Kirtans can also be called ecstatic songs, and require only that we liberate our voices to experience joy and bring about joy in others.
The absorption in kirtans releases unbridled energy and joy united with a strong sense of freedom. The voice becomes “true” precisely because freedom in singing liberates the voice and leads us to experience joy. We are immersed into the sound of our natural voice, opening to the experience of untold wonders.
Kirtan teaches us to get rid of ourselves, and in getting rid of the singer, the meditator/singer can become sound itself, harmony, music. Kirtan is a supreme practice for transforming the ego-focused approach where everything revolves around the figure of the musician and singer as diva, modern myth, or star. In fact, kirtan is the exact opposite: musicians are recognized and appreciated for their capacity to lose themselves in the song and in sound and thus allow the music to blossom.
The power of kirtan is undeniable, and once a meditator has felt it, he or she will undergo a profound change in spontaneity, in confronting life both internally and externally.
This ancient spiritual path has been adopted by great sages and saints of every tradition.
Mira Bai, a great devotee of Krishna, attained enlightenment and supreme bliss in remembering and singing the sacred name of her Lord.
There is a beautiful story of Akbar, a powerful emperor of the Moghul empire who lived in the 1600s.
Akbar loved to gather renowned artists and other illustrious personages in his court. Among them, the great Miyan Tansen stood out. He was an exceptional composer and in his time was considered a true musical legend.
One day the emperor asked Tansen to perform a night raga in the middle of a bright and sunny day.
Ragas are musical compositions that have a close vibrational connection with specific hours of the day, seasons, moments of life, and places.