BABA AND DEVOTIONAL MUSIC - Dr. Sandipan Chatterji
Even as a young boy, Baba as young Sathya would
lead the Pandari bhajan group - group of village boys going round villages in groups
singing the glory of the Lord. On the 20th of October, when in his eighth standard at
school, he declared that he is Sai Baba of Shirdi came again and led devotees to sing the
bhajan, Manasa Bhajara Guru Charanam.
The Bhajan Mandali is the basic unit of Sri
Sathya Sai Seva Organisation the world over. In the early 60s, Bhagawan Himself
would sing in the Thyagaraja Aradhana - Thyagaraja festival of devotional
singing - where great musical stalwarts would participate. In 1948, Bhagawan sang
krittis on the marriage of Sri Radhakrishna Chettys daughter, Vijaya Kumari (author
of Anyadha Sharanam Naasthi: Without You Refuge There Is None) at Kuppam, South
India. Bhagawans musical performance there created waves everywhere.
As schools and colleges came up, Bhagawan
personally trained students to sing devotional songs, which He sometimes scripted on His
own. He is the music director for all the plays that Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher
Learning stages. The All India Musical Festival and International Music Festival
celebrating various forms of devotional music were held in Bhagawans presence twice
each. Each year, many musicians are fortunateto render devotional music at His Lotus Feet.
Even today, Bhagawan leads a bhajan or two at the end of His divine discourse.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, no doubt, is one of the greatest patrons of devotional music in the world today.