Kirtan (Sanskrit: कीर्तन) has Vedic roots and it is “telling, narrating, describing, enumerating, reporting”. The term is found as Anukirtan (or Anukrti, Anukarana, literally a “re-telling”) in the context of Yajna, wherein team recitations of dialogue-style and question-answer riddle hymns were part of the ritual or celebratory dramatic performance. The Sanskrit verses in chapter 13.2 of Shatapatha Brahmana (~800–700 BCE), for example, are written in the form of a riddle play between two actors.
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Hare Krishna Hare Rama Kirtan is based on Lord Krishna and Rama who are the Hindu Gods.