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Love and Light

Region 3 - Bhajan Workshop

On Sunday 6th April, the Ladies wing of Thurrock Sai Centre hosted Region 3 bhajan workshop facilitated by the very talented and inspirational Sister Cookie and Brother Vijan of Milton Keynes Sai Centre. The day was split into two sessions: the morning and the afternoon.

During the course of the morning session, the duo defined a bhajan as a devotional expression of love relating it to SAI – Sweet, Attractive and Inspiring, ever so aptly describing Swami Himself! They also gave us an insight into the theory of bhajan singing by delving into the importance of the key aspects of a bhajan: thetune (raaga), the beat (taalam) and feeling (bhava).

When bhajans are composed with one of the many ragas and taalas in mind and sung with bhava, different emotions can be experienced by the singer which in turn, can be felt by others. Therefore, something as powerful as bhajans should be practised to perfection before being offered to the Lord. Similar to how a cook prepares his recipe before feeding his guests, bhajan singers must also prepare their bhajan through attending bhajan practice before feeding the Lord with their bhajan offering.

Further to this, bhajans were stated as one of the highest forms of Sadhana (spiritual learning) that an individual can do. The vibrations created from only the mere uttering of the Lord’s name is enough to cleanse our souls, our community and the environment.

The interactive afternoon session gave musicians and devotees an opportunity to practice different bhajans, using their instruments. Some devotees practised playing the manjeeras and others the harmonium and tabla. Tips on how to improve one’s techniques were also given. The afternoon session concluded with uplifting bhajans, aarti and a vote of thanks.

Overall, the bhajan workshop session was a wonderful way of inspiring devotees to analyse bhajans and to appreciate that a bhajan should be sung with feeling, in tune and in beat. With endless practical tips, demonstration and quotes from Swami's guidelines, we were all treated to an excellent, day long tutorial which has very much been taken to heart by everyone. We are very grateful to our workshop leads for travelling such a long distance to whole-heartedly share their knowledge and expertise with us all and displaying such commitment and dedication to Swami’s work.

Jai Sai Ram.
Thurrock Sai Centre