Popular Category:Sikh kirtan

Kirtan, or Gurmat Sangeet, has been an integral part of Sikh worship from the very beginning. Hymn-singing was in fact the earliest form of devotion for the Sikhs. Even in the time of Guru Nanak, the disciples assembled together to the shabads, i.e. hymns composed by the Guru and thus to render praise to the Lord. Kirtan has since been appropriated into the regular gurdwara service. But Sikh kirtan abstains from all outward expression or frenzy in the form of clapping and dancing. Praise is offered to the Supreme Being who is without form (nirankar) and not to a deity in any embodiment or incarnation.

The texts of the shabad kirtan are those that comprise the Holy Book of Sikhs known as the Guru Granth Sahib, or Adi Granth, compiled by Guru Arjan in 1604. Probably no other religion shows a closer relationship between music and its scriptures than does Sikhism. The Holy Book is organized according to ragas, 31 in number, to which the poetic hymns belong. The total number of hymns is 5,694 with 4,857 (the author's figures) contributed by six of the ten Gurus and 837 by Hindu bhagats, Sikh devotees and Muslim Sufi saints. Under each raga the hymns of the Gurus are recorded first and are arranged in the order of chaupadas and dupadas (hymns of 4 and 2 verses, respectively), astapadis (hymns of 8 verses), longer poems organized around a motif, and chhants—hymns of four or six verses, lyrical in character, vars on the pattern of ballads consisting of pauris, each pauri preceded by two or more slokas, and hymns by bhagats and other devotees similarly arranged.


External links

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