Heart to Heart
A bouquet of songs offered at the Lotus Feet
Music Boys of NJ, NY
up in the Sai organization, a group of us Sai brothers have always
shared a heartfelt connection with each other which stemmed from
our mutual love for Swami and a passion for music. Swami has
always said that Keertanam (singing) is one of nine forms of
Bhakti (devotion). We felt driven to follow the path of music to
Our blessed experience
began early, around January of 2002. At this time, one of the
members of our music group from New Jersey got the sudden idea to
attempt to perform a musical program for our dearest Swami.
Although all of have always wished to perform for Him, the actual
thought of doing it had somehow never occurred to any of us. When
it was discussed, we naturally agreed and soon informed all known
singers and musicians who could make this a dynamic performance.
Our group consisted of two main singers, one harmonium player, two
tabla players and a dholak player. We frequently sent registered
letters to Swami, praying to Him for an opportunity, each of us
signing our letters as "Music Boys". We wished to establish a
heart-to-heart connection with Swami, using letters as a vehicle
to His Lotus Feet. As musicians, singing His praise to Him is the
greatest form of worship and love that we could offer to Him. As
always with Swami, we were not sure what to expect. With His
Grace, five of us arrived in Parthi by the first week of July; the
plans of the sixth were a bit disturbed. There was a great deal of
uncertainty whether the sixth member of the group, who was a lead
singer, would come or not. Moreover, when we arrived in Parthi, he
reconfirmed his inability to come to Parthi. Although initially
dejected, even shocked at the circumstances, we kept strong,
sturdy faith that he would indeed come.
The first morning that we sat together, wearing
gold-colored scarves, we proceeded to Darshan and sat in the
second and third row. Bhagavan came over, glanced at us, casting a
look of recognition and sending a signal that things were soon
going to be in motion. He took our letters and sweetly said
"Choostanu" ("I will see") before He walked off…
Practices began, although incompletely manned and spirited
without the other singer. Overall, all were worried and unsure, as
he was not only the lead singer, but also the leader of our group.
We became more and more concerned as the days rolled by. On a
brighter note, Darshans were absolutely spectacular. Bhagavan
looked more and more reminiscent of the God Supreme than ever
before, glowing in ecstasy and shining brilliantly in beauty.
While in Parthi, we called the missing member of our group
and we learned that he had a beautiful experience. While
meditating, he saw us sitting in Darshan lines, wearing
gold-colored scarves, the very color that we selected!! We knew
that Bhagavan had a plan for us, only time could unveil it to us.
We daily flooded Bhagavan's
mailbox with our prayers. He heard our prayers. We were thrilled
when we received word that our group leader had a miraculous
change in plans and was on his way to join us in Parthi.
Our leader's boss was extremely
insistent that he should not leave because of major layoffs and
two major projects that needed to be completed. If he left, his
job would be in danger. However, if he was able to finish his role
in the two projects, he would be able to leave for Parthi. On the
12th, he went to his boss, asking what additional responsibilities
he had to take on while his boss was on vacation. The boss
immediately told our leader that there was no need for him to take
on any responsibilities; he did not understand why he was talking
as though he wasn't going on vacation. Our leader then reminded
his boss that it was the boss who told him not to go, but his boss
was insistent that he did not recollect any such statement.
Furthermore, he told our leader to "modify his plans" and leave
immediately, reminding him that he must be back by July 25th for
an extremely important meeting. In a fluster of confusion, he
immediately left and instantly saw Bhagavan's intervention in the
Practices continued and on the
16th, at about 3AM, our group was finally united, donned in our
gold-colored scarves, ready to draw our Lord through our love as
best and as fast as we could, for we only had four days together
as a group.
It didn't take too much of an
effort on our part- He did it all. We sat in two rows of three's,
three in the front and three in the back, in both the second and
third lines. With bated breath we waited for Bhagavan to come,
praying, crying and begging for His mercy to be showered on us.
Finally, He did come, slowly and magnificently. He saw us from a
distance and came closer and closer, and as He did, the prayer in
my mind and heart grew louder and stronger and more vigorous! He
accepted our group letter and then looked at us and asked one of
the other main singers where we were from. He replied "USA,
Swami." Swami took a few steps to our right and then turned back
and asked "Music Boys?" Our hearts jumped and our joy was obvious.
He asked, "When is the program?"
We replied, "As You wish, Swami."
"What is the time?"
"At Your Will, Swami." He turned for a moment and then turned back
and asked our leader: "When are you leaving?" "
On the 19th, Swami."
"All?" "No, Swami. Boys are leaving later. Swami, should I change
"Very happy. Good boy," as He patted his cheek, "No, no. President
Srinivasan se pucho (ask) I will also speak to president."
"We love You, Swami."
"Yes, yes. Very happy."
He continued to walk towards the verandah. Half of us broke down
into tears, half of us were starry-eyed, all of us were
overwhelmed. In a few seconds, Swami summoned Mr. Srinivasan from
the verandah and told him to speak with us, that we were the Music
Boys and that we were from USA. Those words were simply ringing in
our ears, minds and hearts. Mr. Srinivasan came over and called us
aside. Mr. Srinivasan asked us when we wanted to perform,
suggesting the 17th evening in Poornachandra Auditorium, upon
Swami's approval. Srinivasan also insisted that we get the
approval of Dr. Bill Harvey, an official representative of USA.
Further, he also suggested that we perform for Mr. Leonardo, who
was in charge of all of the cultural programs during the Seva
Conference, which was around the corner. Somewhere in the
confusion, Mr. Leonardo mistakenly assumed that we wanted to be
apart of the cultural programs and wished to be slotted into the
timings. In any case, we performed for Mr. Leonardo and Dr.
Harvey, who both gave their approval, most graciously. Mr.
Leonardo immediately informed Mr. Srinivasan of his approval also
taking with him to Mr. Srinivasan, the book that we prepared for
Swami with our request. Mr. Srinivasan took with him the consent
of Leonardo and the book to Swami that afternoon for lunch.
That evening, we met Mr. Leonardo
and Mr. Srinivasan, who informed us that Bhagavan took the book,
looked through it and told Mr. Srinivasan that He would personally
inform the boys of His decision and give us His instructions,
directly. Thinking beyond the words that were used, we felt
completely confused and anticipated the worst. We stepped up the
power of our prayer and each of us gave it every ounce of
intensity that we had in our capacity.
The next morning, we sat again in
the same place, but a little more towards the front. Swami came by
"Did you speak to Srinivasan?"
"When is the program?"
"As you wish, Swami."
"No, no, that is not my business, sir!"
"No, Swami, only heart-to-heart connection, Swami. No one else.
Please tell us, Swami."
"Yes, yes, very happy. Okay. Tomorrow evening. Here, [pointing to
the dais] in the front."
"Thank you, Swami. We love you."
"Yes, very happy."
Our hearts were filled with
elation. Once again, the tears, the smiles, the joy was
uncontainable. But at the same time, we knew to maintain
discipline and therefore closed our eyes and sat quietly after
Swami went inside. After the Darshan Srinivasan descended from the
verandah and approached us. He told us to come up and follow him
and he sat us at the front of the verandah, in front of the
Interview Room. He stepped inside for two to three seconds and
summoned us inside.
As we filed into the small room,
we were simply taken aback by the sudden proximity to our Dear
Lord, whose bright orange robe caught our immediate attention. He
was standing there, in His full glory, the essence of purity,
beauty and wonder, with His thumb, index & middle fingers atop the
bridge of His nose- totally lost, absolutely not there; revealing
His innate Divinity, exploding and transcending all worlds before
our very eyes; an image, forever the screensaver of our minds.
Among other things, Swami asked
us to sing the songs for Him, so that He could get a preview! We
did and He seemed pleased. He went through each song and selected
the ones He wanted us to perform. He reminded us that it was a
public performance and that we must have a group name. We of
course requested that He Himself give us a name. And so He named
us, "Music Boys of New Jersey…New York." He advised us to practice
well in preparation for the next day's performance. He most
sweetly put us all at ease by calling us in, talking to us, asking
each of our roles and discussing the songs, He was concerned about
our health and made us some Vibhuthi, which seemed to have a
medicinal effect. We repeated over and over how much we loved Him
and He reciprocated that love a thousand fold!
After the interview, some of us
were crying, others could not wipe the smiles off of our faces!
But we still had work to do. We practiced to our best ability all
day and the following morning. Finally, afternoon Darshan on July
18th approached and we were all jittering with joy. We arrived
well before Darshan and put our instruments in the Mandir, all
instruments, voices, minds and hearts tuned to Swami's rhythm and
rhyme. After Swami came out for Darshan and called some people for
an interview, He came out and told us to come to the dais and
commence the program.
We prepared a bouquet of flowers
to offer to Swami and He graciously accepted them. Before we
began, Swami asked us where we were from and then announced to the
students and to the rest of the gathering that we were the Music
Boys from NJNY; what a grand way to begin by having the Lord of
the Universe as our Master of Ceremonies! We were and still are
eternally honored and grateful, for we may never know for what
reason we were given such an opportunity! His love and kindness
transcends anything that we have ever experienced.
The program went over well and
when we finished, Swami most graciously gifted us with white
clothes and even allowed us to be photographed with Him. He then
asked one of our boys to speak to the gathering. He spoke about
Swami's infinite love and compassion, how Swami brought us here
and allowed us to perform, simply by being pure love. He mentioned
that we knew no one coming to Parthi and came with no connections,
only our heart-to-heart connection with Him. Indeed, it was that
heart-to-heart connection that brought us to Swami and that
allowed us to perform. It was Swami who prompted us to desire to
perform; it was Swami who encouraged us to write letters to Him;
it was Swami who drove us to love Him. Undeniably, it was Swami
who arranged for the entire program, from the first practice, down
to the details of the songs. We can do no more than humbly submit
ourselves at His Lotus Feet and thank Him for all of His Love.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Swami for the pure love He
showered on us. This experience will always remain as a precious
and indelible mark in our memory.
Source and courtesy:
Syan Sai Young Adult Neewsletter: