Kirtan Practices

The root of kirtan is kirt (Sanskrit: कीर्त्). The root is found in the Samhitas, Brahmanas, and Vedic literature, as well as in Vedanga and Sutra literature. Kirtan, sometimes referred to as sankirtana (literally, “collective performance”), is a call-and-response singing or musical conversation, a genre of religious performative arts that developed within the devotional traditions of India.

Kirtan: An ancient practice based on singing and sound

Kirtan is a diverse practice that varies regionally and includes different musical instruments, dance, prayer, theater, audience participation, and moral narration. In many traditions, kirtan is a call-and-response performance involving devotional dance and singing by a lead singer and the audience. Kirtan is often accompanied by musical instruments such as the Harmonium, veena or ektara (stringed instruments), tabla (single-headed drums), mrdanga or pakhawaj (double-sided drums), flute (wind instruments), and karatala or tala (cymbals).

Kirtan Practices at Holismos Center in Varese

At Holismos Yoga & Wellness, we use various forms of traditional kirtan derived from Hindu and Buddhist traditions, as well as Christian prayers and practices from other traditions. Singing lifts the spirit, and for this reason, all religious traditions, in addition to prayer, use singing in its various forms as a principal tool to elevate individual energy and spirit. Come to practice Kirtan at our center in Varese, to sing and release the tensions and stress that inevitably accumulate day after day.

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