What is keertan?

Keertan is a devotioal music concert. Hindus also express their love of God through music. Most public worships end with the singing of hymns or devotional songs, called Bhajans, with music. The members of the congregation clap and sing along swaying side to side with their eyes closed, and totally immersed in their love of God. To celebrate a special occasion, many Hindus organize a devotional music concert, called Keertan, either at their homes or at the temple. Most temples provide an amateur music group, called Keertan Mundli in Hindi language, with traditional musical instruments to give the performance. During the concert people offer donations, and the entire collection from the event goes to the temple or other charitable organizations. Many people bring traditional Indian sweets or fruits as offerings to the deity. In the end, all offerings are distributed as Prasad to those in attendance. In Canada, many temples also organize such devotional music concerts on a grand scale as a major public event for fund-raising. A Keertan can be a short concert lasting a few hours or an all night musical marathon, the Jag-run, with performances given by more than one music group.

Book: Hindus of Canada

Author: Ajit Adhopia