The following code of conduct is ideal for those who are aspiring to sing Bhajans. This is not an intention to slight someone or demean anyone at all. Radhe Krishna!
Way to Sing Bhajans
1. Chant the lord’s name with love.
2. Sing with Bhaava (inner feeling), else, the whole activity of Bhajans is rendered useless.
What you get from singing Bhajans?
Bhajans are highly sacred. Bhajan singing makes the heart sacred. What is important is that it should come from the heart. Bhajan is not just rhythm, tune and beat. You should sing God’s name with love. You will see the manifestation of divinity with your physical eyes when you sing HIS glory with all love. Sing from HEART. This is the only way to get HIM into your HEART.
Bhaava (inner feeling) is the quintessence (purest and most perfect form) of Bhajan singing. The heart of the lord is like "soft butter". However to melt this soft butter, we need to show the warmth of Bhakthi and devotion expressed through Bhaava (inner feeling). Only a Bhajan (prayer) sung with full Bhaava (inner feeling) can melt the heart of the lord. It is the cry of devotee with deep yearning (compassion) for the lord. Which makes the lord run to the rescue of HIS devotees? This is the effect of Bhaava.
Even Ice takes some time to melt but God’s heart melts instantaneously when you chant HIS name with love.
Cultivate Bhaava in Bhajans:
Whenever a Bhajan appeals to us, we usually take the first opportunity available and proceed to sing it during a Bhajan session.
Is This The Way To Sing Bhajans?
The answer is No! The song you sing is an offering at the lord’s lotus feet and has to be prepared with due diligence (showing care and effort) and care.
How to cultivate Bhaava:
1. Select a Bhajan: Choose simple Bhajan, which suit your voice. It is the feeling with which you sing that matters, not the complexity of the tune.
2. Register the lyrics: Memorize the words of the Bhajan. Understand properly the meaning of the words or lyrics of the song. Learn to pronounce each word the right way.
3. Register the tune: Hear the Bhajan a number of times until the tune gets registered in your mind. Learn the raga on which the Bhajan is based. Understand the entire spectrum of the associated raga. Listen to some Bhajan or songs based on this raga. This will help one to get the feel of that raga which is necessary for the proper exposition of that raga and in turn the perfect rendering of the Bhajan.
4. Learn the tala (The beat): Learn the tala or the beat to which the song has been composed. One must pay special attention to the laya or the tempo of the song.
5. Practice 100 times
Practice 100 times
Does one really need to practice 100 times to get Bhajan prefect? Let us examine.
After the first 25 times you are able to get the lyrics, tune and rhythm perfect.
After the next 25 times you get the Bhajan into the mind. Now you are able to sing effortlessly.
After the next 25 times you get the Bhajan into your blood. You know the meaning of each word when you sing.
After the next 25 times you get the Bhajan into your heart. You are able to have a unique conversation with the lord when you sing.
6. Arrive in time; maintain silence before Bhajans:
"Where ever my glory is sung, I install myself there".
Give some time to prepare yourself mentally before Bhajan
7. Have no ego:
Sing to express (your devotion) not impress (with your musical talent). Pray to the lord before singing, for HIS grace, so that you can sing the song as an offering to the lord rather than with an intention to display your musical talent.
Bhajan must be a felt experience.
Do not sing with one eye on the song that makes the effect on the listeners, and the other, on the effect it makes on the GOD.
Let your heart pant for GOD; then, the raga (musical tune) and tala (musical beat) will automatically be pleasant and correct.
Do not allow even one vice (immoral conduct or weakness) like the vice of conceit (personal vanity) to enter and ensconce (establish or settle comfortably) itself in your heart.
Sing for the Lord, not the Listeners.
Bhajan done with egoistic pride is as harsh as the crow’s caw (harsh cry of crow). So, try to avoid the ego marring your sadhana (practice), even to a small extent".
Do you want to drive away GOD through your Bhajan?
Some people may laugh at all this Bhajan and call it mere show and exhibition and recommend instead quiet meditation in the silent recess of the shrine room. But coming out in company and doing Bhajan like this helps in removing egoism; one should not be afraid of jeering, nor feel ashamed to call out the name of the lord. One gets inspired by the devotion of others."
Use Bhajan as an activity to remove ego.
8. Bhajan is not the place to practice silence:
When a man has fallen into a well and is unable to get out, he does not mutter to himself. He shouts loudly to get men to save him! What do you do to drive away birds sitting on a branch? You clap your hands loudly. Similarly, sing the names "Radhe Govinda, Gopala, Hari Narayana aloud, and clap your hands with vigour (physical or mental strength or energy) so that the birds of evil passion, Kama, krodha (anger) and lobha infesting your mind will fly away.
When you sing without the thrill of ecstasy (over whelming joy or rapture), I do not derive any joy. Bhajan must spread good will, love, ecstasy it must cleanse (make clean or pure) the polluted atmosphere; it must invite all to share in the joy and peace. Be sincere feel in your hearts what you are singing by your voice. The motion will express itself through the raga and tala it chooses. You need not worry about the raga being appropriate or the tala being accurate. When Krishna is prompting you to sing, the raga and the tala can never be wrong.
Devotees who attend Bhajan turn their looks this side and that side without concentrating on Bhajan. If they are not interested in the Bhajan, why should they come at all?