Shannon Lorraine and Arindam Krishna DasEvents Health Music 

Sound Vibration: Kirtan and the Krishna Consciousness 

By Arindam Krishna Das


This is the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. Some of you may know It well, some may have heard The Devotees chanting It on Pacific Avenue, most everyone has heard It in George Harrison’s song “My Sweet Lord.” Chanting and meditating on this Mantra is the core practice of those of us engaged in Krishna Consciousness and The Hare Krishna Movement, also known as Vaisnavas or “The Devotees.” We worship The Divine Couple, Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani, and further, we worship Them as They Dance. They are actually present in the sound vibration of this Maha Mantra. It is said that there is so much Nectar and Bliss in Their Holy Names that when we are able to successfully chant this Mantra, we’ll wish we had “a million tongues to taste The Names and a million ears to hear Them.” 

The purpose of chanting is to develop a loving relationship with The Most High. “Chant and Be Happy” is our ultimate prescription for navigating this age of quarrel and confusion, and for navigating our Eternal Spirit Souls. The Scriptures tell us that when we chant without offense, “The Divine Couple Dances in the courtyard of our Hearts.” When people gather together for devotional call and response chanting that is called Kirtan. Our Hare Krishna Temple here in Santa Cruz, the beautiful Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram at 2900 N. Rodeo Gulch Rd., in the verdant Soquel hills, is open to the public and has multiple daily Kirtans. A big weekly gathering happens every Sunday at noon replete with a sumptuous vegetarian feast known as Prasadam, which translates as “Krishna’s Mercy.”

A Swami is a renunciate monk, and at our Temple They dress in saffron colored cloth. One of our beloved Swamis, Siddhanti Maharaj, upon attending one of our Downtown Kirtans said, “There has been a Downtown program in Santa Cruz since the 70s; there should ALWAYS be a Downtown program.” There hadn’t been one since pre-covid, and I kept hearing these words ringing in my ears. After hosting a few successful gatherings in 2023 at Shannon Lorraine and Jordan Bemel’s beautiful, comfy Creative Eden Lounge, we are now having Kirtans the 1st Monday of every month from 7-9 pm consisting of Devotional Chanting, a Bhakti Yoga Discourse and Prasadam; and the vegetarian feast prepared lovingly by Devotees at our Temple. My Guru Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj has been the speaker at almost all of our Kirtans, except recently when He was serving in India during the Gaura Purnima Festival. For those who haven’t made it up to The Temple to have Darshan with Srila Gurudev, The Deities on The Altar, to have the association of The Devotees and to take in the lovely environs of our Temple, this is an opportunity to experience some of our Spiritual culture in Downtown Santa Cruz.

I first heard about The Creative Eden Lounge by way of the musical events happening there on the weekends. I have done a few collaborative performances there with Shannon as co-producer. The space offers all sorts of classes and programs: children’s preschool, yoga, dance classes, hooping classes, workshops, etc. She rents her space for very reasonable rates which make it possible for us to hold our monthly Kirtans there. The Lounge has an enchanted feel — like a sort of Bedouin tent with tapestries on the wall, faerie-like strings of lights, a big open floor space and comfy, well adorned sectional couches, perfect for our Krishna Consciousness gatherings. If we continue to be successful, we look to the possibility of holding weekly programs in the future. 

We hope to see you at our Kirtans, the 1st Monday of every month. Hare Krishna!    

Creative Eden Lounge | Credit: Creative Eden Loung

Downtown Hare Krishna Kirtan: 1st Mondays of every month from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at The Creative Eden Lounge, 728 Water Street.

The Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram, 2900 N. Rodeo Gulch Rd. Soquel, CA (831) 462-4712 |

Arindam Krishna Das is a Scotts Valley resident and aspiring Hare Krishna Devotee. He received 1st and 2nd initiation from Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj at The Soquel Seva Ashram. A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and actor, he plays guitar, keyboard and is lead vocalist for his band The Jamissaries, and plays keys for Love Creek. He is the proud father of 4 beautiful children and recently became a grandfather.

Featured photo: Shannon Lorraine and Arindam Krishna Das at The Creative Eden Lounge in Santa Cruz | Credit: Julie Horner


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