4 Jul 2009

Singing songs of all religions

Music plays a very prominent role in the work of Swami Vishwananda. When he is with other people, he again and again sings songs of all religions. Through Swami, many people started to learn how to sing bhajans. Bhajans are an enormous spiritual treasure and when we sing them we move very quickly into devotion for God. In the beginning it can be strange for westeners to sing the unfamiliar Sanskrit Indian devotional songs. A german disciple of Swami Vishwananda told us about this: "I accompanied Swami Vishwananda on his first tour to the U.S. in July 2005. I had two great weeks in his close proximity. Everywhere Swami went there was music, be it at the Krishna temple, during his darshans or wherever he was staying. It feels like he transports light with his voice when he sings. When singing with him you can receive some of the light he transmits through his voice. It is overwhelming and heart-opening.  The last darshan in the U.S. was in a hotel in Los Angeles, California on the day reserved for Gurupurnima celebrations, a day throughout which the guru and all spiritual masters are venerated in accordance with the Hindu calendar. Swami gave a moving speech about his own guru, Mahavatar Kriya Babaji. He sang bhajans and began the darshan with blessings for everyone present. The room was filled with Swami’s divine grace. The musicians sang and played and it was pure joy. Toward the end of the darshan when I went up front to receive his blessing, Swami whispered in my ear that I should sing Oh my cloud coloured Christ. My first thought was, Oh why should I sing now at the end of the evening, I just can’t. Then I thought, Swami asked me to sing, so he has his reasons and I will do it because he asked me to. After I had received my blessing, I walked over to the musicians and the harmonium player turned over his instrument to me. I sang the song Swami had told me to sing. After the darshan was over and most of the people had left the room, a woman said to me, “My guru is Jesus Christ. I waited the whole evening, longing to hear a song of my beloved master. Thank you for singing the song for Christ; it was important to me as it made a connection between Christ and Krishna”! I told the woman that Swami Vishwananda had asked me to sing that particular song, Oh my cloud coloured Christ, and she was deeply touched."