Kirtan roots

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Kirtan is a mantra-meditation and a musical prayer in one. It is a ‘call and response’ connection with the Divine through sound.

The practice of kirtan comes from the teachings of Shri Chaitanya, a medieval saint and avatar who started a revolution when he broke the practice of sacred song and dance out of the temples, where it was being carefully guarded as an exclusive practice of the priestly caste. His message called attention to a worldwide identity crisis – we discriminate on the basis of class, race and religion, but beneath the temporary covering of the body, we are all equal. The more deeply we realise this fact, the more we can see everyone as valuable and worthy of our love and compassion.