Welcome to Kiirtan Academy!
What is Kiirtan Academy?
The Kiirtan Academy aims to bring together the global community of kiirtaniyas, to support and provide them with educational resources, seminars, and help promote their kiirtan for the benefit of one and all. It is inspired by HMGL (Hari Pari Mandala Gosthi ((Managed by Women) founded by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, who says that “now is the time to manifest the glory of kiirtan”.   
The Kiirtan Academy was inaugurated on August 2nd, 2020 to a global audience. The seminars are presently being given live online, however we plan to have them in future at Ananda Bharati, aka Sunrise Farm, County Clare, Ireland.  The Rector Master is Didi Ananda Prama. The instigator of the Kiirtan Academy is Jyoshna La Trobe (PhD).  

What is Kiirtan? 

Kiirtan, ‘hymn singing’, ‘devotional songs’, ‘mantra music’, or chanting has two primary aspects to it, music or samgiit or instrumental music, song and dance, for it is a musical genre in its own right and secondly devotional expression, as it is a spiritual or religious practice. One does not exist without the other, for as Sarkar says ‘kiirtan is a supra aesthetic science’ in other words its a transcendental mystical form of music with a deep science behind it, a description, that has taken over a decade for me to unravel. As a musical genre kiirtan hosts a central corpus of compositions and literature from approx the 11th century onwards and it is also considered to be a spiritual practice in itself. The word kiirtan originally comes from the Saḿskrta root, kirt which means to “tell, name, call, recite, repeat, declare, communicate, commemorate, celebrate, praise, glorify”1 . 

In Saḿskrta, the root verb “kiirt” means “to utter something loudly in praise of someone kiirtana should be sung loudly enough to be heard by others. “Kiirttaniiyah sadáharih”, kiirtana should be done on Hari [one name of God] and on no other entity. One should not praise oneself or any other person. There are many people who are very fond of praising themselves by telling everyone what wonderful things they have done, but, as mentioned in this sloka, kiirtana is not for one’s own self but for Hari (Sarkar, P.R, 1979 Vacamrtam Part 8)

Kiirtan is an expression of spiritual longing, a musical vehicle that transports one to “rapturous delight, an overpowering emotion or exaltation”, “excessive joy and enthusiasm”2 . Ideally “One must say the name of Hari, loudly, not just internally, but with devotional expression” 3 says kiirtan expert Rajwar of Rarh, India. Kiirtan is not only chanting the name of god, but is also a song tradition and a ‘musical style in which these songs are sung, says Sen with regards to Vaisnava kiirtan’4 . Indian historian Goswami says that kiirtan is far older than Vaiṣṇavism (14th century) going as far back as the caryā songs of the 11th century 5  and Dimock suggests that Vaiṣṇava kīrtans resemble ancient Buddhist Tantric forms of ‘circle worship’6  . 

Western hymns date back to at least 1400 BC with the Hurrian hymn to Nikkal from northern Syria. Yet ask any kiirtan musician (kiirtaniya) from Rarh, eastern India and they will tell you that kiirtan began with Parvati (approx. 5th century BCE), the spouse of the great Tantric yogi Shiva, who walked these Rarhi ‘red earth’ pathways long before even Krishna lived (approx. 1st century BCE). Therefore taking into account a Rarhi (north eastern India) perspective, this book spotlights a region that has so far been neglected, a hidden gold mine of musical and spiritual knowledge. 

The Benefits of Kiirtan: The primary purpose of kiirtan is to aid sādhanā meaning ‘sincere effort’ or ‘spiritual practice’ by channelizing all one’s emotion towards the deity. Slawek stresses that the spiritual power of kiirtan is embedded in the actual sound, and not the referenced meaning of the text, giving the example of ra-ma-ra-ma or Lord Rama and ma-ra-ma-ra-ma meaning “to strike” In Rāṛhi kīrtan however, if one inverts the kiirtan lyrics Hari Bolo “call god’s name Hari” to Bolo Hari the referenced meaning remains the same. Take the universal mantra Baba Nam Kevalam 8 , meaning ‘the Supreme Consciousness or most Beloved’s Name or Vibration is in One and All’, also remains the same if you invert it to Kevalam Baba Nam for example, ‘All and Everything in the Name of the Beloved’. In accordance with Slawek’s findings, Hari Bolo and Baba Nam Kevalam are as effective whether recited as Bolo Hari or Hari Bolo, Baba Nam Kevalam or Kevalam Baba Nam for example. 

Kiirtan is beneficial whether sung with reverence or without, as the popular aphorism goes, shraddhaya helaya va, meaning “either with veneration or without”9. In other words, while doing kiirtan, not only the kiirtaniyas, but also the audience, as well as those who do not even like the kiirtan, enjoy the spiritual benefits of it. However, just repeating the name of god like a parrot will not bring about the desired result, one has to be emotionally engaged, as illustrated in the Ramayana. In this story Sita is surrounded by a number of female servants (raksasis) who are guarding her in the Ashoka forest. Ravana being obsessed with the annihilation of Rama, his enemy, repeats Rama’s name over and over again, saying that he must defeat him in battle. But he instructed Sita’s attendants to tell her not to say Rama’s name, knowing its spiritual power. However, by telling Sita, “Sita, Rama’s name is not to be uttered” they were also unwittingly repeating the name of the lord: Sita-Rama, which was their actual desire . Hence the effect of saying the divine name, whether out of fear, hatred, love and devotion, will eventually bring the desired result, of “merger in Him”10 . 
Kiirtan is essentially a type of samgiita where “all three together they create such a pure, heavenly environment that people completely forget themselves”11 . Yet the intention behind kiirtan is not just to receive bliss (ananda) but also to give bliss to the deity. The blissful state commonly referred to as rāgānugā bhakti where the devotees desire to experience divine love, meaning “I don’t want to be sugar, I want to taste sugar”, develops into rāgātmika bhakti, or rāgatmika samādhi, “absolute absorption”, where there is the overwhelming desire to merge (ibid.). Collective singing of nam kiirtan arouses devotion, for in ‘calling the name of god’ the kiirtaniya get to embody the inherent spiritual power i.e. it is not just the name of god, it is god, so “in identifying the sung name of god with divinity itself, kiirtan singers in the same moment create that which is propitiated - here the symbol merges with that which is symbolized”12 
 The generation and accumulation of intense love and devotion at the place where kiirtan is sung, results in both individual and collective wellbeing for when many devotees converge together to sing god’s name, then the Vaikantha is shifted to the place where the devotees are congregated' 13. Jyoshna La Trobe (PhD) 
1. M.Monier-Williams 2008:285.
 2. Websters Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1996 
 3. Rājwar 2007: Pers.comm. 
 4. Sen, 1960:98
 5. Goswami, 2002:4,
  6. Dimock, 1966:46. 
  7. 1988:84.
  8. Ananda Marga kiirtan, instigated in 1970 by Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji from India
  9. Sarkar 1980
  10. Singh 1982:75.
  11. Sarkar 1981:5.
  12. Slawek,1988:89.
  13. Sarkar 1978: 34.
Why is it important for you?
If you are an aspiring kiirtan player, a kiirtan leader, a professional or amateur musician, whatever level you are at, the Kiirtan Academy can support you in transforming your kiirtan and therefore, your life. 

Kiirtan brings you into direct communication with the divine. The Kiirtan Academy  is a great source of satsaung, provides amazing resources, seminars, group and individual classes and many opportunities for networking with other kiirtaniyas globally. 

The Kiirtan Academy's goal is to support and inspire the new and experienced generations of kiirtaniyas as we progress collectively along the spiritual path.  It also aims to develop kiirtan as a genre.

The Kiirtan Academy is for kiirtaniyas who want to explore their musical potential and sustain their kiirtan  through practice, research, knowledge and collaboration. So if you are serious about kiirtan, now is the time to join the Academy and make that transformation you have always dreamed of.  
There is in every living being the thirst for limitlessness" Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji
Kiirtan Academy Sessions:  
July - August 2022
Open Mic Kiirtan Nite the last Saturday of the month
Next is the 29th November
Free Event For Everyone, 
Saturday 8pm Irish Time, 8am Sunday NZ Time 
Bring a spiritual story, kiirtan, song, poem, or other creative expression to share in a devotional, supportive environment, full of kiirtan appreciators.
"I love the open mic night's it creates a beautiful atmosphere. We all share our own songs or kiirtans. It's so nice to listen to others devotional songs. And share my own. It takes courage to be vulnerable and this is a safe place to do that. Thank you so much". Mudita, Australia
"Every time I come to these sessions, when it ends I always have this sensation that I had a big and deep meditation. I always feel bliss, I don't know why but it happens every time and I'm very grateful". Maetreyii, Madeira

Singing the Sutras 

Singing the Sutras is the most enjoyable way to learn them The most amazing experience for me, is the richness and diversity of the voices in the KA session, its a real joy to hear..
Next Session: Friday October 28th, 8pm Irish time

Khol Drum Sessions 

Khol Drum and Kartal Sessions Fortnightly: Next one is Tuesday 8th November at 8pm Irish time and then every second Tuesday following. You will be inspired by this khol session with Kavita. Khol drum is an essential part of samgiit, and enhances the supra aesthetic experience of kiirtan. I would encourage anyone interested in playing the khol in a kiirtan ensemble. There’s also a khol language to learn, so if you don’t have an instrument yet that’s no problem. For a limited time it is free for KA members and only 8 euros for non-members each session. To become a member click here: https://www.kiirtanacademy.com/sales-pageup9kdkx2 
Ecstatic Kiirtan Mela

With the Focus on the Ancient Kiirtan Tradition of Rarh 

With Jyoshna (PhD), Kavita, Latika and Special Guests
By the end of the course you will know how to sing and play the most magnificent Rarhi Kiirtans, plus learn some amazing strategies for enhancing your own kiirtans. Rarh is the homeland of the kiirtan tradition and so has much to teach us in the west.  
Through hundreds of hours of listening, interviews, transcriptions and practice with my kiirtan teacher, Jagaranda, I learnt these Rarhi kiirtans. Having prepared the way, these ancient kiirtans can now be passed onto you for the first time
From Saturday September 15 - 17th, 2023
At Sunrise Farm, Ananda Bharatii, Ireland 
K.A Subscriptions and Kiirtan Products
Monthly Subscription - Group and Individual Empowerment
 Our Monthly Kiirtan Group Sessions with resources and unlimited feedback on your kiirtan Plus Individual Kiirtan Sessions (up to two per month) will accelerate your Kiirtan progress. 
In these sessions we cover kiirtan in its broad context incl. Kiirtan songs, Kiirtan instrumental music, kiirtan supra aesthetic science, kiirtan sequences and arrangements etc.   
Kiirtan Guitar Collection
'Your vehicle to bliss....
A Classic Collection of Kiirtan albums, to go with the Kiirtan Guitar Booklet. Celestial and Empowering! Including the albums, 'Touched By The Sea', ' Sounds of Silence', 'Live in Brazil', 'Dharma Cakra', 'Avarta Kiirtan' and  I Mp3 Album #5 An Amazing Bonus 'Deep Down I Kiirtan', quite simply a kiirtan for your every mood!   
The Akanda Kiirtan Collection
A total of 22 kiirtans, distributed in 3 albums that will keep you in a flow of bliss 24 hours in the day.. 
And all profits go to our children's homes and schools in Africa, Haiti and Ireland.
Click on the link bellow for more information and also to preview some tunes. 
Unity Hours III - CD
Unity Hours III, is a double album with songs and kiirtans. Don't miss the special launching price. You will also have the opportunity to buy the Unity Hours I and II with a special discount
Click on the link bellow for more information and also to preview some tunes. 
  Kiirtan Academy Videos:
Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Shrii Shrii Anandamurtijis Birthday 
Baba Nam Kevalam Collective KA Video 
Check out on YouTube video with lots of beautiful kiirtans from KA participants:

Celebrating the 101st Anniversary of Shrii Shrii Anandamurtijis Birthday - Ananda Sutram 

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