Singing Kirtan with Karnamrita Dasi
What do you do?
I sing kirtan and bhajans based in the classical traditions of Indian music
Why do you do what you do?
Singing, especially in Sanskrit, makes me feel whole. It raises my vibration, and I therefore \feel, think, and live in a higher vibrational body and mind.
What are you currently fascinated by in your work?
How music changes us. How it teaches us to find it, run with the energy, risk the first steps, and feel it come to life. We are alive, and we have vibrations that want to be energized
How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers?
It was all planned out for me from birth. My mother brought me to an ashram when I was just born, and I was raised there, without television, electricity, or cars. We lived in the mountains of Appalachia and its simplicity allowed me to find so many moments of self realization. Later in my life, my mother’s death was my teacher and upon her request, I searched to study music. In Vrindaban, India I found Dhrupad music and my beloved teacher, Pandit Vidur Malik. That music spoke to me like a guru.
What book(s) did you like reading this year?
I love reading about the journeys of women. Tracing the Moon by Kumari Ellis was wonderful, as is Barbara Savage's book, Miles from Nowhere.
What do you like about presenting at the ashram?
Each time I came to the ashram for the last 12 years, the silent meditation in the morning and evenings amazes me. I love to feel the depth and the warmth of the whole community in silence. And of course, the warm smiles and family that I have there … it is truly a second home.
Karnamrita Dasi was raised on music, Sanskrit, Vedic teachings, kirtan, japa meditation, and a vegetarian lifestyle in an ashram community in West Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains. She studied Indian classical music in India for 10 years and sings worldwide, offering the blessings handed down by her teachers. She has tried to incorporate the meaning of her name — karn (ear) and amrita (the nectar of sound to the ear) into her life’s purpose.
Explore and experiment with the basic concepts of classical Indian ragas and the harmonizing gifts that they offer.