Date: October 5,6 & 7th
Hightower Castle – Baysour | Aley
Bhakti Yoga Beirut is happy to announce its upcoming Kirtan Experience Weekend. The weekend-long retreat will be filled to the brim with devotional chanting, sharing of Vedic knowledge and stories, delicious meals prepared by professional chefs, the company of uplifting souls such as BB Govinda Swami Maharaj, as well as quite a line up of the world’s best kirtan musicians and singers! The venue is a beautiful castle perched on top of a mountain overlooking most of our country.
BB Govinda Swami
Yogi & Ananda
and many more…
Spiritual people have a way of bringing out the best in us. Their mere presence makes everything better. There is no way you can remain unchanged by the encounter. Get ready to be transported and transformed by the purity and sincerity of BB Govinda Swami and his friends.
BB Govinda Swami
Bhakti Bhringa Govinda Swami is a Vaishnava monk, gifted musician, and tireless traveler. Owing to a father who was a producer, he was immersed in the world of music at a very
young age. Growing up, it was not uncommon for his home to be visited by the likes of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash.
BB Govinda is known for his lively chanting and his ability to inspire the audience to participate. He has been known to combine traditional kirtan music with more modern sounds and has even incorporated the symphonies of philharmonic orchestras into his kirtans. Which goes to show that when it comes to the music of the soul, there are no rules as to who gets to contribute. In fact, everyone is welcome. Although BB Govinda Swami believes Bhakti Yoga to be the perfect expression of the heart, he enjoys communicating on many levels and is currently learning Arabic.
Akincana Krishna das
Akinchana Krishna das grew up in New York City. Since his first contact with bhakti yoga in the mid-90s, Akinchana has had the good fortune of doing kirtan with many great kirtaniyas, such as Aindra, Srikanta, Ananta Govinda, and Acyuta Gopi. He used to play bass guitar with HG Gaura Vani and As Kindred Spirits, and is recorded on the album Ten Million Moons. Akincana currently travels extensively around the world doing kirtan with HH BB Govinda Swami. When he’s not traveling, he lives in Sri Vrndavana Dhama, India with his wife, Rati Manjari devi dasi, where he spends time serving cows and participating in the 24 hour kirtan.
Krishna Kishore from the Mayapuris
Krishna Kishora has spent the majority of his life studying the Arts & Philosophy of Bhakti Yoga and how to practically apply it in this modern day. He has been traveling around the globe for 10 years non-stop sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for Kirtan with people from all walks of life.
Now he is visiting Lebanon for the first time and is excited to share his love for Kirtan with all who wish to participate in this rare event!
Tarana is a Croatian kirtan artist whose love of spirituality and music blossomed in childhood. As a teenager, he lived in a bhakti yoga ashram as a monk. Later he was engaged in the ‘Yoga is Music’ project which promoted kirtan and spiritual music. In 2012, he recorded a live album with his friends called, ‘Love in Action’. The Maha Mantra from that album went viral with more then 10,000,000 hits on YouTube. Tarana travels the world spreading love through kirtan. A new album is in the works and will be released soon.
Yogi & Ananda
We are two brothers of bhakti, travelling around trying to share our heart- the holy name- which is the message of God. Having travelled all of Europe, North America, Asia, the Soviet Union and now the Middle East, our passion and love for connecting and sharing kirtan with other people is ever increasing. The birth place of kirtan is India, where we learnt for several years, and are simply trying to bring that same flavour to you. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu brought this message and gave it to everyone regardless of cast, creed, colour, race, gender and told us to re-unite through chanting and dancing. The message of God is love, and we are simply trying to spread it by connecting to amazing souls like you.
Yugal Kishore das
Yugal Kishore Das is an accomplished businessman heading a group of companies in the business of vehicles export.
He has been practicing spirituality since 1995 . He has made this his mission in life of disseminating and decoding Vedic scriptures to contribute towards a more ethical & peaceful society with higher consciousness.
He will be speaking on ‘Contents of Gita and it’s relevance to human society ‘
Kishori devi dasi
Kishori Devi dasi held senior position in marketing and finance in a multinational organization.
She retired from material life in 2011 and has dedicated herself to teaching ancient Vedic wisdom .
She has been running workshops on various topics relating to self improvement from a spiritual perspective.
She will be speaking on Art of Forgiveness.
Kirtan is an experience like no other. It involves a group of people chanting sacred mantras together to vibrant, joyous music. The leader sings the mantra first and then the audience chants it back to him. In this call and response manner, the kirtan slowly unfolds and the good vibrations begin to spread and multiply. In kirtan, there are no rules – you can sit or stand, clap, sing, or better yet, dance! Only thing is, kirtan has to be experienced. You cannot possibly know how great it feels, until you try it.
What is Kirtan?
Kirtan is a form of devotional chanting whose roots go back over 500 years to India. it is a form of bhakti yoga where the audience is encouraged to participate and has the power to open the heart. In its heartfelt expression, kirtan is music for the soul and can induce profound states of meditation, bliss, and ecstasy.
Kirtan is an experience like no other. It combines sacred mantra, or spiritual words with vibrant, joyous music that lifts the soul and energizes the body. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. One leader sings the mantra, accompanied by a few instruments. After each line, the group – however large or small, respond with the same line. This call and response continues as the kirtan slowly unfolds.
Though the kirtan tradition originated in ancient India, it is no less relevant to our modern times. With the increasing demands of the average working life, kirtan is perhaps even more beneficial than ever.
In kirtan, there are no rules – you can sit or stand, or better yet, dance! You can clap or play instruments, and sing to your heart’s content. The only thing necessary is an open heart, open mind, and open ears.
Guided Mantra Meditation
A mantra is a transcendental sound vibration and mantra repetition is a means of freeing oneself from the relentless chatter of the mind. When we consciously come together to chant a mantra, the beneficial effects of our collective meditation are greatly multiplied. So don’t be shy, join us and chant from your heart.
Sound vibrations are very powerful. Transcendental sound vibrations are beyond the material energy. Historically, many traditions throughout the world access these sound vibrations through chanting, praying, reciting hymns of ancients texts and sacred mantras. Doing so revives our dormant spiritual nature within us. The meaning of Mantra is that which frees and cleanses the mind. Our mind is like a mirror. If it’s dirty we cannot see ourselves in it.
When the thoughts that dwell in our dusty mind are full of misconceptions, it causes us to think and act in a selfish, arrogant and greedy way. we, in turn, identify these tendencies of a lower nature as ourselves. When we cleanse our mind through the process of mantra meditation, the inherent qualities of the souls, which are divine in nature, reflect through the clear mirror of the mind. That change is seen and felt tangibly in all our actions in this world. A mantra is very simple but yet can be very powerful.
Rise & Shine Yoga
Start your day with feel-good endorphins coursing through your body. Move muscles you haven’t moved in a while and ease old aches and stiffnesses through gentle stretching and proper breathing. Actually get to watch the sunrise as you practice the age-old yogic tradition of saluting the sun in the morning. There’s nothing like it to get the blood flowing, loosen the joints, and feel completely revitalized and ready to take on the day!
A Real Treat!
All meals will be prepared with love – as is the Bhakti way – by our very own chefs. Personally selected by BB Govinda Maharaj for their skill and experience in catering for large events, these international visiting chefs will be cooking up all sorts of delicious vegetarian and vegan specialties. And with the castle’s vegetable gardens at their disposal, it’s safe to say that freshness will definitely be on the menu!
Join us for a nice brisk walk in Baysour’s very own nature reserve. Take in the crisp mountain air and reconnect with the elements in a pine forest which is also home to wild cedar and oak trees. A paved pathway runs through the forest for those who prefer more predictable terrain. And if you’re lucky, you might get to sight some foxes, which are indigenous to the area, or even catch a glimpse of squirrels or different species of birds.
Historic Tour of the Castle
Hightower Castle wasn’t always an events venue. When works started on the original structure back in 1965, it was built as a fortress, complete with watchtower and underground escape tunnel. It is a place that has seen a lot, from army invasions and time capsules to romantic weddings and devotional chanting! Take a tour of the grounds and find out all about this historic place and the influences that made it the unique venue that it is today.
One of the most scenic and tranquil places in Lebanon: Hightower Castle in Baysour, Aley
6am: morning meditation (optional)
7am: rise and shine yoga class
9am: mantra meditation
12pm: seminar: “Contents of Gita and it’s relevance to human society”
5pm: seminar: “Art of Forgiveness”
6am: morning meditation (optional)
7am: rise and shine yoga class
9am: historic tour of the castle