‘Prayers Good for Heart’ says Scientists


Picture of Sathya Sai Bhajans

London newspapers have published an interesting news item yesterday (London Metro, July 9, 2013 and The Mail) about the power of prayers, in particular, group prayers. Read the story below and my comments:

’Hallelujah! Singing in a choir is as good as Yoga’’ is the title given by the newspapers.


‘’Scientists say chanting the Hallelujahs of the No.1 hit can be as good for the heart as a Yoga session. That is because singing helps us to control our breathing and regulate our heart beat and pulse.


And while singing alone is good, singing in a choir is better, research shows. Dr Bjorn Vickhoff of Gothenburg University in Sweden led the research. He said, ‘songs with long phrases achieve the same effect as breathing exercise in yoga. In other words, through song we can exercise a certain control over mental states. Choir singing or chanting foot ball songs impose a calm and regular breathing pattern on participants, giving their hearts a work out.’


Scientists of Gothenburg University made this discovery after asking a group to perform three different choral exercises—monotone humming, singing a hymn and chanting a slow mantra—while their heart rate was monitored. The results revealed the music’s melody and structure was directly linked to the cardiac activity of the choir.

The next task for the researchers is to measure how music affects the body in biological terms, said Dr Vickhoff. He reckons songs could be used to treat people with breathing difficulties.

24 Bhajan groups took part in a marathon session in California (USA)

My comments: Bhajans are good for heart patients

Bhajan singing is popular among Hindus. Swami Sivananda, Ramakrishna Mutt, Chinmaya Mission, Swami Abhedananda, Hare Krishna Movement and last but not the least Sri Sathya Sai Baba made Bhajan a house hold name. Thiruppugaz Bhajan, Thevaram recitation, Divya Prabandha recitation also fall under this category. (I have the personal experience of participating in the above groups)


Bhajan means singing a hymn or reciting God’s name loudly with the accompaniment of musical instruments. In some Bhajans Lamp dance and Stick dance are also included. This type of singing will fall under the category of choir singing and group singing in the churches.


It is good to know that those who do Bhajans or Thevaram recitation are strengthening their hearts physically and spiritually. The researchers  will soon find out that music also has the same effect.

(This article is translated in to Tamil and posted: London Swaminathan).