Photo Credit: Princeton University

Devotee

SSAA + Carnatic Vocalist

Duration: 5 minutes

Language: German, Sanskrit

German Text:
Laß uns auf dich sehen,                                         Let us look upon You,
Laß das Licht                                                          Let the light
Deines Worts uns heller scheinen                          of Your word shine upon us
Und dich jederzeit treu meinen                              and continually bring You to mind

-Anonymous, Tenor Aria in J.S. Bach's Cantata BVW 6


Sanskrit Text:
man manā bhava mad-bhaktho                             Think of Me, always
mad yājī mām namaskuru                                      Offer your obeisance to Me
mām evaisyasi yuktvaivam                                     And you will come to Me
ātmānam mat-parāyanah                                       Being completely absorbed in Me
mām evaisyasi satyam te                                       You will come to Me, I promise you this
pratijāne priyo ‘si me                                              Because you are My very dear friend


                                                                                    -Lines 1-4 (Bhagvad Gita 9.34); lines 5-6 (Bhagvad                                                                                        Gita 18.65); God Krishna is addressing Arjuna

Inspired by the power of music to bring people together, Devotee sets messages from two different faiths in spiritual dialogue. The vulnerability in the Christian text becomes particularly moving when paired with the divine response from the sacred Hindu Bhagvad Gita. In the last two lines excerpted from the Gita verses, the connection between God and devotee is shown to be strengthened by not only love and worship, but also by cherished friendship. 

Also available for Winds, Brass + Carnatic Vocalist, arr. Mathilde Grooss Viddal; CONTACT Shruthi Rajasekar for more 

Selected for the Ithaca Women's Works, USA, 2018

© 2020 by Shruthi Rajasekar