Friday, June 15, 2007

San Ramon Rani

Mata Rani - San Ramon

Generally the second retreat night is filled with cultural performances by local devotees and volunteer staff members. Tonight there was a magician, a classical violinist, a young guitar player, and two classical Indian dancers. For the final ‘act’, spaces were cleared on both sides of the center darshan line. A group of local Indian devotees were going to put on a skit or some sort of dance. They had been practicing the last few days and were outside the hall dressed in costumes awaiting their entrance cue.

The music started. It was a recording of Mata Rani. Practically everyone had been hoping that Amma would sing it live at the end of darshan as she had done so on the second retreat night in Seattle. So when the recording started, it was sort of a precursor to what we were hoping for at the end. The dancers came bouncing into the hall, and began their performance. Amma continued to give darshan and watched and laughed as She recognized some of her women children dressed as men, and some of her male children dressed in women’s costumes.

The dance went on for about 10 minutes, each group of men and women going around in circles, clapping their hands, jumping up and down. Amma occasionally called out ‘Mata Rani Ki…. followed by a response of ‘Jai!!!!’ by the crowd. As the dance wound down, the crowd continued to shout ‘Mata Rani Ki Jai!!!’ and at that point, it simply had to happen….

Amma called for a microphone, musicians on stage began to play and Amma began to sing ‘Mata Rani’. Everyone jumped to their feet and moved in closer. As in Seattle and in India, the energy in the hall just exploded. The interaction between Amma and Her children during Mata Rani, is simply beyond words. Everyone’s face is beaming with joy. Somehow, with Amma’s Grace, for the second time in as many cities, I was assigned a seva next to Amma that happened to be at the same time She chose to sing Mata Rani. Only Amma could have orchestrated such divine luck. In between trying to steer people into Her lap when She would break from singing to give darshan, I kept looking into Her eyes. I just wanted to jump into their infinite depth and beauty. They were beaming at her children, and occasionally, I could catch them drifting off into indescribable bliss. Then Amma would roll her tongue and sound out a ‘drrrrrrrrrrrrr’ loudly and thrust Her hands up in the air. It was so spontaneous. Her whole being was literally exploding with joy in these moments. To me, it was even more intense than when Amma sings out ‘Ma Ma Ma Ma’ during bhajans. There is such rapture. More than once, I felt that Amma would burst out of her chair and shoot towards the ceiling like a rocket – the energy was so intense.

When the song was finally coming to an end, there were countless pleas for Amma to stand up and dance. For a moment, I thought that She actually would do so. Why not continue the bliss? I’m sure that Amma would have loved to dance and sing all night with us like she probably had done so back in the old days before there was an Ashram and there were only a few devotees around. But for reasons only known to Her, She declined tonight. There are still four more retreats left……

Sri Pati
San Ramon, 15 June 2007


manu said...

Such a b'ful description of those lovely moments, that I can feel the love and energy here in India, now also. My brother was also a part of that dance,he send me this link. Thanks for bringing those moments alive through your words.

s said...

I was there as well as it was one of the most ecstatic and joyous experiences I've had around Amma in the hall at San Ramon. I was so blessed to have been there.
It was a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.