‘Music is the ornamentation of silence,’ and ‘The art of listening to music is itself meditation’ said Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. This is exactly what was experienced during the finale of the first-ever global online bhajan competition, Guna Gaaun Main (G2M) held on 26th December 2019 at Chinmaya Vibhooti, in Kolwan, Pune.
G2M was conducted by Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth’s School of Kalayoga at Chinmaya Naada Bindu Gurukula (CNBG) which was whole-heartedly supported by benevolent donors from the Chinmaya Mission family. It proved to be unique due to the diversity in the age groups.
‘We wanted to have a music competition where seekers of music from all over the world and across all age groups could participate. Again, this competition was aptly opened for devotional music as we believe that music offered to the Lord is the purest,’ said Smt. Pramodini Rao, the Academic and Campus Director of CNBG, who conceptualised the competition.
The competition attracted a total of 183 participants. Forty-five participants were from different countries like the UAE, Australia, Great Britain, Indonesia, United States, New Zealand, Malaysia and the Netherlands, besides India. India had representation from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Twenty finalists, having cleared an online audio and a video round, participated in the grand finale. The judges for the event were Shri Kuldeep Pai and Vidushi Manjusha Patil, both illustrious artistes in their respective fields. The ever-smiling and positive aura of the judges made the participants comfortable and boosted their confidence. The participants were accompanied by Shri Vijay Nighojkar on the Harmonium and Shri Rohit Kulkarni on the Tabla.
The manifestation of divinity at the venue kept multiplying as every participant offered their sangeet seva at the lotus feet of the Lord. The comments and feedback from the judges at the end took the competition to a different level altogether.
Vidushi Manjusha Patil highlighted the importance of regular practice with the correct bhava (feeling). She also spoke about her experience while performing at the Gurukula and mentioned that the place has been a blessing for her. Shri Kuldeep Pai encouraged the participants to sing for the Lord. He helped everyone understand that to be able to sing or to perform is only an acquired siddhi but singing for the Lord is the ultimate purpose of art. The satisfaction received by singing His name is more than any prestigious award.
The prize distribution ceremony began with a welcome address by Smt. Lakshmi Shenoy, CFO at Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth. Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda presented certificates and prasad hampers to the winners.
Master Neev Kanani from Ahmedabad, Miss Ruchi Fonseca from Mumbai, Master Abhiram Bharathvamshi from Bengaluru, and Smt. Damini Desai from Ahmedabad stood first in categories one to four respectively. All four winners sang in the presence of Pujya Guruji after which he addressed the audience. He blessed every participant and encouraged them to sing His glories. He also appreciated the entire Chinmaya Naada Bindu Gurukula team for taking up the worthy initiative of spreading the Lord's name.
The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks by Smt. Shobha Iyer (Manager - People Relations) and prayers.