What is Kirtan?
Kirtan is a form of devotional chanting whose roots go back over 500 years to India. It is a form of Bhakti Yoga (yoga of devotion) and has the power to open the heart and connect us to the divine. The call and response singing is accompanied by musical instruments and percussion. The audience is encouraged to participate by chanting, clapping and dancing. Kirtan is not a performance as we know it, it is a shared musical and spiritual experience which draws people together in joy and unity. In its heartfelt expression kirtan can induce profound states of meditation and bliss.
As Kirtan came to the United States, the musical aspect changed to not only focus on Indian traditions of music, but to incorporate various American and World traditions. Each Kirtan singer and group has their own wonderful blend of influences, and modes of expressing bliss.