Tag Archives: kirtan

The Nectar of the Name- A Story about Kirtan, Lila, and the Hanuman Chalisa

“People don’t know- every line of the Hanuman Chalisa is a Maha Mantra”
Neem Karoli Baba 

Many of us have come to kirtan and felt inspired, felt our sorrows lifted, or even experienced a deep healing or surrender. These are beautiful experiences that are meant to be cherished, but they are also ultimately just initial doorways into a rich and satisfying journey to God. Kirtan is more than just a temporary experience or emotional high. It is an opportunity to gain a taste of the nectar of devotion.

Just like in any worldly relationship, we first feel an attraction to someone, and some “high” in our body tells us we like them. If this initial attraction turns into a relationship, then over the years it has the opportunity to deepen into something even more satisfying than we could initially imagine. It has the possibility of offering an incredible healing and deeper sense of safety in the world. If this is true for a worldly relationship, then what to say of a Divine one?

What if our Lover was Perfect? What if They had no desires of Their own, save maybe for us to attain our own liberation? What if this Lover lived in our own heart as our True Nature? What if falling in Love with Them meant falling in Love with everyone, including ourselves? What if this Love affair fostered a sense of safety that stayed with us? Even through our most difficult times? Even through sickness, old age, and death? This is what kirtan can offer us- a chance to gain a taste of this nectar and to deepen this Holy Relationship.

Continue reading


Radio Interview

About a year ago, I was interviewed by Reverend Derek Moody and Sister Tracy on the Church of Rock radio show out of Southern Oregon (KSKQ 89.5 FM & 94.1 FM). They just recently posted this on their youtube channel. We discussed our love for Ram Dass, the power of living from the heart, Be Here Now, and kirtan as a rudder for living in this material world. The interview lasted for about 10 minutes, and after they played “Jaya Hanuman” from my latest album, The Puja Room Recordings.

I was also recently on the Humboldt Lighthouse Podcast, and I will be on the Quantum Alignment Podcast in September.

Related Posts:

 


What’s in a Name?

They say that these are revealed Names, that ancient Rishis pulled these from the depths of consciousness and placed them in this world as gateways to that Infinite Abode. They say there is something invariably healing about these vibrations, that they melt the ego as they ripple through our being. They say that these Names are perfect forms of God, that the Name and what is named are one and the same.

All I really know is that these are Names of my Beloved, and by saying them sweetly I partake in the language of the heart, engaging in an eternal love affair.  I know that  countless devotees have cried their pain, suffering, yearning and joy into them, a reminder that this love affair is bigger than me. It’s as if we are all Gopis partaking in Krishna’s dance, each one of us simultaneously claiming Him as our own. I am connected to a tradition of lovers that goes back millennia.

And I know that they do work.

They remind me that my Beloved is here, right here, in this world, in this body, in the depths of my being, in the face of every person I meet…

And what more could I ask for, but to be granted the possibility that at any given moment the Beloved might reveal Herself?

These Names are the Names of Love, and by saying them I engage in the most exquisite love making.

Maharajji said, “Go on saying your false Rams. One of these days you will get it right.”

So how do we say it? There are so many ways to say a Name.

Is it a chore list, something we ought to do? A magical incantation, a spell cast to bring the gods under our sway? Is it like rubbing flint, waiting for that one time when it will catch flame? Is it savory like morning pillow talk? Does it burn with yearning the way a flame leaps for air?

Or is it like the Gopis, whose ecstatic love moans reveal to us the potency of the Name, whose vocal emanations show us the healing vibratory power of the Name, who brought the Beloved completely under their sway simply by the power of their devotion, to whom nothing else existed except Krishna’s blissful form, who first ignited a tradition centuries ago when they screamed:

Śrī Kṛṣṇa!

Related Posts:


Improv Chalisa

Today during my morning puja I was messing around with some chords and improvising a Hanuman Chalisa. I thought I would share with y’all what I came up with, so I recorded this 🙂

 


Now available on Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and more.

All of my music is now available on Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and more.

Of course, the best way to support me and my music is to get it directly from my website, but I’m happy to say that more people will have access to it, and this is a good thing.

I have also started recording for my next album, which will be available next Spring.

I am excited for it. It will be very different from anything I have done thus far. Over the years I have developed many songs in my personal practice that just never lent themselves well to call-and-response kirtan. Many of these songs were written on instruments other than harmonium, and you can expect to hear a wide range of instruments- guitar, banjolele, piano, violin, harmonium, etc.

Although not traditional call-and-response kirtan, these are still songs of longing for God, and are still sung with the Sanskrit Holy Names.

In a few days I will post my reflections from my recent protest in support of Planned Parenthood

So if you would like to keep up to date on my music, tour dates, and musings, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or sign up for my email list and follow this blog by clicking the links on the left side of the page.

Ram Ram,

Sitaram Dass