Twenty-four: Kirtan Kriya

 With H just back from Kids’ Vipassana, we were a mixed group of adults and kids, some parents who were not Vipassana practitioners. I decided to shuffle it up so that we could all meditate together- tonight, we welcomed both silence -and sound.

My offering tonight was Kirtan Kriya, a mantra meditation from Kundalini Yoga. It’s a powerful meditation for change and transformation, and one ythat’s easy enough for a three year old H to have practiced regularly.

Like the Moon, we’re continually changing. We are, on many levels, in a constant cycle of birth, life, growth, transformation, death, and rebirth. Intriguing to think that we continue to replace the cells that make our bodies.

Nothing is permanent. Everything is impermanent. In this way, maybe we stayed true to that very present part of Vipassana-anicca, impermanence.


The Mantra

The mantra for Kirtan Kriya- Sa Ta Na Ma- is considered one of the most important mantras in Kundalini Yoga. A mantra for change, a mantra for evolution and a mantra to break addictions, this mantra describes the continuous cycle of life and creation:

Sa = Infinity 
Ta = Life

Na = Death and transformation
Ma = Rebirth

This mantra carries the energy of the mantra Sat Naam (I am Truth). This mantra is a great catalyst for change.


Sit on the floor with legs crossed, with a straight spine.

Wrists are on the knees, arms and elbows straight, start with the hands in Gyan Mudra- thumbs and index fingers touching, as if making an OK sign.

Close your eyes and focus between your brows.

MANTRA (sound) and MUDRA (hand position):

Chant Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa. With each sound, alternate through four mudras:

•On Saa, touch the index finger

•On Taa, touch the middle finger

•On Naa, touch the ring finger

•On Maa, touch the pinky finger


11 – 31 minutes. When practicing for 31 minutes, chant in song for 5 minutes, chant in a whisper for 5 minutes, chant silently lasting 10 minutes. Then, chant in a whisper for 5, and chant in song for the last five minutes. When practicing for shorter times, keep the time proportions the same.

Follow what’s being sung here, and follow along with the silence, continuing with the mantra, silently.

At the end of each meditation:

Raise your arms over your head, spreading the fingers wide, and shake them out. Stretch up, circulate the energy, inhaling and exhaling several times while shaking the arms and hands vigorously.

Akiko Mega