In Pushtimarg the Kirtans are of utmost importance.The word Kirtan is derived from the sanskrit word kirt which means to sing the praise of someone or something.
The Kirtans have so much importance in Pushtimarg because they are a great means of keeping our mind in the sewa of Shriji.They are also instrumental in awakening bhaav in us as they sing the praise of Shriji and also describe the naughty acts of Shriji in Nandalay with Shri Yashodaji or with the Gopikas in the different Kunjs (forests) of Vraj.
The difference in the Kirtans of Pushtimarg and the Bhajans of the other Sampradayas is that the Kirtans are spread over a very wide spectrum of subjects related to Shriji ranging from showing us his immense and unthinkable powers to giving him a good scolding when he is caught stealing navneet (butter).As compared to this the Bhajans of other Sampradayas are mostly restricted to only showing the great powers of the deity to which they relate or to ask for the fulfilment of their worldly desires. In Kirtans there is never any reference to the fulfilment of our worldly desires.
In Pushtimarg the ragas are sung with respect to the time of the day the ought to be sung i.e. the Raga Bhairav,which is a morning raga,can be sung only in the morning where as the raga Bihag can be sung only in the evening as it an evening raga. Accordingly, there is a change in the ragas according to a change in the seasons. There are also many seasons in Sewa. As seasons change different ragas are sung so as to gel with the climate and the mood of the corresponding period. Here a table is given showing the ragas that are generally sung during the normal day of sewa.
The indian classical music has mainly two angs - raag and taal. In Pushtimarg also taal occupies an unsubstituable place. In Pushtimarg pakhaawaj - not tabla - is th main instrument of giving taal. The kirtans of Pusthimarg are similar to the 'Dhrupad' style of gaayaki and so the taals that are primarily used are also connected to Dhrupad style - Chautal(Dhrupa) and Dhamaar. Over and above these many other taals are also accepted, here is a list of taals that are used in Pushtimarg :
Taals of Pushtimarg
|Teentaal (16 matra), Teental (8 matra)||Ada Chautal|
Chalti : At the end of all kirtans the pakhawaj is played in a typical way known as 'chalti'. Here is an example how it is played. Chalti
Other instruments :
In pushtimarg the more than 30 instruments find place in a kirtan but in practical use such instruments are not even heard let alone using them!! But then too some instruments are regularly used on particular days.