Nine Forms Of Devotion- Bhakthi -.KIRTANA-

Kirtana is singing of Lord's glories. The devotee is thrilled with Divine Emotion. He loses himself in the love of God. He gets horripilation in the body due to extreme love for God. He weeps in the middle when thinking of the glory of God. His voice becomes choked, and he flies into a state of divine Bhava. The devotee is ever engaged in Japa of the Lord's Name and describing His glories to one and all. Wherever he goes he begins to sing the praise of God. He requests all to join his Kirtana. He sings and dances in ecstasy. He makes others also dance.

Such practices should be the outcome of a pure heart, and they should not be merely a show. God knows the inner secret of all and none can cheat Him. There should be perfect straightforwardness and all his actions should be the natural outpouring from his heart. This is the easiest of all modes of approach to God. In the Kali Yuga, iron age, Kirtana alone is the best Yoga-'Kalau Kesavakirtanam.' This is the prescribed method of devotion for this age. The mind is ever intent upon singing Lord's Names and glories and it has no occasion to take interest in things of the world. Day and night the devotee feels the presence of God and thins out his ego. He becomes Sattvic and pure at heart.

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"There is a big difference between Kirtanam and Sankirtanam. Kirtanam is an individual affair. It is singing by an individual for the fulfilment of his prayers.

Sankirtanam aims at the well-being of the whole universe. This is also described as Samajika bhajans (community singing). This method of singing bhajans was first initiated by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Sankirtana is of four kinds: One is Guna Sankirtana; two, Leela Sankirtana; three, Bhaava Sankirtana; four, Nama Sankirtana.
Guna Sankirtana applies to the kind of bhajan in which the devotee recites the auspicious qualities of the divine, experiences oneness with the divine, and acquires the Godly qualities. Saint Thyagaraja had recourse to this type of singing.

Leela Sankirtana refers to the enjoyment by the devotee of the sacred sport of the Divine in ecstatic dancing and singing and being totally absorbed in it. This is exemplified by the Gita Govindam of Jayadeva.

Bhaava Sankirtana: This is illustrated by Radha, who expresses her different feelings towards God and identifies herself with the Divine in every mood of devotion. Radha and Meera were the exponents of Bhaava Sankirtana.

Naama Sankirtana: Chaithanya was the exponent of this form of Keerthana. ĎAll names are yours. There is nothing in this cosmos which does not bear the imprint of your name or formí - Chaithanya revelled in singing the name of the Lord as signifying all that was beautiful and glorious in the universe.

What then is the essence of Sankirtana? Its essential purpose is to earn the love of God. Combining one's voice, tune, feeling and rhythm to the appropriate beat of the song, the devotee should immerse himself in the singing. Harmonising the feeling with devotion and love, the sacred words of the song should be an outpouring of love towards God. That alone is devotional singing."

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Source: sivanandaonline

Discourses From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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