June 29, 2010 – The Devotees from the USA Sing to Him

A huge contingent of devotees from the United States stayed in Prashanti Nilayam for almost two weeks in the second half of June. With numbers crossing the 500 mark, they regularly had sessions of song practice, nursing a fond hope of performing in the divine presence.

On His part, Swami many times made enquiries about them but the programme did not materialize for quite a while. And finally the morning of June 29 turned out to be a bonanza for these devotees. As Swami moved on the ladies side during His darshan, He asked the group to stage their programme on that evening. And the delight on their faces was visible even from metres away. This joy seemed to have got conveyed to the gents' side through the ether as they were all full of gratitude to Swami as He moved to their side!

The evening saw all of them seated in neat disciplined rows, waiting for Swami. It was just past 6:30 p.m. when Swami arrived from the Yajur Mandir. A major part of the ladies' side was occupied by the women from USA. Swami moved along their lines granting them smiles and blessings.

The same was the case along the gents' side. As He moved in the front, He passed close to all the assembled ladies and gents and then finally made His way to the stage. After a few minutes of the Veda chanting, He asked them to begin their vocal performance.

The conductor rose with a rose and card. Swami asked for the card which seemed almost 1 sq. metre in size; this held His Divine attention for the next few minutes. The position of the conductor was then ascertained after which the performance began.

They started with an initial set of offerings as a prelude to the presentation. That was a prayerful introduction, a Vedic hymn in praise of Lord Ganesha and the chanting of Sai Gayathri. The troupe moved on singing a dozen compositions including Adoramus Te Christi , a combination of the traditional Christian prayers, Love All Serve All, a mix of several languages, Hine Ma Tov U’manayim, a medley of three Jewish songs,  God Is, Sai Me Caigo, a Spanish devotional, Stand Together, I am I, Awesome God, You are the Rhythm, Surrender to the Feet of the Lord, Our only God, Come and Go with Me to the Land to endwiththe famous devotional number across the US in praise of Bhagavan.

For most of the time Swami was watching the performing group. Towards the end however, Swami kept looking into the small booklet of the songs being sung which had been given to Him right at the beginning. A small smile seemed to dance on His lips when they sang out, "You are an awesome Lord". That song had an awesome feel to it too!

The planned first part of the programme was over within 30 minutes after which the conductor sought Swami's permission to sing the second part. Swami immediately agreed and so another 15 minutes of singing followed.

After the songs, Swami permitted them to sing bhajans as He blessed prasadam to be distributed. For the group, it was the fulfillment of a long cherished dream and the culmination of days of rigorous and devoted practice.

It was at about 7:50 p.m. when Swami asked for the aarthi and then retired to the Residence.

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