Swami Sivananda: “The present day Sankirtan Mandalis or Samajas have assumed the form of music clubs. The members do Sankirtan for the sake of mental recreation only. There is neither internal divine Bhava nor Suddha Prem. There is neither Ruchi for Nam nor sincere faith in the power of His Names.
“When there is neither music nor play of harmonium during Sankirtan, the members leave the place at once. The attendance becomes very poor. Many have taken to Sankirtan for the sake of enjoyoment (Manoranjan) or for the sake of the auditory nerves or organ of hearing. Hence, there is no real growth in the Sankirtan movement… Sankirtanists should do Sankirtan without any musical intruments. When there is no harmonium or Tabla, Sankirtanists find it difficult to do Kirtan. This is a serious drawback or weakness. There is a peculiar indescribable bliss when Sankirtan is done without musical instruments. Advanced students who have got purity of heart can use musical instruments as they are helpful. If there is no purity, music will hurl down a man into the deep abyss of ignorance and darknessand fill the mind with Tamas and passion.
“…Many pseudo Miras and pseudo Bhava Samadhists have sprung up now. They openly put on Bhava on the platform… They deceive people… This is all down-right duping.
“…Members should have preliminary training for some time in kirtan. Untrained people will produce breaks. Particularly those who wish to lead the party should have very good training…. Great care should be taken to keep the continuity of the Kirtan. He who leads must be ever vigilant. He must take his turn very second, the other party breaks. There must be perfect discipline.
“All those who lead the Sankirtan should sing in the same tune. Change of tune will induce break in the Kirtan and there will be no harmony….”
The above is an excerpt from Bhakti & Sankirtan (pgs. 99-100, 103, 105, 107, 109)