A week of festivities by the Sri Chinmoy followers for their Guru and spiritual master’s birthday ended on a grand note at the Baruch Performing Arts Center with a free performance of ‘Songs of the Soul’ as a tribute. The Sahadeva orchestra, conducted by Sahadeva Torpy from the British group Ananda, together with singers from around the world, set the tone for the weekend performances with their soulful melodies written and composed by their spiritual guru.
Other performers who sang Sri Chinmoy’s compositions in tribute to his memory through their own style were Boris Purushottama Grebenshikov and Dr. L. Subramaniam, who’s known as India’s best classical violinist, his wife Kavita Krishnamurti, an award winning vocalist, and their daughter Bindu and son Ambi who’s also a violist.
Also on the list of performers was the popular Kirtan singer Krishna Das, who engaged the audience during his singing of Bhajans, which are Hindu devotional songs. Hundreds showed up each night for the events and brought the house down with applause for the performers.
Subramanian’s four-year old granddaughter made her debut appearance at the opening of his show singing a song which was incredible to watch. As a baby performing her actions were such, like playing with the hem of her dress and swaying side to side but at the same time she had no stage fright as she stood on a box and looked out to the sea of faces singing in her baby voice. Great things are ahead for her. Is Dr. Subramaniam soon to have competition from his son? Ambi is young, with an appealing stage presence and proved to be an amazing violinist as he and his father shared the stage for several compositions. It was mesmerizing watching the two keep up with each other, something that drew the audience to their feet.
The festivities are an annual celebration dedicated not only to Sri Chinmoy’s composition of music, art and poetry but his accomplishment, work and power to harmonize and bring peace to the world through his service to humankind. He himself grew up in an orphanage after the death of his parents, according to reports. After moving to the United States he took up residence on 164th Street in Jamaica and set up a spiritual organization with thousands of followers worldwide and which continues to grow even after his death in 2007.