Describe the part that art and music plays in the worship and spiritual life of Hinduism
Art and Music are used in many religions to help people worship and become more spiritual. In Hinduism both allow the worshipper to show their love, devotion and appreciation to God. This is known as Bhakti, which is a word of Sanskrit origin. Both art and music play essential roles in Hindu worship and spiritual life. Art and music are seen as forms of praying and worship which therefore leads to the communication with your atman (soul), being able to link to God/Brahman (the ultimate power) and a forceful and effective way of rousing.
Hinduism is a term that covers many different ideas and practices. It is better known as a way of life that has developed over thousands of years. Not all Hindus believe in the same thing or worship in the same way. Therefore people use art and music in different ways to worship their deities.
Music and art play main parts in the worship and spiritual life of all devout Hindus. Sound (Nada) also known in Hinduism as Nada is believed to be the centre of the process of creation. In Hinduism it is believed that the sacred symbol ‘Om’ embodies the essence of the Universe, and it is through the sound, Om, the primary energy holds the material world (which is Maya) together which is believed to prevent Hindus from reaching Moksha (were the Atman (soul) is released from its Vessel (body) and joins Brahman on a higher plain of existence). Nada Brahman is a primary word in Hindu spirituality, a word that also refers to India’s great classical music.
For thousands of years, music in India has been practiced as a spiritual science and art, another means of enlightenment. Sangita, which means drama, music and dance, was also associated with religion and philosophy. At first it was linked with the ritualistic and devotional side of religious life.
Classical Indian music known as Bharatnatyam or Kathak is one of the most ancient form of dance that originated from temples in India. Every singly movement of the body, facial expression and footwork has a specific meaning. The dances are choreographed to link in with religious morals, which adds a visual form of spirituality.
Other forms of communal dancing which takes place during the festival of Navratri are garba and dandiya raas. Garba involves dancing with clap movements around the shrine of the deity Shakti. Dandiya raas involves sticks, with worshippers facing each other and striking each others sticks.