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Kirtan Kriya

"Want to pull in all the loose ends, focus, and concentrate? Here's a mantra to help you consolidate and change your habits. This mantra is a catalyst for change. So don't be surprised if your spiritual cleansing process is vastly acceler­ated!"
-Shakti Parwha Kaur

This meditation brings a total mental balance to the individual psyche. Through this constant practice, the mind awakens to the infinite capacity of the soul for sacrifice, service, and creation.

It is said that a person who wears pure white and meditates on this sound current for 2-1/2 hours a day for one year, will know the unknowable, and see the un-seeable.

Practicing this meditation is both a science and an art. It is an art in the way it molds consciousness and in the refinement of sensation and insight it produces. It is a science in the tested certainty of the results it produces.

Posture: Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine, and a light Neck Lock. Wrists are on the knees, arms and elbows straight, start with the hands in Gyan Mudra.

Eyes: Meditate at the brow point.

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

  • On Saa, touch the first (Jupiter) finger; Gyan Mudra (knowledge)
  • On Taa, touch the second (Saturn) finger; Shuni Mudra (wisdom, intelligence, patience)
  • On Naa, touch the third (Sun) finger; Surya Mudra (vitality, energy of life)
  • On Maa, touch the fourth (Mercury) finger; Buddhi Mudra (ability to communicate)

Each repetition of the mantra takes 3 to 4 seconds. This is the cycle of Creation. From the Infinite (Saa) comes life and individual existence (Taa). From life comes death or change (Naa). From death comes the rebirth of consciousness to the joy of the Infinite (Maa) through which compassion leads back to life.

In Kirtan Kriya you first chant out loud, then chant with a strong whisper, then mentally vibrate the mantra. To complete Kirtan Kriya you reverse the sequence, continuing silent chanting, then whispering, then chanting out loud.

"Although you do not have to know the meaning of the syllables, you may want to think about the concepts as you chant them. In fact, at one time Yogi Bhajan gave us some visual images to use while chanting this mantra. For those of you who would enjoy visualizing, this is what he taught:

Each time you chant Sa picture all the galaxies, planets, suns, moons, and stars.

Each time you chant Ta visualize tremendous radiance, the brilliant, dazzling light of a trillion suns.

Each time you chant Na see a winter landscape, the branches of the barren trees standing silent in the snow, all of nature dormant.

Each time you chant Ma picture thousands of spring flowers in a burst of glorious technicolor, brilliant blooms joyfully blanketing the hillside as far as the eye can see."
-Shakti Parwha Kaur

Time: 11 – 31 minutes. When practicing for 31 minutes, each chant in each voice for 5 minutes, with the silent section lasting 10 minutes. When practicing for shorter times, keep the time proportions the same.

To End: This sequence will take 30 minutes (if you've chosen the 31 minute time). Follow with one 1 minute of silent prayer. Then inhale, exhale. Stretch the spine, with hands up as far as possible; spread the fingers wide, taking several deep breaths. Relax.


These five primal sounds (panj shabd) are derived from the bij mantra, Sat Nam: S, T, N, M, and A. Each time the mudra is closed by joining the thumb with a finger, the ego "seals" the effect of that mudra in the consciousness.

Vibrating on each fingertip alternates the electrical polarities. The index and ring fingers are electrically negative, relative to the other fingers. This causes a balance in the electromagnetic projection of the aura.

Chanting out loud, whispering, and silence are the three languages of consciousness.

If during the silent part of the meditation, the mind wanders uncontrollably, go back to a whisper, to a loud voice, to a whisper, and back into silence. Do this as often as you need to.

Some people may experience headaches from practicing Kirtan Kriya. The most common reason for this is improper circulation of prana in the solar centers. To avoid or correct this problem, meditate on the primal sounds in the "L" form. This means feel there is a constant inflow of cosmic energy into the solar center, or Tenth Gate. Imagine the energy of each sound moving through the Crown Chakra, and out through the Third Eye Point as it is projected to Infinity. This energy flow follows the energy pathway called the Golden Cord, the connection between the pineal and pituitary glands.  

You may also want to try covering the head with a natural fiber cloth.

© 3HO. This kriya is courtesy of YB Teachings, LLC. Used with permission.