SINGING devotional songs in a group is one way for Hindu devotees to strengthen their faith.
The Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) recognised two groups for their effort in organising bhajan (congregational singing) during the Thaipusam chariot procession from Feb 3 to Feb 4.
The two groups who were holding the event for the sixth time were Kuala Lumpur Om Sri Sivakaliamman Devotee Bhajan Association and Sri Ramakrishna Bhajan, an independent bhajan group.
Federal Territory MHS chairman Balamani Subramaniam presented certificates of appreciation to both groups at Sri Thandayuthapani Temple in Sentul.
Receiving them was Batu MP P. Prabakaran, who then handed over the certificates to the bhajan participants before they set off with the chariot procession to Batu Caves.
The chariot carrying Lord Muruga departed the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Tun HS Lee, Kuala Lumpur on Feb 3 and passed by several temples where devotees waited to join the procession, including at the Sri Thandayuthapani Temple, where about 100 bhajan participants had gathered.
Kuala Lumpur Om Sri Sivakaliamman Devotee Bhajan Association president Muniswaran Kannappan, 47, said they started their journey at about 11.30pm, with 105 registered participants.
“More joined along the way. We arrived at Batu Caves at 7.30am the next morning,” he said.
Muniswaran said bhajan was a good activity for spiritual well- being, especially for youths.
“During religious or cultural events, taking part in bhajan is a good way to participate in the celebration, and bond with family and friends during the occasion.
“This is our sixth year organising the event with Sri Ramakrishna Bhajan and we look forward to many years to come,” he said.
Sri Ramakrishna Bhajan member, Navin Kumar P. Gopal, 32, said singing devotional songs was an easy way to stop the mind from wandering.
He said devotees should keep away from negative thoughts while following the procession.
“Many thoughts will cross our minds if we are just walking.
“If we focus on singing devotional songs and playing musical instruments such as dollak, jalra and tambourine, the focus will remain on that, which will help clear the mind of unnecessary thoughts during the spiritual journey,” he said.
Navin said the bhajan would be an annual affair and encouraged the public to join them.
“Our volunteers will guide those who are new, even those with no knowledge about bhajan, on how to participate,” he said.