Akhanda Kirtan Mangrove Mountain
The Akhanda Kirtan was a 24 hour chanting of the Maha Mantra at the Satyananda Yoga Ashram located at Mangrove Mountain NSW. For those not familiar with this mantra, it's the one the Hare Krishna movement (ISKON) chants, but instead of chanting Hare Krishna... in the Satyananda tradition it is chanted Hare Rama first. There was some debate on why this was and the argument went something like "Ram came first in the line of Avatars of Vishnu and it is only the Followers of Chaitanya (ie ISKON etc) that chant Krishna first”. An avant devotee of Krishna debated back that actually the Rama bit is not referring to Ram rather to Radha (Krishnas consort) ...as in Ramana Hari. Anyway I'm sure the debate will go on... the chanting of one mantra for 24 hours is a more profound sadhana (spiritual practice) than the chanting of various mantras, so this weekend had a very powerful effect. The Akhanda featured Sydney kirtan ledgend Sri Prahlada on the Saturday Afternoon, However the highlight was Tribi who is one of the singers in the Govindas kirtan band. His Set varied from trad Hare Krishna kirtan to reggae style and beyond. One thing the Hare's do well is sing the Maha Mantra :-)
One thing that Mangrove Mountain ashram does well is host a good kirtan event. A fantastic sound system (thanks Gav) along with Chakradhyans visual projections and lightning, delicious food and lots of invigorating snacks and superfoods. The event was well presented and felt like a sadhana rather than a show. Thanks to Swami Kriyavidya for hosting the Melbourne crew and organising the event. The next big Kirtan event at Mangrove will be the Spring Kiran Festival at the beginning of October and Chant Yoga will host the post Navaratri gathering (Oct 27th-28th), featuring 'Madhava' at the Rocklyn Yoga Ashram near Daylesford.