Street Kirtan: Knocking at the Door of the Heart


Last month I was with my family in New York city and we joined devotees of Krishna in a street kirtan in Union Square. The Square is well known for gatherings and protests of all kinds. The devotees regularly go there to perform kirtan and anyone who is there often comes to listen, tap their feet, clap their hands, or jump into their own form of dance. Here’s what happened when I led kirtan for a few minutes:

On the same day as this was shot, in the morning, we were fortunate enough to visit the small shop front where Srila Prabhupada began his teaching and  incorporated his fledgling society. I was struck by how small it was but how large his movement has grown. And we’re still in the first 50 years. Incredible.

Sometime in 1971  - in Los Angeles – a manifesto for spreading Krishna consciousness was written, either by Srila Prabhupada or a disciple and signed by him. In it he describes how the movement would be spread by public kirtan and that such kirtan was ‘knocking at the door of the heart’ for all those who heard it. Nice expression, and so true of the first time I experienced kirtan one dark and rainy night on the hills outside Buxton in Derbyshire, England. Kirtan still knocks on my heart-door to this day.