April 5, 2009 – Performance by Ms. Dana Gillespie
If April 4 was an opportunity for the students of Sai University to present a local flavour through the Burrakatha, the next day Swami had blessed the famous blues singer, Dana Gillespie to sing in concert. This popular artist of international fame expressed that being able to sing for Swami was, for her, a wonderful blessing. She also said that she has been blessed on numerous occasions before by Swami, and that she was grateful for just another such memorable occasion where her prayers to sing her heart out to Him had been granted.
The stage had been set and everyone waited in readiness for Swami to arrive. Swami completed the darshan round and came on stage. He asked for the performers to move on to the stage. Ms. Dana Gillespie was being accompanied on the tabla, sitar, guitar, congo drums and the keyboards by students from the University. She moved to Swami and in a beautiful manner dropped rose petals onto His lotus feet! Swami blessed her to begin and she did so. In her inimitable style, she sang songs like, "One", "Love is Love" and so on. Her lyrics have been influenced by Sufi mysticism and so her songs were a blend of the Sanathana Dharma, Islam and Christianity. They were all filled with the power and beauty of Love. Swami heard about six songs that she rendered beautifully. The lyrics were very meaningful and full of profundity.
The forty-minute programme of fusion music concluded and Swami blessed the singer. Then, He called one of the students from the bhajan group and asked, "How was the programme?" "Very nice Swami", was the reply. "Is it? Then, tell me, what did she sing?” Swami asked with a smile. The boy replied, "Swami, that there is love in the birds and bees, in the oceans and seas...." Swami lovingly smiled at him and told him to go and sing some English songs. And so, the whole bhajan group began to sing popular English songs like, "I keep feeling your Love in me " and "Why fear when I am here." Swami then asked the students to sing a Telugu song and they came up with "Madhura Mohana". As that song concluded, Swami asked for aarthi. Meanwhile, the students who had accompanied the artists asked Swami for padanamaskar. Swami agreed and all of them came forward, one by one, and utilised fully the golden opportunity. Swami then retired for the day.
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