Bhajans and Kirtans originated in Sāmaveda. A musical-lyrical glorification of the a devata or a deity is a Bhajan. Singing Bhajans and Kirtans in praise of the Almighty is an age-old and sacred tradition. Essentially, its simple melodious lyrics and rāgas have the same result as meditation. It’s a way of conveying love to the divine, and for the seeker especially who is following the path of bhakti, it treads the path to become one with the divine.

The Vidya Vikas Bhajan class was initiated at Ekta Mandir in the Summer of 2010 for kids and adults. The benefits of singing the praise of our beloved deities, can be felt regardless of age.

For ages 4-17

One of the primary objectives of the class was to inculcate Bhakti or devotion in the hearts of these juvenile youth besides emphasizing our rich and ancient traditional core values into our kids’ minds. Fundamentally, since Bhajans emerged from Nāda Brahma, these sounds are considered to be elemental in experiencing the ultimate reality of the Supreme.

Viji Somnath, Teacher
Viji Somanath is a music teacher at Vidya Vikas. She routinely performs at the DFW Hindu Temple and around the metroplex. As a classical Carnatic vocalist she has always been passionate about developing and sharing her music knowledge. She teaches biology at Tarrant County Community College. Dr. Hansmukh Shah and several of her music gurus have inspired her to teach. Inculcating Hindu religion and our rich and ancient traditional core values into kids’ minds is an integral part of this entire process. When words fail, music speaks! She loves to take long walks, listen to music and serve at the temple. She has a son and a daughter. Her husband Al Somanath is a SAT teacher at Vidya Vikas.
Sowmya Somnath, Co-Teacher

Sowmya Somanath is a 2012 graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, holding a Bachelor's degree in music, with concentrations in voice and music theory. Sowmya has over 20 years of training in Western classical music (opera and choral literature, jazz, pop, folk, and two styles of Indian Classical singing--Carnatic/Hindustani) and Indian classical dance (Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak).

In 2008, Sowmya was the only student from her school to be admitted into the Texas All-State Choir, ranking 2nd chair. She received the "Golden Voice Award" that same year from her choir director, Danny Detrick. In 2013, she was admitted into A.R. Rahman's music school, KM Conservatory, where she underwent rigorous training in Hindustani music. In 2015, Sowmya received the 'Voice of Dallas' award by Sri Chitravina Ravikiran at the Dallas IndoFestival.

At the age of 4, Sowmya entered the world of dance. She began rigorously training in Bharatanatyam, then eventually Kuchipudi and Kathak. In 2006, she completed her Arangetram in the Kalakshetra style under Smt. Shobana Bhalchandra, a member of the Trio Sisters and first disciple of the esteemed Dhananjayans. In 2008, she completed her Kuchipudi Rangapravesam under Smt. Padma Sonti, disciple of Sri Vempatti Chinnasatyam. She studied Kathak with Smt. Anjali Mage in Dallas, TX, and attended intensive workshops with the renowned duo, Nirupama & Rajendra.

Sowmya's striking versatility as an artist has allowed her to create her own art through songwriting. When Sowmya is not teaching music or dance, she is writing and performing original music with her beloved indie band, Felt Out.

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