Do you know who is the best kīrtanīyā in the entire world—from ancient times to the present day? Do you know who sings the most powerful and sweet kīrtanas? It is not necessarily the person who is expert at playing violin, harmonium, tablā, and vīṇā. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the best kīrtanīyā; all our ācāryas are the best kīrtanīyas. Understand this deeply and try to become kīrtanīyas like our ācāryas. Do not think that you are unqualified if you do not know how to play the harmonium or if your voice is not very flexible for singing ragas. Even if you have a very raspy voice, this is not an impediment. Simply chant with feeling, “Hey Kṛṣṇa, Hey Kṛṣṇa.” It is the spiritual qualification to describe the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa that makes one the most high-class kīrtanīyā—not a very fine voice.
Kīrtana is that process by which the transcendental sound of Kṛṣṇa’s name and glories enters the ears and purifies the heart. We should try to be like that: melting others’ hearts, melting our own hearts, and always weeping for Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
June 25, 1997 France