Tag Archive: Kirtan

Krishna Das New Release

Written by Sam Slovick (from LA Yoga Magazine May 2010)

“Chanting is called a practice for one reason: It only works if we do it. Chanting has been my main practice for years, but it took me a long time to realize that it’s only by doing it regularly that we begin to experience ourselves changing. If we want to get wet we have to jump into the water. If we want to stay wet we have to learn to swim, or at least float!” ––KD from Chants of a Lifetime

Krishna Das (KD) is drenched. He’s standing under a cloudburst of grace with his feet in a puddle of love. If you stand anywhere near him you’re going to get wet.

His karmic trajectory is well documented. He put out the call for transcendence in the summer of love and the response materialized as the living embodiment of the Simian God, Hanuman, in the form of his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. KD crawled out of a bottomless pit of despair in New York all the way to the subcontinent and…well…you can read the rest in his new book, Chants of a Lifetime.

Four decades later, the street-certified kirtan road dog who opened the door for generations of western seekers has transcended the role of portal keeper to the East. The lotus has blossomed; a career crescendo manifested in the release of his new CD, Heart As Wide As The World has certified his bhakti adhikara.

Krishna Das brings a lot of light. Presumably, he also casts a commensurate shadow, but all I can see is the reflected glare from his gleaming king-sized tour bus in the parking lot just outside the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. The show he is sharing with Deva Premal, Miten and Manose is, of course, sold out.

“Krishna Das is my name. My guru gave me that name in India in 1972. It means servant of God,” he says. “It’s something to grow up into, I think. When you first start doing spiritual practice, it’s very much you’re trying to pull that splinter out, that nail you stepped on. You’re trying to get it out of your foot.

My practice, of course, you would say is chanting. Obviously that’s my main practice. But that’s really just a part of the practice. The context that all the chanting is done within is trying to be in the presence of that love all the time.

The practice and the path seem to be about your own pain and removing your own pain and suffering. But the more you do this stuff, the older you get, you begin to see that your own pain is no better or less or more than anyone else’s pain. You kind of lose the ability to cut off and keep people at a distance. Then your practice begins to get…how to deal with…” He pauses, “How do you keep your heart open with the huge, humungous amount of suffering in the world?”