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Updated: Dec 5, 2022

Kirtan is a form of devotion or meditation that involves repeatedly chanting syllables. The most common Kirtan is probably “Om Namaya Shiva”. It is a chant from the Hindu religious and yogic tradition. It has also been widely adopted by Western spirituality. Though one must be careful about appropriating religious texts and practices out of context, it seems to be acceptable to use this chant in many settings. It is even said that one does not need to know the meaning of the syllables for them to bring peace of mind.

Another kirtan chanting meditation has been brought to my attention recently. It is called the “Sa Ta Na Ma” meditation. . The literal meaning of this mantra is –

SA: Infinity,

TA: Life,

NA: Death,

MA: Rebirth.

This mantra translates to shedding the old you, and becoming who you were meant to be; your true self. It's also known to calm you down and increase serotonin so it's perfect for anyone with stress, anxiety, and/or depression. This chant also involves subtle movements of the hands as you are singing the syllables. Both singing and moving help me to stay focused on the meditation.

Here is a recording of the chant which you might like to try. Notice the meditator touching a fingertip as they chant each syllable.

You might also consider googling if there are regular Kirtans occurring in your area. Happy and peaceful chanting to you during this holiday season!

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