Stay At Home Kirtan

Karma is a strange thing. We always ignore the cause of our suffering. Yet, karma isn’t blind. Our present actions can decide the intensity of the resultant past-action karma coming to us. Right now, the world suffers a collective karma. We have the ability to impact the force of it. People all over the world chanting kirtan regularly will make a difference. The Bhakti sastras say that in this Kali yuga, chanting the Names of God is the only meaningful prayer that connects us to the Divine. Kirtan never depends on talent, musical ability, vocals or good crowd. Kirtan is yoga, the spiritual link. The Guru says, just open your mouth and sing; this is called kirtan. Our daily online kirtan is a structure that commits us to the duty of it. Else, we could easily become lazy and adjusted to our situation. Thus, if many chant kirtan at least once a day till lockdown ends, the whole planet would resound with transcendental sound vibration. Whether you think you’re good or unfit singer, even if you chant alone or w/ family, online or not, with instruments or none, one melody or different ones each day, just faithfully, steadily sing Kirtan. If we chant and hear the Name at the same time, we’ll soon attain perfection. We can all work to make the world a better place.

KIRTAN FOREVER

Thoughts

A month already, since stay-at-home kirtan. I am grateful for the internet. Scheduled Hari Kirtan daily, built a structure for sadhana practice. There are days when it’s a mental struggle. The uncertainty of suddenly fast shifting physical world is destabilizing. What is in store for the future? Will all return to ‘normal’? My limited consciousness struggles to link to the Eternal. Hence, the daily Harinama commitment keeps true our focus, at least in theory. It matters that we try our hardest to attract His attention. Validation, promotion, melody, number of viewers and even my determined effort to serve Sri Nama mean nothing if He shows no interest. Uttering the one Name can eradicate more sins than I, the finite, can ever commit; even lifetimes of them! Such a Name is Infinite, descended from Goloka. On my own I might never have the capacity of speaking such a Name. I just have to adhere to Prabhupada’s guidelines, stay in the Sankirtan mission and hope against hope that someday, through the pure, transparent line of our acharyas, we may be in presence of such Hari Nama. Golokera prema dhana, Harinama sankirtana.

KIRTAN FOREVER

A River of Happiness

A River of Happiness

Tomorrow I am leaving Rishikesh and the Ganga. This yoga festival goes on till March 22nd. For me, Hari Nama calls elsewhere. Indradyumna swami had a great vision which he actualized. 60 Hare Krishna devotees are helping out. 3000 saris were donated. Before the kirtan, guest ladies are decorated and clad in saris. One girl cried when she learnt she could keep her sari. She had badly wanted one, but money is low after wandering all over India on a budget and now, almost ready to fly out. Every day, new faces join old ones in kirtan. It has been uplifting, inspiring and deeply satisfying to talk about Krishna and His devotees to willing listeners. This river of happiness flows eternal when connected to Krishna. Amongst the Krishna devotees here, all hands are on deck early hours till night. Good organization and selfless dedication make their endeavor a success. We pray Hare Krishna Mantra comes to this festival every year. We are insignificant. Yet, in gratitude to Srila Prabhupada, we earnestly pray to be active tools in this great mission of divine love.

KIRTAN FOREVER

Rishikesh

Sitting on the banks of Ganga is inspiring and satisfying. Yet my heart yearns for Ganga of Gomukh, born from the glacier. Her steel blue dancing waters is icy and taste sweet. Every year yogis come from all over for the greatest yoga festival on the planet. It starts March 1st to March 22nd. I came a couple of days before the devotees for some alone time, to try and chant without distraction and pressure. Yet, Sri Harinama had other plans. By chance I met with people from the yoga scene and they wanted Hari Kirtan. One time we were a small group sitting in a circle on the banks of the Ganga. Everyone was absorbed until some felt the thrust of a determined want-to-be participant. A cow nudged persistently, intent to be in the middle. Her fortitude finally won her the coveted spot. We all kept chanting and she just stood there, quiet and peaceful. After a while she left to quickly return with her calf. Again, they came in the middle for a while and then wandered off to the side to stand immobile, as if intent on hearing. I was also greatly relieved we weren’t splattered with sacred cow produce. It is cold and laundry is not so easy.

Tomorrow one of the great Sankirtan stalwarts of our time is arriving. Despite a recent critical operation, Indradyumna Maharaj is behind this Kirtan festival this year. In a few purports of CC, Prabhupada states it is the duty of all members of this Hare Krishna movement to take this chanting all over the world. Maharaj is doing just that. This inspires the heart in a real, active way. I also wish to dedicate my life selflessly to the mission. Without the blessings of Vaisnavas one cannot be engaged in unmotivated devotional practices. Here the plan is Harinam every day, to chant with the crowd and invite them to our evening program of kirtan and delicious prasadam. We ardently pray to Ganga that we imbibe a little the conviction Maharaj has of Sri Hari Nama, so that we may please Prabhupada and attract Krishna’s sidelong glance.

KIRTAN FOREVER

Mumbai

Our kirtan seva in Mumbai ended at Mira Road. As usual it is one of the most inspiring and enthusiastic crowds. I’d entreated the assembly not to use mobile phones to film when the kirtan picks up as then, chanting mostly stops. Thankfully they complied and the kirtan turned dynamic. We’d also been to Surat for the first time. Though almost no one came on time and we’d start much later than advertised, many came to chant kirtan and we remembered Prabhupada’s coming to this city. Yet, at one of the venues, hearing was difficult for the crowd, thus chanting was inaccurate. I remember Aindra prabhu telling me, Krishna has delicate ears and we have to do everything tastefully. Thus, for the first time I stopped during kirtan to get almost 2000 people to chant the correct melody. Besides, the basis of chanting is proper hearing. After we left, the organizer conveyed that till next year he’ll train his flock to chant properly. We eagerly await to be part of 2000 people focused on a single goal, chant with sincere determination. Before going to Rishikesh we’re spending a few days in Vrindavan. I had forgotten how peaceful and saturated with Consciousness of Krishna, Vrindavan is. Karthik is such a different space and time zone altogether, which severely challenges tolerance. Our extra vows also tend to drive and isolate us from relationships of friends and family. Today, without any pressure or disturbance, we stay in the temple to chant after class, meet with very old friends, take full darshan of our Lords as long as we liked and walk freely on ‘traffic-less’ roads. The only ‘noise’ right now is that of chatty parrots. Next, we’re serving Sri Hari kirtan with Indradyumna swami in Rishikesh. Big crowds assemble for the annual yoga conference. We hope to become dear to Krishna by helping His dear devotees spread His glories to others, soon-to-be devotees of His.

KIRTAN FOREVER

 

 

Madhava in Phillipines

On the way to the Philippines Radhika was quite sick with a cold in the chest, which tends to give her asthma. The flight from Dubai to Manila was overbooked and we hoped against hope no one would sit between us in our row of 3 seats as she had window and I had aisle. Boarding completed, announced the captain and we sighed with relief. Thank you Krishna. You say You are partial to none, but specially inclined to those who serve You, and we are sold out to You. Radhika welcomes the facility to lie down. We are going to serve Your mission. You promise Your protection and we are deeply grateful. We started to ‘settle in’ when I heard a loud voice from the back of the plane – I am like an elephant, see my size! An abnormally large man spoke and his frame would definitely occupy 2 seats. He sat in the row of 4 seats. Every other seat on that plane was occupied but for our one! The flight attendant checks the seat plan and promptly directs a skinny filipino woman to our middle seat! Dumbstruck, we tried to make sense of …, Krishna … , until, Janma Karma ca me divyam …. . I, Mr. Frog in my well, want to understand the great oceans by comparing them to the size of my important, tiny body of water. Poor Radhika was sick during our Nama seva, but it facilitated treatments for other ailments she’d been ignoring. Our minds always need to rationalize; thus, I judged ‘Elephantman’ distress was more dire than ours. Yes, I, a minute fraction of Him want to fathom the Whole, chiefly to make me feel better! To let go of thoughts and accept Krishna’s angle as a servant should, is just not easy. He is autocratic. Overall, we cannot understand. Lucky we do get to practice – I am infinitesimal servant.
KIRTAN FOREVER

Coming to Kangaroo Land

 

We flew into Perth end of February. Aussies on the west coast have fallen hard for kirtan. From that isolated part of the globe, the crowd that came on the 3 nights of kirtan pleasantly surprised us, and a day retreat with smaller numbers revealed depths of commitment to spiritual practices. They were naturally curious to know why we mostly chant the Hare Krishna mantra.

Gold Coast was the next stop where grey stormy weather awaited us. Yet, the next morning the sun came out revealing the beach in all its glory. A glitch though – a car’s alarm broke the serenity of the beautiful morning. It beeped for a full minute, stopped for 10 seconds, then on again like an alarm clock on snooze, for almost 3 hours! That evening all was back to grey skies, gusts, rain, white capped waves and of course, no abrasive noise to break the dreary weather.  At least we have kirtan – timeless, unchangeable and forever spiritual. From there, we went to Brisbane University for an evening of chanting Hare Krishna. Eager students delighted all with strong chanting. The Mantra has extended Himself from the spiritual world. Eternal joy is His nature which touches us whenever we chant.

KIRTAN FOREVER

 

Mumbai

Back in Switzerland since 5 days and neither a peep of sun, nor rain nor snow. It’s just grey and cold. All the leafless branches present a very apocalyptic picture.

We came from busy, sunny and colorful Mumbai, where we had Kirtan engagements in different cities.

In the middle of a busy schedule we still had 2 days of restful time at the Eco Village, about 3 hours drive from Mumbai. A big group of yoga practitioners from different parts of the world was doing a retreat there. I recognized people from Germany, Australia and the US. It is a serene place to rest and recuperate. The atmosphere inspires higher thoughts and spiritual goals. In two days time we’ll fly to Australia, direction summer, sun and heat besides our Kirtan engagements. Right now I feel I will never complain about the heat even during the hottest season in the hottest part of the globe.


KIRTAN FOREVER

Lithuania January 2018 – sights and sounds..

Sights on the way to the Lithuania Kirtan Festival..

Sounds….

Madhava prabhu leads kirtan at the Baltics WInter Festival, Lithuania

The Baltics Winter Festival is going very nicely. There are about 400 devotees gathered, and some great preachers, like Trivikrama Maharaja, Dhirashanta Maharaja. Niranjana Maharaja is coming today. This is video of Madhava prabhu leading kirtana last night.

Posted by Bhakti Chaitanya Swami on Freitag, 19. Januar 2018

Punjab and Delhi

Coming to Punjab for the first time, we hardly knew what to expect. India produces many masters in music, both vocal and instrumental in various styles. Indians are also used to sit down and appreciate the intricacies of an expert musical production. We wondered if during kirtan the crowd would at all participate by chanting.

To our amazement, our first engagement in Ludhiana attracted a full temple room and everyone sang with great enthusiasm. The next day the chanting of the Amritsar crowd surpassed Ludhiana. Focusing on the sacred Maha Mantra vibration naturally led to sublime dancing, thus creating a spiritual atmosphere.

Over 700 people attended one of the kirtan engagements in Delhi. The sincere chanting of many people nourishes the soul and liberates the heart from material bondage.