Introduction to Songs and Poems

For centuries, the poet-saints of India have poured their love and wisdom into songs and poems glorifying God. These jubilant verses, composed through the unique lens of the saints’ experiences, make the highest spiritual truths accessible to people of all walks of life and across space and time. Even today, hundreds of years after its composition, the poetry of the saints offers us portals into the saints’ exultant joy and extraordinary vision of the Divine.

On the Siddha Yoga path, the songs and poems of India’s poet-saints are cherished as a potent and delightful means to tap into the essence of the Guru’s teachings. Over the years, Gurumayi has invoked the works of the poet-saints when imparting her teachings, providing Siddha Yoga students with ever-new inspiration. The memorable images of the saints’ poetry and the powerful feelings the music triggers can spontaneously overflow into our awareness as we go about our days, supporting us to remember and assimilate sacred knowledge.

The songs and poems you find here focus on cultivating an awareness of unity with supreme Consciousness. Many of them emphasize the So’ham mantra, “I am  That,” which expresses this awareness and which Gurumayi imparted in her Message for 2020.

These songs and poems are composed in a variety of poetic forms:

  • Bhajans and AbhangasBhajans are free-form devotional songs or hymns composed in the Hindi language. Abhangas, devotional songs from the west central state of Maharashtra, are composed in the Marathi language, often in the sonorous meter called ovi. Bhajans and abhangas commonly contain refrains and verses and are set to a raga. Many share the same raga; some share the same melodies.
  • DoheThese are metrical, rhyming couplets from north India, written in Hindi or Urdu. Each doha is a self-contained poem. Combined together, dohe can serve as the building blocks for bhajans and even epic poems. These compact verses convey the saints’ wisdom in a form easy to remember and put into practice.
  • Stotras—These hymns, sometimes lengthy and often originating in ancient scriptures, praise God and are steeped in devotion.

Here are some suggestions about how to explore these songs and poems:

  • Many of the songs and poems are accompanied by audio recordings, with lyrics sung by Siddha Yoga musicians. You can listen to and sing along with India’s poet-saints.
  • Read each piece carefully and reflect on its knowledge.
  • In the commentary for each piece, you will find a suggestion for how to apply its teachings to your study of Gurumayi's Message for 2020.
  • Envision how you can implement these teachings in your daily life and your sadhana.
  • Write down in your journal your insights and explore the ways they can help you understand and implement Gurumayi’s Message.
  • Click on “Share your experience” below and share with other seekers in the global Siddha Yoga sangham the creative ways in which you study and implement Gurumayi’s Message.
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