Published on Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010 at 2343 Hrs. IST
Following South Europe and the UK there arrived North Europe. On the 7th Aug evening taking its turn the North European Choir presented a programme entitled “All Are One” in the Divine presence. The Choir comprising of 12 countries, namely, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Sweden, from European Zone 7 of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations, had three hundred devotees from the region joining this pilgrimage to Prasanthi Nilayam lasting for ten days.
Upon coming onstage at 1710 hrs. after a 15 minute round of darshan, at 1710 hrs., Bhagawan sat for some time as the Vedic incantations went on.
In the meantime some of the men from the group got special attention from Bhagawan as He chose to interact with them. Familiar figure during Christmas Choir and singer of repute, Gisela Sebastian from Germany won special Divine attention as Bhagawan materialised a golden chain for the blessed artiste, well received with roar of applause.
Veda chanting ceased at 1735 hrs. and following initial invocation and an announcement on the scheduled programme by the programme co-ordinator, the choristers began their 'journey' with a piece of Indian incantation, Ganesha Prarthana, invoking Lord Ganesha.
Continuing with the Indian tongue, this all 'European Choir' sang two more pieces, one from The Bhagavad Gita followed by " Bhumi Mangalam" before switching over to its comfort zone, English and some regional languages, namely, German, Lithuanian and French.
Accompanied by fine piece of music, generating harmonious rhythm, at times fitting synchronised clappings, more of Indian style, the choristers produced a musical evening of dedication and devotion to the delight of the evening's capacity audience. The Choir was ably conducted by Ms. Alma Badings from The Netherlands, a familiar face in Prasanthi during X-Mas Children Choir, with Ms. Gisela Sebastian leading 'the singing' from the front, laying extra hands on the keys of harmonium.
Musical pieces for the evening included Hallelujah from Handel's Messiah, Ode to Joy, a customised Beethoven classic etc. Many hymns had interesting refrains, direct prayers unto Him, and some of them were quite noteworthy for the manner in which they were produced, quite typical, loud, fast and bringing abrupt end, resulting in erupting greater enthusiasm and joy. Final pieces were one on "Unity" followed by a "Wishing Happy Days" to The Dearest Lord.
Fifty minutes' programme was followed by twenty minutes' bhajans by the choristers. As they began to sing, Bhagawan blessed singer Gisela Sebastian with a print of her blessed snap with Bhagawan, materialising the chain. Prasadam got sanctified by His touch and as the distribution went on, after 5-6 bhajans, sung with elan suffused with devotion, Bhagawan called for Mangala Arathi. Upon accepting Arathi, Bhagawan spent another five minutes onstage, glancing at the choristers, blessing two of the men, including the youngster who was on the harmonium, before leaving the dais at 1855 hrs. before retiring to Yajur Mandiram.