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Singing to the Glory of the God is a common practice across different faiths. India has a long tradition of sacred songs praising various Gods, Goddesses and Saints. When Indians got introduced to the new faith of Islam, gradually that also got incorporated into this tradition. Songs addressed to Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him, are sung with no less passion than a song sung to Shri Krishna or Shri Rama. Innumerable Nat, Salam, and Bhajan. Kirtan songs have been giving solace to the devotees of different faiths. Bhajans and Kirtans are inseparable from the Indian identity, may it be of a Hindu or a Muslim. The spiritual appeal of these songs is beyond the mundane sectarian boundaries. They have a transcendental power of lifting a devotee from gross physicality to subtle level of consciousness. These songs are the companions of the humans striving for an experience of inner peace. The imagery and philosophy of the devotional songs are good testimony of universality of humans. Most importantly these are pieces of good literature, literature that is appreciated and enjoyed by the learned and the illiterate alike. A scholar may write essays on a Bhajan and an illiterate may simply sing it and experience the joy of being one with his/her object of worship, but in essence, both are swinging on the same rhythm of emotion. The proposed seminar is an attempt towards understanding the poetry, music and spiritual transcendence intended through these devotional songs.

Papers are invited on the following topics:

  • The tradition of Shaiva/ Shakta and Vaishnav devotional songs, the tradition of Nat, Salam, Marsia,devotional Qawwali’s, the tradition of Christian songs, the tradition of Sikh Shabad Kirtans in India.
  • A poetic appreciation of the Indian devotional songs.
  • Devotional songs as sites of composite culture.
  • Nuances of the performance: Devotional songs of different faiths.
  • Any other topic related to the theme will be accepted.
    There will be sessions of performances by the artists of Nat, Bhajans, and other genres of singing.

About BHU
Banaras Hindu University [BHU] founded by Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1916, is one of the most prestigious Central Universities in the country. Being a living embodiment of such visionaries as Mahamana Malviya, Dr. Annie Besant and Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, this seat of learning epitomizes the synthesis of ancient wisdom and modern scientific temper. The University is situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganga in the pious city of Varanasi, the religious capital of India and Centre of Oriental Learning. The University comprises 5 Institutes, IIT-BHU, 15 Faculties, 130 departments, Mahila Mahavidyalaya,4 Inter- disciplinary Centres,14 UGC Special Assistance Programs, a Constituent College for Women and 3 Constituent schools. The 1200- bed [approx..] Sir Sundar Lal Hospital of the university is equipped with modern amenities and caters to the healthcare needs of the vast population of eastern U.P., parts of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, M.P., Jharkhand and adjoining Nepal. A good number of students from abroad including from the USA, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, etc. get admitted in various academic programs in the University every year.


Sambodhi Sabhagar, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

Submission of Abstract

Kindly send your abstract through email at [not more than 250 words] on or before 15.07.23. For English use Times New Roman, Font size – 12, and for Hindi use Kruti Dev 010, Font size – 10, in PDF format. For further queries you may contact the convenor of the seminar.

Important Dates

  • Last date of Registration – 31/08/23
  • Last date of abstract submission – 15/07/23
  • Acceptance of Abstract – 15/08/2023
  • Last date for Paper submission – 30/09/23

Email id to send abstract –

Registration Fees

  • Student, Research Scholars, and Faculty Members – 1000/- INR
  • Foreign Persons – 200 $US · Accommodation is not included. ·

The registration fee is non-refundable. · On the spot registration is not allowed.

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