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Nada Yoga- Peace, Bliss, Self Realization -the Goal of Yoga - through Music

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There are many ways to enter the meditative state.
Try focusing the mind on uplifting music. Many yogis have deemed music to be the easiest of all paths to inner peace.

Focus the mind on uplifting music.  One can do this by listening to peaceful, uplifting or devotional music, or one can sing mantras. When people meet to sing in a call and response style, this is kirtan. Kirtan is a form of Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound. Nada refers to the flow of sound and the subsequent flow of higher consciousness.
The harmonium, shown, is a keyboard so often used in Kirtan. Vina, flute and mridagam also provide sacred vibrations to enhance meditation. Listen to a Peace Chant with Kaliji and Mercury Max.
Beautiful sound reduces stress, maintains health and invokes spiritual awakening. As our experience shows us, sound has a profound effect on consciousness. 

Just as a child is lulled to sleep by lullabies, just as a person is pleased with good words from another, just as a beautiful melody can open the heart, the practice of Kirtan, the effortless and complete absorption into the source of sound leads us to sacchidananda. That is the deepest meditation of existence, knowledge and bliss. 

What food is to the body, music is to the soul. Sing kirtan, chant mantra, listen to higher truths, or read sacred scriptures from any tradition. Such activity is a wonderful pathway to meditation and knowing one’s true self. When devotional music replaces clutter in mind, we can hear the inner voice of our higher mind and the ageless wisdom. Read on for more info on Kirtan below.

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Kirtan and Mangos -Nada Yoga 
Having returned home from teaching TriYoga Basics this morning, I read last night’s Davis Enterprise newspaper. Two announcements of Indian music concerts in Davis this weekend caught my eye and I am excited to share them with you. The first is Kirtan and the second an Indian music concert---read on.
One of my very favorite things in the whole wide world to do is Kirtan (Save Saturday at 7:30p, Kaya Yoga Studio)! What is Kirtan? It is singing along with others in call and response fashion, following a lead singer. The songs are usually in Sanskrit, are meditative and can be devotional in nature. Instruments vary but often include at least one Indian instrument like a harmonium, tabla, vina, sitar. You’ll also hear guitar, bells and other percussion, flute, violin and more. Click here to listen. 
The chants speed up and slow down, in doing so creating the ability to lead the audience into ecstatic highs of joy, love and harmony. Perhaps the most famous American kirtan leader is Krishna Das, who is credited with introducing this transformative practice to the West. Many others have contributed to making kirtan what it is in the United States, including Deva Premal, Jai Uttal, Bhagavan Das, Russill Paul, Wah!, and Dave Stringer. Kaliji and her Chant Band are my favorite, naturally.
Though someone whom I found online, named Sri Prahlada said the following, this is close to what I would have said about my joyful experience of kirtan.

”My personal experience of kirtan is that when the lead chanter and the group participants are sincere and sing from the heart with devotion – there is nothing in the world that has the power to move and uplift me like kirtan. When I look back on my life, my happiest, most blissful moments, were all in kirtan.

Most kirtan authorities share that the benefits of kirtan cannot be explained in words, it has to be experienced in order to be understood. How do you explain the taste of a mango to someone who has never tasted these fruits? You can intellectualize over the taste by saying it’s something like a cross between a peach, pineapple, and an orange, but until a person tastes a mango, they can never really know its flavor. The same is with the experience of kirtan – you have to experience it to know what it is. Satchidandana Swami put it eloquently when he wrote: “Words can show us the direction in which to look for the kirtan-experience, but only when you sit down, move towards your inner space, and then sing out, will you start to know what kirtan really is. Because at that time your soul will rise up and start to dance…

People will experience kirtan differently. Some people might immediately love it, like meeting a long lost friend or returning home after a long time away. Others might take a little while to get used to an unfamiliar experience. Additionally, kirtan can often sound raw and unpolished. Hence, some might find the mango a little green – immature and therefore unpalatable. But in India, people love green mangos (eaten with salt and chili powder pickled) as much as they love ripe mangos. They can also discern between different varieties of mangos – some are sweeter and others have a slightly bitter taste, others stringy, and others are more or less firm. Similarly, a kirtan connoisseur can discern and appreciate different varieties and flavors of kirtan."

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