Singing with devotion

Seattle, Washington – Saturday, 5 June 2004

Amma has said that when Her children sing to Her, She is not listening to the melody and rhythm but to the feeling, the powerful longing behind the voice. But that doesn’t mean She is beyond having a good laugh with some of Her more musically challenged children.

Early Saturday morning in Seattle, Amma saw one such of Her children “meditating” near Her side. She quickly threw a chocolate at him to wake him up and then told him and a friend of his to go sing a bhajan as She finished up darshan. It was not the first time the two have sung for Amma, so many of Amma’s children traveling with Her knew what to expect.

They started with the Tamil bhajan “Amma En Azhakkayil,” immediately causing Amma to turn around in Her chair so She could watch the two musicians immersed in their art. Soon She was rolling with laughter as She continued to give darshan to Her Seattle children. The innocent faces of Her two sons showed no reaction. They were fully concentrated on the bhajan, one–to Amma’s amusement–was keeping steady time by tapping his index finger against an imaginary object in front of him, his eyes inches away from his bhajan book.

Finally, they finished. But Amma wanted more, a finale. So they began “Pasiyendral,” another bhajan in Tamil. The song’s chorus ends with a rhythmic call of “Ammama-mama-mama-mamaa^??” Well, each time the boys sang the chorus, the rhythm would all but fall apart. Amma loved this and soon would sing it along with them in their style as She continued darshan.

When they finished, Amma called them for darshan, giving them a hug and a kiss, a reward for their sweet songs.