On the banks of the Yamuna River, in an ancient and sacred town in India, the Kirtaniyas conjure their latest offering to world: a charity single supporting the education and maintenance of 1,500 local lower-caste girls. The Kirtaniyas, themselves vibrant creations of a cross-cultural existence, draw two vastly different worlds together through their highly contagious dedication to kirtan, reigniting a movement towards compassionate living and integral community. Sung in both Hindi and English, by the Kirtaniyas themselves and the very children whom this projects aids, ‘In Vrindavan’ revives an old Braj folk song celebrating the land’s divine heroine and hero, and bears a strong environmental message in its expressed love of the river and the beautiful bygone forests of Vrindavan. Rooted in the Bhakti-yoga values of love and devotion, the Kirtaniyas return to Vrindavan to assist in the survival of its residents, its indigenous culture and its environment, sharing with us its deep and powerful traditions of nonviolence, truthfulness, selfless-service and above all, kirtan as a communal and all-inclusive pathway to peace and harmony.

Personal statement from Vijay Krsna, band and project leader, founder of Sriyam Records:

“I’ve visited India over 14 times and spent a total of three years of my life in this sacred land of Vrindavan. Its culture offers so much to the world from agriculture, Dharma, community and music amongst other things, all in their most essential forms – Bhakti Yoga. This song was inspired by folk songs of the land, which speak about walking through Vrindavan’s flower groves and forests in fellowship, singing to its Divine couple – Radha and Syama (a name of Krishna), who are the epitome of pure love and beauty, the sacred river Yamuna that provided water to the land and its people. This way of life has been kept alive through the hearts of the people in the community who have imbibed its moods of pure love and devotion (Bhakti) and carry it with them, sharing Bhakti through their acts of selfless service but the benefit of One and all.”

Each time I visit the Food for Life school in Vrindavan, I am a witness to the impressive development of its projects and values. I see how their schooling has cultivated love and compassion in the hearts of these children. Their school day starts in a way that I could only have dreamed about when I was a child : a good kirtan with cheerful, inspirational singing and dancing. This is a place where children are taught to honor their elders and have respect for one another, where folding hands in a prayer is a beautiful thing, rather than something to be ashamed of… We can certainly learn a thing or two in our Western society from such an establishment. Whilst this school might not be comparable to most Western schools with regards to facilities, what these children have taught me is that their education and upbringing can certainly offer us lessons in gratitude. “In Vrindavan” is me giving something back in return and I give thanks for the opportunity to serve in this way.”

Sandipani Muni School: www.fflvrindavan.org

Released through Sriyam Records

Lead vocals: Rasika Dasi & Vijay Krsna
Instrumentations: Vijay Krsna & Sarasvati Dasi
Produced by: Vijay Krsna & Sarasvati Dasi
Composed by Vijay Krsna
Mixed by Rob Cummings – Hot Milk studio – Berlin, Germany
Lyrics by Vijay Krsna
Mastered by Louis Henry Sarmiento @ Sonic Vista Studios

Directed by Andre Wagner photography
Produced by Vijay Krsna & Sarasvati dasi
Director of Photography: Andre Wagner
B camera: Bahurupa dasi
Edited by Nila Vanwolf
Shot in Vrindavan, India.
Special thanks to: Food for life Vrindavan, Rupa Raghunath, Charles Visvambara Towle