Music is a medium often used to communicate with God. It transcends space and time. It is free of religion, caste, nationality, and even language. It resonates with the inner self of a person, reflecting the purpose and deeper meaning of life. While music is a form of expression, spirituality is born from a space of personal experience, and the environment. It brings clarity to thought and gives an opportunity for personal reflection. Old age is just right to contemplate about the bygone years and the deeds. Old age is a time to seek a passage to the Supreme Being. At an age where nothing comes as a surprise, but everything is consequential, the mind keenly looks for peace. Devotional songs have long been used to direct mind and soul towards a safe harbor. It is for the same reason that we are encouraged to hear songs that encourage us during yoga lessons or morning prayers.
But what exactly is devotional music? Is it in the Vedic hymns? Is it enshrined in the twirl of Sufi saints? Or is it captured for eternity in Pandit Bhimsen Joshis timeless vocals? Well, it rather depends on from person to person. While someone might find peace listening to M. S. Subbulakshmi, someone else might find it in A. R. Rehman. What matters is that music takes you to a level above the trivialities of life.
Devotional songs help one find compassion, generosity, and harmony. In addition to this, listening to devotional songs is shown to have added benefits on the mental health of a person. Listening to devotional music regularly gives out positive vibes, and contributes to a happier outlook on life. It results in the enhanced and elevated mood, especially when listened to during mornings. It also fosters relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and increases self-esteem. In Alzheimer patients, devotional music can increase communication skills, and stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory. It significantly helps in keeping a check on anger. Those who listen to devotional music have reported better sleep, increased the ability to concentrate, increased awareness, and lessened the need for medications. In India, devotion is a way of life. It can vary in medium, intensity, and genre, but there is no way around it. Whatever definition of spirituality one holds, the nature of music is a path one treads on. It is an integral part of human life, and more so when the mind needs most strength to carry on into the sunset.