Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has termed reported protest at the Hindu chants performance on April 21 evening in the Smith-Buonanno Hall of Brown University (BU) as sad and inappropriate.
The protest reportedly happened at an event, entitled “An Evening of Devotional Music”, which was described as “intimate evening of inquiry, music, and meditation” in kirtan form.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that BU, a prestigious Ivy League research institution, should have made appropriate arrangements to ensure that a Hindu chants performance went smoothly and uninterrupted.
Rajan Zed urged BU President Christina H. Paxson and Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch to hold a formal enquiry into this protest and make sure that such unreasonable interruptions did not happen at the Hindu events on the campus in the future.
Zed further said that color of the person should not matter in devotional singing and anybody should be able pay respectful homage to Hindu deities through kirtan or other forms. Kirtan offered means to connect to the heart, to the divinity that lies within.
Outside India, kirtan is attracting large audiences in USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and many other countries of the world. Kirtan has produced lot of star performers in USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Australia, etc., like Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, David Newman, Wah!, Shantala, Dave Stringer, Sean Johnson, Shyamdas, Snatam Kaur, etc.
According to kirtan participants, the powerful healing and transformational energies of these ancient chants help calming and focusing the mind, uplift, provide a soothing melody, inspire, bring peace and connectedness, etc. Its sacred and spiritual experience takes one to the state of deep meditation.
Kirtan (also referred as call-and-response chanting session, ecstatic chanting, participatory music experience, devotional singing, sacred chant) is one of the oldest sacred music genres of the world, which originated in India many centuries ago.