FTV News, Cambridge, By Geetha Patil: Kitchari Kirtan (KK) of Cambridge hosted an inspiring Open Mic Kirtan event on Friday, January 26, 2018 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at the beautiful residence of Tamal & Shakti Lena in Cambridge, MA. This couple has held these lovely Kirtans for almost a decade, and they invite people to join them to venture and connect in goodness and spirituality. Well-known instrument players and others from Cambridge, and New England came to rejoice together in singing divine names.
Greeters warmly welcomed guests at the door with smiles. Hostess Shakti prepared delicious homemade Kitchari – a meal of rice and moong beans from Bharat (India) and masala chai-tea for everyone to enjoy and while eating, they can meet and greet others and make connections. KK encourages newcomers to take advantage of this opportunity to give themselves this healing gift. Many of the songs are done in a responsive fashion, where all can participate and experience the relaxing and purifying joy. Open Mic program did not set any rules besides opening hearts and singing along with devotion and letting our sous reach out the divine power.
Kirtan/Sankirtan – a collective religious performance that involves a call-and-response chanting (musical conversation) process developed in India’s with bhakti devotional traditions. This Kirtan performance included an accompaniment of both Indian and Western musical instruments, such as the harmonium, the tabla (one-sided drums), flute (forms of woodwind instruments), the Violin and other musical instruments. Mrs. Shakti started the Kirtan by reading out some Sufi poems by Hafiz and both Tamal and Shakti sang Bhajans that engaged the audience where they repeated the chant of the singers.
Many likeminded individuals or fellow travelers on a spiritual journey joined actively Kitchari Kirtan Satsang (congregational setting). Tamal Lena, Shakti Rowan-Lena, Scott Hari Whitmore, Jaya Madhava Das, Abraham & Halima Sussman, Geetha Patil, Amir Human, Kaeza Fearn, and others sang Bhajans along with others and made everyone experience a deep connection with the musicians, the other audiences and themselves. Jerry Leake on Tabla, Carl Wolfe on clarinet and Violin and Louise Ross on flute made everyone completely immersed in the sound and the magic of the chants then carried devotees deep within. The Kirtan ended with the recitation of another Sufi poem by Hafiz.
“I love to come to this Kitchari Kirtan place. This devotional chanting is incredibly beautiful and experimental and brings us a glorious world of sound positive vibration. Kirtan really leads us to yogic path and reorients us toward a deeper spiritual life” said one of the audiences to the reporter.