Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The banquet: music of the faiths

The banquet started around 6 pm at St peters. more than 100 people came.

First we had some music from bahai faith: an iranian devotional song in farsi and a song in english with the guitar

the islamic singer was a shia muslim from pakistan, he first recited or chanted in melodious voice one of surahs from Qur-an (which means to recite) when macca was about to be taken, then another about a similar event where god is strict on believers forcing them to reflect inward.

Then were the ananda marga. first they sang a song composed by sri sri ananda murti in bengali from the 6400 songs he wrote in the last 6 years of his life. then the 2 singers sang a mantra baba nama kevalam, also in the tune which anandamurti used, which means that the most lovable one who is god, only his name should be chanted and glorified.

then a christian group sang 2 taize songs in a deep and beautiful slow rainbow of voices, one was bless the lord o my soul, another was ubi caritas et amor.

the hare krishnas then sang and danced to the traditional krishna mahamantra, starting with homage to the guru prabhupada (namah om vishnu padaya). there were 4 people including one person with mridanga drum and one with an instrument that made clanking sound, dressed in traditional dhoti kurta.

a nigerian christian group, the rock foundation, which is affiliated to christian union, then sang a song, hosanna in the highest, which was sung to jesus by residents of jerusalem on lent when he rode in a donkey, the words hosanna meaning protect us.

a buddhist group chanted the heart sutra in korean accompanied by a moktak drum, the instruction was to not pay attention to the words but just be with the no mind as advised by the zen master seung sahn. heart sutra is a major buddhist sutra which contains the theory of emptiness.

then a sikh group sat on the floor with harmonium and tabla and sang some kirtans from guru granth sahib, which is the living guru in the form of a book.

finally, an orthodox jewish group, which recites in german jewish tradition, recited parts from the torah where moses was anointing a relative as the high priest, but hesitated in the middle. torah scrolls have no vowels so people use a trick to remember them. also a girl sang a chapter from book of ruth. then they sang a welcome song welcoming holy shabbath as a bride.

at the end, the organiser john thanked everyone who had publicised the event, everyone thanked john who is leaving manchester shortly. then we had delicious range of food both veg rice and daal and non veg chicken curry.

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