About a year ago, I decided to stop listening to the radio and instead, sing kirtan. I am a fine artist. I spend all my time working with my hands, so I have the ability to listen to something such as a podcast or the radio much of the time. Many of us have work that allows us to listen to the radio or whatever while we work. That is definitely true for me.
But, don’t you get bored singing kirtan all day, non-stop? Not really. I think of it this way: tuning into the radio is tuning into one channel or another on the radio. Some channels may be more sentient. Others, not so. But to sing kirtan instead – we are tuning in to a special channel. When I continuously sing kirtan, one thing I feel is the shelter of God. This in itself is a glorious feeling and indeed justifies singing kirtan rather than listening to a podcast or whatever.
But are you not potentially missing out on special information that can only be gotten through listening to books and podcasts and so on? Plenty of entrepreneurs, for example, tout the importance of reading and taking in new information. We may say, on the other side of that, are you not missing out on special information by NOT singing kirtan and instead watching television or whatever?
So…how to go about singing continuous kirtan and not get bored? It really is not that difficult to do. I don’t actually know a lot of kirtan tunes. But that does not stop me, just like it does not stop people from singing in the shower. Who cares? Mmm, someone at your workplace might care if you are singing loudly. But what if you sing softly? And, if that is not okay to do, you can listen to kirtan, maybe. But, it is so much better to sing. And there are so many opportunities throughout the day to do it.
When you are driving in your car, especially alone: sing kirtan. When you are walking to the grocery store, or even when you are in the grocery store, you can softly sing kirtan. In fact, you may find that there are way more opportunities to sing kirtan than not. I am not suggesting that you be rude and force others to listen to you when they may not want to do that. Rather, it is quite possible to softly sing kirtan throughout the day. There are countless opportunities for that, and countless opportunities to choose to sing kirtan rather than do something else.
I do sometimes still listen to the radio, but mainly I listen for a tune and sing kirtan over whatever is being sung on the radio. I have found country music especially good for this since I don’t usually listen to country music and so I don’t know the words to any of the songs. The grocery store, as I have mentioned, is a great place to softly sing kirtan. There will be some music playing over the speakers in the grocery store. I simply convert whatever is playing to kirtan.
Contrary to the idea of it being rude to sing kirtan, I have found that the joy of it is catching. One day I was in the hardware store at the checkout, softly singing kirtan to myself, when the checkout person said in a positive and congratulatory way, “You are the very first person in the two years I have been here to be singing at the checkout!” It was as if I had a special ticket to be happy. To be singing or whistling to yourself is, in fact, an indication that you are feeling happy, or at least, trying to.
So, this is a very good practice, to sing continuous kirtan throughout the day, if you are not already doing it. And if you are, great! Keep doing it. I firmly believe that if someone only took to this practice and nothing else as far as sadhana goes, to do this your whole life, to sing continuous kirtan, it is very powerful and transformative. Of course, it has to be Baba Nam Kevalam. (You know I had to say Baba Nam Kevalam at least once in this article, now twice.) Love is all there is. God is everywhere. Only the name of the Divine Father.