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Song and Dance of Ecstasy

The Kirtan Experience: Song and Dance of Ecstasy

Hansadutta das presents Krishna Kirtan, the Congregational Chant Festival

What do football games, rock concerts, political rallies, boxing matches and congregational prayers all have in common?

The mass glorification of a person or persons engaged in extraordinary feats–a very exciting, even electrifying experience for large groups of people. This phenomenon is known as kirtan.

Spiritual Retreats     Seminars     Workshops     Youth Camps     Radio and TV Appearances     Kirtan on campus     Kirtan at your home…     Hansadutta das presents Krishna Kirtan: the Congregational Chant Festival.     Email for more information.

Hare Krishna Festival We're travelling world-wide to introduce krishna kirtan. Now people experience the kirtan of a football game, a baseball game, or a concert--the congregation of many people shouting, cheering and singing. These mundane kirtans are only for the body or mind. Because they are material, their pleasure is only temporary. The same principle of these materialistic kirtans exists in krishna kirtan ; except its effect is spiritual and everlasting. When we are performing krishna kirtan and everyone is enthusiastically chanting Hare Krishna, it has great potency for invoking the Lord. This is the sankirtan movement of Lord Chaitanya.

Kirtan, glorification of God by chanting His names is not a sectarian religious practice. It is the natural fulfilment of every person's desire to sing, praise, cheer and chant the glories of a superior person's extraordinary activities. It brings happiness, peace and harmony to all persons who thus find their common object of adoration, God.

In every religious tradition we are encouraged to praise God's names:

"The whole world becomes joyful hearing Your [Krishna's] name. Everyone becomes attached to You." (Bhagavad-gita 11.36)

"From the rising of the sun unto its setting, the Lord's name is to be praised." (Psalms)

"Praise God in His temple on earth, Praise Him in His temple in heaven, Praise Him for His mighty achievements, Praise Him for His transcendent greatness, Praise Him with blasts of the trumpet, Praise Him with lyre and harp, Praise Him with drums and dancing, Praise Him with strings and reeds, Praise Him with clashing cymbals, Praise Him with clanging cymbals, Let everything that breathes praise Yahweh." (Psalms)

"Glorify the name of your Lord, the most high." (Koran 87.2)

"Allah, who does not fit into heavens or worlds, fits into the hearts of men. The process used to clean the heart is dhikrullah (chanting the names of Allah). Dhikr is a key to the secrets of life." (Ninety-Nine Names of Allah)

"All who sincerely call upon My name will come to Me after death, and I will take them to Paradise." (Vows of Amida Buddha 18)

"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:21)

"One must learn to call upon the name of God, even more than breathing--at all times, in all places, in every kind of occupation." (Eastern Orthodox Philokalia)

"Chant the holy name, chant the holy name, chant the holy name of the Lord. In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy there is no other way, no other way, no other way to attain spiritual enlightenment." (Brihan-Naradiya Purana)

The singing and dancing of Hare Krishna is known as kirtan. Our spiritual master Srila Prabhupada said, "This is not ordinary dancing; this is the dancing of the soul, a soul awakened to his original consciousness, Krishna consciousness." There is no motive in performing kirtan. It is the song and dance of ecstasy, the dance of the soul.

There are no hard and fast rules for chanting these names. Kirtan is not ritualistic. It is the soul's awakening in touch with God--the song and dance of the soul. There are no rules or regulations for kirtan . One can dance in any way one likes; one can sing God's names to any tune; one can dress any way one likes; one can perform kirtan anywhere. Kirtan is universal and transcendental, and it should be re-established worldwide, because kirtan is the only means to counteract fear, anxiety and illusion of this age. –Hansadutta dasa, Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man

Hansadutta dasa

Hansadutta das was born Hans Kary on May 27, 1941 in Brunswick, Germany. In early March, 1967, he became a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Hansadutta das helped his spiritual master pioneer the Hare Krishna movement by preaching and opening Hare Krishna centres in Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and in USA: Boston and Berkeley (San Francisco), in Canada: Montreal and Vancouver, and in Asia: Turkey, Egypt (Cairo), Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

Hansadutta das is famous for his ecstatic kirtans. From the beginning he pushed harinama-sankirtana (the congregational chanting of the holy names in public) with great enthusiasm and expertise. Srila Prabhupada especially appreciated this, and christened him "King of Kirtan" ("Krishna Kirtan Thakur").

Hansadutta das was the first to organise and personally oversee publication and mass distribution of his spiritual master's books in English and Russian, German, French, Danish, Swedish, Arabic, Tagalo, Tamil, Singhalese, and Chinese, and the first to print Srila Prabhupada's Back To Godhead magazine in four colours and in European languages. He also cut and sold records of Hare Krishna kirtans, including wonderful kirtans led by Srila Prabhupada. He travelled extensively with Srila Prabhupada in India, and on his own, leading chanting parties and giving lectures. On account of his dynamic preaching, Hansadutta das won the approval and praise of Srila Prabhupada ("You have understood the importance of my books. Without being asked, you published and distributed my books."). He was awarded with increased responsibility as one of Srila Prabhupada's senior disciples, and was especially appointed as lifetime trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, publisher of Srila Prabhupada's books.

In November, 1977, Srila Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the Hare Krishna movement, passed away from this world, leaving his disciples to carry on his mission of expanding the Krishna consciousness movement to every town and village on the planet. He left behind written instructions designating Hansadutta das as one of his deputies, Rittvik Representative of the Acharya, authorised to continue recruiting and initiating new disciples on behalf of Srila Prabhupada.

Since then, Hansadutta das has also authored several books and other publications: The Hammer for Smashing Illusion (based on Shankaracharya's famous Bhaja Govinda), Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man, Fool's Paradise, The Book, and more recently, Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You.  He has given lectures at Harvard University, McGill University, University of California at Berkeley, and many other public venues around the world, and made TV and radio appearances.

Hansadutta das now resides in Cloverdale, California, north of San Francisco. His email address is:

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Hansadutta das
Rittvik Representative of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

©2004-Hansadutta das
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