The business of students
“What is the business of our Krishna conscious students? They are busy in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, in distributing knowledge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore they are doing the best welfare work in the world. Other welfare work will be finished as soon as this body is finished. But these welfare activities will not be finished. If one hears one day, one minute, one second, this vibration of chanting, it will act someday. Therefore this is the best welfare activity in the human society. “And who is free from all sins achieves liberation in the Supreme.” So it is said that eka kṛṣṇa-nāme yata pāpa hare, pāpī haya tata pāpa karibare nare”. The Kṛṣṇa name is so powerful transcendentally, spiritually, that if you chant once, “Kṛṣṇa,” all your sinful activities, reaction are immediately finished. One may say that “He was not so sinful. He was little sinful; therefore it is finished.” But this verse says that the vibration of Kṛṣṇa, this sound, has so much potency that it can finish the reaction of all sinful activities as you cannot perform in your various lives. Even if you are very expert in committing sinful activities, still, this will finish, provided it is chanted offenselessly. It has got the power.
So if we always chant… Suppose I am now freed from all sinful reaction. I may be attacked again. That is quite possible. I may be free from the disease but I may be attacked again by this disease. That is possible. But if you always keep yourself constantly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we supply the beads and ask the student, “Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Then sinful activities cannot touch you. These are the processes. And if you keep yourself without being touched by the sinful activities, then one who does so achieves liberation in the supreme. Then your liberation is guaranteed. Yes.”
– Excerpt from Lecture by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Bhagavad-gita, 5.17-24, Los Angeles, 1969
Mayapur Seva Opportunity
As we move forward towards the manifestation of the Kirtan Village, we need a lot of assistance and support.
- We are interviewing anyone interested in eco-friendly construction. Cob building, solar energy, natural sewage treatment, natural swimming ponds etc… We need to build a strong team of like minded servant-creators. COnstruction is scheduled to start September 2016.
- We need help spreading the news worldwide, as we build a fund-raising team.
- Many more specific services will open up, tell us what talent you have to offer. Chances are we need you!
Volume 2 Issue #1
It has already been more than a month since Kirtan Mela Mayapur. We have received several comments, most saying that they felt it was the best for them, easier to connect. Actually this is not surprising as chanting is a personal journey, which increases in spiritual wealth and realizations as time goes by, as long as one is careful to stay away from offences. There were challenges like the absence of HH Sacinandana Swami and Madhava prabhu, but somehow or other, thousand chanted and danced sincerely in unison, in front of merciful Pancatattva.
We have important news for the Kirtan world, ISKCON Mayapur has granted us 3.4 acres to assist the Lord in His manifestation of the first Kirtan Oasis in the world, Kirtan Village, a retreat centre for fine tuning our chanting and help others do the same.
You can now automatically join our newsletter at kirtanfoundation.org, please tell your friends. Let’s keep in touch.
What is a Kirtan Village?
In this context, Kirtan Village is a retreat centre, a spiritual oasis, wherein the exclusive focus is improved chanting. It is a pristine environment, in nature, wherein it is deemed easier to focus on chanting. Better chanting on beads, better kirtan both musically and spiritually.
There are three areas being developed, residential area for students and staff, two different meditative areas reminiscent of Gaura Lila and Krishna Lila to facilitate remembrances and invite Gauranga Mahaprabhu and our sampradaya to take over our minds while we endeavour to chant better, and open mandaps or gazebos of different sizes for hosting classes and musical practice areas.
Finding accommodations in Mayapur is always possible but the distances interfere with unity. We find it becomes very easy to be distracted while roaming about such a big project as Srila Prabhupada’s Mayapur City. We want that there be an option for those who want to dedicate quality time to their training in kirtanam to stay together, grow together as better chanters. We will be building several small cottages with attached bath, accommodating around 100 students onsite at a time. Teachers and staff will also stay there.
This amazing up-coming facility is only 10 minute walk from the temple, towards the North East.
We would like to see this project manifest as soon as possible, it can only be done with your help. We have created a plan so that everyone of you can assist us. Simply become a member of the foundation. If only 200 of you sign up for Prayojana membership within a couple of years we could have the project completed. Similarly if 1000 become Abhidheya members or 2000 Sambandha members. This project is for you to visit and for spreading chanting, better chanting, Gradually it may also become another 24 hour kirtan in the land of Mahaprabhu.
Click on the appropriate link below and become a member. You will receive a link to 2016 Kirtan Mela recordings as a gift from us to you.
“The Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra chanting means keeping Kṛṣṇa always within your heart. This is not… It is not expensive at all. You haven’t got to make a very exalted throne for Kṛṣṇa. You can imagine that “In my heart I have placed now a very diamond throne, and Kṛṣṇa is sitting.” That is accepted. It is… Actually it becomes. Even within the mind you think that “I have kept one diamond throne, very costly throne, because Kṛṣṇa is coming. He will sit down here,” that is not false. That is a fact. So you create such situation within your heart. “Now Kṛṣṇa has seated. Let me wash His feet with the Ganges water, Yamunā water. Now I change His dress to a first-class costly garments. Then I decorate with ornaments. Then I give Him for eating.” You can simply think of this.
This is meditation. Svāntaḥ-sthena gadābhṛtā. It is so nice thing. Anywhere you can sit down and think that Kṛṣṇa is sitting in your heart and you are receiving in so nice way. They are not false. They are also fact. It is so easy.” – Srila Prabhupada class on SB 1.13.10, given in Geneva in 1974
Kirtan Events – Not to be missed
- Apr. 30 – May 1, 2016 Birmingham 24 Hour Kirtan, Birmingham, England
- May 19 – May 20, 2 day 12 hour Kirtan for Nrshingha caturdasi, Mayapur
- May 27 – May 30, Sadhu Sanga Retreat, Boone North Carolina USA
- June 18 – June 19, 10th Annual 24 Hour Kirtan, New Vrindavan WV USA
- August 28 – August 29, 2 day 12 hour kirtan, Radha Premadan, Mayapur
Other upcoming events can be found at:
Kirtan Academy as seen by a graduate
“Where Religion meets Philosophy”
This article describes my experience as a student in Kirtan Academy. It is indeed a very short description of what could have been a multi page essay. It all began with Kirtan Mela 2015 when I came to know about this Kirtan course. I decided to join but then hesitation haunted me. My well wishers were sharing their doubts.
As they came to know of my decision, my friends were expressing their feelings:
- Why are you going for 3 months?
- What will happen to your Job?
- Won’t your career be spoiled?
- You already know about kirtan, why waste time?
- What is there to learn in doing Kirtan?
I am sure others also face this. Valid concerns, from a certain perspective, I guess. In retrospect, I have no regret, the gain is much higher than the pain. It was truly worth it.
THREE MONTHS OF BLISS
When the course started I made good kirtaniya friends. I was missing association with like-minded devotees. I got qualified teachers, it was eye opening to understand that I still have so much to learn. I did regular kirtans, hearing, discussions, music practice. It was very good. Throughout everything, the theme remained that kirtan is not just about singing or having musical talent. It is much beyond that, much more. It is an expression of the heart, a call out to Krsna for His audience and help.
I understood one very important lesson: Kirtan is all about one’s personal relationship with the holy name and that, only YOU can develop. One may think that externals help but in reality, it has to be a commitment to work hard as in the building of any other relationship. Until we work on that, kirtan remains an exhibition of musical abilities. This understanding can only come by association of advanced devotees. It’s one’s mood, consciousness, which makes it a KIRTAN. Training in this mood is what the academy is about. If you are serious about Krishna I would say He deserves three months of your life to focus on re-establishing your connection. A kirtaniya needs association of advanced kirtaniyas who can teach him how to march forward.
I honestly found Kirtan academy to be a place where one can, if one is serious about it, increase one’s affinity for the holy name. Students are given time, atmosphere, association… all necessary tools. What else we need? Today we have training for everything except kirtan. It’s ironic that holy name is the beginning, means and end of the process yet, unfortunately we have few training forums for learning to chant properly, to chant with love, not to make a show for personal recognition.
Kirtan Foundation has initiated Kirtan academy which has a bright future in assisting the spreading of Nama Sankirtana movement.
Like any other service, kirtan must be given its importance, PRIME IMPORTANCE!
– Tapomaya das