'Maharashtra Abhang Ratna' ' Bhagawatha Siromani' 
 Sri. Ganesh Kumar

What is Namsankirtan ?

The Hindu mythology describes kala-chakra (time) comprising four Yugas i.e. Kritha-yuga,  Dwapara-yuga, Thretha-yuga,and Kali-yuga. Human beings are generally referred as Jeevathma and the God is Paramathma. The ancient tradition proclaims that the basic dharmic duty of Jeevathma is to strive and attain Paramathma i.e. everlasting bliss or Moksha. The ‘duty’ varies according to ‘yugas’. During Kritha-yuga the Jeevathma should do penance vigorously for decades to attain Moksha. In Dwaparayuga the saints started pleasing the Gods by doing Pujas and Rituals. But in Threthayuga people started to do Yaaga & Yagnas thereby satisfying the Gods like Indra, Varuna, Agni, Vayu… for fulfillment of their requirements. 

Ultimately, in this present Kaliyuga (now 5100 years over), it is quite impossible for an ordinary man to perform Yaaga, Yoga and Tapas etc. to invoke the blessing of the Lord Almighty. In this yuga everyone has to devotedly sing the names of Gods, meditate upon Him and this Dhyana will lead them to the Lord himself. In this modern world, spiritualism has become difficult to follow and so God chose several realised souls and sent them to the earth to bear the torch and to lead the aspiring ones to their life’s goal. 

A new era dawned . In the 13th Century Sant. Gyaneshwar and his contemporaries Sant, Namdev, Sant Gora Kumbhar, Sant. Choka Mela, Sant. Sawta Mali in Maharashtra through their 'Abhangs' established the Namsankirtan - a unique format of community singing to ensure harmony and Sri. Jayadeva in Bengal through his 'Ashtapadi' spread the message of Namsankirtan . With Sri Krishna Chaitanya of Bengal, a God incarnation and a mission that was nearly impossible; but was made possible to him. He taught Prema-Bhawa-Bhakti. The saints of North India Sant. Bramhanand, Kabir and Tulsi composed hundreds of songs in praise of God. The rain of bliss invoked the Bhakti seed in the people. Purandaradasa, Meerabai, Surdas, Narsi Mehta, strengthened the Namsankirtan sampradaya in Karnatka, Rajasthan and Gujarat areas. Till date many great saints, sadhus have nurtured it in all parts of our Holy country. Sant Eknath and Sant Tukaram in the 17th century reinvented the magic of Namsankirtan. The South Indian saints - Sri. Bodhendra Swamigal, Sridhara Aiyyaval, and Maruthanallur Sadguru Swamigal established the Dakshina Bhajana Sampradaya which encompasses songs of all languages and this format is extremely popular in present days. 

In recent times Sri. Pudukotai Gopalakrishna Bhagawathar and more recently ( my Guruji ) Swami Haridhos Giri and his contemporary Swami Namanandagiri are instrumental in spreading this pattern far and wide not only in India but all over the world. 

People felt uttering the holy names of God easier and at the same time group singing enabled them to drop their shyness. Many people find solace, security and faith in this new type of spiritualism called Namsankirtan. While performing, hearing, supporting or even associating with Namsankirtan, one will attain Moksha because the easiest mode of Salvation in Kaliyuga is "Namasankirtan".   

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