Every two weeks Sannyasin Brahmanathaswami meets with our local members who are interested in sacred music and together they practice singing and learning songs. The scope of the session covers Natchintanai, simple bhajans, stotrams, chants, invocations and long songs. We also do some breathing work and a few sangeetam exercises to help improve our voices. Fourteen-year-old Deepanjali Mardemootoo joined us. She said she was to shy to sing for us, but with a little encouragement we had her even leading our group. She has excellent pitch and a very clear voice.
One of our goals is to help empower everyone to feel confident to sing and lead. We really are not concerned how perfect it is, or if you have the exact tune right. The goal is to cultivate singing to the Gods as a personal sadhana, to include everyone in our gatherings. It’s not about entertainment, it is about bhakti-devotion. We work hard on visualizing what we are singing. Today swami introduced the group to this lovely prayer to Lord Siva.
Sivam, Sivakaram Shaantam
And we started work on another Natchintanai “Shaantam Upa Shaantam”
One Response to “Bi-Weekly Singing Satsang at the Aadheenam”
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.