A fundamental practice of Bhakti Yoga, Kirtan chanting is the easiest and most joyful way to achieve peace of mind.
Popularized by the Bhakti movement of medieval era Hinduism around the 6th century, the foundations of this tradition are found in the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna describes Bhakti Marga (path of loving devotion) as a means to liberation, alongside Karma Marga (path of action) and Jñana Marga (path of knowledge).
In Maharashtra, where Saraswati grew up, Kirtan includes story-telling and a call-and-response chant, led by the main performer (the kirtankar) and accompanied by traditional indian musical instruments such as the harmonium, tabla and karatalas (cymbals).
Kirtan is for everyone. Its practice dissolves the notion of separation by connecting us to the moment through sound, guiding us deep into our heart. It creates a sense of connection and unity : at first, when the kirtankar sings a mantra and you sing it back, you are aware of yourself. But as time passes and you relax into the chant, your perspective shifts and your sense of “me” evaporates.
Some experience this as joy and ecstasy, others describe it as boundlessness or timelessness…
In a world filled with messages about how we’re separate from each other and separate from the divine, chanting mantras together unites us in a way that no other form of Yoga does.
A voyage into mystical India, where storytelling and music transport you on a soul-stirring journey… Opening with legends from the Hindu mythology passionately retold by Saraswati, the program continues with a deeply emotional concert of traditional Indian music.
The first Welcome to India event was held in November 2017.
Since then, we’ve had the great privilege of welcoming such remarkable artists as :
Sitar pandit Krishna Mohan Bhatt, a disciple of Ravi Shankar whose virtuosity and originality have earned him worldwide fame.
Sarod-player Sougata Roy Chowdhury, one of the most talented young classical Hindustani musicians of his generation.
Imran Khan, musician and composer, the 9th generation of the lineage of the Sikar Gharana — one of the greatest and most respected musical families of Rajasthan.
Nicolas Delaigue, concert performer, trained by great masters of the sitar and a European reference in the teaching of classical Hindustani music.
Nihar Mehta, hailing from one of the most prominent families of philosophers and musicians of Ahmedabad and remarkable international tabla player.
In 2019, the photographer and author Olivier Remualdo exhibited powerful portraits of Sâdhus as part of the event.
Check out the Home page to RSVP for the next Welcome to India.
Saraswati held live Satsangs during the COVID-19 lockdown periods,
seconded by Olivier Remualdo, who contributes assistance, translation, and personal experience.
Together, they offer a different perspective on the situation.
The word Satsang comes from Sanskrit Sat (truth, absolute reality, Brahman), and Sangha (company, union, assembly). This translates to “being in the company of truth” and by extension “company of the wise.”
Make yourselves comfortable with a nice cup of tea and join us — your shares and questions will be very welcome.
Satsangs are now included in the ADATA retreats and Satsang & Kirtan events.