Transform Your Kiirtan - 
 Transform Your Life!
Dr. Jyoshna La Trobe and friends 

Kiirtan will always remind you that you are never alone or helpless, because Parama Purusa is always with you...kiirtan transforms your life so just imagine the benefits,  if you transform your kiirtan! 
Perhaps your'e frustrated with the inner dialogue that says 'You’re not good enough' or Don’t know enough' or 'Can’t sing, play or dance good enough', to be the kind of kiirtaniya you always wanted?
Well You Don’t Have to Listen to That.. 
Not Anymore
And the world is just waiting for your gift of kiirtan right now.. So why wait, 
We are doing it together!
When I began doing kiirtan, I wasn’t prepared for the impact it was going to have on me. I knew nothing about kiirtan except that it was part of our spiritual practice, thats all. I had no idea it was a supra aesthetic science that could transform my life. Yet at every turning point on my spiritual journey kiirtan has been there to put me back on the path to success and spiritual fulfilment. 

When I lost everything more than three years ago and was at my rock bottom, I simply intensified my kiirtan practice, I did avarta kiirtan every night and also began to share my process more deeply with others. I soon realised that in order to come out on top of this situation, I had to empower myself. I couldn’t give up or nothing would change in my life. Kiirtan was that vehicle that brought me back again to the place I am now, feeling inspired, in the flow, and skipping along the path of Bliss. The Kiirtan Academy is here for you to empower yourself,  to come together and bring more bliss into the world! With Love, Jyoshna 

What is kiirtan?

Kiirtan, ‘hymn singing’, ‘devotional songs’, ‘mantra music’, or chanting has two primary aspects to it, it is a form of samgiit or instrumental music, song and dance, a musical genre in its own right and secondly its devotional expression. One does not exist without the other, for as Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar says ‘kiirtan is a supra aesthetic science’ in other words it's a transcendental mystical form of music based on a system of instrumentation and arrangements, a lucid description no doubt, that has taken over a decade for me to unravel. As a musical genre kiirtan hosts a central corpus of compositions and literature that date 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, kiirt 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 Rāṛh, (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. 
By 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.

The Kiirtan Academy promises to:


Bring You Knowledge of the Supra Aesthetic Science of Kiirtan


Provide Methods and Techniques to Improve and Develop Your Kiirtan Skills 


Offer Unlimited Support and Feedback on Your Progress


Provide Plenty of NEW Resources,  and Global Connections with our Kiirtan Community 

How it works
 What you will get:
Monthly Plan 1: Entitles you to the Monthly Group Session on Kiirtan and related topics (see Below) with new resources, including the Kiirtan Academy Library with a stock of new and old kiirtans. You will gain access to all previous recordings of Kiirtan Academy sessions on our FB page.     
Unlimited Support and Feedback on your Kiirtan
Plus 50% Discount on all Kiirtan Courses. 
Plus the opportunity to participate in various global projects and more..  

Reduced from 40€ 

 to 22€/month

Monthly Plan 2 - All of the above..
Plus One 30 Minute Individual Session
And 50 % Discount on all Kiirtan Courses 

Reduced from 65€

 to 47€/month

Subscription Plan 3 - All of the above.
Plus TWO 30 minute Individual Sessions
And 80 % Discount on all Kiirtan Courses 

Reduced from 90€

to 72€/month

 Not to Be Missed!
Every Month
The Kiirtan Academy's
- Khol Drum Sessions 
Every Fortnight
at 7.30pm Irish time 
With Kavita 

 Schedule for 2023

"Singing Rarhi Kiirtan" 
Every Thursday 8pm Irish Time Singing Rarhi Kiirtans the traditional way helps to strengthen the voice, brings stamina and profound insights into this ancient kiirtan tradition.
Singing the Sutras
Every Second Friday of the month
8pm Irish time
Bring more joy into your life while learning the mystical sutras...a great asset to have in your Kiirtan Tool Kit.

Monthly sessions with Special Guests
Featuring: Kiirtaniyas from around the Globe including the USA, Europe, Ireland, Ukraine Russia, India and more. . 
Lat Saturday night of the Month:
 Open Mic Kiirtan Nite 
 8pm Irish time
Open to everyone. Bring your kiirtans, songs and spiritual stories to share in a heavenly atmosphere.. 

The Kiirtan Academy is an Online Educational Platform at present. All Profits from the Kiirtan Academy go to the Rarhi Kiirtaniyas Fund, India to support the ancient Kiirtan Tradition of Rarh. According to P.R.Sarkar the Rarhi Kiirtan tradition is "outstanding and unparalleled" and presently in dire need. Our goal is to assist in its preservation and promotion.
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