This was said by William Shakespeare in his play, Twelfth Night.
According to the story, Orsino (the hero in the story) is asking for more music because he is frustrated in his courtship of Countess Olivia. He muses that an excess of music might cure his obsession with love, in the way that eating too much remove's one's appetite for food.
But in my case, I think that music suffices that hunger for love, in the way that eating to your stomach's content remove's one's hunger.
Hence, music is still the food of love but the way I perceive it is different.
But what is that object of love, why was I hungry for that love and how did music satisfy that hunger for love? You will understand as you read.
To answer what is my object of love? Well, it is Love itself!
Swami is my object of love. But alas! I felt I realized it very late. By late, I mean that it dawned on me that Swami is my one and only love only after His Mahasamadhi and I felt so bad about it. But soon I began putting things into my head that Swami has now become more Omnipresent and that made me feel better and I continued speaking to Swami and confessed my love for Him too. And He too seemed to reciprocate it at times. A way He reciprocated His love was when He answered doubts troubling me, in a way I enjoyed and will remember for lifetimes.
|Front cover design of Bhavanjali V.|
But on the 27th July 2012, it was just three hours since I landed back at Oman after a fruitful vacation to India when I began missing India, rather Puttaparthi so much and I wished to see Swami and missed Swami's physical form so terribly. I began thinking too deep and I suddenly felt like a loser because I have never had a physical interaction with Swami (Of course, in dreams I have had physical interactions with Swami and since dreams of Swami are real, I know I mustn't say I have not had any physical interactions,but the monkey mind....) Thinking back today, I know how silly I had been but that is how miserable I felt.
I cried so much and couldn't rest and I felt only good music could do that. So I unpacked all the bags to find the Bhavanjali 5 that I had bought from the Sai Blossom Store when I had been to Parthi. I found it after a long search. I slipped the CD into the CD player and the beautiful narration began after which soul stirring bhajans followed. I could totally relate myself with the bhajan Daya Karo Hey Karunamurthi sung by Ravi Kumar uncle. I went on listening.
How did Music suffice that hunger for Love?
But when the bhajan Karunamayi Janani Maa began playing, I was just swept off my feet. I left all that I had been doing and sat at the sofa and closed my eyes. Little did I know that an experience to cherish was on my way. As I heard the bhajan, I could totally relate myself with the feel of the bhajan and everywhere the word 'Maa', meaning 'mother' came, the feel the singer gave was just so scintillating and my heart cried out the same to Swami. I did not even make an attempt to visualize when a beautiful scene flashed across my closed eyes and every line took me closer to Swami. Let me narrate how the gifted visualization moved on.
(The reason why I say its a 'gifted visualization' is because I did not make any efforts to visualize. It just unfolded as the bhajan began. All I did was just close my eyes.)
The setting is that of the Sai Kulwant Hall wherein Swami is seated on the dias and I am seated in a corner, somewhere close to the first pillar on the ladies side and I can see Swami so clearly. The bhajan plays in the background and here is what unfolds with every line of the bhajan.
|I love you sooo much!!|
Karunamayi Janani Maa :
"Swami! Please show mercy on me! I am not able to take this. I just want to look into Your eyes and say that I love you soooo much, though I know that what I have to say has already reached You. "
"Maa, Your love attracts me so much and I just want to run up to You. I am not able to contain myself.How I wish I can touch those tender feet of Yours just now."
Hridaya Nivasini Sai Maa:
Since even after all this pleading He did not seem to do anything, I cry, "You reside in my heart and still You act like You don't know what my heart wishes to do and say"
The second time the same line is being sung, I cry more as my pining intensifies and I can't take it any longer. It seems likes Swami understands this and it was that point of time, Swami's eyes and my eyes meet and He gestures in a beautiful and cute manner to come up to Him. I then walk to Him, nah, I run to Him.
|Heaven those feet are!|
I run up to Him, cling to His feet and say,"Swamiii!!! I love You soooo much" I then look deeper into His eyes that assures me of love, peace and fearlessness forever. I break down, when Swami pats my cheeks, to bring me back to my senses and signals me to take paadanamaskar. I should say those soft and lotus feet shows me the heaven. I need nothing else.
Gana Vinodini Maa Sai Maa, Sai Maa:
As I finish taking padanamaskar, Swami, in His beautiful, very sweet and loving voice tells me, "I love you so much. I love you so much and, I love you so much, My child!"
With that, the gifted visualization comes to an end and it all feels so real. I can feel my eyes all wet with tears that got converted to tears of happiness, fulfillment, gratitude and bliss from tears of sorrowful pining and feeling like a loser.
When I don't get to listen to the bhajan, I sing it. Even when I am busy with some other work, I still keep humming this bhajan. Well, not that I am not concentrating on the work I am doing, but that Karunamayi Janani Maa has become a part of me, a prayer in itself or even meditation.
Every time I listen to it or sing it, the voice of Swami is heard and to hear the same voice, I keep playing the bhajan a number of times.
This is when, I am reminded of a few lines I heard from an aunty but I don't know the exact source. The lines go like this:
|"To catch the echo of Thy voice in my song"|
"At times I catch the echo of Thy voice
In my song.
Then, my madness grows with joy and
I sing again,
Not to hear my voice, but,
To catch the echo of Thy voice
In my song. "
This is exactly what I feel every time I
listen to this bhajan. Every time, Swami
says, "I love you so much,I love you so much and I love you so much, my child!" The best part of all this is that I no more feel bad for not having had any physical interactions with Swami, for He has been giving me a chance to interact with Him in close quarters everyday.
There are times when my mind sets thinking if this is just a mirage or a delusion but then immediately, my heart says, "No, it cannot be a delusion or you are not trying to catch a mirage because mere delusion will not give you that everlasting bliss that only a reality can give you. Had it been a fantasy, you would have got bored long ago.Moreover, you are not visualizing anything. It is being gifted to you. "
Thus, my heart gave such a nice explanation to confirm the fact that this visualization is true.
With this, I have also learnt that Swami is as real as real can be even in visualizations, not just dreams! It feels so special to have a Swami for yourself who says, 'I love you so much. I love you so much and, I love you so much, My child!"
And thus, music, any bhajan/ song I have heard after this experience has satiated my hunger for Love, specially listening to the the Bhavanjali series. It was with this that I understood these few lines in the introduction in the Bhavanjali V :
"Music is not just a vehicle for the description of God's glory but it also elevates and produces a feeling of ecstasy. It makes a devotee forget oneself and get totally immersed in Divinity."
It has also shown me how music has the potential to let you experience the reality which may seem like a hallucination because of the conscious thoughts controlling the mind.
Just tune into God and forget the rest. Follow the music with God filling you completely and let Him take over you, then, you are very close to your beautiful experience.