What is Bhajana?
Bhajana is a musical event for expressing Bhakti (devotion) towards Almighty. It is a folk-music-genre in which devotional songs are sung on the rhythm of various musical instruments such as mrudanga, vina and tala.
Why do we sing Bhajana for deity?
Bhajana is an important expression of Bhakti. Various devotional songs – recalling and greeting the God’s leela (grace) on the commoner – are sung during the Bhajana. Ancient scriptures say that a devotee’s love and veneration for God are best expressed while singing Bhajana. The idea behind singing Bhajana is ‘to get engrossed in the devotional songs and music’. Concentration towards the deity is the result of this engrossed mind.
How to sing Bhajana?
The main part of singing Bhajana is the usage of various musical expressions. Hence, the best possible folk and modern musical instruments are used in the Bhajana.
However, the crudest level of Bhajana – mostly takes place in the villages – may include no instruments. Here, the devotees simply make the musical bit by hands.
Why do we clap our hands while singing Bhajana?
While singing Bhajana, clapping hands or applauding is an axiomatic action. The sound, which is produced by clapping, represents the rhythm of the Bhajana. Therefore, devotees who are engrossed in the music of Bhajana normally make the clapping sound to match their own understanding of the musical rhythm of the Bhajana.
Effect of clapping hands while singing Bhajana
While singing Bhajana, making the clapping sound for showing rhythm is the obvious act. However, simultaneously, this sound also removes the ill effects. Any sound, which is made with a positive mind, removes evil. Such sound of clap removes evil from the atmosphere and creates positive energy around. Hence, this act of clapping while singing Bhajana helps to create a positive atmosphere near the worship place.
While clapping and counting the rhythm for Bhajana, our pressure points on palms get activated after regular intervals. Due to the activation of primary pressure points, positivity and enthusiasm gets formulated in our mind.
Devotees who are engrossed in the music of Bhajana generally clap with an audible sound. Many a time one can see people entering into the transcendental stage in the midst of Bhajana. This shows their concentration of the body and mind in the musical rhythm. Hence in gist, clapping during Bhajana is performed for better concentration and devotion to the Lord.
Mahadeva Shastri Joshi. 1970. Bharatiya Sanskruti Kosha, Vol. VI. Pune. Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh Mandal.