Soulful invocation to the Supreme Being

Soulful invocation to the Supreme Being


Spiritualism spreads a mysticism in the air. It becomes more refined when chants, bhajans and sufiana kalams touch that devotion hidden inside our heart.

From the soul-stirring Buddhist chants of Bhutan to the profound words of Sufi Bulle Shah and the expression of Bhakti towards the God you revere­ – the recently held Bhakti Sangeet Festival drew the audience close to the self, even prompting a deep look within.

Presented by the Delhi Government’s Department of Art, Culture and Languages and the Sahitya Kala Parishad, the festival of devotional music saw performances by 14 devotional singers of different genres, including bhajans, the Sufi qawwali tradition of India as well as the traditions of Krishna bhakti.

The festival opened with an incantation of verses from the Rigveda by K Vasedevan Namboothiri, A M Kesavan and Sri K Madhavan Namboothiri while the second day was dedicated to the Buddhist chanting of Bhutan, followed by the message of Krishna bhakti by O S Arun. Mohammad Irshad then enamoured the audience as he rendered the pure kalams of Bulle Shah. The day ended with eminent singer Shubha Mudgal’s recital from songs of Nirgun bhakti.

“Devotional music is one form of expression that can be found in every kind of civilisation, society and tribe. Given the multiplicity of religious beliefs in India, it is no wonder that we have an extremely rich and versatile tradition of devotional music.

 We can find bhakti sangeet in every language we come across and in every region we visit. We are a nation of spirituality and we have multifarious ways of professing our love to God. Bhakti sangeet is unique as it brings together all different genres of devotional music prevalent in India on one stage,” says Rinku Dugga, Secretary, Department of Art, Culture and Languages.

 The last day of the festival featured the sagun and abhang bhakti traditions by Sanjeev Abhayankar, Sufiana qawwali by Aslam Sabri, Kabir bhajans in Madhya Pradesh’s Malwi folk style by Prahlad Singh Tipania and Agnihotri bandhu (Ram and Hanuman bhakti). Also, eminent qawwali veteran Aslam Sabri regaled the audience with his renditions of Sufiana qawwali.