When people are totally absorbed and participate in kirtan, they clap their hands in complete joy. The flow of blood that courses through their hearts takes away cardiac ailments. This is why one should do kirtan with an open heart, and if that proves difficult, then one should at least participate with an open mouth.
Sage Narada was the celestial press reporter. Once he went to Vaikuntha to interview Lord Vishnu. He wanted to find out what plans Lord Vishnu had for the future of the world, so that the news could be reported in the press. On arrival, Lord Vishnu was not to be seen anywhere around his divine abode. Sage Narada went looking for him in the Ocean of Milk, Kshirasagar, thinking that the Lord might be vacationing in his summer palace, yet the Lord was not there either. The Lord has two residences – the summer palace which is Kshirasagar and the winter palace in Vaikuntha.
Narada's interview attempts were in vain as the Lord was not found in either place. That day Narada could not claim any expenses since there was no news to report. Waking the following day with a hungry stomach, he set off in search of Lord Vishnu again. Somewhere along the way, he bumped into the Lord and promptly complained that on account of his unavailability the previous day, he had to go hungry. He couldn't cash his daily wage as there was no news that he could file.
"Where were you yesterday?" he asked. "I really need this interview." When the Lord replied that he had been right there, Narada said that couldn't possibly be true since he had looked in Vaikuntha as well as Kshirasagar, where the Lord was not to be seen. He had searched high and low yet there was no trace of the Lord. It was then that the Lord said to Narada:
Naa hum vaasaami Vaikunthe.
Yoginaam hridayena cha,
Madbhaktaah yatra gaayanti
Tatra tishthami Narada.
He said, "Narada, pay heed to what I say to you. I do not reside in Vaikuntha, nor am I to be found in the hearts of yogis. I am always present wherever my devotees remember me and sing my name, I am always found in such company."
Whenever you sing kirtan and remember the Lord's name, it is an irrefutable truth that the Lord is ever present. Therefore, open your heart and mouth, and participate wholeheartedly in kirtan.
6 June 2014, Kathmandu, Nepal