The joy we get from singing bhajans and by performing worship is
temporary. But by experiencing the essence of "Soham" Mantra, you
will get eternal joy. This soham is also known by the name "Hamsa
Gayatri". "So" means "that", "Ham" means "I am". "I am that" is the
meaning of Soham. You should chant Soham with every breath. When you
breathe, you are inhaling "So" and you are exhaling "Ham". If we
repeat Soham Mantra with every inhalation and exhalation of breath,
it will do a lot of good to you. Repeat "Soham" with every breath
and watch your breath carefully.
Divine Discourse: May 26, 2002
When you sing Bhajans, take care that the words you
utter do not convey negative meanings. Here is an example. Our
boys sing many Hindi Bhajans, in which they often use the
word 'Thu' meaning 'you'. They sing 'Thu Rama',
'Thu Krishna', 'Thu Sai'. (You are Rama, you are
Krishna, you are Sai, etc.) But in Telugu, the letter 'Thu'
conveys a derogatory meaning. You may use 'Thu Hai'
instead of 'Thu'. The Bhajans you sing must convey
sacred meanings. You should not give scope for disrespectful
While doing Bhajans, you may sing various songs with
different tunes and beats but your mind should be constantly
fixed on the Atma. All your actions must be done with the
sole purpose to please God. Arjuna asked Lord Krishna as to how
he can fight in the war if he has to constantly think of God.
Krishna replied, "O simpleton, it is your body and the senses
which are involved in the warfare. Such being the case, you can
always focus the mind on God."
Divine Discourse: February 22, 2001
You should sanctify yourself and the atmosphere around by
chanting the divine name. What is the purpose of doing
Bhajans? Chanting of the divine name purifies the atmosphere
by sending sacred vibrations in to it. These vibrations, set off
by the chanting of the divine name, destroy evil and impure
feelings deeply ingrained in man.
People do Bhajans without understanding their
significance. Instead of focusing their attention on God, they
are bothered too much about the tune and the rhythm. No doubt,
tune and rhythm are also essential in Bhajans, but once
you fill your heart with Divine love, the tune and the rhythm
will automatically be taken care of. If you concentrate too much
on the tune and the rhythm, you will not be able to think of
God. Just as the iron ball cast in fire becomes one with it,
your mind should become one with God. Water cannot be separated
from milk; likewise, your mind should get merged in God. You
should not think that you are separate from God.
Divine Discourse: May 15, 2000
Divine Discourse: September 1, 2000
The role of bhajans in purifying the atmosphere should
be recognized. In this context, the role of community singing
should be understood. Singing bhajans in your home, you
may indulge in your fancies and derive whatever joy you get
thereof. "Sankirtan" (community singing) calls for whole
headed, soulful singing, which moves the hearts of the
listeners. Bhajans should not be a routine ritual. You
must put your heart and soul into the singing.
In reciting the names of the Lord you have to bear in mind
another fact. When you recite the names thousands of devotees
are listening. You must chant names which are familiar to all of
them. You should not expect people to follow whatever you sing.
You should see that they can easily respond to your song. The
names you chant should be short and sweet. If you use big words
and complicated terms, the devotees will not be able to follow
you. In that situation they may get depressed. What can they do
when they do not hear you properly and cannot respond in chorus?
They get disgusted.
Therefore, in your bhajans use short names like Rama,
Krishna, Allah, Yesu and so on. Then all would be able to follow
you with ease. If you use high sounding words, few can follow
you. Eschew any aversion to any faith or nation. Have no ill
will towards any one. Do not cause hurt to anyone. Look upon all
alike. This feeling of oneness should spread all over the world.
Divine Discourse: April 11, 1997
Realize that there is nothing greater than bhajan.
What bliss is there in bhajans! What a demonstration of
oneness is it when a myriad throats join in uttering the name of
God! The vibrations emanating from them make the heart vibrant.
If you sing alone in your shrine, the vibrations return to you
as reaction. But in community singing, what you have is not a
reaction but a wave of vibrations. They enter into the
atmosphere and purify the polluted air. The atmosphere today is
polluted by bad thoughts and feelings. When you sing the glory
of God, the bad germs in the air are destroyed and the air gets
purified by a treatment with antibiotics as it were.
Bhajans are therefore supremely valuable. It has been
said that in the Kali Age there is no greater spiritual
practice than chanting the name of the Lord. Let one remember
the name of Raama at the time of passing, whether he is a
millionaire or a pauper, whether he is a scholar or an
illiterate. Sing the name of the Lord and redeem your lives!
Divine Discourse: October 23, 1994
Today we are having the Akhanda Bhajan (nonstop
twenty-four-hour global bhajan by Sai devotees all over
the world). This is being done not for the sake of one
individual, one nation or one community. It is for the welfare
of humanity as a whole.
The bhajans that are sung permeate the ether in the
form of sound waves and fill the entire atmosphere. Thereby the
whole environment gets purified. Breathing in this purified
atmosphere, our hearts get purified. Reciting the Lord's name is
a process of give and take. Singing the Lord's name should
become an exercise in mutual sharing of joy and holiness. It
should be remembered that the sounds we produce reverberate in
the atmosphere. They remain permanently in the ether as waves
and outlast the individual uttering the sounds.
Community bhajans should not be treated as a pastime.
When thousands of persons join in singing bhajans, they
should be fully absorbed in the devotional process and the
ecstasy of that experience. The singing should be vibrant and
soulful and not mechanical or drawling and uninspiring. It
should combine bhava (feeling), raga (melody) and
tala (rhythm). What delight can be experienced when all
sing in chorus, with the same feeling, in the same tune and to
the same timing! When there is such unity the Divine can be
Not all realize the potency and efficacy of reciting the
Lord's name. The first requisite is purity of thought, word and
deed. The name that is uttered by the tongue should be meditated
upon by the mind. What is uttered and dwelt upon should be
hailed by clapping the hands. This threefold concentration on
the Divine name--unity of mind, speech and action--purifies the
heart and nourishes the feeling of devotion.
When the chanting of the Name is done in community singing,
it should be in a form in which the entire group can participate
easily. The tune, the rhythm, etc. should be such that all can
follow the bhajan. If the lead singer takes up a song
that is not familiar to others, the response from the group will
be poor. There will be no enthusiasm or genuine participation.
Their minds will be distracted. When all the devotees
participate in the bhajan, the vibrations that are
produced will generate joy and harmony.
Many who organize mass singing on special occasions are not
aware what kind of bhajans should be sung then. A person
who has an individual style of his own may sing as he likes in
private, but he is not suitable for community singing.
There are some rules to be observed in conducting community
bhajans. Alapana (elaboration of a raga)
may be done in keerthana (individual singing), but it is
wholly out of place in community bhajans. Hence, in such
bhajans the accent should be entirely on the Name.
Divine Discourse: November 8, 1986
Embodiments of the pure Atman! Last November, on the
23rd, people from all parts of the world had assembled here to
celebrate the Golden Jubilee, and office-bearers of the centers
were here for the Second World Conference and other functions
that took place. Later they expressed their desire that they be
allotted a date, before the close of the Jubilee Year, when they
in their own places could celebrate the happy occasion. In order
to overcome their disappointment it was decided that, in all
centers all over the world, namasamkirtan (singing the
glory of God's name) would be held for a full twenty-four hours,
beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday (yesterday) and ending at
6:30 p.m. today.
Therefore, in 42 countries around the globe more than 7000
centers have enthusiastically taken up this pleasant assignment.
This has been named an akhanda bhajan, that is to say,
devotional singing done without a break. But was it really an
akhanda bhajan? It is begun at 6:30 on the evening of one
day and is closed at 6:30 on the evening of the next day. Can we
call it 'unbroken' devotional singing? What is a period of 24
hours when we consider the vastness of the universe and the
eternity of time? It is just a wink, a minute part of the life
of man on earth. By engaging yourselves in the recitation of the
Name of God for one single day, you claim to have done
devotional singing "without a break!" Akhanda-bhajan must
be as continuous as breathing itself if it is to deserve its
You must probe into the real significance of the samkirtan
that you are engaged in. Kirtan is "singing aloud the
Glory of God." Samkirtan is the process of singing, which
originates in the heart, not from the lips or tongue. It is the
expression of the joyous thrill that wells up from the heart
when the Glory of God is remembered. It is the spontaneous
manifestation of inner ecstasy. No attention is paid to the
blame or praise that others may give. It does not seek the
admiration or the appreciation of the listeners. It is sung for
one's own joy, one's own satisfaction, one's own delight.
Kirtan of this supreme type alone deserves the name
Singing this intense yearning for God and enjoying the
experience of adoring Him helps to purify the atmosphere. Man is
today forced to breathe the air polluted by sounds that denote
violence, hatred, cruelty, and wickedness. Therefore, he is fast
losing the high attainments that are in store for him. The
vibrations resulting from singing the glory of God can cleanse
the atmosphere and render it pure, calm, and ennobling. It is
with this high purpose in view that this program of global
samkirtan was designed.
Divine Discourse: November 14, 1976
Again, Akhanda bhajana means that it should not be
just a twenty-four hour affair or even a seven-day affair; it
must go on, from birth to death, this contemplation of the
Source and Goal of things. The procession to the cremation
ground starts immediately on birth and the beating of the heart
is the drumbeat for the march towards that place. Some take a
longer route, some reach quickly, but all are on the way.
Therefore, Bhajana has to start in childhood and has to
continue. It must be the constant companion of man, his solace
and strength. Do not postpone it to old age, for it is the
essential food for the mind.
Take the name of the Lord and repeat it always. I was
listening to the Bhajana you did here yesterday and
today. Your voices were low; they could scarce be heard outside
this Hall. I know that in a certain institution where they
decided to do Akhanda Bhajana, they had to hire a few
persons at so much per hour so that their plan could succeed. Do
Bhajana with faith and enthusiasm. Let the whole city
shake with the devotion you put into every Name that you sing.
The Name promotes comradeship and establishes concord; it stills
all storms and grants peace.
Divine Discourse: July 10, 1959