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Songs sung collectively in praise of Kṛṣṇa. This practice is particularly popular in the bhakti culture of Gauḍīya (Bengal) Vaiṣṇavism; the model was provided by Caitanya who organized and participated in the collective singing of kīrtanas about Kṛṣṇa's life with the gopīs in Vṛndāvana, and the erotic love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Such singing induced ecstatic trances in Caitanya himself, during which he was effectively possessed by the god. See also bhajan(a); Līlākīrtan(a).

Subjects: Hinduism.

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