What is Sampradaya Bhajanai

Sampradaya Bhajanai or Dakshina Bharatha Sampradaya Bhajanai is explained as follows. This note has been taken from Mr PR Ramachander’s blog

Bhajans started most probably as chanting of names of God as a community in chorus. The members of the audience used to repeat the songs rendered by the lead singer after him. In spite of the great Bhakthi wave in Tamil Nadu, not many references are there about this system of Bhajan. Possibly an idea of what it is introduced by the Maratha kings when they ruled over Thanjavur. They also possibly introduced the Greatness of Purandara Vittala of Pandharpur. It was at this time the Geetha Govinda was written by the poet of Orissa called Jayadev. His poems eulogized Lord Krishna along with Radha. Even this concept was not very popular in the south where Lord Vishnu is found with Goddess Lakshmi /Bhoo Devi/Nila devi/Aandal and Lord Krishna is associated with Bhama and Rukmani.
It was at this time (nearly three hundred years back) a great saint Called Bhodendra Saraswathi who later adorned the Kama Koti Peetam of Kanchi was born. He was asked by his Guru to collect the great book on Bhajans by Saint Lakshmi Dhara of Puri. Bhodendra Saraswathi visited Puri and found that this form of community worship of God was very attractive. He decided that the system of Bhajans(Bhajana Sampradayam) should be introduced in the south and worked for the same. Another great sage called Sridhara Ayyaval who was a contemporary of Bhodendral also liked this form of giving fillip to the Bhakthi movement and contributed a lot to this new vehicle of Bhakthi. This great tradition was further carried forward by Marudanallur sadguru Swamigal. Though these three great Gurus laid out the foundation of the new system of Bhajans , the systematic method of how a Bhjanai should be conducted was laid by another great person called Gopalakrishna Bhagwathar. Another music composer Sri Gopalakrishna Bharathi contributed a lot of simple Tamil lyrics for Bhajanai. SrI sanjeevi Bhagwathar who is the son of Sri Gopalakrishna Bhagawathar has brought out a book called Srimath Bhajanamrutham (The great nectar of Bhajans) in Tamil , which was published by Sri Gopalakrishna Nama Prachara Sabha of Madras. This website is an attempt to translate (as much as possible) of that book in to English. The various parts of the ideal Dakshina Bharath Sampradaya Bhajanai are
1. Pundareekam and Prathivachanam.(Her either a God is asked to be remembered or his victory is sung. The audience responds by remembering his name or sing victory to that God.)
2. Dhyana Slokam (These stanzas give a description of the Gods who are going to be addressed by the Bhajan)
.
3. Thodaya Mangalam ( These are set of songs composed by saints like Bhadrachala Ramdas , Annamacharya and Vijayagopala Swamigal which were compiled by Marudanallur Sadguru Swamigal)
4. Guru Dhyanam (songs praising the God Dakshinasmurthy followed by great Gurus Adhi Shankara ,Bhodendral, Sridhara Ayyaval , Marudanallur Sadguru Swamigal etc. followed by meditation of these Gurus.)
5. Guru Abhangs (Abhangs are Marathi devotional songs)
6. Sadhu Keertanas (hymns on Sadhus and sants. It can be abhangs also)
7. Jayadeva Ashtapadi (Geeta Govindam)
8. Narayana Teertha Krishna leela Tharangini
Panchapati (Five songs in Telugu (Bhadrachala Ramadas), Kannada (Sri Purandara dasa), Sanskrit (Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral), Tamil (Sri Gopalakrishna Bharathi) and compositions of Sri Tyagaraja
1. Badrachala Bhakta Ramdas
2. Purandara Dasa
3. Sadasiva Brahmendra
4. Thyagaraja
5. Goplakrishna Bharathi
And if time permits, one can sing the North Indian Bhajan Compositions of
1. Kabir Das
2. Meera Bai
3. Tulsidas or Surdas
4. Marathi Abhangs on Lord Panduranga
The comes the turn of Dyana keertanais (hymns on Gods, stuti, Abhangs or Guru Keertanai). In the Dyana Keertana, it starts from Lord Ganesha Saraswati Muruga (Karthikeyan) Shiv Durga Narasimhan Ram Krishna Venkateshwar Vittal Ranganathan Dashavatara stuti Vittal (Marathi Abhangs on Lord Panduranga) Lakshmi Sita / Radha Hanuman Garuda Aiyappan Chandeeshwaran Nandikeshwaran Chaitanya deva (Gauranga) Guru Keertana
Then comes Pooja Sampradaya Kritis
1. Baro murare (welcome)
2. Sharanagata vatsala (request)
3. Kastoori gana.. (pooja)
4. Chita juni… (aarati)
5. Shobane
6. Jay Jay aarati…
7. kanjadalakshiki..
8. Prartana Abhang
9. Rajadi rajaya.. (pushpanjali)
10. Kattiya vachanam (verses from variety of books)
11. Chatur veda parayan
12. Kshetra mahatmiyam (verses on importance of tirta kshetras)
13. Upacharamu.. (upachara sankeertan)
14. Vinnappa gadyam (praying to God – shlokas)
15. Sri Krishna Govinda hare murare.. (naamaavali)
Pooja ends here and Divya namam starts. (deepa pradakshinam – With lighted lamp in the middle considering the lamp as God, bhagavatas will do sankeertan by doing pradakshinas). This equals going around the earth.
Then comes dolotsavam (making God sleep).
1. Anjaneya Keertanai
2. Mangalam

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