Instructions on Kīrtana and Prasādam (06/02/13)
Dear _______ Dāsī,
The Holy Name is the center and the instruments are to accompany the kīrtana, not dominate.
Chanting “oṁ namo bhāgavate vāsudevaya” is OK, but not always necessary.
Let others read also.
An initiated devotee is preferable to lead kīrtanas, but to encourage others, they may be asked to lead, but not forced if they have some reservation. Long before I was initiated. I was asked to take over the lead in a kīrtana as we drove in the back of a truck on Maui. They left me leading the kīrtana for over one hour and I was hooked.
Ideally, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says that only the pure devotees should lead the kīrtanas, but under the direction of a bona-fide guru, many may lead the kīrtana.
If the bhajana is in our song book then it can be sung.
Bhajanas to guru, Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda are best. But i also like Vṛndāvana bhajanas and some līlā bhajanas…but only those in our song book.
By the way, prasādam should never be something that is easy and just ‘convenient’ to cook and offer. Prasādam should be made and offered with great endeavor and the taste should make a person mad for Kṛṣṇa. Prasādam should never be ordinary at programs. On a daily basis in the home then prasādam can be simple, but at the program it should always be special. Example: sweet rice , samosa, puri, paneer subji, malpura, kofta, etc, etc. The taste of prasādam should be something to talk about, even marvel about!!!
With my humble blessings.
Su Padre Espiritual,