion. I am posting it here because it's an excellent explanation of ecstatic kirtan and how it builds.
Last post for today ~ my other favorite artist, Dave Stringer. Not only does he have an amazing energy, he is very open and approachable with his fans. I just did a "kirtan flight school" at Bhakti Fest where we learned to play instruments for kirtan. It was such a blissful experience! I want to do his full week long school to learn to lead kirtan.
This track ~ Love, Peace, and Freedom ~ is from David's album Love Peace Chant. As with Jaya Lakshmi's track I posted, this one has a lot of English language lyrics, plus a Sita Ram chant. Those familiar with the Hindu epic, Ramayana will know Rama, considered to be an incarnation of Krishna. Sita is Rama's eternal consort, same as Radha is Krishna's eternal consort.
I cannot say enough good things about David Newman. JOEYSFAE saw him live recently, lucky woman!
I absolutely adore chant ~ have since I first learned to sing kirtan at Yogaville back in 1996. I want to put some information here about kirtan artists so others in the group can get an intro. I've got JOEYSFAE hooked already. *wink* She has different favorites than I do, so I'm hoping she'll chime in here and add more!
This track by my favorite female kirtan artist, Jaya Lakshmi, was the absolute highlight of my trip to Bhakti Fest a few days ago.
I think it's a good place to start, as it has a lot of English language lyrics mixed with the Sanskrit.
Jaya has four studio albums and one live album, what she calls "soulful heart songs." I met her at Bhakti Fest and she is just as sweet in person as she is talented on stage. There's no big ego here ~ it's all about Divine love.
One of my favorite kirtan artists, David Newman (Durga Das) started the Stay Strong Project to help after the oil spills. It's literally an all-star performance with most of the top kirtan artists. I could just loop that song and listen over and over ~ in fact, I have.
The beginning is English, and it leads into a Sita Ram chant. So gorgeous.
Bhakti Yoga is the Path of Devotion or Divine Love. This path appeals particularly to those of an emotional nature. The Bhakti Yogi is motivated chiefly by the power of love and sees God as the embodiment of love. Through prayer, worship and ritual he surrenders himself to God, channelling and transmuting his emotions into unconditional love or devotion. Chanting or singing the praises of God form a substantial part of Bhakti Yoga.
In this forum, I will give you tips to become more and more devotional and loving each day. I'll share with you Videos, Mantras, Chants, and everything I can via Internet.
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