The simple definition of kirtan is the call and response singing of the many names of the God/Goddess/Guru. It is a devotional practice, a limb of Yoga, and a mental and spiritual outlook all rolled into one. Kirtan, or Bhakti Yoga, is a spiritual path as true and impactful as any other. We celebrate all the wonderful diversity in this plane, and see all aspects and all beings as divine. Bhakti Yogi's choose to see the Divine form in all beings as opposed to all beings as one Divine form (Jnana). We can in turn worship all the myriad forms of the God/Goddess with ecstatic joy. As Sri Ramakrishna the great Bengali saint said: "I want to enjoy sugar, not become one with it!" This was a simple yet profound example of Bhakti or devotion.
Kirtan allows us to open our heart and surrender to it. We can then tap into the Universal Consciousness, and as countless beings have done since time immemorial, we can cry out with love to be reunited with our beloved...the God/Goddess/Guru within that we are all searching for.
"Rudra Das fills the room with ecstatic bliss, and brings the community together in the space of the one heart. He emanates the gift of infectious devotion and love." ~Durga Das aka David Newman, International Kirtan Artist