Nama Sankeerthan now baffles me! Till recently, Nama sankeerthan used to fascinate me – many TV channels are rife with the devotional programs of eminent persons doing the Bhajans. I had always been wondering at the magic that the lead person wields which makes even senior citizens ‘dance to their tunes’, in Bhakti rasa. It’s a common sight to witness youngsters and older people dance with total abandon as the Bhajans gathers momentum.
I had always promised myself to be a part of a live Nama Sankeerthan someday. So, it was as if God had heard my prayers when I was invited to attend Nama Sankeerthan in our area. In fact, the added attraction was that a few of our acquaintances were going to perform – Harmonium, Table, Dholak, Mridangam etc. So, I was tipsy on the D-Day looking forward eagerly to the charisma of the performance.
Therefore, there I was in the auditorium, well in advance, having driven in quite early, in anticipation of the traffic. The program began with great gusto and an entranced audience joined in the chorus of famous Abhangs and Ashtapathis. I was duly awestruck with the Bakti-filled dance movements of many in the crowd. I was looking around me as ecstasy had filled the whole place.
All of a sudden, I saw in the stage that our friend, the harmonium player, visually challenged was up on his feet and he was jumping and hopping as if something had overpowered him. I was shocked to see our friend lose his composure and he was all round the stage and within seconds, he had prostrated on the floor on the stage and we could see him rolling without any control. What shook me out of wits is that during the entire situation, the orchestra team was performing as if nothing had happened. The lead singer too continued to sing happily and audience looked on with rapt attention with no change in expression. The nonchalant attitude is worrying. What if the person had hurt himself? Would it still not matter to anyone?
But, I rush to add that I have complete respect for the stalwarts who are trying hard to keep the tradition of Divya Naam Sankeertan intact. “Nama Japa, Sankeertanam, Bhajans all result only in one thing. Nama sankeertanam, helps the devotees identify themselves with their deity of adoration, ultimately resulting in culmination into Paramatman”. However, there is an urgent need to ensure that devotion does not become fanaticism.
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Top | Random Thoughts
||I spent many months watching the religious TV channels of the "Evangelicals". They're the "born-again Christians", Fundamentalists who interpret literally all the stories of the Bible. They believe there was an Adam, an Eve and a Garden of Eden with a talking snake that was the Devil in disguise, and a Flood from whose survivors we all descend, so that the entire genetic pool of humankind can be traced all the way back to Noah's family, and further back to the time of the snake and the apple, which is not that far back, but a mere 6,000 years. The Universe is that old because the Bible says that for the Creator 1,000 years are like one day, and the Creation took six days, then came a resting day…so maybe the Universe is now still on its Cosmic Sunday???|
They say that in their miracle-working sessions the Holy Ghost can cure any ailment and that gold dust and precious stones sometimes materialize. They fall to the ground and start shaking, or they move their arms and head around as though they had gone out of their mind. This is the way of the devotee and is similar to the "divine confusion" described here. However, there are preachers who claim that this chaos is caused by demons who have the power to heal. One of these dissenting preachers is Brother Eli Soriano, who is from the Philippine Islands, and his explanations are quite amusing.
It's regrettable that these people are made to believe that theirs is the only legitimate religion and that all the other ones are part of a devilish conspiracy, which is a very dastardly thing for anyone to think since it's responsible for countless massacres and wars. There's no way to make them see that, the further away from the Far East one goes, the further away from the truth one finds oneself. The three Abrahamic faiths are terrible tools that seem designed for torment and torture.