Posts Tagged ‘Kirtan’

Krishna Das at Karuna

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Recently Karuna hosted Krishna Das for a a workshop and two lively kirtans. The turnout was fantastic and, as usual, the performances were full of beautiful energy and love. Here are some photos and a video from the Sunday workshop.

Krishna Das

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Recently Karuna hosted a Kirtan and workshop with Krishna Das. KD, as many affectionately refer to him, has been visiting the Karuna community for nearly 16 years. Now synonymous with the practice of  Indian Kirtan in the states and around the world, KD has created a bridge for many from the west with this practice of the east. One way that he does this is by incorporating western styles of instrumentation and chord progressions with the chanting of traditional Hindu devotional poetry. Another way KD supports and enlivens our practice is by sharing stories of his own particular path to becoming a practitioner of Bhakti Yoga,the Yoga of devotion. In the workshops that typically follow his Kirtan at Karuna, KD shares stories of his practice and of his teacher, Neem Karoli Baba or, more commonly referred to as Maharaj-ji. In these stories it is clear to the audience how profound and deep KD’s love for Mahara-ji is and how that love fuels his practice of Bhakti Yoga. Once an aspiring rock musician in the 60’s, KD spent three years in India with Majara-ji learning the practice of Bhakti and Kirtan. He has spent his time since those powerful years expressing the grace of his teacher through music and chanting.

KD speaks of his devotion and faith in a very accessible way. He does not position himself in front of us as our teacher but rather as another walking beside us in our practice. He humbly and honestly admits to his own struggles, offering his experience in a relational way that puts him alongside the audience. His insights don’t come across as challenges but rather as encouragements and support.

The energy generated by the beautiful music and chanting is uplifting. In a radio interview with Gary Goldberg KD remarked that “trying to think yourself out of a box made of thought won’t work”.  Practicing Kirtan with KD invites us to replace thought with prayer and analysis with love.

“The words of these chants are called the divine names and they come from a place that’s deeper than our hearts and our thoughts, deeper than the mind. And so as we sing them they turn us towards ourselves, into ourselves. They bring us in, and as we offer ourselves into the experience, the experience changes us. These chants have no meaning other than the experience that we have by doing them. They come from the Hindu tradition, but it’s not about being a Hindu, or believing anything in advance. It’s just about doing it, and experiencing. Nothing to join, you just sit down and sing.” ~Krishna Das

We feel fortunate to have shared the Karuna space with this beautiful practitioner over the years and look forward to seeing him again next year!