Kirtan is non-denominational, the Universal language of Spirit, the song of the Soul.
Based on ancient chants, it has the ability to quiet the mind if listened to with intention. Everyone experiences kirtan differently: the performers are accessible, everyone sits on the floor (although chairs are usually available)- in fact, there’s not much of a distinction between performers & audience. The wallah (leader) sings the mantra, and the audience sings it back. A single chant can go on for up to forty minutes. As you sing with each other you experience a deep connection with the leaders, the other audience members and yourself. And when the music stops, your mind is quiet.
Because kirtan has roots in India, many of the songs are sung in Sanskrit, although in Punjabi, the language of the Sikhs. If you’ve ever chanted responses in Latin or Hebrew in some religious traditions, then you know how powerful singing in an ancient, holy language can be. You can be completely immersed in the sound, with no words to distract the mind. The magic of the chants can then carry you within.