On the evening of the third day of
Omkarananda Mahotsava, a beautiful Indian Classical and Balinese
Dance performance was held at Omkarananda Patanjala Yoga Center,
situated in Omkarananda Ganga Sadan, Rishikesh. Indeed, dance
can be both: a method to reach inner stillness, and also an
aesthetic expression of the ecstasy experienced within that
stillness. Even though Indian Classical and Balinese dances are
unique in their style, both share a common origin in the
esoteric experience of this blissful inner stillness.
Undoubtedly, they are artistic expressions of the rapture
experienced after beholding the inner beauty. Therefore, for
centuries both dances have been performed as an essential part
of worship in the temples of India and Indonesia. The evening
allowed both streams to merge into one which enabled the viewers
to worship and celebrate the presence of the Divine Master.
welcomes everybody for a Cultural Programme
of Balinese and Indian Classical Dances as a part of
President of Ashram Gandhi Puri,
Bali, speaks to the audience.
Guru-Bhakti-Ratna Kumari Somashekhari,
Director of Omkarananda Natya Kala Academy, presented the Indian
dances, and Diya Mahayani and Yastika from Sacred Art Ashram
Gandhi Puri presented the mystical Balinese dances. "Sacred
Art Ashram Gandhi Puri" is a dance group situated in
Denpasar (Bali) that actively seeks to construct a cultural
bridge between India and Indonesia by exchanging artists from
both countries. The group has been visiting the yoga center
since many years as part of its extensive travelling in India.
The program commenced with
lighting of the Deepas by H.H. Swami Vishveshwarananda
Saraswati (President, Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas) and
the distinguished guests from Bali which included Indra
Udayana (President, Ashram Gandhi Puri, Denpasar), I
Dewa Putu Sukardi (Vice Chairman Parishada Hindu Dharma
Indonesia), Dr. Praptini (Vice Rector of Institute Hindu
Dharma Negeri, Denpasar), Pedanda Ida Pandita Mpu Yoga
Paramadaksha (High Priest of Bali), Ida Ayu Pujawati
Parvati and Tarsana Acarya Shankar Dev (chairpersons of
Sai Puja Ashram, Denpasar).
The first Balinese item
"Jauk Manis" was performed by Yastika. This dance
portrayed a hero travelling through a jungle filled with
dangers. With the inner strength of his divine virtues,
he subdues every enemy and protects the peaceful lives
of the humans and other beings living in the forest.
Behind the fierceness of this warrior one finds an ocean
of compassion in his heart. Harmony is restored as good
conquers evil. This reminded us of the principle of
"Tri-hita-karana" (the three beneficial acts) on
which the social, economic and political system of Bali
is based: Parahyanga, our relationship with our creator;
Pawongan, our relationship with fellow human beings; and
Palemahan, our relationship with Mother Nature.
by Diya Mahayani from Bali.
Somashekhari speaks about the value of Indian Classical
Somashekhari in a typcial Indian Classical Temple-Dance
Duet-Dance by the Balinese Dancers Dia and Yastika.
The second dance item "Legong Tri
Shakti" was presented by Diya Mahayani. In this dance the
beautiful artist touched the hearts of all viewers by presenting
the three forms of the Divine Mother that are worshipped in
every Balinese village and city: Saraswati, the Goddess of
Knowledge; Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth; and Parvati, the
Supreme Goddess of Cosmic Beauty, Intelligence and Wisdom. With
over 93% of the population identifying themselves as Hindus,
Bali is truly a flourishing outpost of the Vedic way of life in
the East. The Vedic culture was brought to Indonesia many
centuries ago by three great Maharshis: Markandeya, Bharadwaja
The next item was a solo Bharatnatyam
dance "Ganesha-Kauthuvam" presented by Kumari
Somashekhari. This meditative dance belongs to the ancient
Temple-Repertoire of the South Indian Temples. It starts with an
offering of flowers to the Divine which is followed by a prayer
in adoration to Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles and
the personification of the most sacred syllable OM.
The next dance item "Shiva-Vandana"
presented by Kumari Somashekhari was a deeply devotional dance
in which Lord Shiva's greatness, purity, beauty and bliss are
described and worshipped. He radiates the divine light of wisdom
which is soothing to everyone like the soft light of the full
moon. Lord Shiva is the immortal nectar of Divine Love. This
dance evoked the sacred feelings of devotion in the hearts of
all, that were present. Indeed, the audience was spellbound
after viewing this heart-touching performance.
Then once again the Balinese artists
presented a breathtakingly beautiful dance known as "Oleg
Tamulilingan" (the graceful movements of the beetle). This
dance reenacted the intimate play of a beetle sipping nectar
from a flower in the garden. The charm and elegance of this
dance really won the hearts of all viewers.
Vishveshwarananda appreciates this event as a wonderful
for a cultural exchange between Bali and India.
offered to Gurudev Swami Omkarananda and Lord Patanjali.
Then H.H. Swami Vishveshwarananda
Saraswati, President of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, gave vote
of thanks to all the artists and distinguished guests from Bali,
and blessed the yoga students by reminding them of the ultimate
goal of their practice - Union with the Divine within. Dr.
Praptini (Vice Rector of Institute Hindu Dharma Negeri,
Denpasar) presented H.H. Swami ji a beautiful statue of Devi
Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom, carved in Balinese style.
The evening concluded with Omkarananda
Arati, a dance presented by Kumari Somashekhari. Through this
dance Sadgurudeva Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati, the great
Mystic, Sage and Philosopher, was worshipped and adored.
All students and teachers of the yoga
center expressed their gratitude and thankfulness to Sadgurudeva
for blessing them with all the possibilities and opportunities
required to explore the depth of yogic wisdom in the world
capital of yoga, Rishikesh. At the end everybody received
prasadam, sweet food offered to Sadgurudeva and Sage Patanjali,
and everybody’s hearts were filled with a continuity of immense
peace and joy for the rest of the day.