Do you get annoyed when kirtan is excessively loud from the clanging of metal bells, jajas and big kartalas? We have observed that many people cannot tolerate such strong sounds, which also destroy the sweet reception of any message.
After talking to elderly members of the Gaudiya Math like Sripad Bhakti Vijnan Bharati Maharaj from Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Srila Hrishikesh Maharaj of Mayapur next to the Vraja Pattan as well as many others, we found out to our surprise that they too suffer from the unhealthy decibel levels of metal noise.
Bharati Maharaj said that jajas were originally used to wake up people and announce the arrival of the sankirtan devotees, who came with their sweet sounds. So when did those heavy sounds become a part of kirtan and does anyone really appreciate this style?
This article intends to collect opinions which can later be presented to the kirtaniyasis of all WVA member missions. In Vrindavan, the temples simply have an employee bang on a gong during arati. Could it be that people introduced the loud metal sounds in kirtan to hide their poor singing?
It has been noticed especially in the West that people over the age of 30 usually walk away from the excessively loud kirtans. However, in a sweet, melodious kirtan the opposite happens; more people come to listen intently. Please offer your comments on this topic, and let the devotees feel encouraged to return to the tradition of sweet kirtans.