The Bhajan game

21 February 2002
The bus trip from Davengere to Hyderabad: Night stop

Amma with tour group in the evening

Just when I thought I could not handle being on the bus one minute longer, we came to a stop. We were told we would be meeting Amma for chai. I quickly jumped to my feet — joy pulsing from my being, chanting “Amma! Amma!”

Amma walked from Her camper down into a field just off the road. She sat under the only small tree around. It was dusk. The moon barely could be seen above the eastern horizon; the burning, red sun was finishing its descent in the west. We all huddled around.

Amma proposed that we split into two groups – boys versus girls – and take turns leading bhajans. This may sound simple, however, Amma imposed one tricky condition to challenge us and keep us alert: each bhajan had to begin with the last word of the fourth line of the previous song! As it turned out, Amma led the girls and Swamiji led the boys. It was a lot fun, with bhajans in several languages being used to keep the game going. Amma and Swamiji easily kept us singing for more than an hour, fulfilling all the conditions, with only an occasional pause while we frantically deliberated over which song to sing next.

Amma sitting with the tour group

We spent the next hour answering spiritual questions proposed by Amma and Swamiji. Finally Amma went to Her camper to continue the journey to Hyderabad. We were all so absorbed in the devotional singing and in Amma’s satsang that we forgot all about our previous discomforts and inconveniences. Many of us even forgot about the TEA as well! This was supposed to have been a tea stop!

However, a few selfless brahmacharis had made the tea while we were enjoying the time with Amma. They were waiting at the edge of the gathering to serve us. With the warm tea inside our bellies and Amma’s words in our hearts, we boarded the buses.