Exploring the magical, timeless chant that leads to sacred love.
Kirtan soars beyond ordinary music. Chant bathes us in sacred mantras of transformation and healing that enrich and enlighten us. Rooted in the bhakti yoga tradition and practiced for millennia, kirtan is the easiest meditation and a substantial form of spiritual nourishment. It is the joining of a mantra and the soul in song to establish a heat-connection with the Divine.
About the Book
Sacred sound is a substantial form of spiritual nourishment. Many cultures are rich with spiritual and religious music, but kirtan features ancient mantras – potent sound formulas of transformation and healing – that enrich and enlighten us in ways that other music or self-help methods such as therapy, affirmations, or mindfulness.
We’re far more powerful than we may have been led to believe; we’re immeasurably more than what meets the eye. In choosing a mantra to dedicate ourselves to, we choose from a vast array of possibilities for the soul – more enchanting and enthralling than any possibility we’ve encountered in any wonderful dream or fictional world.
Due to its efficacy, mantra kirtan has been practiced for thousands of years. That so many are now embracing kirtan in the West shows its universal appeal and its power to nourish us by fulfilling a deep spiritual hunger. People describe how mantra meditation allows them to tap into a sacred space within themselves and connect with the Divine. In simple terms, kirtan is the joining of a mantra and the soul in song to establish a heart-connection with the Supreme.
Mantra kirtan is also practiced as a personal daily meditation, known as japa. Besides the spiritual benefits, kirtan and japa offer all the psycho-physical benefits of other types of meditation but are much easier to perform than silent meditation or mindfulness.
Prema Kirtan takes us into the world of a specific type of kirtan and japa known as prema-kirtan, or the kirtan that produces prema, divine love. In Prema Kirtan we learn about the history, purpose, practice, and spiritual possibilities that prema-kirtan offers, as well as the opportunities realized by other types of kirtan.
Though group and private kirtan meditation is deceptively simple and enjoyable, this powerful yoga practice is deeply rooted in a sophisticated philosophy, which Prema Kirtan concisely covers in three thought-provoking chapters on the nature of Reality.
Bhakti, the yoga of divine love, allows a flowering of the heart from a kirtan practice. Prema Kirtan distills the essence of this yoga practice, which lifts us out of the mundane and takes us to the very nature of our existence. We’re shown the origins of this ancient practice and how it came to the West, as well as how the mantra heals psychologically and spiritually, freeing one from self-imposed limitations.
Pranada has studied and practiced bhakti for nearly fifty years. Her first two books, Wise-Love and Bhakti Shakti won multiple awards. She takes us on a journey into the pragmatic and profound spiritual progression of one who takes up a mantra-meditation practice, and she shows how kirtan ends the soul’s dark night of material existence. That happens when the rising sun of prema, divine love, reveals the security and fullness of the soul’s eternal, illuminated, unchanging nature and its relationship with its Supreme Source.
You Will Learn
- gives practitioners first-hand experience of the self, the true nature of the world, and the characteristics of transcendental reality, and reveals our relationship with our root source, the Supreme Being
- descends from a higher plane of existence
- is the central practice of bhakti yoga, the devotional school that is the heart and soul of yoga
- bathes us in sacred mantras removes our karmic bond of action and reaction, and roots out the egoic false self
- purifies the heart, tunes the soul, calms and clarifies the mind, releases the voice, and shows a genuine way of being in the world
- is the expression of the soul proper
- of the maha-mantra cultures prema, or divine love, the confidential, special liberation hidden in the ancient texts
Acclaim and Accolades for Prema Kirtan
Prema Kirtan brings out the beauty and power of kirtan in a unique poetic way that makes you fall in love with this form of expression and cultivation of devotion to the Divine. Explaining the pillars of Bhakti tradition and its meaning, these pages draw you into the mysticism of sound, the transformative power of mantra, as well as the roots and the mood of kirtan. As a kirtan singer, I am grateful to Pranada Comtois for the deep study and intricate detail, yet her insight and accessible language make this work relevant for both experienced kirtan lovers and those new to this practice.
Prema Kirtan is a well-researched, in depth, heartful study of the inner journey of kirtan, as a spiritual practice, a form of yoga, and a meditation on sound. The book is both a primer for those just discovering kirtan, as well as a wealth of knowledge for those already in the world of kirtan who want to deepen their practice.
Richard H. Whitehurst
Pranada Comtois has gifted us again through her flowing, delightful, and insightful writing with yet another intelligent and definitive expression; this time on the intriguing subject of kirtan – the ancient spiritual practice consisting of ardent glorification and loving solicitation of the Divinity through the chanting of sacred mantra. Contextualized for the modern reader and using accessible language Prema-Kirtan: Journey into Sacred Sound delivers ample enrichment and a joyful framework for progress. It is written with precision, clarity, and practical application in mind. Far more than an academic treatise – this book is a statement issuing from some four decades of intense devotional practice and research. Whether one is new to kirtan, or an experienced chanter, or simply a curious seeker, this beautiful book will prove to be a powerful, illuminating, and invaluable addition to your spiritual library.
Deva Premal and Miten
Whether you’re new to kirtan or familiar with it, this book will help you go deeper into an exploration of mantra meditation. Deep transformation is possible through chanting sacred mantras and singing in kirtan and Prema Kirtan offers wisdom and guidance into this enjoyable, ancient and potent yoga practice.
Dr. Guy L. Beck
One of the lasting memories I have from the film “Women of Bhakti” (2012) is of Pranada Comtois explaining that there is a special type of love that is reserved only for God, and how this differs from its worldly counterpart. But to fully understand this divine love, prema – the deep ocean of feeling and devotion toward the Supreme – requires lengthy expositions by devotees immersed in that ocean. In Prema Kirtan, Pranada Comtois provides a clear path toward fulfilling that need, first by describing the practices of prema kirtan by which prema is to be achieved, and then by offering the healing and transformative messages that lead one to the nectar of devotion.
In her book Prema Kirtan, Pranada Comtois lays a compelling case for the art of kirtan being the centerpiece for bhakti. Drawing from holy scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, her devotion to Sri Krishna comes through as infectious as the bhakti she espouses. This work belongs in every kirtan lover’s library and every bhakta’s heart.
With kirtan popularity continuously on the rise, this book offers valuable insight into the tradition, the application and importance of the sacred practice of kirtan. I highly recommend all kirtan lovers to check this out!
In her latest book Prema Kirtan, Pranada Comtois explores how sound creates a multi-faceted crystal of conscious awareness. Her journey begins with a carefully researched analysis of the influence of sound on every aspect of life. She takes her reader step by step through ever deeper understandings of the universe of sound, leading from everyday encounters inwards to the essence. She goes on to carefully guide the reader to the practice of sacred sound in the forms of mantra and kirtan.
Prema Kirtan is valuable for its personal reflections on the nature of kirtana, giving the reader of a picture of that it is, what it means, how it functions within community, and how it is thought about in terms of Vaishnava scripture and history. Readers will enjoy the interweaving of narrative, history, and theory in well composed prose.
Prema Kirtan is exactly what the world needs right now – a practical guide to the science and art of kirtan. This simple spiritual practice is so accessible a child can do it. Kirtan holds within it a seedling that, when planted in the heart and properly nourished, can heal and transform the world. Using her own life expressed through her gift of clear and loving language, Pranada shows us how.
Prema Kirtan is a profound and unique work that is full of gems for all types of readers. Whether one is a complete beginner on the spiritual path or an experienced kirtan practitioner, they are sure to receive inspiration and insights from this work. The writing style is intricate and poetic, yet accessible and clear. Pranada’s own spiritual depth and absorption in the beautiful practice of kirtan shine through in the pages. This is a must read for anyone looking for simple and practical ways to awaken more love and joy into their life.
Pranada Comtois is a devoted pilgrim and award-winning author of Wise-Love: Bhakti and the Search for the Soul of Consciousness and Bhakti Shakti: Goddess of Divine Love.
Her writing sheds light on Bhakti’s ancient wisdom school, known as the heart and soul of yoga.
At sixteen she met her teacher A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and began her lifelong study and practice of bhakti. The wisdom of her teaching grows from living for twenty years as a contemplative in bhakti ashrams, and another twenty years raising a family and running two multi-million dollar businesses.
Her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications. She is a featured speaker in the film Women of Bhakti.