Chai Ma! Kirtan--Home Brewed Devotional Chanting Out of Fort Collins, Colorado
Introduction: The name Chai Ma! comes from the inspired batches of spiced tea served at all our kirtans. Like the delicious, nourishing tea, our kirtan sessions are never the same twice! Depending on the group energy, chants sway and move in different ways, blending melodies and rhythms through the intention of the singers. As we sing, we listen to our hearts. In this way, we know when to move and when to be still.
Chai Ma! chants often defy traditional call-and-response kirtan structures. We lovingly call our style "kirtan anarchy". We sing out to the Divine from deep within our hearts. When we sing, we find ourselves and show our truest selves to each other, revealing the divinity that unites us all. At moments, we become One.
Sing with your hearts open as a gift to Spirit. Sing with your friends. Sing to make friends! Sing to know yourself. Just sing!
Our Story: There's something magical about Fort Collins, Colorado (our little piece of the Fort Cosmos, we say). You can credit that special quality to a cosmic blend of earth meeting sky, all flowing in a mystical river, inspiring an active, creative city full of curious, out-going people who love to sing and drink chai (thought I was going to say, beer, didn't you?!)
From our Colorado foothills happy place, we caught the vibe of a mountain kirtan and downloaded the essence of it here to you. Chai Ma! Kirtan sings from a heart-space that's rocky mountain high. Filled with fresh air and strong blood, it's solid with faith, grounded in purpose and soaring with devotion.
Come and dance and sing and play with us to these original kirtan tunes both familiar and ancient. Chai Ma! Kirtan blends traditional and inspired new melodies with age-old prayers and mantras to create an intoxicating effect alive with emotion. Listener Beware! These chants are addictive!
Happy Chanting! Jai Ma
Dhara Rose and Ravi Carter, Fort Collins, Colorado 2/12/12
Dedication: Chai Ma! Kirtan is an offering from our hearts to yours. May these chants bless, inspire and guide you! I bow with deep appreciation and respect to the Taos, New Mexico Neem Karoli Baba satsang for allowing me to lead kirtan before I knew how. A thousand thanks to the many devotees over the years who serve Lord Hanuman at the NKB Ashram: taking care of all of us wandering, hungry pilgrims--feeding us with sacred food and chai, love and devotion from the heart of our beloved Guru. You are the inspiration for these songs! May they be a source of joy and peace and company on a cloudy day. Neem Karoli Baba aKi-Jay! --Dhara Rose Carter, February 2012
All the chants on Chai Ma! Kirtan are traditional prayers. Aja Uttama (track 4) is more obscure to Western kirtanians but no less incredible for that.
Aja Uttama Lyrics by Eknath Maharaj (1548-1600)
Aja Uttama Sudinah Zale Darshana Santantse
Papa Tapa Dainya Gele Santa Paule Pahata
Avagha Yajna Phala Ala Avaghe Bhetale Santa Jana
Avaghe Karma Sukarma Zale Santa Paule Pahata
Ram Rama Ram Rama Rama Rama
Today is the best day of my life because I had the darshan (view) of a Saint. All my sins and sorrows vanished when I saw the Saint's feet. The fruits of my good actions came to me all at once when i met this Saint. All my accumulated karmas turned into merits when i simply gazed at the feet of this Saint.