Bhajan is a lyrical composition expressing love for God and glorifying God, in which complex spiritual truths are represented in simple language. The name is derived from the term ‘Bhaj’ that means 'serve' in Sanskrit
. The basis of Bhajans is found in the hymns found in the Sama Veda
. Bhajans are characterised by their power to appeal to the layman. Keertan is a variant form of the Bhajan.
The song is sung in groups. The group leader sings the first line of the stanza and the other members of the group follow in chorus. Kartal (wooden clappers), ektar (one stringed lute), dotar (two-stringed lute), Harmonium
(hand pumped organ), set of small cymbals,
(hand drum) and
(barrel shape drum) are the instruments associated with the song.