Bhajan refers to any devotional song with religious theme or spiritual ideas, specifically among Indian religions , in any of the languages from the Indian subcontinent. The term " bhajana " also means sharing. The term ' bhajan ' is also commonly used to refer a group event, with one or more lead singers, accompanied with music, and sometimes dancing. Handheld small cymbals kartals are commonly used to maintain the beat, rhythm. A bhajan may be sung in a temple, in a home, under a tree in the open, near a river bank or a place of historic significance.
What is Kirtan and why is it described as medicine for the soul?
The ‘language of the divine’
For the longest time, kirtan seemed mysterious and odd to me. While all of my yoga friends embraced it as something that enhanced their yoga practice, I was left scratching my head. I am accustomed to hymns, not so much chanting. What changed my mind? For one thing, someone handed me a print out that explained in English what the Sanskrit words meant. I read it over and could appreciate the beauty and simplicity in the meanings. Somewhere along the way, I also realized that I could sing the sounds and appreciate the vibration without really worrying that much about the meaning for each syllable.
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These anukirtanas would re-tell the ancient vedic hymns and passages. As was the way with the ancient world, everything was transmitted orally via spoken Sanskrit until the Vedas knowledge were written down by sages and scholars. Kirtan is an important aspect of yoga and one which holds so much potential for awakening and transformation. The ancient Sanskrit language is both mathematical and vibrational, meaning each letter, syllable and word has a specific meaning and effect when it is sounded out loud. Kirtan differs from mantra, in the way that mantras are often intended for personal use, whereas kirtan is all about community.