‘Even ordinary music has the ability to evoke delight to all those who listen to it. But when that music is embellished with devotion, its strength is amplified in a remarkable manner’ – Acharya Swamishree Maharaj
The female members of the congregation at Kingsbury Mandir, both young and old gathered in London to celebrate the New Year with devotional traditional dancing, known as “samuh raas”.
A form of worship, samuh raas is a traditional folk dance originating from Gujarat, India, where the devotees dance in a circle around Lord Swaminarayan.
The event began with the elder ladies of the congregation showcasing how they used to play samuh raas in the olden days, before the release of technical sound systems and instruments, with just a kirtan book and their voices.
This was then followed by upbeat devotional songs sung by 3 live female singers accompanied by the thunderous beats of 2female dhol players. After the rousing and energetic samuh raas, ladies danced to bhangra beats and rejoiced whilst chanting the Lords name.
One participant commented, ‘I really enjoyed playing raas, I was singing along to all the songs and my feet couldn’t help but dance, even when I was tired. I loved the live singing and dholbeats, it’s a great way to bring the community together and please the Lord.’
The event ended with a refreshing Prasad sponsored by a member of the congregation.