Monday, March 31, 2014

The importance of Kirtans and Bhajans

  “Humans should not worry about the burning fire of past sins; the shower of rain from the clouds of God’s Holy Name will extinguish it easily.” 
- Skand Puran

Singing bhajans and kirtans is a powerful way of thinking of God.  If someone was to ask you to sit and contemplate on Radha Krishna, you would probably be at a loss regarding what to think.  But the sweet bhajans and kirtans written by the Saints describe the Divine Names, Forms, Virtues, Pastimes and Abodes of God.  When we sing them, the mind naturally dwells upon their meaning.  

The bhajans and kirtans become aids to contemplation and meditation. If you would like to bring divine thoughts to your mind, Kīrtan is the greatest way of doing that.  It involves three activities:  
(1) Chanting the names, and descriptions of the forms, virtues, pastimes, and prayers to the Lord in melodious tunes. 
(2) Hearing the chanting with your ears.
(3) Thinking deeply about what you are chanting, and feeling the presence of God in his Holy Name. 

Kirtan is the combination of all three of these activities, and hence it is also called Tridha bhakti, or three-fold devotion. This kirtan is called the yuga dharma, or the most powerful spiritual practice of this age. Kirtan is also so simple, that anyone can do it. 

The Scriptures state:
     kalerdoshanidhe rajannasti hyeko mahan gunah
     kirtanad eva krishnasya muktasangah param vrajet

    (Shreemad Bhagavatam 12.3.51)
This verse from the Shreemad Bhagavatam states that Kaliyug, the present era, is an ocean of faults – people have disturbed minds, unsound health, they live in polluted environment, and face disturbing situations.  However, there is one very great virtue in Kaliyug.  By lovingly chanting the melodious kīrtans of the Lord, one can easily get liberated from material bondage.