History And Practice Of Abhang In English

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History And Practice Of Abhang In English


  • Abhang is a form of devotional poetry sung in praise of the Hindu god Vitthal, also known as Vithoba.
  • The word “abhang” comes for “non-” and bhang for “terminating” or “interrupted”, in other words, an innocent, continuous process, in this case referring to a poem.
  • In contrast, devotional songs known as bhajans focus on the inner journey.
  • Abhang is a more enthusiastic expression of the communist experience. Abhang is considered a form of Ovi. Abhangs are sung by devotees during their pilgrimage to the temples of Pandharpur.


  • Marathi bhajans begin with Naman (invocation of God), followed by Rupancha Abhang (depicting the physical beauty of God in human form) and finally hymns carrying spiritual and moral messages.
  • Some of the famous composers of Abhangas are Bhimsen Joshi, Sudhir Phadke, Suresh Wadkar, Ranjani, Gayatri, Aruna Sairam and Jitendra Abhishek.
  • It is a form of music performed by both classical and non-classical musicians. It has become an integral part of bhajan concerts across India.


  • The Bhakti Sampradaya or Namasankirtana Sampradaya was led by Dnyaneshwar around 1200.
  • Around that time it was believed that Sanskrit is needed to attain divinity.
  • Both Dnyaneshwar and Namdev, through their actions, devotion and bhakti started a sect that did not give importance to caste or creed, but only devotion to Lord Pandurang.
  • Tukaram was a seventeenth century poet who lived in the city of Dehu, which is located near Pune.
  • He was a popular poet and a key figure in the Varkari movement of the time, which sought to emphasize devotion and love for God, as opposed to blind obedience to rituals and mystical religious practices.
  • It is said that Saint Tukaram wrote more than 5000 Abhangs. Many of them were devoted to Lord Vitthal or Vithoba, but most criticized the social injustice of the time.
  • A Warkari travels from Alandi to Pandharpur. He holds a veena (lute) with a saffron flag, and cymbals tied with strings in his hands.
  • Samarth Ramdas had an important role in taking this tradition of Namasankirtan to Thanjavur.
  • It pioneered classical form of Abhang singing in South India and made it an integral part of Carnatic and Bhajan concerts of South India.