Kirtan, prasad, and a loving community!

Feb 20, 2014   //   by Staff Writer   //   The Blog  //  No Comments

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Little did I know that chanting in yoga classes will get me addicted to Kirtans!

It all started a year ago when I found myself chanting and singing in yoga classes. In the beginning, I was judgmental (‘why are we chanting and singing in a yoga class?’), resistant (‘will this turn me into some fanatic?’) or reluctant (‘I cannot sing or chant in public’). Despite growing up in India, chanting or yoga was not a familiar territory for me. However, for some reason (don’t know what), I continued chanting and singing in the yoga classes. Soon, I found myself listening to Kirtans and chants at home and within weeks I was completely “hooked on”!

I started bugging a few yoga teachers to start Kirtans at YD and was delighted to learn that Jasmine and Hannah were already working on starting Kirtans. Needless to say, I was thrilled to attend the very first Kirtan at 14th street with Hannah. To my surprise, I was singing in public and it didn’t matter how I sang…or what I sang…just that I was singing with people who shared the same passion and devotion. And at the end of the Kirtan, I was pleasantly surprised to have the prasad (fruits and sweets). Prasad – a sanskrit term has various meanings – an offering to God, a gift, a mental state shared by God, sages or awakened ones, etc. In the Hindu tradition, it is a ritual to offer some food or sweets to God and share the blessed food amongst everyone. Indeed, prasad was a familiar concept and the ‘foody’ in me was happy! I promptly started preparing weekly prasad for Kirtans (it gave me an amazing opportunity to learn to prepare vegan sweets)!

Soon, I was making weekend plans around Sunday Kirtans with Hannah (@ 14th Street) and Saturday Kirtans with Barrett (@ Bloomingdale). It is not just singing but spending time with lovely people and making new friends (especially two adorable kids who visit the Bloomingdale Kirtan) and eating sweets that keeps me drawn to these sessions.

And believe me, when I say am addicted, it is serious! So, don’t be shocked if you find someone chanting or singing while walking on the streets or riding the red bike share……and I promise I wont mind if you said, ‘what is wrong with this woman or crazy woman”!!
Wish you a warm and lovely week ahead and it will be our pleasure to see you at the next Kirtan! (and don’t worry, I won’t call you ‘crazy’ if I find you singing on the street… ;))

love,
Smita

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