Religion is a Drug

I don’t mean that in a “religion is the opiate of the masses” kind of way, but I realized recently that there is nothing like the blissful high of joining with a faith community and singing.

Every Saturday that we can manage it, we walk the half mile to the Sathya Sai Baba group and sing bhajans for an hour.

I throw myself into the songs and my voice, along with my spirit, feels lifted up by the voices all around me. It is the greatest experience I’ve ever felt.

Even on days when I feel down, it can’t help but fill me with joy.

I always leave feeling like I’m floating on clouds of bliss.

I’ve experienced this many times with devotional music. If you can believe it, I was a member of a gospel choir in college! Those songs, like these, are expressions of pure happiness and love.

Readjusting ourselves to life after all the wedding excitement has taken a little while to process. Between that and some hormone issues, I was feeling pretty down on Saturday. But we hadn’t been to bhajans in a couple weeks, so I put on my sari and we went. I’m so glad that we did. I left feeling light and free and full of joy.

Is there anything in the world better than music?

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • JustaGuy

    Right on, sister ji, you know Bhagavan speaks of two kinds of love. The first kind, we are the gopi, in the garden, dancing with Krishna face to face. The second, more powerful kind, when our Beloved is away, and we pine for Him/Her, sing songs to Him/Her, make love to them in our hearts and minds. Hence the gift of kirtan.

    Indeed, religion need not be an “opiate”, but can be a healing medicine too.

    ~Gurudasa Satnaam Ji

    • Ambaa

      Exactly! :D


    Few week ago it was Ramadan and somebody asked me if I was fasting, and I said I’m not fasting, and when he asked why? I said I’m not muslim, but the next question was important, how do I display my love to god if I didn’t fast? came into an equation. I said you don’t need to starve your self to show your love to god, you can if you want it to, but it’s not required in our faith. One can display love to God in many other ways without being too extreme.

    This is where Bhajans and Kirtans are a way one can show love to god without being too extreme and still be happy and it’s this happiness that bond us with divine entity. In Hinduism we show our devotion with Bhajans and Kirtans and nurtiya. In kaliyug this is a best form of devotion. It’s this form of happiness that lifts you up and none other.

    • Ambaa

      Yes. Though, many Hindus do fast. Not for Ramadan, but for many other things. Many fast at least one day a week. Krishna Janmashtami is tomorrow and many will be fasting for that.

      I do appreciate that we don’t *have* to be extreme or rules-driven to show our love and devotion to the divine.