Kirtan Yoga

Just as in asana, where the practice is repetition of certain poses kirtan is repetition of calling the names of the deities to remind us of our true nature and unity with all things. Calling the names is like planting seeds of awareness in our hearts, that then ripples out in to our life, so Bhakti is the art of integrating the Love within our own hearts in to our life.

What is Kirtan Yoga?

Kirtan, formally known Namasan Kirtana is the Bhakti movement which began in the 6th Century in the far south of India in a place called Chennai in Tamil Nadu formally known as Madras.

In northern India, from the 13th to the 17th centuries, a large number of poets flourished who were all Bhakti figures of considerable importance. They would speak of a formless god, sometimes centring their devotion on a preferred deity but also expressing their concerns as indeed devotion equates to the cause of economic justice and a fairer society. This movement and emotional out pouring through singing, dancing & poetry gathered its momentum until around the 16th Century when Bhakti pervaded all of India.

Just as in asana, where the practice is repetition of certain poses kirtan is repetition of calling the names of the deities to remind us of our true nature and unity with all things. Calling the names is like planting seeds of awareness in our hearts, that then ripples out in to our life, so Bhakti is the art of integrating the Love within our own hearts in to our life.

The names such as Kali, Durga, Rama, Shiva, Krishna etc are names of the divine that have been transmitted to us over the ages through the seers and the rishis who received them in deep meditation and when we hear them, they resonate with us in a certain way so that no one has to tell us that they mean anything, we already know, they are the names of our own self, the practice is reminding us of that timeless Love that resides within us. According to karma that longing and yearning for love eventually finds a way to express itself.

One of the most influential teachings in eastern philosophy is The Bhagavad Gita it is the eternal message of spiritual wisdom from ancient India and one of the most important messages from the author is the discipline of devotion. One of the most influential teachings to me in this writing has been Chapter 6 Verse 30

“When he sees Me in all and all in Me, then I never leave him and he never leaves me. And he who in this oneness of love, loves me in whatever he sees, wherever this man may live, in truth he lives in me.”