July 8, 2009 – Performance by Brazilian and Indonesian Devotees

There was heavy expectation in the air for the devotees from Brazil and Indonesia on the evening of July 8 as they had been informed to be ready with their presentations and programmes. But they had not yet been officially permitted and the permission was likely to be sought as Swami arrived for darshan. At 5:00 p.m., the bhajans began as is the usual practice. At about 5:10 p.m., there were signs that Swami was arriving for darshan. The above mentioned groups seemed to be sitting with their muscles tensed, like the athletes from an Olympic 100 metres dash! Swami arrived and permitted the programme.

Quickly students evacuated the front block of the Sai Kuwant Hall and in no time men and women in green "Brasilia" scarves filled up more than half of the central area. Swami took a detour at the ladies side and arrived straight onto the stage. He called Mr. Sergio, the orchestrator of the Brazilian choir and spoke to him asking his name. Swami then halted the Veda chanting and asked them to start their programme. The presentation consisted of bhajans in Portuguese!  It began with Veda chanting and it was thrilling to know that these holy chants resonated in the Latin American nations too! The singing was wonderful and the beauty of a hundred throats singing in unison was easily seen. Swami sat keenly observing the ladies and the gents, and each time He looked in a direction, a wave of smiles seemed to flow through.

The programme began with a 'bang', if we may term it so. Sergio spoke of their fervent gratitude to Swami and concluded with a thumping "We Love You". Everyone chorused it and "raised their hearts" to Swami as they held up three dimensional hearts which they had placed on their hands. The bhajans then followed and flowed. It was definitely a foreign tongue for most of the people assembled in the hall, but their Love for Swami and their joy at seeing Him were so evident.

They sang one song after another for about 40 minutes. Swami sat keeping rhythm at times, smiling at other times or simply closing His eyes and drinking deep into their devotion. It was a beautiful experience and when they sang Manasa Bhajore Guru Charanam, Swami (and the conductor) encouraged all the students to follow too. This stream of devotional singing found its fulfillment at the sea of Grace that Swami bestowed so profusely by repeated abhayahasthas to them. Once they concluded, the overseas organisers requested Swami to give opportunity to the devotees from Indonesia to make their presentation and Swami wholeheartedly agreed.

It was 6:00 p.m. and the small Indonesian group from Bandung, West Java, filled into the places of the Brazilians. Swami sat watching the entire process. One of the male members of the group took to Swami the instrument that they were about to perform with - the Angklung. This is a musical instrument made out of two bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. The tubes are carved so that they have a resonant pitch when struck. The two tubes are tuned to octaves. The base of the frame is held with one hand while the other hand shakes the instrument rapidly from side to side. This causes a rapidly repeating sound.

Thus each of three or more Angklung performers in an ensemble will play just one note and together the complete melodies are produced. Angklung is popular throughout Southeast Asia, but originated from Indonesia (used and played by the Sundanese since the ancient times). Now a lady devotee of the group presented Swami with a traditional idol from Indonesia. Swami held and examined the idol so cutely, like a child examining his new toy! Then He blessed her with a smile.

As for the actual programme, leave behind all the definitions, the experience of hearing the music being played with perfect synchronization was tremendous. It has to be seen to be believed. So go ahead and watch this video clip.




The group had a mix of traditional tones of Angklung into bhajans, namely, “Gopala Sai Gopala” and “Jai Ho Sai Ram” and a Sudanese traditional song, Es Lilin. The group of 27 played for 15 minutes with the help of the Angklung, Guitar, Drum, Tambourine and the “kentongan”, all of them were essentially Sudanese bamboo percussion instruments.

The session brought so many rich feelings to the heart. Never in the history of mankind has an Avatar been sung about in as many tongues as Swami has been extolled! People from all parts of the world flock to His Lotus feet. The power of selfless Love is such that it magnetically attracts. Even the criticism that is leveled against selfless Love promotes its glory and grandeur.

It is so overwhelming yet sublime. Let us just ponder for a moment. Is it not a miracle that a gentle smile from Swami brings joy and solace to the thousand hearts gathered in the hall? And a description of Swami's smile does the same to millions of readers worldwide? The power of Swami's love (or its synonym, Selfless Love) is such that it is infinite and never reduces even if shared with everyone; on the contrary, it seems to multiply as it is shared. Blessed indeed are we for He has chosen us to experience His Love in our lives.

As the Indonesians concluded, Swami blessed them with His right palm. He blessed prasadam to be distributed and that day it was laddoos and Brazilian nuts! Swami then received aarthi and it was 6:20 p.m. when He returned to His residence.

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