Fruitive activity means when we act in order to secure our peace and happiness. So if we can't get peace and happiness by working to secure them, then how can we?...The chief aim of life is to get rid of all miseries and enjoy happiness, but these two things cannot be realized by fruitive activity... SB 4.25.4 verse
But even a person perpetually condemned to the miseries of material existence can get relief from bondage if he simply agrees to hear only krsna-katha. In this age of Kali, the process of hearing krsna-katha is the most effective means to gain release from unwanted family affection and thus find permanent freedom in life. The age of Kali is full of sinful reactions, and people are more and more addicted to the qualities of this age, but simply by hearing and chanting of krsna-katha one is sure to go back to Godhead. Therefore, people should be trained to hear only krsna-katha -- by all means -- in order to get relief from all miseries. SB 3.5.44 purport
Sravanam kirtanam (sankirtana) is the method recommended by the Vedic literature for achieving peace, happiness and self-realisation in this current age of quarrel and hypocrisy in which we live. This is not a sectarian method meant for any group of individuals, it is applicable and will work for everyone regardless of colour, social position, or religious affiliation.
What does 'Sravanam kirtanam' mean? 'Sravanam' means to hear the messages of the Supreme Lord from His self-realised representative. It also means to hear His holy names. The messages of God and His holy name are not different from Him. So much so that the Vedic literatures also refer to such sound vibrations as 'sabda-brahman' or 'God in sound form'. Why is hearing 'sabda brahman' so powerful? His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._C._Bhak ... Prabhupada) gives the following analogy which we can also use to explain the potency of hearing sabdha brahman:
For example, the sun absorbs water from the surface of the earth, but it does not absorb water only from the sea. It also absorbs water from filthy sewers and ditches containing urine and other impure substances. The sun is not polluted by absorbing such water. Rather, the sun makes the filthy place pure.
C.C. Madhya 4.133
God is all pure, and when we associate with Him in His sound form, He purifies our impure hearts.
'Kirtanam' means to repeat what we have heard. So when we hear Krishna's (http://www.krishna.com/) holy names and then we repeat those names, that is called kirtan. Also when we hear the messages of Godhead from a self-realised soul, and then we repeat those messages (http://www.asitis.com/) in our own words, that is also called kirtan.
To hear and explain them is more important than reading them. One can assimilate the knowledge of the revealed scriptures only by hearing and explaining. Hearing is called sravana, and explaining is called kirtana. The two processes of sravana and kirtana are of primary importance to progressive spiritual life. Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject. SB 1.1.6 purport.
Why is kirtanam, or repeating what we have heard, so important? Because it helps us more deeply absorb the sound.
Hearing is solidified by the process of chanting. One who has perfectly heard from the perfect source becomes convinced about the all-pervading Personality of Godhead and thus becomes enthusiastic in glorifying the Lord. SB 2.2.36 purport
When we discuss the words of the Supreme Lord as revealed in Holy scriptures, or the messages of His self-realised representatives, this is called sravanam kirtanam, and it is an extremely powerful way of achieving peace and happiness through self-realisation.
Discussion of Krsna is very potent, and if a fortunate person has such association and tries to assimilate the knowledge, then he will surely make advancement toward spiritual realization. Bg 9.1 purport.
On this page we share with you insights we have gained from Srila Prabhupada (http://prabhupada.krishna.com/) regarding how we can improve our discussions so they can help us to experience a higher taste that will make us oblivious to the miseries of this temporary material world.
The Lord's activities in association with His different energies should be described, appreciated and heard in accordance with the teachings of the Supreme Lord. If this is done regularly with devotion and respect, one is sure to get out of the illusory energy of the Lord. SB 2.7.53 verse