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.
"Stand strong for Saivism." The nature of life for Saivites is to turn work into worship, to turn the secular into the sacred. Each day give a little extra warmth, humanness and upliftment to others. Every day is a holy day, all day long. We want to follow our religion even in our dreams. If we help someone, we're worshiping. Wherever we are, that's a place of worship. "To the Saivite Hindu all of life is sacred. All of life is religion."