Krishna Das is an American vocalist and recording artist specializing in kirtan, the yogic devotional practice of singing or chanting Hindu and Sanskrit mantras or divine names.
“I understand there are people who feel that what happens in the West with chanting is ridiculous—what do we know about chanting?” says Krishna Das, the white guy from Long Island whose name is synonymous with Indian mantric music in America. “That’s really dumb.
When one hears a chant like Aum Namoh Bhagvate Vasudevaya, it is not a Grammy award ceremony that comes to mind as the setting of such chanting; but that is precisely what Krishna Das has been able to do—take cherished age-old Indian kirtans to a global stage such as the Grammys.
Anjula: For you who don’t know, Krishna Das is known as the rock star of Yoga. He’s a kirtan singer. Could you just break down a little what kirtan is? Krishna Das: Kirtan is a chanting practice. It’s a spiritual practice, a meditational practice, but it involves singing and chanting.