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Comments Posted By Akinchan Krishnadas

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Would we do it in front of Srila Prabhupada?

A few humble thoughts:

Devotees are fond of Djembes because they`re much easier to play than mrdungas and because they are easier to tune. But mrdungas are transcendental and infinitely more sweet if they are played and tuned correctly. If devotees would take the trouble to tune their mrdungas, they could achieve the rich bass sound they seek from the djembe — no djembe required! And if they would take a little trouble to learn how to play mrdunga sweetly, I`m sure the whole movement would immediately lose their taste for djembes. There is simply no comparison in terms of the beauty of the sound and subtlety of the instrument. When djembes are brought into kirtan, the sound of the mrdunga is immediately lost, and the sweetness of the sound is destroyed. Perhaps part of your committee could be to train devotees in properly playing and tuning mrdungas — I think such a move would very substantially serve the sankirtan movement.

In general, Western instruments have nothing to offer Vedic culture. Indian instruments, such as those played by Indian classical musicians, are much more suitable for kirtan, if we must use instruments besides the mrdunga and kartals. Saxaphones and guitars and trumpets are from a lower level of culture. Why should we use these things? To my mind it`s something like dressing the Deities in blue jeans and offering them pizza. Again, if devotees are interested in using other instruments, I think the real need is for devotees to take the trouble to learn instruments connected with Vedic culture — not the passionate and ignorant instruments of the West.

There are examples in our movement of devotees who sing and play the mrdunga and other Indian classical instruments such as bamboo flute and violin very beautifully, based on Indian classical standards. When these devotees do kirtan, I always think it is infinitely more sweet and transcendental than when devotees use instruments like djembe and accordion. One point for your committee would be to recognize this truth, and encourage devotees to take up a more traditional approach to kirtan — whether that encouragement be by rules and restrictions, or more positive means of encouragement.

I don`t mean to offend or discourage anyone, but these are points I feel very strongly about.

» Posted By Akinchan Krishnadas On May 20, 2009 @ 7:29 am

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