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News |  31 Aug 2018 20:46 |  By RnMTeam

The beauty of Shabad Kirtaans

MUMBAI: As a state, Punjab is a vibrant state and their music forms are extremely vibrant. Bhangra, actually a martial arts inspired dance, has, by now, penetrated every country in the world. However, beyond the thumping beats of dhol, there is a soul-stirring form of art, called Shabd Kirtaans.

The holy book of Sikhism preaches the importance of music in life. Anyone, who has ever experienced Shabad Kirtaans, will understand the meaning of tranquillity through music. Mainly, a devotional form, Shabad Kirtaans are a part of every Sikh household. Famous singer Harshdeep Kaur had shared how she started singing her first Shabad Kirtaan when she was in school. There are many other respected artistes too, who are full time into Shabad Kirtaans.

In Shabad Kirtaan, a Sikh Scriptures and legends are sung in a form of song, which is set to metered taal and based on Indian Classical Music raagas. Further, time defined raagas are the base of many kirtaans. Kirtaans composed for the morning time are based on the Raag Asa, for noon Raag Bilawal for noon and for evening Raag Dhanasri.  As a matter a fact, according to the principles of their holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, every raaga is also equalled with a feeling or expression like Raag Bairaagi is equalled with sadness or Raag Raamkali with Calmness and many more. This proves the strong connect Sikhism has with the classical form of music too. This form comprises over five thousand hymns in over 22 languages by 33 composers of various ethnicities, which are played throughout, at the Gurudwaras, the holy shrines of Sikhism.

The singers of Shabad Kirtaans are called rababis, ragis, and dhad. The congregational setting like in church is referred as choir; here it is called as a Sangat or Satsang, literally meaning "like minded individuals on a spiritual journey". The instruments used during these kirtaans were primarily the ones that were developed by revered gurus of Sikhism.  Like Dilruba by the ninth guru, Guru Gobindsinghji or Rabab by the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji.

Compilation for Shabad kirtaan:

Sikh Sangeet, Gurbaniupdesh.org, iSikh.com and Sikhsangeet.com also has a section with live recordings of Shabad Kirtaans at Golden temple, have been developed to reach out to the Sikh devout settled outside Punjab or India. YouTube too has multiple channels for spiritual music like BhaktiSangeet and Traditional music channel has a dedicated tab for Punjabi spiritual music, while there are some special Sikhism based channels like Discover Sikhism with a subscriber base of around half a lakh.

Post the 80’s there has been a renewed interest in this form of art and there has been a revival of sorts too. Not a source entertainment but a trusted way for peace and introspection, Shabad Kirtaans are a form of gift that Sikhism has given.

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