I was thinking about kirtan melodies as I jogged through the fields this morning. I’ve always participated in kirtan in a supportive role, but in the last six months or so, I’ve been getting asked to lead more. There’s nothing like sitting down in front of a roomful of people who are waiting for you to do something, with almost no idea what you’re planning to do.
What do I sing?! It’s a time honoured question. The words are not so difficult, but there are hundreds and hundreds of melodies to choose from. Some great kirtan leaders can archive thousands in their minds, pulling them out in an effortless sequence over hours of sweet chanting. For some, like me, breaking a sweat is not uncommon.
But as I jogged, I realised that even the most beautifully crafted jar can’t make the honey any sweeter. So it is with a tune. The melody is only a vessel that carries the nectarous names of the Lord, which are sweet in a way that can’t be matched by any other sound.
So next time you sit down to sing, no worries. Whatever comes out, the honey will still be sweet. But if you are looking for beautiful melodies, you could try listening to some free downloads from Mantralogy.com, where five years of 24 hour kirtans are archived, along with thousands of other recordings. Happy tasting.