Both kirtan singing and japa bead chanting are ancient meditation practices taught in the classic Indian scriptures, the Vedas. They help us to achieve a state of single pointed focus, where the ups and downs of daily life can't disturb us.
The benefits of meditation
Just like yoga, meditation has become increasingly popular over the last decades. With more and more scientific proof available for their healing capacity and positive impact on the human brain, managers and housewives alike are looking to balance themselves and tap into their full potential by accessing a higher state of consciousness.
What sets apart the meditation and kirtan we practice at the Krishna Village is where we point our attention. Whilst, for example, Buddhist meditation aims to empty the mind and maintain focused on this “nothingness”, the Vedic styles we practice are focusing on “something” – usually the “sat nam”, the holy name. Whether or not you actually believe in god – be it by the name of Krishna, Allah or Jehova – is secondary. The mantra itself, consisting of only 16 words, is said to have a powerful sound vibration that is of great benefit to the human mind and body.
Krishna says: "I dwell not in the spiritual kingdom nor in the hearts of yogis; where the chanting goes on there, o Narada, stand I." (Padma Purana)
No need to sit still
The hardest part for many people who take up meditation is the sitting still. Kirtan and Japa, in this regard, are easy practices: they both can be performed anywhere, quite often in company of others, and allow for movement. All that’s required is to remain focused on the sound vibration and the associated feeling - for example love, compassion or pure joy.
Especially when you experience a powerful Kirtan with 20-100 people singing a beautiful mantra and melody, it’s next to impossible to sit still. From profound connectedness to joy and elation, you are flooded in happy emotions that nurture your body and soul – a beautiful focus that’s easy to hold and that you might carry with your for hours or even days after the singing has finished.
Chanting on Japa beads is a calmer, more personal practice. There are 108 beads comprising one round, and you chant the mantra on each bead. Depending on the mood you are chanting in, you can evoke states like gratitude, love, and compassion - or whichever seems appropriate to you. If you have, bring your own beads, otherwise there are different varieties available in our shop.
Location, location, location
Meditation is a very personal undertaking, so it can be performed alone or in the company of like-minded people. If you prefer privacy, you can chant in your room, sit in our hideaway spots in the gardens and citrus orchard, or take a walk around the lake, to the more secluded areas of the farm. If you wish to have company, you can go to the temple at any time of the day and chant there. A very special occasion is the Mangala Arati at 4:30am every morning, the first temple service of the day. Here, devotees meet to sing for 30mins and then chant on their beads in the company of their friends.