Vrindavan, 2020-02-11 (VT): There was a time, not too long ago in Vrindavan, when one could hear ‘samaj gayan’/’haveli sangeet’ reverberating in the temples, and streets of the Dham. However, over the years the tradition was nearly lost, with just a few noted temples such as Tatiya Sthan, Shri Radhavallabh Mandir, Rasikbihari Mandir, and Bhattji ki Haveli upholding it.
With the purpose of reviving and conserving this heritage, Vrindavan Research Institute has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Culture for training the youth associated with temples in this art.
Commenting on the move, Shri RD Paliwal (Chairman, VRI) said, “Samaj Gayan, which used to be an inextricable part of Braj culture, has been relegated to a few temples with time. We wanted to find a way to make this tradition financially rewarding for the youth, and to help pilgrims experience the bliss of this aspect of Thakurji’s seva.”
VRI has a collection of rare manuscripts describing this tradition, including an ancient painting depicting the meeting between Sangeet Samrat Swami Haridas ji and the mughal king Akbar.