‘Vibhuti fell on stage as Sai Baba’s blessings’
By Rajeshwari Sainath
I get up on stage, I close my
eyes, and as I hear the first strains of music, my mind opens to an
experience that is difficult to describe in words. As my body
articulates the nuances of the raga and my feet interpret the rhythm
of the underlying tala, I move into a realm that can only be sensed in
the innermost recesses of being. For me, dance is a way to reach that
inner realm, where the mind and heart are one with some greater
Most people tend to think that
dance is about shringara, the outward expression of beauty and
romance. However, dance is also about bhakti, it is about devotion to
that supreme power. Every performance is a spiritual experience, when
I feel touched by some divine force that takes me in its grip as my
feet move across the stage. The experience is intensified when the
forum itself has a touch of divinity.
The first time I performed at the
annual birthday celebrations of Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, I did
so with no expectations other than that I should show my devotion in
the best way I could — through the purity of dance, which is an
expression of purity of mind.
Sometime during the middle of the
performance, there was a very slight pause in movement, a brief
silence, when a small bowl of vibhuti suddenly fell from the platform
at the rear and the contents spilled across the stage, around my feet.
Though I was startled, I had to continue with the dance, and it was
only at the end of the performance that I realised what had happened.
I saw this as evidence of Baba’s blessings, and it energised me that
evening, and has continued to do so ever since.
(The writer is a Bharatanatyam