Published on May 31st, 2014 | by Publisher, Natural Awakenings New Mexico0
Kirtan with Krishna Das – Santa Fe, July 10 and 11
Kirtan with Krishna Das: A Strife Saver
By Alan Hutner
In the early to mid-seventies, my life was rife with strife. A “corporate executive,” stressed to the max, living in upper-middle class suburbia—think Pleasantville. I explored many de-stressing tools. The first profound technique, Transcendental Meditation, changed my life. It also tempered my anger and helped stop my hair from falling out. Transcendental Meditation led me to other forms of meditation, eventually leading me to Ram Dass’s book, Be Here Now. I was inspired to search out and find Ram Dass. I was guided to New York City and Long Island where a spiritual community was forming centered on meditation and devotional chanting or kirtan. I ended up in Montauk on a 10 day retreat, where Krishna Das taught a class that blew my fourth chakra—my heart center—wide open. I experienced the energetic essence or frequency of love for the first time, in my mid-thirties, just from chanting.
Krishna Das, a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba, had traveled with Ram Dass and other Westerners to India where he learned kirtan and mantra. In Ram Dass’s book Polishing the Mirror Krishna Das says of kirtan, “It deepens the channel of grace, and it’s a way of being present in the moment…repeating these names ripens our karma; the things that are not helpful for us are removed, and the things that are helpful for us are brought into the flow of our life—just through this practice, not through any action of our own. It’s a ripening process.”
My mission here is to entice you with a few more words to join with us, Krishna Das and the Kirtan Wallah Band, and around a thousand other devotional chanting participants in the audience at Greer Garson Theatre in Santa Fe, July 10 and 11. You can just listen and receive or join in—all voices are welcome.
Kirtan is chanting the names of deities, a devotional practice that both opens the heart and quiets the mind. It is mantra to song, dance, a celebration of Divine Joy—even to the extent of producing ecstatic states. Will that be true for you? If I had to bet on it, I would say you’ll come away in an altered frequency of love. Here’s my recently revised definition of love. Taking the acronym L O V E and giving it this title: Law Of Vibrational Essence (or Energy). Love vibrates the heart.
So, call it a love fest, a bhakti yoga concert, whatever…just words. You have to be there to get the frequency. From the description on his website: “Layering traditional kirtan with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation, Krishna Das has been called “yoga’s rock star.” With a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest chord in even the most casual listener, Krishna Das—known to friends, family, and fans as simply KD—has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and the best-selling Western chant artist of all time, with over 300,000 albums sold.
His album Live Ananda, released January 2012, was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age album category. In February 2013, Krishna Das performed at the Grammy awards in Los Angeles, streamed online to millions of viewers.” His new, 14th release, Kirtan Wallah (one who sings kirtan), offers a westward-leaning album, fully embracing his American roots in rock and country and yet embodying the spirit of deeply devotional Indian chants. The heart of this latest album is still in the names that he’s singing.
This summer KD, joined by Arjun (tabla & naal drums), Mark Gorman (electric bass), Genevieve Walker (violin) and Nina Rao (kartals) hits the road again. The KD tour bus arrives in Santa Fe, for the above two nights. Reserved seats at Greer Garson Theatre are now on sale. Don’t miss it!
To purchase tickets, visit TicketsSantaFe.org, call 505-988-1234, or visit the Lensic Box Office, 211 W. San Francisco St. in Santa Fe. For more on Krishna Das and his Kirtan Wallah Band Tour, visit KrishnaDas.com.