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A Literary Spirit

Purchase Yoga of Kirtan from the Beliefnet Shopping Mall. Yoga of Kirtan (includes CD)
By Steven Rosen
Review:

Kirtan is an ancient tradition that has only recently caught on in the West.  Kirtan is a beautiful means to develop and express spirituality through chanting to music–and this book enables readers to understand the history, intention and power of this practice.

The introduction provides ample historical detail about the origins and extent to which chanting has influenced spiritual expression across many religions.  Historical research is clearly one of Rosen’s strengths–as I learned a great deal in this section.

The rest of the book is focused on the key players in the world of Kirtan.  Rosen interviews each one and invites them to share their stories of how they were introduced to the practice of kirtan and how it has evolved in their lives.

The chapter on Krishna Das strays from the topic of kirtan into his spiritual journey, guru and spiritual viewpoints.  While some might view these detours as off-topic, I really enjoyed learning more about the overall spiritual journey of each kirtanist.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in the intersection of spirituality and music.  Singers, songwriters and musicians may really appreciate this book, but I think that anyone interested in sacred music will like it. And if you have had any experience with Krishna Das or other primary kirtanists in the West, you will really, really enjoy the book and the bonus CD.

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