Bhajans became part of my life even before I was born. Everyday, before the sun rises, bhajans were heard in our home. Not only in our home but in the entire hometown. The ring of bells in the morning woke us up. If the rings of the temples didn’t, my grandmother’s bell surely did as she did the morning rituals. My grandmother also, always, turned on radio while doing the morning rituals. Even the radio streamed bhajans, throughout the morning. And many times in the day, I would murmur those bhajans, albeit unconsciously.
At that time, Bhajans were merely noise to me. I thought bhajans are for the old people. And I considered the classical music which was played every afternoon in Radio Nepal, as the worst music of the world.
Beyond the right type of bhajan, there is the right technique of listening bhajan. Bhajans are meant to awaken our soul. The music and the words of bhajans are associated with our energy centers, the chakras, which determine our moods and the levels of spiritual experience. So they don’t work fully if we listen to them while working or while eating. Even when singing, they are not as effective, because it is very difficult to be peaceful while singing.
There is even more to the technique of listening. We are more receptive to the grace, only when we sit in a certain position. We are most receptive, when we close our eyes and raise our head slightly upward. Crossing the fingers or bringing the palms together is also necessary. Sitting in a cross-legged position is also helpful but it is not too important. In fact, when we feel peace inside, energy starts to flow and our head naturally falls backwards.
Bhajans are usually played in the morning and evening. But I listen to the bhajans when I finish my major works for the day, usually in the afternoon. At this time, I feel most relaxed and content, with a balance of of anxiety and happiness.
Now the bhajans. I am a devotee of Krishna and both of these bhajans that I listen everyday are of him.
The first one is a slow bhajan “Hey Govinda…..” by the legendary Indian singer Jagjit Singh. This bhajan is very powerful in awakening the divinity within, in its words, in its music, and in its uses of sanskrit verses. Even before the start of the bhajan, the initial bell sounds touch my inner core and throw me to peace. The sanskrit verses are also very powerful and their vibrations clearly touch my being. The powerful voice of Jagjit Singh and the chorus opens every pore of my cell and the energy flows freely in my body giving me momentary ecstasy or the state of “Paramananda”.
The second one is also a Krishna bhajan “Sri Krishna Saranam ….” by Mata Amritanandamayi and her team, who is popularly known as a hugging saint. This bhajan also has powerful sanskrit verses. With the voice of the self-realized person, the bhajan is close to a “consecrated chant“. In my experience, I feel the same energy flowing in my body when I listen to this song as well.
May the grace descend upon you through these bhajans.