Music is verily Divine! …and to entrap the Divine there is no better tool than music. You sing your heart out adding music for rhythm and there gushes forth the innate feeling of Love for God! The Brazilians had it for display on the 8th July, on a beautiful evening turned twilight, in the immediate Divine Presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
They have come from the far off South American continent, some in search of God, some with love for God and some others with profound sense of gratitude. A group of about 300 from the Latin American country, Brazil has been camping in Prasanthi Nilayam from the 25th June and they had a clear cut agenda, to sing and experience Divinity! …and they have been practising rigorously to perfect the art before the final show in the Divine Presence.
Thanking Bhagawan profusely for the great grand opportunity, Sergio from Brazil, the conductor gave a brief intro on the musical performance for the evening, ending the same with a thunderous, yet mellifluous “WE LOVE YOU” that was mimicked by over 300 collective vocal cords “raising hearts” symbolically spelling their Love for Bhagawan. The cloud of uncertainty over the programme that was not in the schedule for the evening wafted in the air, slowly to disappear, when the all knowing Bhagawan, upon His arrival just after 1715 hrs., gave His Divine nod, acceding to their heartfelt prayers.
They tuned, beats followed, rhythmically harmonizing to the conductor’s finger baton, spelling their all out love in unison, resulting into a Western Bhajan Sandhya. Portuguese being the official language in Brazil, the troupe sang eight bhajans in Portuguese and one in Sanskrit, Bhagawan’s own, Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam…. Some familiar tunes, if one could call it, were heard echoing, that were heard even before in Prasanthi, especially the second bhajan, Sai, Mae e Pai Divinos meaning Oh! Sai! Divine Mother and Father, that raised the tempo in unison taking one and all to ecstatic level of devotional excellence. In fact, they commenced their programme invoking Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, chanting Om Gananam ThwaGanapathikum Havamahe… followed by three Omkars.
From South America to South East Asia…From Brazil to Indonesia…Goal was same, the Lord walks the Earth! … and the tool as well was the same, Music Divine! The Brazilian Bhajan Sandhya was followed by a short programme titled Sundanese Parahyangan, a traditional music programme called “Sai Angklung” (Sai Angklung for Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) by the Sai Study Group, Bandung, Indonesia.
Angklung is one of the most famous Indonesian traditional musical instruments made from bamboo. An ensemble of Angklung weaves beautiful music. Originally invented and developed in West Java, Indonesia, this instrument was familiar in the country for Hindu rituals early in the 14th century. Angklung was also played in the Royal Ceremony, used to play to escort the soldiers and warriors before they went to the wars. Anklung is one instrument that cannot be played by single person; it consists of set of tones and thus should be played by a group of people to weave musical harmony.
The group belongs to West Java, a province where the instrument was originally invented believes that harmony of sound that has been created by the angklung instruments can only be reached through the unity of the angklung’s players and the unity of the players can be reached only with practising and spreading the supreme human value of all the values, Love.
The group had a mix of traditional tones of angklung into bhajan songs, namely, “Gopala Sai Gopala” and “Jai Ho Sai Ram” and a sundanese traditional song, by name Es Lilin... The group of 27 played for 15 minutes with the help of instruments, namely, Angklung, Guitar, Drum, Tambourine, “kentongan”, all essentially sundanese percussion made from Bamboo. The troupe had hectic practice sessions under trainer Nana Sutisna for three months with utmost dedication and love for Bhagawan. The transition from the Western Bhajans to the South East Asian Traditional Music was swift as essentially it was music that was the component which is verily Divine!
They have come from far end of South America and from the South East of Asia, essentially to sing and experience Divinity and they had it in ample measure on this beautiful evening turned twilight!!!