"Bhava is most important in Music..."

Sri Sathya Sai with the Mandolin in Trayee Brindavan

Tuesday, June 13, 2000 

Swami : What question did they put and what answer did you give? (Referring to the morning’s ‘SAMA’ – a presentation on Music in the prayer session at the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus.) You told about Shruti, Tala, etc., but Bhava is most important.

Student : I told, Swami.

Swami : But you told it in the end. You were speaking about Shruti. However, your Shruti itself was out (of tune). 
(After sometime, Swami called few Bhajan boys inside the interview room. The students sat around Swami’s chair. To Student 1) Tell Me, what did you say in the morning? You did not tell about Bhava first. That is most important. What did Tyagaraja tell about Sangeetam (music)? (Swami then sang a part of the song, “Sangeeta Gnanamu Bhakti Vina, Sanmargamu Kaladhe, Oh Manasa”, a great composition by the legendary saint-poet Tyagaraja. The first verse means, “Oh mind, the knowledge of music, without devotion is not the right path.”) 
(Then Swami asked another student) What did you tell?

Student 1 : Swami, about Shruti.

Swami : What Shruti?

Student 1 : Swami, I sang “Bada Chitta Chora” Bhajan. Once in higher Shruti; once in a lower Shruti and finally in correct Shruti.

Swami : Then.

Student 1 : Swami, about rhythm. Then, control of voice and variety.

Swami : What variety?

Student 2 : Different types of songs like Carnatic and Hindustani.

Swami : (To Student 1) Sing something in Hindustani. 
(The student did not know what to sing. Then he sang “Hari Hari Bhajo Mana Sai Ram Bhajore”.) In Carnatic style, what did you sing?

Student 1 : (Pointing to Student 2) Swami, he sang.

Swami : (To Student 2) Sing. 
(He sang the song, which starts as “Sobillu Saptaswara”, an exceptional composition in Carnatic music by the great saint-poet Tyagaraja, which extols the glory of the seven notes of music.) 

Swami : What else?

Student 2 : Swami, we told about feeling.

Swami : (To Student 1) You should practise. Music College is also coming. (Referring to the Music College Building Construction and the Music Courses that are to commence from the academic year 2001-2002.)
Sri Sathya Sai Music College, Prasanthi Nilayam
Student 2 : Swami, will it be ready by Birthday?

Swami : Birthday! By Guru Pournima itself, it will be ready.

Student 2 : Swami, will there be a Degree?

Swami : Yes, yes. Degree will be given.

Student 2 : Swami, Post-graduation also?

Swami : Yes, yes.

Student 2 : Entrance exams and other things will be there, as in Primary School.

Student 3 : Swami, will ‘art of sculpting’ be there?

Swami : Not now. In the morning, you told everything in 15 minutes. You should take time. Take one hour class and explain in detail. Your voice also should be good. It is shaking. When you say ‘Om’ it should be ‘Om’; (Swami chanted and showed how to chant ‘Om’) and not with breaks. Otherwise, others will find it to be funny.

Student 4 : Did Swami learn Carnatic music formally?

Swami : Your head! Dunnapotha (he-buffalo). That time, who was there to teach? Nobody knew Carnatic music.

Student 3 : Swami, when You were small, You gave Carnatic concert.
Sri Sathya Sai at the inauguration of the Music College - November 20, 2000
Swami : (In a casual manner) That time, I gave. For teaching in the Music College, many elders will come. (Mentioning an artist’s name) He is old, but his voice is still good. He will also come and settle down here. You can help each other in learning. Initially, only boys will be selected. Many people want to come and teach. 

Student 4 : Swami, can we also learn music while studying (other courses)?

Swami : No, no. Only after you finish studies you can join there. Either this or that. Not both. Go, go (indicating that they should now leave the interview room).

Students : Swami tell us about how to practise?

Swami : No time, no time. Go, go. (Students took Padanamaskar and then came out of the interview room.)

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