From Music as Yoga by Swami Sivananda Saraswati

There are various ways to God-realization: bhakti yoga, raja yoga, and other yogas. But the easiest, cheapest, quickest, safest and surest way to attain God-realization is sankirtan yoga.

Just as a deer is entrapped by music, so the mind, restless and wandering like the deer, is steadied by music and made to dissolve in Brahman. By the singing of kirtan and songs in praise of the Lord, the mind melts and becomes one with the Lord. Therefore, let us pray to the Lord, sing His name and attain God-realization this very second.

God-realization is not difficult. It is easy for those who are engaged in uttering His name, singing His praise and meditating on His feet, and who have surrendered themselves to the Lord.

The path of devotion is the easiest and the surest of all ways for attaining emancipation. The science of music goes hand in hand with bhakti yoga.

Sangita, music, is the source of our being. It has an emotional appeal to the inner aspiration of humanity. Inanimate objects are moved by music. There is even music of the planets. All arts aspire towards the condition of music. Through music, the soul learns harmony and rhythm, as well as an even disposition to justice. Rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret notches of the soul. They keep it entirely oblivious to the outside world and in sublime peace.

A devotee sings bhajans and forgets everything and submerges himself in shruti laya, the rhythm of the songs. When a sincere devotee sings, there is a harmonious blending of rasa, bhava, and archana, taste, feeling and reverence, in his songs just as there is form, colour and fragrance in the rose.

Nritya, dance, which accompanies a kirtan is an inseparable, sacred movement of the various limbs of the body in accordance with the inner divine bhava or feeling. Nritya in itself is a divine science. The adigurus of dance are Lord Shiva, Sri Krishna and Mother Kali.

Those who dance should bring out the six bhavas of srishti, samhara, vidya, avidya, gati, and agati, creation and destruction, knowledge and ignorance, movement and stability. Nritya is an external manifestation induced in bhaktas by the thrill of ecstasy from within and helps the devotees to merge themselves in the Lord. One can attain the Lord’s darshan through singing kirtan and dancing to His songs.