This posting alludes to one bhajan (a devotional song), but three versions. The audio here, and Alicia Rappoport’
s interpretation, and another, described below
Since 1944 devotees and students of Sathya Sai Baba have been composing devotional songs which celebrate the Numberless Names of The One. This “learning version” of HARI OM NAMAH SIVAYA is one such bhajan, and unlike either the version offered here or that by veareflejos
, when played at Sai Centers it is vigorous, uptempo, accelerating in speed and enthusiasm as it progresses.
Composed and sung in the late seventies by two students attending a Sai College in Whitefield, India, their singing of HARI OM NAMAH SIVAYA aided a determination in listeners to calm their minds, stabilize their intellects, and to love all, serve all.
As sung by the composers four decades ago, the occasion manifested such devotion that for many of the congregants, myself included, it seemed frighteningly obvious that Siva Himself was among us—and more than a few of us were moved to tears of joy and awe in praise of the Unseen Ever-Present Great God Who Dances, Siva.
That original bhajan is still being sung in Sai Centers worldwide, but it is not presented as a soft and lulling melody in the manner of the lovely cantor Alicia Rappaport’s interpretation, nor is it sung by Sai Bhakthas as slowly and as unemotionally as the `teaching version’ provided here.
To my ear, Alicia Rappoport has captured the sweetness and devotion of the original, but not the vigor or awe experienced when in Siva’s Presence. I suppose though that each of us enjoys a uniquely personal and direct experience of that quickening, and it is that which might be considered the third version.
Again I offer pranams to veareflejos
who provided Hari Om Namah Shivaya via a ‘western’ interpretation by
cantor, Alicia Rappoport
The book “The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony: Volume I” by Thomas Ashley-Farrand defines Om Namah Shivaya as:
“This mantra has no direct translation. The sounds relate directly to the principles which govern each of the first five chakras on the spine…Earth, water, fire, air, ether. Notice that this does not refer to the chakras themselves which have a different set of seed sounds, but rather, the principles which govern those chakras in their place. A very rough, non-literal translation could be something like, ‘Om and salutations to that which I am capable of becoming.’ This mantra will start one out on the path of subtle development of spiritual attainments. It is the beginning on the path of Siddha Yoga, or the Yoga of Perfection of the Divine Vehicle.”