Chicago-Area Hindu Temple Holds Bhajan Worship Services and Concerts

May 12, 2006

Source: Chicago Tribune

On May 12, 2006 the Chicago Tribune reported, "She is a bumblebee. The Lord Krishna is a flower. When the flower petals have enclosed her, she's totally swallowed by the fragrance of his love. So goes a song composed by 15th Century Indian poet Meera, a woman who gave up worldly ways to pen Hindu devotional songs about Krishna, believed to be a human incarnation of the god Vishnu. In the lyrics, religious and romantic love are intertwined. These songs, called bhajans, are part of a rich tradition of music in Hinduism. Music is essential to the worship experience, Hindus say, because it arouses the senses and creates spiritual vibrations that enhance devotion. Repetition and chanting help connect devotees to humankind and to their spirituality. Sometimes there is improvisation, like jazz, in the singing. The sound of 'om' is a sacred mantra. Rama Temple, one of two temples housed at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in Lemont, promotes a tradition known as sangeetopachara, or making a musical offering to the gods. The performances are held on the second Sunday of each month, including this Sunday, and are open to the public. Later this month the temple will also host a music and cultural festival... The Sunday evening concerts at Rama Temple, held there for almost 20 years, weave Hindustani and Carnatic traditions with violins and percussion. The performance is a lullaby that wishes the Lord a good night's rest. Glory is given to Vishnu, a supreme god who gives salvation, said Samudrala."