Kiirtan is the repetitive singing of a universal mantra aloud while ideating on Infinite Consciousness or Universal Love. It's practise creates a blissful state in the mind and prepares both mind and body for meditation, because in performing it all motor and sensory organs are engaged and directed towards something infinite. It's easy and can be done by anyone - anywhere and any time, but the best time is just before meditation.
The sanskrit mantra used for kiirtan is:
Bábá Nám Kevalam [here the á denotes a longer "a" sound as in "far"]
Bábá means “that which is closest or dearest to me,” Nám means “essence" or “to identify with”, and Kevalam means “only”. So the meaning of the mantra is “That entity which is nearest and dearest is everywhere and in everything.” The ideation is: “Everywhere I look, in everything I hear, feel, see, taste and smell, I perceive that one Loving Consciousness which pervades all things.”
Kiirtan has many benefits. It purifies and lightens the mind and relieves depression and negative feelings. It is useful to prepare the mind for meditation, accelerating the minds progress to a state of lasting calm or peace. Because of the mental clarity achieved in a peaceful state of mind, one more easily finds solutions to problems while performing it, as well as relief from physical and psychic ailments. There is a dance associated with doing kiirtan, called Lalita Marmika which is a physical aid to the practise. Our qualifeid teachers can teach you this special yogik dance.
To listen to a continuous streaming of kiirtan online (broadband required):