KirtanTom Shakti singing Bhajans


Cambridge, Massachusetts: Kitchari Kirtan’s monthly open mic event hosted by Tom and his wife Shakti in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on December 13 provided participants an opportunity to connect with the Divine.

A room full of like-minded people in the spirit of love through bhakti yoga gathered and chanted bhajans with utmost devotion. Books and DVDs published by the Kirtan singers and yoga teachers were placed on tables for sale.

Kitchari Kirtan is a unique program developed and organized by a well-known singer and guitar player Tom Lena a decade ago. This chanting group, Kitchari Kirtan, is inspired by a group of musicians and friends who gain delight in raising their collective voices together in the singing of the divine names.

Kirtan is a call and response style chanting, in which devotion is wrapped into meditation. When they raise their voices high in the midst of the sounds of music, sacred syllables, and the names of gods, they experience the opening of gateways to the hearts. While singing the divine names, they realize the pure joy of being connected to all beings. Kitchari Kirtan is both an opportunity to experience the delight of chanting and to realize any desire to be of service in the greater community.

Shakti prepared a delicious Kitchari, a sattvic vegetarian Indian dish that calms and prepares them for Kirtan. Jerry Leaks played tabla to the tunes of the bhajans. Tom and M. Sanjay not only sang beautiful bhajans but also played the guitar for other singers as well. Paul Coggins, Carolyn Little, Jaya Madhava Das, Bhagwan Das, Alexandra Kinney, and Celenie Almquist sang lovely Bhajans.