Our bi-monthly Natchintanai/Bhajan Satsang was nearly a full house with our Kauai members present and Sadhaka Tejadevanatha (behind the camera) Brahmachari Mayuran and task forcer, Woody.
Kulapati Vel Alahan brought his Pakwaj. It is huge! And though he’s just learning, having a drum adds a lot to the music.
Sivakatirswami took the group through the five areas we are working on: a little vocal practice, memorizing Natchintanai (we have been working on Thondar Nangale, to memorize and visualize without needing a song book), singing one gitam, a song to Lord Muruga from Tirupugal as rendered by Murugadas, our two Vedic slokas and then Swami asked each one to lead the whole group in a bhajan. We have a lot of fun together, singing to God, Gods and Guru!
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We don’t know the pitch of the drum. We sing in whatever pitch that is set by whoever is leading. We don’t have a sruti box with us. I need to remember to bring my iPhone and use iTampura. Our main problem is: we don’t always know what is the starting note in relation to the sruti/Katai for any given song. Be we don’t worry about it too much. These sessions are not about music, it’s about bhakti and learning the songs well enough so that each one can sing on his or her own both in public and in private.
Bodhinatha continues with his weekly series of commentaries on The Path to Siva. In this past Sun One talk, he elucidates the four key beliefs in Hinduism, the three pillars of Sanatana Dharma and Gurudeva's three stages of faith. Primary to Hinduism is the key belief that God is within each of us. To have a well-rounded understanding and experience of Hinduism, to make spiritual progress, adhyatma vikasha, we need scripture, humility, temple worship, devotion. To fully experience God we need the guru to give the spark for meditation and deeper wisdom.