Ok let’s establish some Vaishnava epistemology: Kirtan is a sacrifice of one’s time and energy that is meant only for the pleasure of Krishna. Ideally, the motivation to do kirtan should be purely for the pleasure of Guru and Krishna, but we all have material desires and false egos too, I get it. However one should not knowingly exploit Krishna, whether in the form of His Names, Deity, etc. For example in India, we find caste “goswamis” making a living by showing the Deities installed in their family temple and taking payment for darshan in the form of donations from pilgrims. Thus the temple becomes their personal storefront and the Deities are like zoo animals that they show off to the public for a fee (Krishna forgive me for even repeating such an offensive thing). These “caste goswamis” may be devotees, however, we can presume by their grossly exploitive attitude toward Krishna that they are neophyte devotees, or “mundane religionists” as Srila Prabhupada called these types of people.
So this Jai Uttal guy is a big big famous Mayavadi nonsense kirtaniya rockstar. I’m sure that most of us have heard of him. He feels the bhakti when he chants demigod mantra kirtans, he feels the bhakti when women throw themselves at him (because he’s a rockstar), he feels the bhakti when he is at the beach, watching T.V., and so on and so forth.
When I first moved into an Iskcon temple I had already read Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is twice, as well as a few other of Prabhupada’s books. So when I first moved into the ashram and I started reading Radhanath Swami’s The Journey Home almost right away (like most new bhaktas these days it seems) I noticed that Radhanath Swami was praising various bogus gurus and yogis. I found this to be somewhat perplexing as Srila Prabhupada strongly criticized these types of people all throughout his books. I don’t remember asking anybody about this apparent contradiction between what Radhanath Swami was saying about these people and what Prabhupada says about these types of people, however I somehow or other came to the standard Iskcon approved understanding that The Journey Home is a preaching/introductory book and that Radhanath Swami’s intention when praising these pseudo-spiritualists is just to attract people to Krishna without upsetting them with strong criticism.