Kirtan or Sankirtan is call-and-response chanting performed in India's devotional traditions. It means adoration, or praising, of the divine via musical compositions.
A person performing Kirtan is known as Kirtankar, who with the accompaniment of instruments like the harmonium, tablas, and hand cymbals, chants melodiously — hymns, mantras, bhajans, shabads or such words of divine wisdom. The oldest known Kirtankar was Narada Muni — a sage rooted in the Hindu mythology, especially the episode of Ramayana that is believed to have occurred eons ago.
The Chinmaya Mission in Fairfield/New Haven has increased its efforts to raise money for a new center and held a banquet last month that generated over $90,000 on top of prior efforts which raised $120,000 from 120 founding families. The organization is planning to establish the Chinmaya Saraswati Ashram with the purchase of a property in Orange, Conn.
Harvard Professor Diana Eck, along with a group of Harvard students, traveled to Varanasi, India, to witness the Makar Sankranti, the first royal bathing day of the Kumbh Mela, and one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals.
Despite some protests from the local neighbors, the Hindu Temple of New Hampshire had its plans to move to a new location in Nashua, N.H., approved by the town’s planning officials. The temple currently rents a location in Nashua, but will purchase the property of its new location. Needing approval, however, was the use of the property as a temple, which was unanimously approved last week by Nashua City Planning Board.
The world knows Mahatma Gandhi as one who shaped the history of India with his principle of non-violence in the 20th Century. Today’s India is a result of that powerful idea combined with the progressive ideas of leaders who followed Gandhi. Earlier Emperors Akbar and Asoka with their benevolent and liberal ideas transformed India into a flying “golden bird (Soney Kee Chiryaa)” that benefited the masses and impressed foreigners.
Sri Krishna Janmashtmi is celebrated all over the world and the New England Shirdi Sai Parivaar Temple in Chelmsford, Mass., offered up the local version with Krishna Leela jhankis, dances, bhajans, chants, prasad, cultural programs and kids dressing up as Krishna, Radha and Gopis on Aug. 10. The celebration featured about 50 performers and 500 attendees, according to organizers.
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Krishna Janmastami was celebrated for two days last week at the Braj Mandir of the Vrindavana Preservation Society in Holbrook, Mass. According to organizers over 400 people turned out to celebrate the appearance of Sri Krishna and to honor Krishna with Kirtan, Maha, Abhishek, Prasadam, Classical Indian dance and Arati in an event that lasted from 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on Aug. 10 and from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 11.
The Brahma Kumaris Learning Center for Peace will host Dr. Kala Iyengar, director of the Peace Village Learning and Retreat Center in Haines Falls, N.Y., as the special guest for two nights of "Rakshabandan — The Link of Love." The event will be held on Aug. 15 at the ATFS Learning Center in Shrewsbury, Mass., and on Aug. 16 at the Brahma Kumaris Learning Center for Peace in Watertown, Mass.
The New England Shirdi Sai Parivaar, a religious and spiritual organization, recently commemorated the Sai Palkhi festival which is an annual event that the organization has been practicing since its inception in 2006. The festival kicked off this year in late May and then continued with a procession on weekends throughout June.
May 12, Shri Dwarkamai Vidyapeeth, Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, North Billerica, Mass., hosted the Spiritual Gold 2012 program to honor our senior citizens and elders. It is an annual cultural and spiritual all day program to honor and respect our seniors and seek their guidance and blessings.
She has been likened to Mother Teresa and Mohandas Gandhi by Reuters and named as one of the twelve most influential religious leaders in the world by CBS TV in its Primetime Special, "In God's Name." Hundreds of thousands of people flock to see her both in India and all over the world. And yet, this humble 58-year-old from Kerala dressed in a simple white sari, has only one concern — uplifting the suffering of humanity. Known simply as Amma or Mother, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi has created a vast network of institutions including hospitals, universities and charitable organizations that tackle all aspects of human suffering. To that end, several conferences were held recently at the Amrita University which Amma started in 2003.
The head of the Maharishi Organization, Tony Nader, will stop in Boston for three days in early May as part of the speaking tour "A New Paradigm: Veda, Consciousness, the Ramayana, and the Self." Visiting 10 North American cities this spring, "A New Paradigm" will be at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, on May 8, at the Shri Lakshmi Mandir in Ashland, Mass., on May 9 and at the Shri Dwarkamai Vidyapeeth in Billerica, Mass., on May 10.
The Vedanta Society of Providence recently completed the construction of a new shrine-chapel at its location in Providence, R.I. From April 20 through April 22, the Vedanta Society will host a series of events to mark and celebrate the inauguration of the new shrine-chapel and also the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, who was the founder of the parent organization of the Vedanta Society of Providence.