Sacred Chants Kirtan
Chanting sacred songs has been part of my spiritual practice for many years now and some people say that only the purist versions give the best energy, but I find personally that some of the rock and roll versions of sacred chants like those coming from Krishna Das or Tina Turner or Deva Premal help me to remember the sanskrit words more easily and helps me to sing/chant them with greater pleasure, so I do it more often.
And isn't that one the goals of chanting is the repetition of these sacred sounds to allow even ancient sanskrit words to penetrate through this veil of ego and allow us all to connect to the Divine around us and the Divine within us?
I've added above Krishna Das' version of Hare Krishna as a kirtan I like to practice.
What's your favourite chant?
Here's a transcript about Love and why he chants from a workshop Krishna Das did in Merrickville Australia April 2012 that I think is very interesting...
"Marrickville, Australia, Saturday, April 28 2012. For more information please visit, Krishna das.com Good morning. It always morning for me. So we call this a workshop, because we don't know what else to call it.
It's basically just hanging out for the afternoon. In, hopefully a loving space. And whether we sing, or whether we're talking. We hope to aim at that space, and try to stay in that nice place together.
But that doesn't mean you can't say anything you want to say it gets to be fun sometimes. So let's start off with sing a little bit first. Beautiful day. Sydney is really like LA vibrationally Melbourne is like New York, both good. But, and then the way you were also fashionably late today and it's just like LA.
So, sit down. So what's the sitana. We just sang it for half an hour. What is it, I don't know. Maybe you knew one thing, whatever it is. When we're singing and chanting these names. It's hard to think about robbing banks. Right. It's hard to think about hurting other people, or hurting ourselves, or creating suffering for ourselves or others. So first of all right off the bat, when we're chanting were for the most part not creating new negative karma. Right. Because karma is are created every second that we're alive, every thought is a karma, every reaction, every emotion. Everything we do creates karma. So, and karma. You can think it up seeds you plant. If you plant the seeds of jealousy and fear. What do you think's gonna grow. If you plant the seeds of compassion and kindness. What do you think's gonna grow. It's that simple. It's really that simple. What's not easy though, is planting those seeds that we want of the things we want to be in our life. Why because we're running on on automatic. We got the cruise control on and we're not paying any attention. So, we're just creating stuff all day long, that we're going to have to live through ourselves. Nobody else is going to live through it for us. That's the good news. And that's the bad news. So that's why we do practices. First of all when we do a practice. We're training ourselves to release our identification with our thoughts and our feelings and our emotions. Because a real practice can always take you deeper than you are at this moment, there's always the option to let go of whatever you're involved in, mentally, emotionally at that moment. And so that's what I mean by deeper. When we're chanting. You might be chanting, but you also might be thinking about stuff, or feeling, maybe I had a bad dream last night and it's kind of like a hangover, and staying with you. So you're chanting, but it's still there. After a while dissipates, because you're not paying that much attention to it anymore. Let's say somebody did something that hurt your feelings. When you're chanting, that tends to dissipate.
It might come back like a sledgehammer later. But while you're chanting or doing your practice. That fixation on the feeling will dissipate. We'll get later. We go through our day, and we believe every single thing that we think that is called insanity. We just, we think we believe it. If you're like shit. We believe all that guy knows and like, we believe everything we think, whatever it is we believe it.
We have no separation from it all, we're thinking it. That's it. That's insanity, that's the definition of insanity, locked into one particular plane or one particular thought process and can't get out.
Luckily, or whatever, this world. We all share the same basic insanity. Everybody on this particular plane on this planet, mostly believes the same things. And so we get along with each other, more or less, even if we're killing each other. We're still relating on the same level. Because we believe what we think we actually think we are who we think we are. That is completely nuts. How could we be what we think. Who's thinking, not the one that is the thought, not the font, the thoughts not thinking the thoughts like a bird running through your awareness. You catch on to it, and you become a bird for that period of time, or you think you are a bird.
So when we do practice, it begins to release us from what we mistakenly believe about ourselves that we were limited, that we were the body, and basically most of us feel that we're not worthy of love.
We don't feel worthy of love ourselves, most of the time. That's not a lot of fun. Because we want to feel good about ourselves. We want to feel loved, and to be able to love. And we find that we can't really do that that easily.
Except when somebody is looking at us in one particular way. And we grab that person we hold them like that.
Yeah, that's love. Oh, he changed. Well, maybe I'll get it over here. So that's, that's just not very efficient. You can't. It's just hard to do, takes a lead energy, and it never works for long.
So, All these practices that we do ultimately lead us to our own true nature, which is love, unconditional love that you don't fall in, and love that you don't fall out of. It's who we are. It's not something you get, nor can you lose it, but we don't look for it so we don't find it. We're trained to look outside of ourselves, for everything, right from the moment we're born, if not before, so it's perfectly reasonable that we can't find what we're looking for, because it isn't outside of us. We all know exactly what we want. Whether we know we know or not we know what it would feel like, if that's what we're looking for. But we look out there. We can't find it out there, there's nothing out there.
There's another person looking for the same thing out there. I was once very much in love with someone. And I was telling my Indian father Mr. Tiwari, all about it.
And it was listening very patiently for a long time. Man, he just looked at me, said my boy. He said, relationships are business, do your business enjoy, do your business enjoy, but love. He said, That's what lasts 24 hours a day. Love is what is key thing that she did. Remember he told me to enjoy myself. He didn't say don't do that, or that he didn't say that to Jesus. If it is, can I talk down please. You know the joke about this swami who comes to see the Pope, you know, when it comes into the Pope's room and on the desk there's this solid gold telephone. Right. And after a while this one man keeps looking at the phone, he says, Your Holiness said, What's that phone, he said, Oh, that's our, that's our direct line to God, really. He said, Swami. Could, could I use, can I make the call. Oh yes you can do but it's, it's you know it's $1,000 Swami says I got it. I give it to Andrew. What's the exchange rate to the ML. So, the Bob says sure sure give me the money, make the call. So we make the call, he talks to so many years later the Pope is is traveling in India and he comes to the Swamis ashram and he comes into the room with the SWAMI and they're sitting around having some giant, he sees a gold telephone on the SWAMI his desk, he said, try. Is that right, I think it is. Ah yes, that is, that's our telephone direct line to God, we've, we've got it now really? Could I, could I call. Of course you can give me 10 rupees only. You said only 10 rupees? Yeah, local call
It has no meaning whatsoever but I love it. It's all local call. But we keep making these long distance golf and nobody picks up, you know, relationships business. What that means is that it's given take that's business, that's what he meant.
You give a little to me, I give you a little, you know, that's good. We like each other right we'll do this, you make a deal to give each other what you want. For as long as you can. But after a while you know it changes everything changes, it's very hard to keep that con, but you can learn a lot from relationships. You can actually develop friendship with a capital F, which is an incredible thing to have with somebody because a friend is someone who cares about you at least as much as they care about themselves. That's a big thing. And it's not easy to find, but love. Love is what is lovely, with last 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It's what's always here. We're not here. So, we're not aware of being here so we don't feel that because we're been programmed and trained to look outside of ourselves for everything. One time I was in the temple, a few years ago. And Mr. Torres eldest grandson was being married, the oldest first one of the grandchildren to be married. And it was a big deal and they all all the whole family came to the temple to get the blessings and there's a woman there named Sidney mom's
one of great, great devoted. And I was sitting with her in the back and all the cousins came in right about 15 or 16 of these kids. And this reminds me of when I was in India and the war with Pakistan. The planes were coming over. Back in 71 I think it was. So I'm sitting there watching all these young kids, right, and there was so much love between these cousins. It was extraordinary. And I know the family so I know
I was getting all teary. And, you know, and first let me say that a few days before this.
I said to Sidneyma i said Ma What is it with Westerners what's wrong with us. Why can't we accept love, Why can't we learn what's, what's going on. And she said, she said a few things she said first of all she said, What were your parents thinking about when you were conceived. Then she said, what were they eating right, what was a diet that had a lot to do with something. And then she said, she said, and affection is used to control a child. It's withheld and given at certain times to make the child, Act like the parents want them to. So right away, kid is trained to do business with affection from early age, early age before we even remember we can't remember that. But we were trained, when we were little, that if we're going to get what we need from our parents, which this is our whole world when we're this big. We have to give them what they want. And that's a program that's still running. If we want if we want to get what we need from our partner we have to give them what they need, what they want. That's what he meant by business. So anyway, so then I'm sitting in the back of the temple. A few days later with all these with the family and this so much lunch out of the blue, she turned to me Sydney my turn to me, she said, You see,
this is what you missed by being born in America. There wasn't that kind of love in my family. My uncle didn talk to my father. He didn't talk to his father, because of that my cousin doesn't talk to me.
We used to meet for family dinners, you know, and then go away, graduate from high school, I'm out of the house. It's not like that in the east, the so called East, there's a different psychological shaping in the family for the most part, love is never used for the most part and
I ‘m generalizing, love isn’t used as a controlling device. After my swami died and I used to spend a lot of time in India with the toare family with many of the families. I would, I was amazed at the way things happen in this family. There was so much love, but there was also yelling and screaming, and you know people get angry and storm up all kinds of stuff happening. And it was all, okay. That's the difference. Nobody was afraid that someone else in the family would actually throw them out of their heart. You could yell, you could be angry, you could be, whatever. And it was all right. You were free, just to be yourself. I was free to be myself growing up. Don't look at me like that. Don't raise your voice to me. Had a lot of that, I don't know about you, and it takes a toll. It teaches us what we can do and what we can do. And if you think those programs are not still running. Think again. So what does this have to do with chanting, chanting, and spiritual practice, pulls the energy away from these programs, and gives it back to our hearts. Little by little, if it happens too fast, they put you in a mental hospital. It's gradual gradual enlightenment takes sudden enlightenment, as they talk about a lot these days, takes millions of lifetimes to happen. So it's a gradual process. It's a, it's like a figure ground shift all the things we've invested ourselves in externally. Gradually, their importance fades, and our inner light gets brighter, and we feel differently about ourselves through doing practices. It happens pretty much under the radar. You don't get to pat yourself on the back. Well that was really a great meditation, think again. So, and what happens is is over time. We spend less and less time in heavier negative states of mind. They just don't arise, the same way as they usually have been arising in our lives. I'm a depressive.
Can you tell I mope around my whole life, i mope around. And I have to tell you that I mope up around less than I used to. I really do. And I gotta tell you something else.
I miss it. There's nothing like moping around the house, you know, its just so rich and sweet. Sometimes I do it just for fun. So the key is to do a practice, whatever practice works for you, regularly. Just a little bit every day. Over time, got to do it when you want to, and you got to do it when you don't want to. Otherwise, you don't develop the muscles, the inner, letting go muscles, has to be done regularly, and it's not gonna feel so good all the time but that's okay it's not supposed to. That's one of our problems is expectation we sit down. Somebody gave us a mantra. So for the first week, like we're like, This is so great, you know, then we come back, and then then so great. And then it worked. That's when you really have to do it. You just keep at it little by little, over time, it takes time to let go. It takes time to train and train ourselves to D hit the times ourselves. And you got to do it, you don't do it, guess what. Ain't nothing gonna happen. You don't do it, fine, no problem. Nobody says you have to, but if you want to do it. Only you can do it. That's the good news and the bad news. Nobody can do it for you. Nobody you pay any amount of money to can do it for you. And nobody has to do it for you. I was talking to somebody the other day about this movie I saw once what was it called Holy smoke. And we see that movie. It's about this woman who goes to India and gets involved with this group and. And then, her parents trick her into coming back, and they get this big heavy deprogram of from America Harvey Keitel had these dude in the world that the programmer at one point she turns to him she says he never be able to take away what my guru gave me. And I'm watching that and I burst out laughing. I thought that was the funniest thing I ever heard. Why because my guru, hitting give me nothing. I was with him three years and nothing ever happened. Isn't that fantastic. He led me into the room where love lips. And that's it. He showed me love. Nobody could take that away because it's in there, it's me. Take it away, and try. That's why I laugh the whole premise of the movie was stupid. That's why I left. Although, to tell you the truth, that's a place that a lot of people are in. You think you're getting something from somebody, then you have to keep giving them something back even if it's your so called devotion. In order to keep getting that thing that you want. That's business I hate to tell you, it may look like something else. But it's business, at least on your side. You're doing emotional business. Love is not emotion. It doesn't come and go. It's our true nature. It's who we are. Try to take it away. You can't. How can you take away what you are. You can't lose it. You can only finally recognize it again and again and again."