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What is a bhajan?

A Bhajan (भजन) is any type of Hindu devotional song. It has no fixed form: it may be as simple as a mantra or kirtan or very sophisticated music based on classical ragas and talas. It consists of lyrics with embellishments, expressing love for the Divine. Anecdotes and episodes from scriptures, the teachings of saints and descriptions of gods have all been the subject of bhajans. Bhajans help us uplift our mood and increases our faith in God. When we sing bhajans in the praise of God, we can experience his divine grace flowing on us.


What is japa?

Japa is the repetition of the name of that in which we believe. Japa is not simple words - each divine name in the Mantra is full of divine vibrations. These surround us and protect us and penetrate both our bodies and our whole inner being. Remembrance of the divine name gives immediate peace and happiness and turns us from the worldly to the Divine. We can practice japa during all activities. It is easier to remember when we do physical work like playing, helping in household work, etc. or when we are idle like sitting in the bus, or car. This japa helps us to purify our mind and makes our mind calm and peaceful.
"Mantra" (मन्त्र ) means a sacred utterance, numinous sound, or a syllable, word, phonemes, or group of words believed by some to have psychological and spiritual power.The earliest mantras were composed in Vedic times by Hindus in India, and those are at least 3000 years old. Mantras are generally used in Japa and at the beginning and end of any ritual with the belief that their utterance imparts auspicious power to the ritual.


What are shlokas?

Shlokas are actually one category of hymns which follow a particular structure (known as chhandas) of construction and are chanted in various rhythms. Whereas Mantras belong to vedic period, the shlokas have said to originated from Ramayana times when Sage Valmiki inadvertently uttered a shloka which later led to the creation of Ramayana at the insistence of Lord Brahma himself. Shlokas are created and chanted in praise of Gods in form of daily prayers and special rituals. Shlokas together combine to form hymns which are chanted out of devotion, to remove obstacles in life, for prosperity, well-being etc.