Saturday, 11 June 2011

Devotion in the desert

There are many of us who feel most "connected" to the divine force through music. I am one of those. My ibaadat or bhakti stems from music. That is the language I feel most comfortable using when communicating to God.  This Rajasthani folk song conveys precisely that comfort:


dheemo dheemo madhuro ri baaj re baaireeya 
softly, softly, sweetly blow, O breeze

tanri banṛaaoon dhola raaji taansali e lo 
I make a serving dish, sweetheart, of my physical being

manṛe ri karoon man waar re baaireeya 
and following my heart, I offer up my heart to you, O breeze


senṛaan ra baairya dheemo madhuro ri baaj 
listen, O breeze, softly and sweetly blow
raajo ji padhaarya raaji mahal men e lo 
when my prince arrived in the royal palace
doodaan barsyo mew re baaireeya 
he brought such happiness and prosperity that it rained milk, O breeze
senṛaan ra baairya dheemo madhuro ri baaj 
listen, O breeze, softly and sweetly blow
inṛ dis maan mhaaro raaji lo base re lo 
in this direction, does my darling prince live
senṛaan ra baairya dheemo madhuro ri baaj 
listen, O breeze, softly and sweetly blow
In the parched, dry lands of the desert, how one longs to experience the rare pleasure of a cool breeze and precious rain.  How beautiful that imagery becomes when we begin to transpose it to devotion. Devotion, here, is devotion to God. The desert-wanderer seeks the cool breeze, just as the devotee seeks his Master.  And it is that yearning, that longing and that deep-seated desire to meet one's Master that is expressed in one's ibaadat or bhakti.  There is no agenda, no politicisation and no dogmatism involved in that yearning.  It is simply the search to realise and understand one's Master, within oneself.  

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