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"KIRTAN!

THE ART AND PRACTICE OF ECSTATIC CHANT"

THE SONGS

The sanskrit words that we sing in these kirtans are "mantras", or divine names. A
"mantra" can be thought of as a sonic embodiment of the supreme being who, through
grace, takes infinite recognizable forms. When touched by the blessings of an enlightened
master or the longing of a pure heart, these "mantras" become fully alive and have the
power to carry us back to the One, the universal heart. So these ancient words hold within
them the very presence of the deity; they are prayers, they are vessels for our prayers, and
they are that One to whom we are praying....

The chants dont tell stories and aren't actual sentences. Rather, they are like simple
roadmaps to help the mind leap from mental remembrance into the heart essence, where
we actually meet and commune with that being who is the source of all. And, really, it's
okay if we dont fully understand the translations or pronunciations. Through these simple
kirtans we can communicate with our hearts, with our souls; we can cry, we can laugh,
we can dance.........

which needs to be solid before we can proceed. “Gana” means troops or multitudinous spiritual attendants of Shiva.. the root. He also represents the earth element. [Approximate translation: I seek refuge in Ganesha. We're all just small children crying to the universal Mother to please please take care of us. I'm just another being stumbling down the rocky road to God. and the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism. “Isha” = "Lord". Sharanam = refuge... Therefore Ganesha is the "Lord of the troops".. Bhakti Yoga. "Lord of the troops".. I really don't think of myself as a "teacher".] TRACK 2: INVOCATION/INTRODUCTION Thoughts on Kirtan. .Please protect me. or seed mantra of Ganesh.. The name Ganesha consists of: "gana" + "isha". DISC ONE TRACK 1: GANESHA SHARANAM Ganesha Sharanam Sharanam Ganesha Gan Gan Ganapati Sharanam Ganesha Ganesha = the elephant-headed god. Remember that there can be no "experts" in the path of Bhakti.. oh great Elephant. Ganapati = another name of Ganesha. protection Gan Gan = These are parts of the "bija" . son of Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and is invoked at the beginning of any endeavor. But I am finding that sharing my thoughts and my experiences helps me open up in new ways.. "Gana" means "troops" and "Pati" means Lord or protector. and leads me to deeper understandings of my own journey. please hold us in your eternal arms. Bija mantras are said to contain the essence of the diety. So "Ganapati" and "Ganesha" really mean the same thing. don’t forget about us. they are his core sounds and don't carry discursive meaning.

truth. in the forest of our own hearts where we meet our beloved in the stillness of night. lord and devotee." He used to repeat "Ram Ram Ram" under his breath at all times. the miraculous. the union of male and female. human and divine. the one who preserves the stability of the worldly realms (natural and human). the beloved of Krishna. the cowherd boy. especially in divine union. Sita is an incarnation of Lakshmi. The absolute. the beloved of Radha. Jay = glory to. Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu. unmanifest God. Hari. [Approximate translation: Glory to Sita and Rama] . night and day. the protector of the earth. would take His beloved Ram's name and achieve the impossible. flute playing young man. the supreme worshipper. Govinda = Krishna. all pervading supreme being. microcosm and macrocosm. The daughter of the earth. the great monkey god. Praising the divine couple. the thief of hearts. An avatar of Lakshmi.. an embodiment of dharma. TRACK 4: SITA RAM Sita Ram Sita Ram Sita Ram Jay Sita Ram Sita = the infinite goddess. Lord and protector of the created universe.TRACK 3: RADHE GOVINDA Radhe Radhe Radhe Govinda Radhe/Radha = the supreme goddess. Atma and Paramatma. the embodiment of beauty and all the qualities of love. goddess of prosperity and abundance on all levels.. in the form of a beautiful dark hued. or power of God residing within us and all around us. the Divine Mother.Lord Hanuman. Kundalini and Shiva (consciousness). the sustainer of all existence.. victory to Sita and Ram are recognized as the divine couple. Maharajji said:"All things are possible by taking Ram's name. Ram = the infinite. She is thought of as the Kundalini Shakti. The supreme consciousness. the embodiment of devotion and loyalty. the embodiment of devotion. we awaken that love within ourselves.

..] DISC TWO TRACK1: DURGA PAHIMAM Hey Ma Durga Hey Ma Durga Hey Ma Durga Rakshamam Hey Ma Durga Hey Ma Durga Hey Ma Durga Pahimam This mantra refers to the Goddess as she is glorified in the Devi Mahatmya. referring to his "tandava". In the ferocious battle that ensues. Rakshamam = protector Pahimam = savior [Approximate translation: Oh Mother Durga! Oh Mother Durga! My protector. Shambho = an epithet of Shiva. glory to the annihilator. resplendent divine mother. She is ferocious. glory to Shiva. literally "tough going". the Lord of the dance. She turns into the various forms: Uma. This is the auspicious and sometimes frightening clearing away of the old. meaning the "annihilator" . Durga rides on a lion or a Tiger. leaving way for the creation of the new. or "difficult to approach". [Approximate translation: Lord of the dance. my saviour. This is an epithet of Shiva. Durga. . Shambhu. his ferocious dance of fury which causes the entire world to crumble into dust. an ancient scripture which tells the story of how the Goddess saved the world from demonic forces. Lord of the dance.. lord Shiva.TRACK 5: NATARAJ/OM NAMAH SHIVAYA Nataraj Nataraja Jay Shiva Shankara Nataraja Shivaraj Shivaraja Shambho Shankara Shivaraja Nataraj/Nataraja = "Lord" or "King (raja)" of the dance (nata). Shankara = an epithet of Shiva. Durga = the goddess Durga. Parvati. She is an aspect of Kali. lord Shiva. but is also the beneficient. Shivaraj/Shivaraja = "Lord" or "King" Shiva. the "Glorification of the Great Goddess". Shankara. Kali. Lord Shiva please perform your Tandava dance of annihilation upon the demons of ignorance and ego within me! Please grant me liberation. (or Kali is an aspect of Durga)..

please save me. He is destruction. Oh Ma. of the unconscious mind. we offer ourselves to Him to be cleansed. transformed. victory to . He is the absolute pure consciusness. that opens up the way for rebirth.. I offer myself unto Shiva. [Approximate translation: Two of the names of Shiva. and destruction. We offer our sense of separateness. liberated. I surrender to.. Namah Shivaya = I bow to. that creates room for the inhale. which invoke His energy as the great God and destroyer of darkness: Om. the embodiment of auspiciousness. ego. preservation..happening every moment. Thus "great God". of dreams. Mahadev = an epithet of Shiva." Hara = a name of Shiva. He is known as the Lord of time. preservation and destruction.. the indwelling higher Self. As Hanuman said to Rama: "Free me. the sacred syllable. Creation. He is the exhale..] TRACK 2: HARA HARA MAHADEV/OM NAMAH SHIVAYA Hara Hara Hara Mahadev Om Namah Shivaya Namah Shivaya Lord Shiva is the cosmic energy of change and transformation.. I bow to Shiva] TRACK 3: JAYA RADHA Jaya Radha Jay Radha Jay Govinda Jay Gopala Jaya Radhe Jaya Radhe Mukunda Madhava Hare Murare Hare Krishna Hare Hare Jaya = glory to. free me from the tentacles of egoism. the fire that burns away all that stands between us and freedom. "Maha" means "great" and "dev" (Sanskrit = "deva") means God. of death. purified. Om = the cosmic sound. I honor. Oh Ma. anything at all that keeps us from God.. means "remover" or "destroyer" of spiritual ignorance. please protect me.. of ghosts. our ego driven self will to the will of the divine. the core sound of creation. greed.. When we sing to Shiva. the great Lord of yogis and of transformation.

For while Krishna is the unmanifest. Mukunda = He who bestows freedom.Radha = The beloved of Lord krishna. So there are lots of luxurious and sweet overtones to this incarnation.. The divine Goddess. An epithet of Krishna that means "descended from Madhu". through our tears. through Her passion. We can see God only through the Goddess. The supreme worshipper. wine. it means "of" or belonging to.e. who removes the burdens of the earth. Radha brings Him into form through her love. There is also a suggestion of springtime. Govinda = The Personality of Godhead. "to Hari". beyond form. His guru. in this life and all of my future births may I. Oh Radha. through our hearts and emotions. the hue of whose soft body resembles the blackish color of a new cloud. i. Rani = queen Radharani= queen Radha Maha = great Maharani = great queen Ki = of Jay = victory/glory [Approximate translation: Glory to Great Queen Radha! Glory! Sing the glory of Radha and Krishna! Glory glory glory! Yay! Yay! Hooray!] . through our songs. Madhava = The vocative form of Madhu (Maadhu). by Your grace. Some consider Radha not only Krishna's beloved. invisible to human eyes. Hare = vocative form of "Hari". Another chant to Radha and Krishna. TRACK 4: RADHA RANI Radharani Ki Jay Maharani Ki Jay Bolo Radha Govinda Ki Jay Jay Jay Ki = a Hindi grammatical construction that operates something like an apostrophe. and sweetness. the cosmic lovers. for "madhu" means the spring season and it also is related to the word for honey. but also His preceptor. always remember Your lotus feet. "to Krishna".

. She is the wrathful Goddess who ferociously and victoriously battles the demons of ignorance. which is a name of Krishna that means "enemy of [the demon] Mura". it means "descended from Nara. the original/primordial Man". Vasudeva = an ancient epithet of Vishnu or Krishna. Oh Vasudeva [all names of Krishna]. Hey = Hey. glorious. Hey Murari . radiant splendor. sri guru. She is often called Kali Ma (Mother Kali) or simply just Ma.] TRACK 6: KALI BOLO Kali Bolo Kali Bolo Bolo Bolo Ma Jaya Mata Kali Jaya Jaya Ma Kali = the goddess Kali. holy. Oh Govinda. the Atman. Oh Lord Narayana.. Lord of the cowherds. It is also a very ancient name of Lakshmi. or incarnation. the consort of Shiva and thus the feminine embodiment of his Shakti (energy).etc. I worship you with my heart and soul. Oh! Natha = Lord Narayana = an epithet of Vishnu or Krishna. the inner soul. ego.e. Krishna is an avatar. It is used as a prefix to the names of divinities and also of sacred places. and spiritual darkness. the black. people. He is the supreme being. and as such evokes her divine. playful qualities. The word Krishna means 'all attractive". (i. the consort of Krishna. [Approximate translation: Oh beloved Krishna. the preserver of the universe.TRACK 5: SHRI KRISHNA GOVINDA Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare Hey Natha Narayana Vasudeva Shri [shree] = blessed. the divine Goddess. scriptures . and yet highly auspicious goddess. Sri Krishna). it means "Lord of abundance". of Vishnu. ferocious. Govinda = a name of Krishna. and transendent flute playing. who as a blue-skinned teenager sported with the Gopis in the forests of Vrindavan. destructive. Krishna = Like Rama. Oh Hari. Hare = Krishna Murare = vocative of Murari. and is known for His beguiling beauty.

Kali Kali Kali. Sing it! Sing it! Sing it! Call on Ma! Call on the Divine Mother as an infant cries to his or her Ma.] . mother [Approximate translation: Sing (the name of) Kali. Victory to the Mother.Ma = ma.

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