A bhajan literally means “sharing”. It also refers to any song with religious theme or spiritual ideas, in a regional South Asian language.
A bhajan has no prescribed form, or set rules, is in free form, normally lyrical and based on melodic ragas. It belongs to a genre of music and arts that developed with the Bhakti movement. It is found in the various traditions of Hinduism but particularly in Vaishnavism, in Jainism.
Ideas from scriptures, legendary epics, the teachings of saints and loving devotion to a deity are the typical subjects of bhajans. It is usually a group event, with one or more lead singers, accompanied with music,
The saints of the Bhakti movement are credited with pioneering many forms of bhajans, starting with the South Indian bhakti pioneers, but bhajans have been widely composed anonymously and shared as a musical and arts tradition. Its genre such as Nirguni, Gorakhanathi, Vallabhapanthi, Ashtachhap, Madhura-bhakti and the traditional South Indian form Sampradya Bhajan each have their own repertoire and methods of singing.