Ecstatic mantra session is the conscious dance on Bhakti music. Conscious dance – is an invigorating mind-body practice of uncensored spontaneous movement for normal people just like you who love to dance when no one’s watching. Just think of it as rockin’ out to your favorite tunes at home, only So. Much. More. Imagine recess – grownup style – as a group of friends drop inhibitions and let loose; animating the room into a dynamic and interactive playground engendering total freedom of expression.
Because free-form dance requires 100% presence of the participant, it is an engaging form of meditation, coaxing the dancer to listen deeply and follow oneself faithfully. Unstructured freestyle movement generates a meditative, trance-like state out of which great joy, freedom, and peace arise. The Conscious Dance floor becomes a majestic field of freedom inducing complete immersion into the present moment.
With an aim to recreate and reconnect with Sufi, Folk and Poetry, The Leela Fest brings to you an undiluted version of Sufi to the stage.
Sufi music is the devotional music of the Sufis, inspired by the works of Sufi poets, like Rumi, Hafiz, Bulleh Shah, Amir Khusrow and Khwaja Ghulam Farid.
The Sufis no doubt stood for social harmony and tolerance but their concept of unity is no way premised on the acceptance of the existing socio economic order based on the human inequality. They in fact were the ones who defied the norms evolved in the name of class, creed and colour through their peaceful practice.
The meaning of Satsang is ‘company of the Absolute Truth’ where ‘Sat’ means the Absolute Truth i.e. God and ‘sang’ refers to the company of seekers or Saints. In short, the meaning of Satsang is an environment that is conducive for experiencing the presence of God.
Properly conducted satsangs can generate powerful, cleansing, inspiring and purifying thought vibrations which can uplift the people who participate in them and also sanctify the place in which they are organized.
One is able to ask questions about the science of spirituality and therefore clear any doubts that one might have. Sharing spiritual experiences and also understanding the spiritual significance behind them is a part of the Satsang as well.
At a subtle level, one gets the benefit of Divine consciousness (Chaitanya). True satsang is realization of self or the union of the individual self with the Highest self.
Vedic philosophy tells us about the existence of another type of particle called the atma, the soul, the self, having different properties from those of ordinary particles.
Vedic Philosophy provides answers to all unanswered questions i.e why there is pain and pleasure, rich and poor, healthy and sick; God – His qualities, nature and works. Soul – Its nature and qualities, souls of humans and animals; reincarnation – how does it happens, why one is born as he or she is. What is the purpose of life? What we ought to do?
The process of spiritual development described in the Vedic literature is one of a gradual process of realization and love of God. This wisdom has been carefully preserved and passed down through the centuries through the vehicle of the disciplic succession of self-realized teachers.
The mind has to be calibrated, as with any high-precision measuring device, by cleansing it of all selfish, egoistic and cruel propensities. This can be done by the powerful method of meditation techniques utilizing the chanting of mantras, which involve the recitation of the names of God and can focus, tame, and purify the mind. Once the mind has been cleansed, direct perception of the soul is possible, not only within oneself, but then also within every other living entity. This method has been tested and approved by great saints throughout millennia, whose lives are testimony to their words.
Ramleela, literally “Rama’s play”, is a performance of then Ramayana epic in a series of scenes that include song, narration, recital and dialogue. This staging of the Ramayana is based on the Ramacharitmanas, one of the most popular storytelling forms in the north of the country. This sacred text devoted to the glory of Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, was composed by Tulsidas in the sixteenth century in a form of Hindi in order to make the Sanskrit epic available to all.
The audience is invited to sing and take part in the narration. The Ramleela brings everyone together, without distinction of caste, religion or age. Anybody can participate playing roles or taking part in a variety of related activities, such as mask- and costume making, and preparing make-up, effigies and lights.
Krishna’s dance of passion where a transcendental state of being is achieved through dance and music. Raas Leela is a major part of Krishna bhakti, where leela is about the union of a pure being with the Purushottam(supreme one).
When the one transcends the boundary of gender of the mortal body and immerses all the senses in transcendental love for the lord, it culminates in the union with the divine. When all the desires melt away in the fire of bhakti love , the true knowledge extinguishes ignorance within. This is the first step towards Raas Leela.
Mata ki Chowki is performed to seek blessings from Devi maa. Maa Durga signifies strength. The blessings of Maa Shakti are taken to protect you from the evil forces and give strength to sail smoothly through the rough course of life. This ceremony is performed to receive blessings by her divine powers.
Mata ki Chowki is a religious gathering and kirtan. In Mata Ki Chowki, the group preaches about Mata (Godess), sings “Jagrata” and motivates devotees to pay their respects through their prayers. It is a devotional program done during the evening time, for 3 hours on any day between 7:00 p.m and 10:00 p.m.
The program ends with an aarti, where a candle is lit, soaked in ghee or camphor, is offered to Maa Durga accompanied by some shlokas. This is then followed by distribution of Prasad to all and this completes the Mata Ki Chowki, with samapti.
“Mananaat Traayate Iti Mantrah” best captures the meaning of this tradition. It translates to “that, which uplifts through constant repetition, is a Mantra”.
Chanting is not just about religion and spirituality; rather it’s a combination of sound, breath and rhythm that helps you to channelise your energy. The mantras have both psychological and physiological effects on your body. Vedic chant is the expression of hymns from the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of Hinduism. The practice dates back at least 3,000 years and is probably the world’s oldest continuous vocal tradition.
These mantras awaken and energise your body’s natural healing mechanisms. They unlock the secret and sacred inner pathways that lead you to eternal happiness and wellbeing. Vedic knowledge, if applied to current times in the right context, can only benefit us all –no vedic ritual is directed at personal benefit; it is all meant for the good of the entire community, for as the sacred scriptures point out, vasudhaiva kutumbakam – we are one family. Good karma generates even more good karma and will benefit everyone.
Kirtan means “singing the praises of God.” In gurdwaras(sikh temples) throughout the world, there is no more important component of the life of the gathered community than kirtan. Men and women, young and old, learn to sing the Divine word, individually and congregationally. Usually, they sing to the accompaniment of a harmonium. Most of the hymns, called shabads, are from the Guru Granth Sahib. They are gurbani, the hymns of the Gurus, or bhagatbani, the hymns of the saints.
The Guru Granth Sahib is poetry, and its poetry is sung. The full spirit and power of the word is in the singing of it. All of the shabads contained in the Guru Granth Sahib are set to particular traditional musical scales called ragas, each meant to be played at a particular time of day or to evoke a particular mood.
During the Shabad Kirtan program, the appointed reader of the Guru Granth Sahib, called the granthi, may sing the hymns, along with the ragis, or trained Sikh musicians. In addition, many members of the congregation (sangat), including children, also lead the shabad.
It is rarely anyone who is not enchanted by music. When practiced as group in adoring a Murthy of the devata, something is emergent from the experience which takes us beyond the mundane.
Kirtan and a Bhajan are closely related, with both sharing common aims, subjects, musical themes and devotional performance arts. A Bhajan is more free form, can be singular melody that is performed by a single singer with or without one and more musical instruments. Kirtan, in contrast, differs in being a more structured team performance, typically with a call and response musical structure, similar to an intimate conversation or gentle sharing of ideas, and it includes two or more musical instruments, with roots in the prosody principles of the Vedic era.
Many Kirtan are structured for more audience participation, where the singer calls a spiritual chant, a hymn or a devotional theme, the audience then responds back by repeating the chant or by chanting back a reply of their shared beliefs.
Akhand Ramayan Paath involves singing/reciting the entire Ramyana without any breaks, continuously for 24 hours.
Ram or Srī Rāmachandra is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu. He is the central figure of the Hindu epic Ramayana, which is the principal narration of the events connected to his incarnation on Earth, his ideals, and his greatness.
By performing the Akhand Ramayan Paath, one can imbibe qualities of Lord Rama.
The recitation of the Akhand Ram charitra Manas eliminates negative energies.
Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals.
An essential part of puja for the devotee is making a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often that contact is facilitated through an object: an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a print.
Puja means worship,devotion and reverence.
The aarti is prayer ceremony performed in extolled greeting and thanksgiving of the Deities where devotees are reminded of God’s glorious presence and providence.
Often called the ‘ceremony of light’, the aarti involves waving lighted wicks before the sacred images to infuse the flames with the Deities’ love, energy and blessings. This prayer is joyously sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments, including drums, bells, gongs, and a conch-shell. After the short prayer, the lighted wicks are passed around the congregation to allow members to receive the blessings infused within the flames.
Akhand Jyoti or Akhand deep brings happiness to the worshippers. The light through the Akhand Jyoti inflames the body system and improves the concentration. The greater is the concentration the more is the power of worship. Japa and prayers which are performed in front of Akhand Deep are multiple times more powerful as compared to usual prayer. It brings happiness and prosperity for the worshiper.
The light of Akhand Jyoti cannot be extinguished. The akhand jyoti will be kept flaming for all the seven days of the festival.
Rudra Pooja is an ancient practice followed in India since time immemorial. ‘Rudra’ means ‘Shiva – the Benevolent’, ‘ the Destroyer of Evil’. ‘Pooja’ means that which is born out of fullness. Through this Pooja one can aim for inner peace and fulfillment. In this Pooja, Lord Shiva is worshipped in his Rudra form. Rudra Abhishek Pooja includes Shivling Abhishek with 11 Ingredients and chanting of 108 names of Lord Shiva.
It is hailed by all Vedic scriptures as one of the greatest Poojas to remove all evils, to attain all desires and for all-round prosperity. Scriptures on Astrology prescribe this emphatically as a remedy for several planetary doshas.
Maha Yagna is performed for the profound evolvement of all creatures and for the welfare of the Universe. The yagna gives unbounded delight, it is mysterious with endless powers and is made of severe guidelines and regulations and includes expansive hidden tantric practices.
Maha Yagnas is performed with exact ceremonies and poojas with havans that are accompanied by chants from the Rig Veda and the Sama Veda.