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Hinduism Why is there Dancing in Bhajans or in Mandir Settings?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Ambarsaria, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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  3. spnadmin

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    I cannot speak for swamis who do the twist. However, the classical Hindu dance forms are ancient and historically were performed in only in religious spaces like temples. Only recently have they become associated with YouTube and theater performances. Shiva has been depicted as dancing to destroy old and worn out forms within the universe and clear the way for Brahma to begin the process of recreation. He is sometimes depicted as the Lord who is dancing in the flames, signaling new beginnings. Vishnu also dances to represent the cohesive force of the deity, holding creation together in his dance.

    A comprehensive review of classical dance forms at this link http://hinduism.about.com/gi/o.htm?...&tt=14&bt=0&bts=1&zu=http://www.narthaki.com/

    So this is a continuation of tradition. Nothing in the YouTubes seem to be representative of classical Hindu dance forms imho. More like swami'spiration. :)
     
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  4. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Thanks.

    That is what I was thinking too for today's stuff too.

    It is like "feel good vibes" and is getting popular as it helps you digest ("preeti bhojan") loving meal. At the other extreme it is Pakhand (misleading ritual) to get offerings/mulah/money/maya/etc. from Shardaluhs (followers).

    To many examples not just restricted to Hinduism (Hiduism, Sufism, Christianity specially black Gospel churches) I call it "Disco Satsang", "Disco Bhajan","Disco Jesus", etc.

    peacesign
     
  5. Tejwant Singh

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    Perhaps our Gurus wanted us to live Gurbani at its fullest by first feeling it through singing this beautiful poetry and then practicing it through deeds. Prose, which is the springboard of doing good needs no twist in the steps but determination of the mind-Munn.

    On the other hand Gospel music which is also known as Soul music was invented by the slaves as they were forbidden to attend the Churches owned by the Whites. So, they gathered in open places and sang. Now many White churches have bands and singing but nothing like what is in the Black churches. It is a totally different and more pleasant event to participate in.
     
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  6. Caspian

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    Ah, from the dreaded scientific point of view :p

    Singing and dancing can induce altered states of conciousness that can be (and usually are) associated with religious or divine experiences—Not unlike meditation.

    What spnadmin said is interesting as well. Good historical context.
     
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  7. Amarpal

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    Dear Khalsa Ji,

    It is in line with Indian tradition. In temples it is mostly performed by ladies.

    The essense of this ritual is single mindedness. When some one sings, the entire mental faculty responsible from making the melodious song flow gets involved. When one dances the entire system of the brain devoted to locomotion gets involved. The person who is singing listens to what it is singing and thus the mental faculty associated with hearing gets involved. The breathing of the person singing to gets regulated to produce the melody of the Bhajan. If the person is singing with understaning the meaning of the words of Bhajan then the thought process of the brain to get invoved with it and when the person dedicate all this to the God it leads to the person's entire being getting directed towards the God. This leads to single mindedness as other worldly thought cannot intrude.

    The same Guru Sahib has achieved by introducing Kirtan with musical instruments. The dancing is replaced be the locomotion faculty of mind producing the tune through the instrument. All other faculties of the brain get involved in Kirtan in the same way as in case of dancing under discussion. The absence of physical gestures in Kirtan helps the devotees in not getting distracted by the physical features of the performer.

    This is my understanding.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
     
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  8. Ambarsaria

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    I believe there is some/more merit to the following to be appropriate for consideration,

    Does it apply in this instance? I believe it does.

    How about the following,

    YouTube - Tere Ishq Nachaya- Pakistani Sufi

    It will be great if a Hindu member could comment too.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  9. Caspian

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    From the science angle :p

    It depends...

    If we are talking about altered states of consciousness akin to meditation. Then from a scientific point of view—It wouldn't really apply. There is evidence that uttering "nonsense" can induce the same mental states that uttering meaningful prose induces. There are many schools of meditation that focus on uttering nonsense. (Perhaps the christian tradition of Speakin in Tongues is the most notable one, But I am only aware of Hindu and Buddhist schools of meditation that utilize "nonsense" and unlike christians—They will freely admit its nonsense :p).

    But I'm not sure if the above quote is in reference to practices of meditation in general (For example, comparing sikh meditation to other forms of meditation).

    Or whether the above quote talks about the difference between understanding and meditating. Which I talked about in a previous post. And the futility of empty prayer over action?
    (In this case the act of meditation is looked down upon even if it produces an effect because it is baseless without an understanding. And its kind of obvious how Action would be better then praying for Action)

    BTW. The way in which dance and singing work is kind of like inducing sensory deprivation via sensory overload. If that makes sense? Just thought I would add to what Amarpal said.

    With regards to the video :p. Its safe to say that if it wasn't "working" for them. They wouldn't be doing it. But its been working for them for this long so there must be something (however small or insignificant) to it. It is not completely meaningless then. Lol :p But I guess "almost meaningless" is no consolation.
     
  10. findingmyway

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    Ambarsaria ji,
    Define the actions you believe are referred to by the quote you give? I understand actions to be your actions towards others, the way you behave constantly, the way you think and whether you follow Gurbani. Referring to dance moves as actions seems a shallow interpretation.
     
  11. Caspian

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    I dont think the part about "Actions are louder then words" is actually in the gurbani is it? It would seem odd for the SGGS to contain an english idiom :p. I think that was the original posters "summation" of the quotes preceding it.
     
  12. findingmyway

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    No but there is a lot of emphasis in Gurbani on actions being important. Words alone are not enough which is why we should practice Gurbani not just read it.
     
  13. Caspian

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    Tangent to the title of this topic. Why is there Dancing in Bhajin or Mandir Setting? Which deals with why the "Pop" (Dancing) is in the Spiritual (Mandir). Can it not be the case that the Spiritual may reside in the Pop as well?

    YouTube - Radiohead - Lotus Flower

    :p This was partly a shameless plug for Radiohead's new album. But if you look at the video for his new song the parrallels with the videos being posted in this thread are almost uncanny aren't they? (Anyone else a fan of Radiohead? :p)
     
  14. spnadmin

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    imho The topic pertains to dance as a form of devotion in Hinduism. Why is there Dancing in Bhajans or in Mandir Settings?

    There is a different thread that is suited to the general comparison between dance in religious practice and Gurbani. Dancing and Gurbani at this link http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/interfaith-dialogues/23677-dancing-and-gurbani.html

    If we get off into a debate about Gurbani, we risk never getting to the original point of the thread. As I understand it, the original point seeks insight into swami created dances as part of devotion, whether these are standard forms of practice within Hinduism, and if not, why not.

    If I am not getting the point, Ambarsaria the thread starter will let me know.


    Thanks
     
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  15. Tejwant Singh

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    Coming back to the thread, if I am not mistaken, dancing is only held when some Bhajans- religious songs are sung. It is common in all the Mandirs for the singers to sing songs which have nothing to do with their scriptures. This does create a dancing mood and the atmosphere for that.
     
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  16. spnadmin

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    Gurfateh ji! Your brief comment is helping me form a better mental image of dancing in mandirs. Thanks very much.
     
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  17. Ambarsaria

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    caspian ji very well stated.

    I am in essence with you and thanks for responding to findingmyway ji's for the correct interpretation of my post.

    You may find also interesting read in case you missed it.

    (PS:(: Admin please delete the following quoted text if it appears as repeated material and out of context, Thanks),

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  18. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    spnadmin ji (the much appreciated, well written and learned one thanks for your guidance),

    To me it appears the answers may be buried in post above and what Caspian ji is saying in the following,

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/hindu...ing-bhajans-mandir-settings-2.html#post142446

    It to me does two things,

    • Goody Goody feelings
    • Allows the performer to sell the stuff whatever it is whether it is spirituality, disco records, bhajans, concepts, etc.
      • But always for a reward of,
        • Recognition
        • Acceptance
        • Maya, Money, Mulah!
        • Developing congregations
        • Providing people an easy way out from complex spirituality discourses
          • Drive through salvation, if I may say!

    I would have much appreciated someone of Hindu faith with personal or other experiences and knowledge to enrich the discussion.

    However I believe we are doing pretty good so far.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  19. Caspian

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    With regards to the following point
    This is not always the case. Your sense of smell is often the "strongest sense" (not that we are very good at distinguishing smells :p we suck at that) but it is strong in that is most often associated with the emotional centers in the brain. Indeed, the sense of smell is the closest sense to the brain region for emotion.

    Imagine a memory associated with popcorn that involves the sense of touch. Then do the same for the sense of hearing. And so on so fourth until uve imagined memories corresponding to all the senses (including your sense of smell). If you were to then asked to rate how negative or positive the emotional content of the memory was. And the recall of the memory. You are more readily able to recall memories associated with smell, and more often then not, these memories have a negative connotation while the other senses tend to be neutral (emotionally speaking).

    What does this have to do with meditation?

    Many people light scents while they meditate or pray. I know of many sikhs who do this as well, (it seems to be a very "indian" thing so I'm sure most indians have had experience with this). The idea behind lighting a scent while meditating is that evantually you classically condition the mental state you worked on through meditation with the scent of the incent. Thus, in subsequent meditation trials, if you light the incent beforehand, you more readily and quickly slip into the meditative mental state.
     
  20. Ambarsaria

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    caspian ji I was trying to show that when one tries the various techniques or methodologies that impact numbing the senses and call it mediation how I see numbing of the senses.

    Since most sensing is based on differential inputs or changes when you have a monotonous rhythms, noises, hearing, feelings, you are numbing/shutting down for all intents and purposes to a degree that your mind is not wandering systematically in spite of the chaos from shutting the senses. Mind does not like shut down senses in awake state.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  21. Caspian

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    Im curiouse what you or other sikhs make of chanting then. For example, one very orthodox wedding I was involved in (i did their cinematography) went with a 4 hour long kirtan in liue of a reception. 1 hour and a half to 2 hours (i kid you not) was spent chanting "Whaguru" over and over and over.

    Is this something that could be considered under the previous criteria:

     

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