Lost in the bhava of the song

Amma chanting peace prayer Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Amma singing a bhajan

21 December 2004–Amritapuri

After answering the questions of the ashram residents, Amma told one of the brahmacharis to bring the harmonium. She then called for a new bhajan in Hindi that she has been singing lately in the evenings: Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah. Before beginning, Amma asked that the lyrics be translated into English so that all of her children could know the meaning.

May all beings be happy
May all beings be free from affliction
May all see auspiciousness everywhere
May none be sorrowful

May the spring of happiness prevail
May peace continue to prevail in the world
O Lord, let us remain without desire and be selfless
May we progress towards you

May all be happy in the world
May everybody see the Lord in everyone
May the flame of love burn in our minds
May everyone ever live in harmony

Let us worship together,
Let us desire the same goal
Let us chant together:
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu

The meaning is uplifting, but the melody is melancholy.

Amma kept repeating the last line–lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu–over and over. And at some point, her demeanour seemed to subtly shift. A thousand people were singing along with her, yet Amma seemed very much alone. She had lost Herself in the bhava of the song. Her cheeks became wet. The final time, the words came like a whisper.

Amma sat still in the silence that followed. She then opened her eyes and quickly shook herself free of the mood, drying her tears with the side of her hand.


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