Bhajan Singing is not just lip movements...


August 22, 1997

Sri Sathya Sai in the Sai Kulwant Hall at Prasanthi Nilayam

Swami asked one of the Institute teachers…

Swami: How was yesterday’s drama?

Teacher: Swami, very nice.

Swami: Nice?  Not rough! (To a schoolboy) How was the drama?

Student: Very good, Swami.

Swami: But there was one mistake in the drama. Dialogues were spoken very fast. Dialogue rendition must be slow. Then everyone can understand clearly. It should not be fast. (To a student who acted in the drama) What happened yesterday?

Student: Swami, we had less time to practise.

Sri Sathya Sai in the Prasanthi Nilayam portico

Swami: Why practice? You are not small boys. All these should come naturally without practice. (Swami paused for a moment and said) I am also an Actor-not very low, not very high, but medium!

M. S. Subbulakshmi (1916-2004)
Swami then spoke about the Hyderabad boys. He told about their way of singing Bhajans, adding that even with 500 boys, the singing is not loud enough. The Hyderabad boys are coming for the past 15 years. They are very good boys. Some of them are our old students. This morning they sang Bhajans in the Mandir. Bhajan singing is not just lip movements. One should sing from the heart with full vigour. Keertanam is what M. S. Subbulakshmi (the famous exponent of Carnatic music) sings. (Here Swami rendered a few lines from one of her Keertanas) Sankeertanam is important.

Teacher: Swami, Sankeertanam is done by many people.

Guru Nanak (1469-1539)
Swami: That is Samuhika Keertanam (Group Singing). Guru Nanak started this type of singing.

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