Kirtan translates as “reciting” or “chanting”. It is specifically a call-and-response style chant where the Kirtan leader, typically playing the Harmonium, chants the Hare Krishna Mantra to a melody and the crowd responds. The Kirtan is often accompanied by the instruments listed above. The Kartals (aka Manjira or Karatala) form the ‘metronome” of the Kirtan owing to the fact that they are much louder than the other instruments and usually keep a consistent rhythm. The Mridanga also keeps a steady beat but often varies more in style than the kartals, and is naturally quieter. The crowd will clap, dance, and sing along. The Bansuri (bamboo flute) and other instruments add further dynamics to the Kirtan. This type of music is devotional and the participants meditate on and call upon God by his various names! (Note: Kirtan is non-sectarian, and people of all faiths (or non at all) can participate in and benefit from the meditation!) We are thankful to our teacher, Radha Govinda Pal, for his many years of support in sharing this knowledge with us.
Born in Dallas, TX, Prahlad, together with his brother and parents, moved to a multi-cultural, spiritual community on the banks of the Ganges in Mayapur, WB, India. At the age of 5 he and his family spent the next 17 years here, where he went to Gurukula (school) and learnt the native arts and traditions of Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of Love and Devotion).
During his teenage years he studied Kirtan and toured India, Europe, and the middle East performing and studying the art of Kirtan. Currently based in Alachua, Florida, his knowledge and experience in Kirtan and teaching proves invaluable to Mridanga Studios’ mission.
His passions are physical fitness, psychology, philosophy, and of course, Kirtan and teaching.
Born in Denver, CO, Devala moved to India at the age of 2, where, like his brother, he spent 17 years studying in Gurukula and touring India and the globe, performing and perfecting the art of Kirtan.
He acts as the administrator of Mridanga Studios, taking care of the technical aspects of its operation. Like his brother, he is currently based in Alachua, Florida.
His passions are psychology and design, philosophy, technology, and likewise, Kirtan and teaching.