Been singing lots of Bhajans here in India and I’m beginning to warm up to them. They are call and response type devotional songs, simple, lyrical which express love for the Divine. We sang them at the retreat I was on every evening, and this morning a large group of about 50 got together at someone’s house to sing them. There is one in my head right now which basically repeats “Om Nama Shivaya” over and over. Beautiful and powerful. The more I sing them, the more they get into my heart and the devotion for God starts to come through. The piece that has slowed me down a little is that the words are so unfamiliar to me that I’m often in my brain too much just trying to understand what is being sung, but that is definitely starting to change.
It’s amazing the power that singing can have in opening that conduit directly between one’s heart and God. I wrote some about that in my last post as for many years I had that exact experience, but in an African American church setting. With my mother having been a jazz singer, I think that my love for singing has simply come through in my genes as well. A week or so before she died from cancer, I was playing piano and singing ‘Everytime We Say Goodbye,’ a definite tear jerker for me given the poignancy of the song to the situation. I started crying while singing, unable to finish. She struggled up off her couch, braced herself with a palm against the piano top, and finished singing the song as I played. Immediately after the song ended, she said “we sure share the same heart when it comes to music.” How true, mom. How true. You would have loved singing Bhajans too. This pic is one of her singing when she was in her 30s.
The photographs in this post are ones that I took while we were singing bhajans on the recent retreat. We sang in a small temple lit only by a couple of candles. To me they really capture the devotional feeling of this music. I look forward to bringing some of this music back to the States to with friends at my home.