Great Gurudev Sivananda gave a lot of importance to kirtan.
“Kirtan is the easiest & surest way to God.”
“It is difficult to practice Hatha Yoga & awaken the kundalini through Asans & Pranayama. It is difficult to study Vedanta, understand its secrets & enter in to deep meditation. But it is easy to repeat the lord’s names. Kirtan cools down the three fires. Kirtan destroys the five kleshas. Kirtan alone removes three kinds of great obstacles-Mala, vikeshpa, & avarna- to the perception of splendor of atman. Three kinds of Sadhanas are prescribed for the removal of these obstacles. Karma Yoga- for the removal of Mala, Bhakti Yoga for steadying the mind & removal of vikeshpa & Jnana Yoga for tearing the veil of ignorance i.e. avarna. Kirtan alone can do all these: Sing the Lord’s names with bhav & shraddha mala , Vikshepa & avarna, all the three will be removed . You will have sakhshatkara of Supreme Lord.
How easy is it! You can repeat Lord’s name before or after taking bath. wherever you are, you can sing his name. Even when you prepare bread you can sing his name.”
Sadhana can be so easy! So enjoyable! Sivananda was known as Kirtan Samrat. Wherever he went he started singing Kirtan. Even the scorching heat of summer could not deter him. For speedy recovery of patients he prescribed kirtans. All physical & mental ailments can be cured effectively, quickly if kirtan is prescribed along with other medicines. The strong vibration of the Lord’s names soothen the nerves & one discovers ones own inner strength. Positive thinking leads to removal of all negativity. As one starts counting one’s blessings, his being is flooded with a sense of deep gratitude