A devotional song is a hymn which accompanies religious observances and rituals. Traditionally devotional music has been a part of Christian music, Hindu music, Sufi music, Buddhist music, Islamic music and Jewish music
Each major religion has its own tradition with devotional hymns. In the West, the devotional has been a part of the liturgy in Roman Catholicism, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, and others, since their earliest days. A devotional is a part of the prayer service proper and is not, in these contexts, ornamentation. During the Protestant Reformation, church music in general was hotly debated. Some Puritans objected to all ornament and sought to abolish choirs, hymns, and, inasmuch as liturgy itself was rejected, devotionals.
In Eastern and Near-Eastern religions, devotionals can function as communion prayer and meditation. These are sung in particular rhythms which are sustained over a prolonged period to give practitioners a mystical experience. In Hindu music, the genre arising out of the Bhakti movement (devotion), it takes forms like Bhajan, Kirtan and Aart
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, and sometimes dancing. A bhajan may be sung in a temple, in a home, under a tree in open, near a river bank or a place of historic significance.
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