Bhajan

Definition - What does Bhajan mean?

Bhajan is a Sanskrit word meaning “singing to glorify God. It is also the name of a Hindu genre of devotional songs and hymns.

The term covers a wide range of devotional music, from a simple mantra to the more complex Hindu dhrupad. Bhajans are typically lyrical and convey love for the Divine. It can also refer to the inner music of the soul that yogis hear on their journey to oneness with the divine or higher Self.

Yogapedia explains Bhajan

Most commonly, bhajans have lively melodies and repeating choruses that are easy to sing. Bhajans tend to appeal to the masses and are an important component of community and village life in India, as they are usually sung by groups rather than individuals

One person sings the first line or stanza, which is then followed by the choir. Popular themes for bhajans come from stories of the Hindu epics, such as the "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata," as well as from tales of the lives of the gods, such as Rama, Krishna and Shiva.

The bhajan is also a key concept in the practice of Surat Shabd yoga, which focuses on meditation on the inner sounds of the Self. In this type of yoga, bhajan refers to the music of the soul. As the yogi meditates, he focuses on the ajna (third eye) chakra, blocking out all external sounds and listening for the inner music. One asana used for this meditation is the bhajan squat pose (malasana) with the thumbs placed in the ears to block outside noise.

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