In November, the annual Akhanda Kirtan is held. Many of us look forward to this auspicious event. What is Akhanda Kirtan and what is its profound meaning?
“…Hari bhajana bina sukha shanti nahin” Without praising Gods name by singing bhajans, there is no peace and happiness.
In the Indian tradition, “samkirtan” originates from ancient times and is one of the nine forms of bhakti (devotion). Samkirtan means singing or chanting Gods name collectively from the heart, with love and devotion.
There are four forms of samkirtan:
In this last form of kirtan, the many names of God are chanted and sung. The words enter the atmosphere through ether, where they continue to exist eternally in the form of vibrations. They outlive the person who sang them.
The continuous singing of these forms of samkirtan is called Akhanda Kirtan. In November 1976, Baba introduced the 24 hour kirtan. He did this to enable His devotees to celebrate His birthday collectively. Since then, this kirtan is performed globally for the sake of peace and happiness of all people in the world.
Highway to God
According to Baba, kirtan is one of the fastest, easiest and safest ways to reach God in Kali Yuga, the dark era we live in. By singing kirtan the entire atmosphere is cleansed, the heart opens (further), fear disappears and one experiences joy, peace and happiness. Many of us recognize this sensation during the singing of kirtan. The vibrating energie that is created during kirtan is very powerful. It can throw you in a state of ecstasy in which one experiences becoming one with God.
Constant contemplation on God
Baba points out to us that Akhanda kirtan is something that one should perform contineously throughout ones entire life, not just for a few hours or 24 hours. From birth till death your attention should be directed to God continously. To experience the benefits of kirtan fully, you should take care that during singing your attention, pronounciation and overall performance is directed fully to God.
“Sing Gods name with all your heart, not just with your lips. Take refuge to the name of God and safely cross the river of life and death. Life is a song, sing it!” ~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba