Kirtana Etiquette

Kirtana Etiquette

Regarding your question about the dancing, the dancing should be done enthusiastically by raising the hands like Panca-tattva. You can also dance enthusiastically by raising hands. All of Lord Caitanya's followers used to dance with raised hands. If someone dances with ecstasy, that is all right, but it is better to dance with raised hands.
SP letter to Kirtanananda (November 10, 1975)
01. Kirtana means glorification of Sri Hari by means of singing. (When only one devotee sings, it is bhajana.)
02. Glorify Sri Krsna, not yourself.
03. Sing with sincere devotion for the pleasure of Sri Krsna and His devotees.
04. When singing in a group, one or two persons should lead and other devotees should follow.
05. The instruments that Srila Prabhupada instructed for accompanying kirtana were karatal, mrdanga and jhampa (whompers). He didn't approve of harmonium for kirtana. For bhajana it is all right. The instruments, especially jhampa, should not drown out the holy name or cause pain to the ears. The instruments should follow the kirtana leader.


06. Use simple melody and preferably the appropriate melody (raga) for the time of day.
07. Don't think that you are the best singer and therefore you should lead. Vaisnavas are by nature humble. They naturally want to follow not lead. However, if they are requested to lead by the Vaisnavas, then they are happy to serve.

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