'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menory Lane - a mini series Part 2

Continuing the extracts from pre-blog newsletters from Sandeepany Sadhanalaya.

From ANL8 - Feb.2012 ...STAGE CRAFT EVEN HERE...

On Monday we had more diversion. The director of the Naada Bindu wing of CM was visiting. NB is a two-years-young division devoted to teaching and promoting Indian Cultural activity (mainly dance and music) but uniting it with vedanta; “Swara to Iswara” is the motto – from the single note to the Universal Note, from the simple word to the inexpressible language of God.

Anyway, we had the entire day in workshop!!  From 9:30 to 12:30 was the first session in which we were introduced to the concept of music being the most natural form of communication, even beyond language, how even the most tone-deaf person actually has music potential inside, how to bring that out, how to understand what it is we hear – or don't – plus there was an amazing moment of meditation and some of Himanshu-ji's bhansari (flute) playing. Oh Bliss.

At 3:30 we resumed for another couple of hours this time getting active with clapping music, learning some simple carnatic rhythms (raga) plus learning the Sa-Re-Ga scale. Then the bombshell was dropped that each group (we had been divided into 6) should now prepare a stage piece based on a theme, to be given in the 7-8 evening slot before Acharya-ji – the group I was in had to 'become' a traditional instrument and produce its music.

Well – after some really daft and overly ambitious ideas we settled on the very dear, ubiqitous and much overworked harmonium. Yours truly was on the flappy end of the “bellows” along with Manoj so we hammed it up good and proper, bringing many bouts of laughter as we struggled more and more to keep the scale and Nadesan, our 'player' had to run to keep up with the wheezes!

Everyone's was very good and there were some whacky concepts – the jungle music one was particularly good and the first group did wonderful stuff with all their body-parts (you had to be there...) It was all tremendous fun and absolutely hilarious, but physically exhausting.

Next day again the old body felt like it had been on the rack; but it was worth it. The mood since then, one can't help noticing, has been lighter and a little more focused, so benefits on all levels.

Okay better get dressed ready for noonday chanting.... one of the skills that has been honed is to tie sari in 3 minutes flat.

YAM xx `


  1. Hari Om, Yamm! This was a fascinating read, it sounds wonderfully relaxing and creative. I've added you to my blogroll, and mentioned you on FB. (Are you there under another name?) Indigo x

  2. Music is universal. :-)

    Now about that made with body parts...


  3. What a great experience, Yam. :-) It's amazing what we can come up with when we have to, but of course it wasn't just about the music.....

  4. Hari OM
    Indigo!!! Lovely of you to visit and thank you so much for the 'addition'. HHMM I don't go in for booking face. I inadvertently got a 'handle' there due to attempting to leave a comment. PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME!! PLEEEASSEEE. Am only just coping with coordinating all this Go Ogle-oid stuff.

    Pearl - it is - and, well, maybe another day...

    Perpetua - it truly was a great day and a much needed break from the regular study... we could do with another! As you say, we learned much more than a different scale. ^&>


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