April 10, 2011
Ananda Portland got an early start on the Easter season this year with a performance on April 2nd, of the Oratorio – Christ Lives! composed by Swami Kriyananda. It began as a joint effort by the choirs of Ananda Portland and Ananda Seattle, but we were joined by singers and musicians from Ananda Village, Ananda Sacramento and Ananda Palo Alto.
Satsang is a word meaning “fellowship with truth”, and satsang is an important spiritual principle on the path. Keeping company with other truth seekers is a very effective and fun way to raise your consciousness – it’s what this blog site is all about. So the energy of approximately 40 Ananda singers sharing music and inspiration was a huge spiritual boon for all who were present and aware of the divine blessings that flow out of such company. Our temple and community are still vibrating with the energy of divine friendship that was shared that weekend.
But there was more – there was the music.
The Oratorio was written by Swami Kriyananda after he visited the Holy Lands and the combined instrumental, choral, solo and small group pieces tell the story of Christ’s birth, teachings, crucifixion and resurrection.
Each piece is a step along the path that Christ walked and shares the timeless truths of the avatar’s mission. I had the privilege of singing one of the simple solos that open the heart to the message Christ and all the masters bring:
God is Truth – God is Love.
Father, Mother, both are one.
When our hearts cry out in pain –
Mother, bring us peace again.
Every mother brings to birth,
Hints of Thy love, for all the earth.
I was nervous about singing a solo but the opportunity made me study the song deeply and sing with a depth of understanding and gratitude that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Every song is a teaching that Swami is sharing through music and every time I sing, I learn more.
As we sang our way through the story, certain phrases stood out as shining messages:
All you who labor, all you who sorrow, know that the Savior awaits but your love.
And the words of Jesus to Satan:
Satan, know you not our Father offers love in your stead?
His gift of love to all is my only food; He is all I own.
What does man need, but Him?
Then the urge to go within:
From living water, sipped in the silence,
In spirit and in truth break ego’s spell.
And the disciple’s self-offering:
I am Thine, Thou are mine – hand in hand forever!
Then Christ’s surrender to God’s will:
Nevertheless, Thy will be done.
And the soul’s awakening to God’s presence:
Now at last our hearts we give You,
Who remain our Friend.
The joy of the resurrection:
Christ is risen this Easter morn: Thus our lives to joy are born!
He from death is ever free: In his life even so are we!
And the realization of the divine light within all:
How oft, like sheep, we’ve strayed apart!
Now, guided by Thy ray,
In inner freedom of the heart
Our night has turned to day!
The universal truth of the music, and the grace of God and guru, made it possible for singers from all over Ananda to come together and perform as one choir after only one rehearsal together. The Ananda Portland sanctuary was filled with joy and the audience left with the eternal message of divine love ringing in their hearts.
Easter came early to Portland – may it come into your heart as brightly.
In Christ’s love,