Here’s the choir piece we performed for the celebration day of Sri Radha – Radhastami. It is a Sanskrit poem that strings together ten beautiful names of the goddess Radharani.
I learned some interesting things in the process of creating and rehearsing it. Not least that when it comes to devotional art, the experience is often much more impactful that the final performance.
In the teachings of bhakti, there is the idea that when people come together for sharing uplifting discussion or activities, something magical can manifest. This is called satsang – literally, the meeting of people who seek the highest truth. It’s not a common thing to come across. Over time I’ve realised that it’s something you really have to search out and cling to for dear life, and its effect is transformational.
The practice sessions were special because at the end of long, darkening days, filled with clocks and calendars, we shared a brief hour where the only focus was creating prayerful music. I would often get goosebumps as the voices rose in the room, slowly tightening around the simple harmonies. Smiles split across our faces as we began to connect with the meaning of the words we were singing.
On the morning of the performance, three key members got stuck in traffic and missed it. Apart from that, something felt different. We all felt happy about our humble attempt, but quietly agreed that we had shared the most beautiful moments in the practice sessions. Devoid of an audience, rehearsal can facilitate those moments where we connect more with the heart and less with the mind. The goal of performing a beautiful piece is important, but the quiet, dedicated depth that comes from giving time to something regularly, without a thought of the end result, is life giving.