Bhaktivedanta College invites you to Kirtan Course where, over the period of three and a half weeks, you will be able to uncover the basics of kirtan practice by the facilitation of experienced kirtaniyas, chanters, and teachers.
Our Kirtan Course prepares students for a genuine kirtan experience, giving them the opportunity to enrich themselves in their chanting to the point of having no other desire than to share the knowledge with others.Please find more info about Bhaktivedanta College HERE.
Course aims are to empower students to deepen their understanding of kirtan and to offer practical lessons in kirtan. It is done via three broader aims of education:
Students learn how to chant the holy names with a relationship to Krishna. They learn about the art of kirtan done in the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and learn prayers of Vaisnava Acaryas. They learn proper conduct – such as humility, both through discussions and in practical application. They practice instruments and learn a set number of melodies on harmonium and a set number of mantras on the mridanga. Students will receive a deeper understanding of yuga-dharma, both in terms of their own practice and in terms of sharing kirtan in a spirit of Vaisnava compassion.
I expected that the course would be the most amazing experience of my life and it was in fact the most amazing experience of my life. I wish every day was the kirtan course!
I think the level of attention and detail in understanding of instruments by the teachers was extremely good and definitely felt a sense of security knowing what we were being taught was correct.
Born and bred within a Kirtan environment under the expert guidance of senior kirtan leaders such as Yamuna Devi, Aindra Prabhu, & Sacinandana Swami, Manu has always been engaged in Kirtan. For more than 10 years he is coordinating the annual Radhadesh Mellows festival which is Western Europe's largest Kirtan event gathering thousands of enthusiasts from across the globe. With Surabhi and a few others he is daily practicing Kirtan in the Radhadesh temple every evening with many guests, residents and yoga groups who attend regularly. He established and designed the Kirtan Course together with the Bhaktivedanta College which is successfully running for several years now.
In addition to being the Course Coordinator, during the Kirtan Course itself Manu will be assisting the students in bringing together the different elements of kirtan, the instruments & vocals, in "Ensemble Classes" which will allow students to lead a call and response kirtan with skill and self confidence as well as in the right mood of humility and togetherness.
He looks forward to serving the enthusiastic Kirtan lovers who will make their way over for a summer of education and profound spiritual deepening.
Krishangi Lila holds a BA in Western Classical Singing from The Norwegian State Academy of Music (2000), and BA in Vaishnava Theology from Bhaktivedanta College, University of Lampeter. She has complemented her vocal studies with different techniques and teachers from various traditions. She has studied with Orlanda Cook at Pantheatre in Paris, dhrupada singing with Gundecha brothers in Bhopal, kirtan and harmonium with Master Pankaj and Hari Murari prabhu from Mayapur, India.
She has been working as a vocal coach since 2000. Since 2014 she is engaged as a Kirtan Course teacher in harmonium and vocals at Bhaktivedanta College, Radhadesh, Belgium. Last few years she has focused more on the practices of nada yoga and shares the essence of this practice in her voice workshops. She has been travelling around the world giving workshops in Estonia, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan, Thailand and India.
From 2004-2014, she was member of Radhadesh community during whichshe was also engaged in service of singing kirtan to the visitors of the Radhadesh Tour programme in the Museum of Sacred Arts. In 2008 she released the album “Divine Love” together with Kalindi dasi, that is based on the holy texts from Shrimad Bhagavatam and has a touch of western medieval and Indian music.
Surabhi kunja is a resident of Radhadesh and together with Manu started the evening kirtans which have now been steadily going for about 10 years. Next to the evening kirtans she also studied music in Codarts Conservatory of Music for two years, specialising in Indian Classical music. For over 5 years she has been under the tutelage of Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia for Bansuri (indian bamboo flute). Surabhi has been karatal and supporting harmonium and singing teacher since the start of the Kirtan Course.
Sacinandana Swami has been a monk in the bhakti tradition for 42 years. He is known for his significant contribution to the practice of contemplation and meditation for modern practitioners of bhakti. Sacinandana Swami has published seven books and released two CDs, and offers an array of retreats, seminars, and workshops.
Thousands of enthusiastic singers and dancers visit his kirtan concerts held all over the world. He teaches at the Vrindavana Institute for Higher Education in India and also in the Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium. Furthermore, Sacinandana Swami serves as the spiritual guide for the Veda Academy, which is active in eight countries. He has recently founded the organization, "Yoga Is Music" which is sharing kirtan with thousands of people yearly.
Fond of India’s sacred pilgrimage sites, Sacinandana Swami annually goes there to seek personal inspiration. Although his pilgrimages have taken him all over the subcontinent, he is particularly fond of the sacred land of Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
MODULE: Kirtana as Sadhana and Sadhya by Mahendra Das
Mahendra began practising bhakti-yoga in 1989 in Bulgaria. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy (Sofia University) and a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Information Systems and Management (University of London, London School of Economics).
He gives lectures worldwide on Bhagavad Gita and other Krishna Bhakti scriptures and was the Theology and Religious Studies Program director at Bhaktivedanta College and has taught a number of courses.
Mahendra is involved in the kirtan course since its inception, both in curriculum planning and teaching. He organizes retreats on kirtan and bhakti yoga philosophy internationally, regularly participating in public kirtan programs often at a variety of yoga studios. Recently he founded the 'kirtan raga' project, promoting and sharing the art of kirtan which is currently thriving in Bulgaria.
He has recorded live kirtan albums and is currently writing on the subject of kirtan and bhakti-yoga. Mahendra regularly teaches mantra mediation at Vita Rama (holistic health centre).
There are usually two types of schedules for the duration of the kirtan course. One for the time without visiting teachers and another when a visiting teacher is present. Both of these schedules are revised and sometimes fully modified according to the needs of students.
When visiting teachers are giving their seminars, the noon session is split in two parts:
Bhaktivedanta College building is attached to the practicing classrooms, and the temple is just across the street located in Petite Somme castle (Chateau du Petite Somme). Meals are served in the temple facilities and students are accommodated in Bhaktivedanta College residential building and in other nearby facilities.