My wife and I were eagerly awaiting for the 13th of May, to celebrate our beloved Guruji, Sri Sri Ravishankar’s birthday. On this day, the Art of Living (AOL) foundation was organizing a “World Meditation Day” event, which webcasted, would see a participating bean count of millions across the planet.
We were more elated, when we received an open invitation via Facebook from a certain organization, to attend Sumeru Sandhya, a musical program to celebrate Guruji’s Birthday at the Sharjah Expo Center.
Now, it was an exciting moment for me as this was my first musical event. I was always fascinated by the rock bands of the West and their gigs, but, this one was special.
I call it as “Special” because of my bondage with Sri Sri. I was a reluctant lot (nah, may be naive!) before joining Sri Sri’s foundation, but, then you might all have experienced certain miracles that have had happened in your lives, which paved your way to happiness.
Back to our elated moment, we planned our trip to the Expo Centre. The Expo Centre, which usually has, a running calendar of events, was bustling with people for the three-day Consumer Electronics Fashion (CEF) event that ran simultaneously with our event. By the time we arrived, a sizeable crowd was already present in the neat conference hall, witnessing a list of cultural programs that followed soon after. There was a variety of programs, such as, song and dance, which then concluded with a Chanda melam (Kerala’s traditional drum artist’s performance).
The presenter then announced the start of the Sumera Sandhya program, which we all were waiting for. The chief invitee of this show was one Master, Sri. Manikantan Menon, who was an AOL teacher and a great musician. The master arrived with his retinue and the stage was set for the musical extravaganza.
Lights now dimmed across the hall and the only visible light was the one focused on the centre stage. The hall was silent apart from the mild cacophony of children playing in a corner. The master then started to sing songs praising the Divine or Bhajans, and requested everybody to join him. All clapped and sang. Since, I was not aware of the lyrics, I ended up tapping my hand on my thighs instead. My neighbour started to hum the tunes, perhaps he too was not aware of the lyrics himself. After a couple of melodious songs, the master sang a crowd favourite. My neighbour became delirious and started to sing loudly.
The fact that I want to highlight here is that admist all the singing of this cohesive unit, there was a blissful atmosphere that had formed, and one could actually experience the positive energy floating in the hall. You could see, this crowd was enjoying the moment!
This was followed with what I had not expected at all. Meditation.
The master guided us in a step-by-step procedural manner on how to perform the meditation. I have always noticed the similarity on how the masters of AOL guide us to this blissful form. In between, the master would play his flute which brought tranquility in the air. It is a proven fact that whilst meditating deeply, one would always hear the divine sound of lord Sri Krishna playing His flute and perhaps, that was what being conveyed in the moment.
I usually have the concentration of a gnat while meditating and I was searching for ways to overcome it. But today, I could actually connect with my soul while meditating in this congregation. It was energetic, peaceful.
The master asked us to slowly open our eyes. He then asked us how the experience was, and we all replied with a big thumbs-up symbol. True to its name, meditation has its own unique and unknown power.
There were more songs and people were requested to dance this time. The song and music began to play from the Bose sound system and people danced in delight. What a night!
In the end, the master cut the cake, followed by the meeting with the master. Several photographs and selfies were being taken by the attendees. My wife, an ardent disciple of Sri Sri, rushed to the front and was glad to receive the master’s blessings.
The crowd slowly dis-assembled and we came back home, happy with this mystical experience.
We now gear up for the World Meditation Day program and to celebrate Guruji’s birthday.