Kirtan is the singing of God’s name with faith, love and devotion. In Sankirtan people join together and sing God’s name in unison in a common place, to the accompaniment of musical instruments such as the harmonium, cymbals, and tablas.
Kirtans have their origin in the hymns of the Sama Veda, the third Veda in the Hindu scriptures. Unlike the Sanskrit verses, kirtans are easy to remember and many people find them appealing because of their easy flow. The subject of kirtans has included episodes from the lives of the many incarnations of God, teachings of saints and descriptions of God´s glories.
The great masters of Yoga Swàmã øivànanda and his disciple Swàmi Vishu-devànanda, founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, considered kirtan singing an important and powerful spiritual practice to sublimate the emotions and cultivate higher love.