May the sacred stream of amity flow forever in my heart, may all beings in the universe prosper, such is my cherished desire.
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As we roll out our 100th newsletter today, we offer our heartfelt gratitude to all the visible and invisible forces at play in our Maitri Tunes pilgrimage across the infinite sacred soundscapes of our Universe. And it is a matter of great delight that for this newsletter, we got access to a private recording of two very dear elders of our community, Dinesh uncle and Jayesh bhai singing a beautiful prayer which incidentally also was our very first newsletter almost two years ago.
At a recent Moved by Love retreat, Naveen shared a personal story from 7 years ago which is a telling reminder that Maitri has no boundaries.
Naveen was a gifted theatre artist having received numerous awards for his talent. However he was going through a difficult financial time and he rarely got work because of his physical disability. His wife Kanchan would make very little money working as a house maid and they were getting with great difficulty.
Around this time, a stray dog delivered 5 puppies in their backyard. The dog was very weak so Naveen felt called to take care of the puppies. Though with barely enough to feed themselves, Naveen and Kanchan would get 1 litre milk and some biscuits for the puppies everyday.
When it was time to eat dinner, they would go to the backyard, call the puppies, crush the biscuits and mix it along with the one litre of milk and place it in front of the puppies. And then as if in an unspoken ritual, they would all silently eat their meal for the day.
A few days later, there was no food in the house and only 20 rupees in hand. Naveen and Kanchan generously chose to forgo their meal and feed the puppies instead and bought a litre of milk and got a pack of biscuits on credit.
Come dinner time, they lovingly put a bowl of milk mixed along with the crushed biscuits and placed it in front of the puppies. However the puppies refused to eat the food and instead compassionately looked towards the kind-hearted couple.
Naveen kept cajoling the puppies towards the food, but they refused to eat and instead silently sat with the couple as if in a circle of solidarity. At one point, Kanchan went in to the house and came back with two bowls filled with water. Then with a spoon they started to sip the water slowly as if to trick the puppies into believing that they were also eating their dinner. The puppies did not buy into this act and continued their "nonviolent non-cooperation."
Soon tears welled up in the couple's eyes at this wordless communication of solidarity.
A few minutes later, there was a knock on a door by a producer who had to pay Naveen 8,000 rupees for a play he had acted in long ago. Naveen gratefully received this money, and Kanchan immediately stepped out to buy some food.
As soon as Naveen and Kanchan got their dinner on the plate and sat down next to the puppies to eat, the little ones silently and joyfully started eating their own dinner in shared gratitude.
Naveen tearfully shared with all of us that he felt touched by grace by the tender kindness and kinship of these "angels".
Lyrics and translation:
Maitri bhaav nu pavitra jharnu, mujh haiya ma vahya kare
Shubh thavo aa sakala vishwa nu, evi bhavana nitya rahe
Amity (Maitri): May the sacred stream of amity flow forever in my heart, May all beings in the universe prosper, such is my cherished desire.
Guna thi bharela gunijan dekhi, haiyu mharu nrutya kare
E santo na charana kamal maa, mujh jeevan nu ardhya rahe
Appreciation (Mudita): May my heart sing with ecstasy, at the sight of the virtuous And may my life be an offering, at their feet
Deen kreur ne dharma vihona, dekhi dil maa dard rahe
karuna bheeni aankhon maa thi ashruno shubh stotra vahe
Compassion (Karuna): May my heart weep at the sight of the wretched, cruel and poor, And may my eyes be filled with tears of compassion for them.
Marg bhulela jeevan pathikne, marg chindhva ubho rahu
kare upeksha e marag ni tohe samata chit dharu
Equanimity (Upeksha): May I be ready to show the path of Dharma to those who are lost Yet, if they do not hearken to me, may I be equanimous to all .
Manavta ni dharma bhavana haiye sahu manav lave
ver jher na bhaav tajine mangal geeto e gave
May the spirit of goodwill enter all our hearts May we all sing in chorus the immortal song of human concord