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Benefits of singing bhajans

The Times of India, May 09 2016  Is there any benefit to be gained from singing bhajans (devotional songs), praying and doing japa (mantra chanting)? Can't that time be spent doing work that will be of some use?

Many people sing romantic songs.How does one respond to people who ask, “What's the use of doing that? Can't that time be spent doing something useful instead?“ Only one who has experienced something knows whether it is beneficial or not. People enjoy listening to ordinary songs. Similarly , when devotees listen to bhajans, they forget everything else and become absorbed in the bhajans. Worldly emotions and relationships are typically the subject of ordinary songs, and listeners relish the mood behind these songs. But when bhajans and prayers are sung, both the singers and the audience experience peace of mind.

Disco music arouses emotional vibra tions. Listening to romantic songs evokes the mood between lover and beloved as well as related emotions and thoughts.Bhajans remind us of our relationship with God. Here, divine qualities are awakened instead of emotions. Bhajans impart peace to singer and listener alike.

Amma is not criticising other types of songs. Some people derive pleasure from them. There are many kinds of people in the world. Different people like different things. Everything is important at some level. Amma does not reject anything.

God-realisation is not the onl aim of singing bhajans. It offers other advantages, too. Bhajans and prayers awaken positive vibrations in oneself and in the environment. Friendship with everyone is the spirit behind bhajans and prayers.Through prayer, the devotee begins contemplating. A child repeats a word 10 times and thus memorises the word. In the same way , when one sings bhajans and reiterates divine qualities, these qualities take root in the heart, creating an awakening in life.

Bhajans impart joy and provide respite to the mind. In order to gain the most from bhajans, one must feel, “I am nothing. You are everything.“ This is true prayer. How ever, such an attitude does not dawn easily . Only when inner wisdom dawns will that attitude flower fully. But one need not just wait until then. One can cultivate the right attitude and move ahead.Never forget that all our power is from God. Even our breath is not under our control. One might say , “Here I come,“ before walking down the stairs. But even before completing that sentence, that person might collapse from a heart attack and die. We have heard of such instances.Therefore, we must cultivate the attitude of being merely an instrument in His hands. We must not sing bhajans or pray just for the sake of fulfilling our desires. At present, many consider prayer a means to fulfil their selfish desires. Instead, we must strive to awaken noble qualities and positive vibrations through prayer. If we are interested only in gratifying our senses, the incidence of rapes, thefts and murders will increase in society . Love and devotion for God help people tread the path of righteousness. It is a practical way of maintaining harmony in society .

Prayers borne of positive thoughts create positive vibrations; prayers arising from negative thoughts create negative vibrations. The kind of vibrations that prayer radiates depends on the kind of thoughts of the person praying. When one prays for the destruction of one's enemy , one's filled with thoughts of anger. The world then receives angry vibrations from this person. The attitude behind the prayer determines the vibrations that the world receives from the one who prays.

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