Divine meaning is "Kir" ( to stablise) and "Tunn" (body controlled by mind). Kirtan means "stabilization of our mind". Listening to Kirtan means listening to the Anhad Naad word in Dassam Duaar. Singing Kirtan means the Rom-Rom Naam Simran, which is the Amrit Ras, the Atam Ras and is the divine Pilgrimage, the inside pilgrimage.
Commonly today Kirtan means singing of Shabads, singing God’s praises with instruments and voice. However, the singing of GurBani with tongue is the Rasna Ras (enjoyment of the tongue) and listening GurBani with ears is Kanni Ras (enjoymentof the ears), this is the Atsath Tirath – outside pilgrimage.