3 practice cycles converged in rāga tilang today. One is a daily practice that cycles through the 31 rāgas of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, a second practice embarks on a review of the syllabus from the kirtan course with Bhai Baldeep Singh which just ended in Albuquerque, and a third practice, this Gurubani Sangeet project, reaches a milestone with the last shabd in rāga tilang, also the last shabd in Volume I.

Below is a poem that came a few years ago after another encounter with rāga tilang during one of the kirtan workshops. Rāga tilang is a rāga that was loved by the Sufis and its sweet melodies invoke whirling in union and love of divine.

Taking a day to relax with family before heading home after the kirtan course, what better place to dance in the elements than under the blue skies of New Mexico? Cooling breezes, expansive canopy, breath of fresh air. Flowing Rio Chama, Placid Lake Abiquiu, torrential buckets of rain,  healing water at Ojo Caliente. Brilliant sun, streaks of lightening, terrestrial fire warming the hot-springs deep underground. Red cliffs, mystic Black Mesa, cleansing mud, the minerals of Mother Earth, an alchemy to soothe body, mind and spirit.

Raga Tilang
Nirvair, 7-17-06, Knoxville, Tennessee

Arms as wings unfurled to fly
I dance
Gaze fixed on the open sky
I dance

Measured steps in rhythm turning
I dance
Music stills the mental churning
I dance

All creatures with one voice resound
and circle round
To dance
Holding just one thought of you
Circle all life through
And dance

In this spinning world of your creation
You dance
Life is love’s manifestation
Your dance