Bhajana is one of the noblest institutions conceived of in India. It is a democratic institution and affords spiritual solace to hundreds of people who participate in it either as singers or listeners. Herein opportunities are provided for two of the nine kinds of bhakti viz: – Kirtanam (Singing sacred songs) and Sravanam (Listening to devotional songs).
When a naamavali is sung, the entire congregation joins in.
Bhajana is of the mobile type or of the stationary type. The street Bhajans and Unchavritti bhajans belong to the former class. There are more opportunities for witnessing sacred dances here than in the stationary type of bhajana, which is usually held indoors on Ekadasi and other sacred days. Street bhajans provide opportunities for hundreds of people to listen to the highest type of classical music and devotional music.
Usually, we call it Taratamya bhajan. (In gradation)
- Arohana (from small Semi-Gods to Gods)
- Avarohana (god to Semi-Gods)
You can do either one and remember to maintain the gradation.
Ganesha – Parvati – Shiva – Shesha – Garuda – Bharati – Saraswati – Vayu – Brahma – Lakshmi – Narayana
There are many Semi-Gods in between but we don’t have devotional songs on all Gods.
The Bhajana form of worship resulted in the composition of hundreds of Divyanama Kirtanas, Utsava Sampradaya Kirtanas and Naamavalis.
Language was not a deterrent, for bhajans involved the repetition of certain simple tenets and names of God, set in simple music that a chorus could sing.
The Tanjore region became the bhajana tradition’s stronghold with the arrival of the bhajana sampradAya trinity, namely Sadguru Swamin, Bhodendral and Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval.
The trio existed between 1684 and 1817 AD. Ayyaval who was the senior most is considered the father of the Bhajan tradition in South India.
Over the years, bhajan has come to embrace a variety of deities. It is in fact the great unifying force for it includes everyone from the learned to the laity.
It is simple in its appeal and emotional in content, thereby making it an effective method to communicate with God.