| The word bhajan originates from the root word bhaj which means to revere or to share. A bhajan refers to a devotional song that is usually in praise of the divine in some form. This issue features playlists of bhajans by Bhakti mystics Mirabai & Surdas, and an unusual musical instrument Dampha Baja heard in bhajan gatherings and the instrument makers from Sarguja, Chattisgarh. Mirabai Bhajans – A Playlist|
Mirabai (16th century) is one of the most well known of the Bhakti mystics. Many stories about her (perhaps apocryphal) describe her love for the divine in the form of Hari. A playlist featuring some of her bhajans rendered by different musicians can be heard here. Do share your favourites!
Surdas Bhajans – A Playlist
Surdas (16th century) was a visually-challenged poet and mystic of the Bhakti movement. A chance meeting with the mystic Vallabhacharya at Gau Ghat transformed his life and he became a follower of the Vallabha Sampradaya. His collection of poems referred to as Sur Sagar is written in Braj Bhasha, a dialect of Hindi. A playlist of his bhajans can be heard here. Do share your favourites!
Instrument Corner: Sarguja Sounds
Imagine using a musical instrument to lure a tiger. Yet another made from the skin of monkeys that is used in singing bhajans. To hear about more unusual instruments from Sarguja in Chattisgarh click here.
Other links that may be of interest:
Understanding Bhajan & Kirtan
Raga Corner: Atana (Carnatic) | Ahir Bhairav (Hindustani)
Previous Issues | Raga Ruminations Podcast | RaagTime Radio Show
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