Kiirtan is the chanting of divine or sacred sounds, a deeply inspiring spiritual practice. I use the kiirtan mantra “Baba Nam Kevalam” which means “Love is all there is” or “Only the Name of the Beloved.” I lead a public kiirtan practice once a month, often the first Monday of the month. Get in touch to find out more details.

Community Sing

In recent years I’ve become active in the Community Sing movement, also known as Oral Tradition Singing, which offers the opportunity to share singing as a way to cultivate joy, justice, empowerment, connection and community. In Iowa City, a vibrant group meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month. We also are active in singing at the Children’s Hospital once a month and are forming HeartSong, a group to sing to people in moments of transition, grief, loss or celebration. And we meet with other Community Sing groups several times a year, in June at Village Fire Singing Festival in Decorah, Iowa, and in the winter for a singing retreat at Backbone State Park. join us!

Bengali Devotional Singing

In the 1980’s I had the good fortune to travel to India and meet a remarkable man. Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar was a spiritual teacher, philosopher, composer and activist. I learned a great deal from him about cultivating an inner life, and about the role of music in spirituality. I recorded a CD of a few of the Bengali devotional songs – just a fraction of the more than 5000 – Sarkar composed before his death in 1990.

These are love songs. They speak of a connection to something greater than our selves. You can hear in them the mystic’s yearning for connection with divine mystery, as well as a call for social justice, and a strong ecological consciousness. In the Indian devotional tradition, the divine is personified, turning an abstract relationship into an intimate one.

I have been singing these songs for more than 20 years. A few years ago I began studying the Bengali language more seriously, to help with the task of translating them into English. Many very fine recordings of these songs (known collectively as Prabhat Samgiit) exist, mostly with Indian instruments. I made this disc, with its more Western instrumentation, because I love Prabhat Samgiit, and wanted to encourage others, no matter their background, to learn and sing these songs. No doubt my Bengali pronunciation leaves something to be desired, for which I apologize.

Profits from the sale of this CD will go to support two projects, one local, one international: a school for poor children in Managua, Nicaragua, and the Domestic Violence Intervention Project in my hometown of Iowa City. Thanks to the fantastic musicians who joined me in this project. Their superior musicianship has made this record so much better than I could have made it on my own.

The CD can be purchased by contacting me through the contact section of this website, or can also be found at, which features many wonderful CDs of kiirtan and other spiritual music.

Here are the Bengali lyrics and English translations or retranslations for the CD “Into the Mystic.” These are “unofficial” translations. Note on pronunciation: An ‘a’ with a mark after it is pronounced as in ‘pond’. An ‘a’ without a mark after it is pronounced as in ‘run.’ The numbers after song titles refer to the song number within the body of 5018 songs written by P R Sarkar.

1) Eso Eso (PS 154)

Eso eso prabhu eso eso a’ma’r hrdaye
Ra’tul caron mohan a’non
Misti madhu ha’si niye
Eso eso prabhu eso eso a’ma’r hrydaye

Tabo na’me pra’ne shiharon ja’ge
Ranjito hoi toma’ri ra’ge
Ja’i tabo ga’ne tabo na’ce
Sab kichu more miliye
(Eso eso prabhu eso eso a’ma’r hrydaye)

Pra’ne pra’ne dhya’ne dhya’ne
Ja’i je a’mi ha’riye
Eso eso prabhu eso eso a’ma’r hrydaye
Eso eso tumi eso eso
Come, come, come on into my heart.

With a smile as sweet as honey

Radiating from your rosy feet to your charming face.

I thrill to the sound of your name.

I am a canvas for your color.

In your song, everything of mine is reconciled.

In contemplation of you, I lose myself.

Come, come. Come into my heart.

2) Amar Grame (PS 911)
A’ma’r gra’me ja’o re bandhu subarnorekha’ pa’r
Subarnorekh’a pa’r re bandhu subarnorekha’ pa’r
Ba’liya’rir pathti beye somudro kina’r

Setha’y jakkon surjo othe a’kash a’ga’r range phote
Moner ma’jhe se rong ja’ga’y a’nanda a’pa’r

Ka’ju ba’dam’ boner ma’jhe rongin pa’khi sada’i na’ce
Ga’ng chilera dure bideshe kore pa’r a’pa’r
Naoko khule durer ga’ne na’bike dha’y sroter ta’ne
Chote se jalodhir pa’ne bhinno cinta’ ta’r

Friend, go to my village on the banks of the Subarnarekha river.

On the path across the dune near the sea, when the sun rises, the sea and sky bloom with color.

That color awakens my mind and gives me infinite pleasure.

In the cashew and almond orchards colorful birds dance.

River hawks circle the other bank, coming and going.

The sailor sets off on his journey, pushing his boat into the current, listening to the far-off song of the river.

He moves toward the sea lost in thought.

3) Nayane Mamata Bhara (PS 12)

Nayane mamata’ bhara’
Hasite mukuta’ jhara’
Aja’na’ pathik ek elo

Hiya’ ka’npe tharo tharo
Eki bha’vo manaharo
E a’nanda ke bha’sa’ye deelo

Mano ca’he sada’ dekhi
La’je bhaye na’hi tha’ki
E madhuro madhu kotha’ chilo
Eyes brimming with affection, flashing a pearl of a smile,

The mysterious traveler arrives

And my heart trembles with a wonderful feeling.

Who set these waves of joy in motion?

I want to stare, but shyness holds me back.

Where was this sweet bliss before?

4) Na’ra’yan he na’ra’yan (PS 4521)

Tumi a’mar priya saba’r priya na’ra’yan
Na’ra’yan he na’ra’yan
A’cho saba’r sa’the oto prote
Udbhasiya tanuman

Ra’tri dine anu dhya’ne
Tabu khunji mane mane
Shayan svapan ja’gorone
A’sa’ nira’sha’y pratiksan

Je rang ma’kha’y toma’r mane
Ta’tei raungau bhakta jane
Sab peyechi mukti sna’ne
Kara’o sabe abaga’han
You are mine, Lord, just as you are everyone’s.

You pervade my body, and fill my spirit.

Nevertheless, in my meditation I search for traces of you.

Night and day, in dreams, or awake,

Likewise, in hope or despair,

Each moment I am tinted with your color of devotion.

And bathe in the fountain of your grace.

5) Mor ghum-ghore (PS 1976)

Mor ghum-ghore tumi ese manoha’r
Ja’giye dile, ja’giye dile, ja’giye dile
Bale more a’j anek je ka’j
Ka’j chere ghuma’o Bela’ ja’y je chale
Ja’giye dile, ja’giye dile

Diner parisa’r ja’no simiita
Pale anupale ba’dha’ parimita
Ek ba’r gele sare
Pula na’hi a’se phire
Ja’y, ka’ler a’rale Ja’y ka’ler a’rale

Ka’ler tridande toma’ro cala’
Cakrer likhe cale ga’ntha’ ma’la
Mrdu vishra’mer ei pa’ntha sha’la
Jena, jeona’ bhule jena jeona bhule

You came around while I was fast asleep

And woke me up.

There’s much to do today, you said,

Time is passing. You can sleep after your work is done.

Since the day’s span is fixed,

And each instant is measured out,

Once a moment is gone

It never returns.

Time flows on, out of sight.

Moving along its course

Like a wheel on a track, or a thread through a garland.

Don’t forget:

This travelers’ inn is only for light rest.

6) Alor Dharay (PS 563)

A’lor dha’ra’y tumi bha’so
Misti mohan tumi ha’so
Madhur bha’ve bha’lobaso
Toma’r katha’ na’ bha’bileo
Saba’r tumi tamo nasho

Chile a’cho tha’kbe tumi
Nityaka’ler tumi prabhu
Asiim apa’r liila’ toma’r
Anta habe na’ kabhu

Toma’r ka’je na’ asileo
Tumi saba’r ka’je a’so
Madhur bha’ve bha’lobaso

Diner shese yabe sandhya’ na’me
Samgiira cale ja’y ghare
Tumi sudhu samge tha’ko
Ghire ghire ca’ridha’re
Da’k shune a’r keu sa’ra’ na’ dileo
Tumi sada’ madhu bha’so

Floating in a stream of light,

With such an attractive smile

You offer us your love so sweetly.

And even if no one remembers you,

You are still there for us, dispelling our darkness.

You were, you are, and you will be.

Your play never ceases.

Even if no one shows up to do your work,

You still come to do ours.

At the end of the day when evening falls,

And all my friends return home,

Only you remain with me.

Even if no one listens to your call,

You still speak so sweetly.

7) Diip Jvele Jai (PS 3269)

Diip Jvele ja’i Khushite bhara’i
A’mi toma’der A’mi toma’der
Keu por na’ A’pan je saba’i
Ana’dika’ler Ana’dika’ler
A’mi toma’der A’mi toma’der

Ashrusikta a’nkhi a’mi dekhite na’ ca’l
Bha’ba’nisikta priiti sada’i ceye ceye ja’i
Keu dure theko na’ a’ma’ke bhul bhujo na’
E liila a’nander E liila a’nander
A’mi toma’der A’mi toma’der
Diip Jvele ja’i Khushite bhara’i
A’mi toma’der A’mi toma’der

Ga’ner sure ra’ga’nura’gete royechi
Hriday bhare phulapara’ge bhese calechi
Duli priitir ma’la’y giiti mekhala’y
Bela’y jiivaner Bela’y jiivaner
Ana’dika’ler Ana’dika’ler
A’mi toma’der A’mi toma’der

I light the lamp, filled with joy.

I am yours. I am yours.

No one is a stranger here, all are my own.

For all time. For all time.

I don’t want to see your eyes wet with tears.

I only want to be drenched with your love.

Don’t stay far away; don’t misunderstand me.

This game is only the play of bliss,

Remaining inside the song’s rhythm,

Floating on the flowers of the heart,

Swinging amidst the garlands and love songs of life.
8) Sumukher Pane (PS 342)

Sumukher pa’ne cale jabo a’mi
Toma’ri na’mti sa’the niye
Carana talibe na’ go a’ma’r
Hiya’ ka’npibena’ ka’ro bhaye

Bhudare sa’gare ei cara’care
Keha na’ pa’rive ba’dha’ dite more
Ye ka’j karite esechi kariva
Sudrah a’tma pratyaye

Ye din caliya’ giya’che a’ma’r
Ta’ha’ niye kariva na’ ha’ha’kar
Ye din a’siche ta’ha’ra lagiya
Bhugiba na’ kona samshaye
Moving forward,

Your name on my lips,

My feet are firm,

My heart untouched by fear.

Neither mountains nor oceans can stand in my way.

I’ll do the work I’ve come to do.

Confidently, unwaveringly.

I’ll not grieve for days passed.

And I have no doubts about my future.

9) Toma’ri Pritite (PS 1187)

Toma’ri prite te gora
Toma’ri giti te bhora
Se sriti a’jo amolin
Marame udbelo kora

Se ha’si kore je unman
Se ba’si kore sammohan
Se rage bhore anurage
Se da’ke hoi a’pon ha’ra’

Se priti dei mone dola
Se giti kore apon bhola
Se dyuti chetona ja’giye
A’loke dey bhore dhora

Everything is shaped by your love

Everything made complete by your song.

Your memory, even now, is bright.

It overflows in my heart.

That smile of yours makes me restless.

Your flute is so enchanting.

The melody, so attractive,

Is the call in which I lose myself.

Your affection stirs up my mind.

Your song makes me forget everything.

Your light awakens my consciousness.

It brings complete love to the world.
10) Amra Gore Nobo Gurukul (PS 5018) (Note: Gurukul refers to a style of education focusing on the whole person – physical, intellectual and spiritual).

A’mra’ Gare nobo gurukul
Jina’ner a’loke ra’ungiye dobo
Pratiti kuriphul

Keha na’ tha’kibe dure
Ba’ja’bo pratiti ta’re
Bandhibo prittirai dore
E maniha’re atul

Keha na’ thakibe piche
Thelina’ ka’reo niice
Sabe a’tmiiya bira’je
Manoma’jhe dodul dul
We’re creating a new way of learning –

Each flower bud colored with the light of wisdom.

No one to remain downtrodden.

Each string plucked,

Wreathing all together with cords of love.

No one left behind,

Everyone like family,

What incomparable charm,

As our hearts dance as one.

11) E Ki Madhurata Pabane (PS 1486)

E kii madhurata’ pabane E kii ma’dhukata’ monone
E kii sure sure pa’khi ga’y E kii bha’loba’sa’ bhubane

Bhoriye diyecho vishve prabhu toma’r ronge rupe ra’ge
Choriye diyecho sarvotro toma’r mohon anura’ge
Tumi ta’le ta’le bhese ja’o nijeri chande ga’ne
E kii ma’dhukata’ monone

Madhur ha’site eso pra’ne mohon ba’shite anurane
Maner ma’jha’re keno luka’o eso samukhe na’ce ga’ne
E kii ma’dhukata’ monone

What is this sweetness on the breeze?

Why this mind full of bliss?

Why are these birds singing so sweetly?

What is this love filling up the world?

You adorned the earth with colors, shapes and songs,

And scattered your sweet love throughout it.

You arrive in my life dancing to your own unique rhythm,

With a sweet smile and the echo of your flute.

Please don’t hide,

Reveal yourself in these songs.

You can get your copy of "Curve of the World" at the following outlets: Direct from the publisher, Bottom Dog Press, or at