All through my childhood, being woken up by Suprabatham – meaning auspicious morning, rendered in the sweet nectar voice of M.S.Subbulakshmi was an everyday event. This will be followed by Bhaja Govindam. This was an everyday ritual at home. Every channel on TV and in every house, this was a ritual. The day always started with remembrance of God and singing praises of God which elevated the mood in the house amidst the rush to get ready to school or work.
“Bhagavata adi purushasya narayanasya namoccharana matrena nirdhta kalir bhavati [Kali santarana Upanishad verse 3]” translates to “Simply by chanting the transcendental names of the lord Narayana, all the sins will be cleansed in Kali-yuga.”
Our Sanatana Dharma teaches us that there is Divinity in anything and everything. There is divinity in music and hence musical recitation is another fold of devotion that helps us get closer to Divinity. Reciting and rejoicing God’s names (Nama) in the form of Songs, Bhajans and Musical Hari-Kathas, are said to instill and grow the seeds of Bhakti. We have innumerable examples of Gurus, Sages saints and also common people, in the annals of Indian history who have emphasised the importance of Keerthana-Bhakthi. Meera Bai, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Tukaram, Chakku Bai are few of the innumerable examples of those who have achieved God realization through Keerthanas. Chanting God’s name brings relief to the devotee’s mind. It is said that Keerthanam is the only way to achieve salvation in this kali yuga. After all, what is more powerful than music in touching one’s soul.
One such personality whose mellifluous voice awakens the dawn every morning for millions of Hindus all over the world, M.S Subbulakshmi adorns our Golu this year as a contemporary example of Keerthana-Bhakthi. In 1998 the government of India honoured MS with the country’s highest civilian award the “Bharat Ratna” for revolutionising devotional music in India and also for earning global recognition to Indian classical music. Besides, she was also the recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award. Most of the literary masterpieces by great sages would have remained unknown to the world if they were not given that magical touch by the mellifluous golden voice of MS. In this beautiful Navaratri season let us pray for good health, peace and happiness for one and all , resonated in her voice and the words of HH Kanchi Mahaswamigal- Chandrashekarendra Saraswati.
There are many other known benefits of listening to Keerthanas and music in general
- Elevates the mood
- Reduces stress
- Relieves symptoms of depression
- Helps sleep better
- Helps reduce pain
- and so on
श्रेयो भूयात् सकलजनानाम् !!
Let all the people, live in peace and prosperity!