Last night I went to see Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji perform a concert at Elgin Community College.
He is Kali Ray's guru. His main ashram is at the foot of Chamundi Hill in Mysore (which Krista and I visited in 2008 - after getting caught in the monsoon. While driving the scooter through traffic. At night. While laughing.).
Each of the ragas he performed was meant to stimulate different chakras, heal different aliments (insomnia, diabetes, restless leg, etc) or parts of the body (lower back, etc), and represented different astrological signs and elements. He was accompanied by keyboards, violin, tabla and dhol.
The music was mostly uplifting, and occasionally irritating. He LOVED to play! He told us to relax - we could lean back, close our eyes, sleep - even dance. He said to do whatever was relaxing (apparently fidgeting the entire time was comforting to the poor vata fellow on my right). He played lead keyboard, explaining it was "the modern-day veena."
At one point there was an AMAZING talk-drumming session (one of my favorite things in the whole wide world), followed by a couple of riveting drum solos.
When they came to the main raga, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji said, "This one for all Chicago." This raga was for ALL the chakras, ALL the astrological signs, ALL parts of the body and ALL five elements.
I guess we need to be healed. Everywhere.
I know we need it, and so did he. This place is a little (!) off.
After the concert, they gave us prasad - a sattvic Indian take-away meal (vegetarian, with no garlic, onion or spices).
On the way home, I passed the hospital where I was born. I'd never seen it before. (Well, maybe that one time).
Last night I slept soundly.
And this morning I awakened with no pain in the wrist, ankle or lower back.
The gurgling in the stomach (which I'm sure is an E. coli invasion resulting from the sink explosion) had ceased.
And all the money-worries, etc. had vanished.
Did I mention the concert was free?
And that beforehand, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji sat quietly and patiently through speeches and whatnot by an endless parade of minor Illinois dignitaries?
No fidgeting, foot-tapping or eye-rolling from him.
Just fortitude and forbearance.
Om shanti indeed.