With a thought to increase the involvement of families in Adhyatmik activities Ramteerth IT Milan of Manikonda Valaya has taken an initiative of hosting Bhajan Sandhya on Saturday evenings at any of the Swayamsevak’s house. This was also a chance to revive our cultural roots and strengthen the link to spirituality. The idea was to start an activity involving families which can be done on a regular interval with minimal expenses. Finally, the idea of Bhajan Sandhya was agreed by all involved in the planning.
The Bhajan Mandali thus started in May 2017 as a bi-weekly activity of 2-hour duration on every alternate Saturday evening, with the help of Ramteertha Milan Swayamsevaks. The format of Bhajan Sandhya varies event to event. It starts with an invocation of Lord Ganesha with a Bhajan then reciting Sunderkand Path, Hanuman Chalisa, Sankatmochal Hanuman Ashtak followed by some beautiful devotional Bhajans. Aarti and Prasad distribution to all the devotees in the end. The participants chant and sing in unison and show great enthusiasm throughout the event. Performing kirtan and hearing the vibration of the mantras is actually like seeing the Supreme Personality of God directly. By chanting and kirtan, we strip away our outer appearances to let the light within us shine brighter.
As people started knowing about the event, they started getting involved in the event more and more and also expressed their interest in hosting the event at their place for the following Bhajan Sandhya events. Many a time devotees are overwhelmed with the spiritual environment created by the two hours of chanting and Bhajans that they start dancing and offer to take few Bhajan themselves.
Till date, 11 such Bhajan Sandhyas have been organized with Swayamsevak’s families. The activity which started as part of an experiment slowly became very famous among the families. The Bhajan group also procured some musical instruments such as Dholaki, Majeera, and Khartal to be used during the Keerthan, Shri Hanuman Darbar photos and 20 Sunderkand books for path procured as needed. All the instruments and other required things bought by contributions by Swayamsevaks who participate in Bhajan Sandhya sessions. Bhajan Sandhya sessions started taking proper shape within first few events and now Bhajan Mandali is self-dependent in terms of all the required things to continue this activity.
The average gatherings as of now are around 20 people on average for these Bhajan Sandhya sessions. Which includes men, women, and children of the Swayamsevak’s families. Though the event is open to all but initially maximum participation was from Swayamsevak families, slowly other nearby families have started taking active participation in the event. All this has been achieved by minimal advertisement and resources as the idea is to keep the expenses to a minimum and make it a regular event.
The future plan is to expand the reach to more like-minded families and create a group of volunteers who can sing beautiful Bhajans, play Keertan instruments and regularly involve in Bhajan Mandali related work. Also, we want to be more connected with nearby temples to plan Bhajan Sandhya at temple premises. Slowly the movement has been picked by nearby Lachit Milan Swayamsevakas and now the bhajan Sandhya is an integrated regular activity in Manikonda Valay.
The author extends thankfulness to Anup Uniyal for drafting this article.