The very first Music of Joy presentation to the public of São Paulo was held over the long weekend of 11th and 12th of June. It was a very enjoyable evening and a great success, going by the response we normally have to the public programs held here. The maximum number ever to have attended a public program in São Paulo has never crossed 40.
Poster for Music of Joy
It all began with Bira writing to the Metro (Underground) authorities asking them as to why they did not display SY posters on their events panels. To which came the reply that they had a policy of displaying posters only of cultural events that were free, without any pictures of individuals and not pertaining to any philosophy. Which was why they had steadfastly refused to display posters of SY.
Shri Mataji then gave us the idea of organizing a public presentation of music and dance, and drawing inspiration from the Australian collective, this event was named the Music of Joy – a free presentation of Indian music and dance, sponsored by Sahaja Yoga, with the official site clearly displayed at the bottom of the poster. Eduardo Marino, the national leader gave his enthusiastic support for the event, with a typical “fantastic”! Once it was decided to hold the show, we were just swept along by the tide of events which showed how the cosmos was conspiring to make this event a great success.
Seemed like the perfectly coordinated dance of the Divine. Everything needed was coming our way perfectly. Shri Mataji first had Rodrigo, a sahaja yogi with professional experience in organizing large scale musical events, move to São Paulo. He put in a very dedicated month long effort to get the venues, inform the news media, get sponsorship from the Indian consulate for material, from the municipal authorities for space and also circulating the event on their corporate email network, get the audio and video equipment, test it out at the venues, etc. The first poster prepared by Bira featured just Shri Ganesha and His vehicle and the artwork was sent to the Metro authorities, who gave their approval. For putting at other establishments, another poster was prepared, this time with Shri Mataji’s picture profiled at the side. This turned out to be so much more beautiful than the original one, that we made large posters in this format (even though it could be quite expensive if rejected) and sent them to Metro who approved the new artwork and put them up at all the stations the very next day!
It was a very enjoyable evening and a great success,
going by the response we normally have to the
public programs held here.
As to the artists, they came from various parts of Brasil for the Yuva Shakti seminar which was planned to be held in São Paulo during the long weekend. As a result of the event, this seminar turned out to be quite different from the previous ones in that there was no Havan or Puja which are normally standard items of a seminar. The seminar this year was mainly focused around rehearsals of bhajans, dance sequences and setting up for the event. The sahaja yogis went to the venue of the first event on the 11th of June about 4 to 5 hours in advance to set up the mikes, recording equipment, decoration and for a final stage rehearsal before the event. But for some reason, the first day saw the brand new auditorium with excellent sound and lighting systems, only a third full (about 60 seekers). The vibrations were quite heavy and the setting up was also quite confused.
Edmundo had to return to Rio on Friday night after the day’s event to sit for an exam the following day and took a flight back to São Paulo right after his classes to be present for the music program of Saturday, as he was the lead singer. The second event was held on Saturday at an another auditorium where SY programs have been going on for the past year and a half. The setting up of the decoration at this place was much smoother than the previous day and perfectly coordinated by Shri Mataji, so much so, that it was all in place well before start. The sound system was clearly inadequate, having been designed for just a one mike system and there were no controls for the lighting system. It was just on or off, without any dimmers. But none of this could affect the success of the program. From about half an hour before the program, the auditorium started filling up, and by the time the program began, the auditorium was packed to capacity and additional chairs had to be put up. The auditorium with a capacity for 130 people had nearly 190 seekers besides the 70 odd sahaja yogis on stage and elsewhere.
There was a short introduction highlighting the relevance of Indian culture to the west, an introduction to the musical instruments used (harmonium, tabla and dholak), a short introduction to the ragas. The first item was a vocal presentation of raga Ahir Bhairav by our Russian sister Olga recently come to Brasil. She herself played the harmonium and had an electronic tabla for percussion. This was then followed Jai Ganesh, Durgati Harini and Jogawa sung by a group of about 12 sahaja yogis accompanied by the harmonium, tabla, dholak and the guitar. Before each presentation, there was a brief introduction to the bhajans, introducing aspects of Indian culture, but always within the Sahaj concepts. Thus, mention was made about Shri Ganesha being the Omkara, and His importance in improving the quality of our intellect, discrimination and helping us lead a life of purity, about Shri Durga the protective Mother (also worshipped as Kwan Yin in China), about Shri Eknath who wrote Jogawa to awaken the Kundalini which is sung in the Mahalakshmi temple of Kolhapur, about how the Kundalini is the force of the Holy Ghost, the primordial Mother, within us.
The stage was then cleared of the instruments and mikes for a dance presentation accompanied by the North American version of Vinati Suniye on tape. The introduction to this dance mentioned the importance of the Guru, and the various incarnations of the Primordial Masters who have incarnated before and their essence stored within us. This dance was followed by a brief version of the story of Shri Shiva, Bhasmasura and the Mohini form of Shri Vishnu which was then presented as a dance with the live singing of Shiva Bhola Bhandari. The singers then took the stage again and the last two items to be presented were Bolo Shiva Shiva Shambhu and Ali Maulah. When the Quawwali ended, the entire auditorium was on its feet shouting for an encore.
It was now time for a brief introduction to SY (10 minutes) and then the exercise of self-realization (15 minutes). No one left even though it was mentioned that those who did not wish to receive their self-realization, were free to leave. When the two and half hour program finally came to an end, there were several remarks from the seekers as to how much they had enjoyed the evening, as to how beautiful was the culture they had just been introduced to, etc.
As to the sahaja yogis themselves, they were all transported to the 7th heaven – it had been a magical evening. They couldn’t stop thanking Shri Mataji for the way in which She had taken care of every little detail and had managed the whole show, convincing us that this is clearly the way to go. So, it seems that we in Brasil have just discovered a new way to present SY and more importantly discovered the self-confidence to make public the talents that Shri Mataji has created in us. The artists are quite keen to replicate the event at other parts of the country. Music and dance make it easier to reach the hearts of people.
The reason that the event has been reported in such detail is in case other collectives around the world be interested in experimenting with a similar format. Another reason is to inspire the smaller or newer collectives to taking the big step – we have the Infinite and the Most Compassionate Force with us who is always wanting to create such moments of pure joy and magic for us.
We thank You Shri Mataji for Your Infinite Blessings upon us. Hope we bring Glory to Your Holy Name.
JAI SHRI MATAJI !!!!
Sahaja Yoga Colombia
Sahaja Yoga Argentina
Sahaja Yoga Brazil