by Bobby Miller
I began attending Sunday services at the Vedanta Society of New York in 2002. Swami Tathagatanandaji’s impassioned sermons inspired me to learn more about Vedanta: so, in the small bookstore at the rear of the chapel, I bought a few items, among them the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna and a music CD, Hymns of Yearning. I read the Gospel and listened to the CD and was drawn, on many Sundays, to hear Swami T. speak.
Time passed, and I began dating a woman who would later become my wife. I was excited to tell Sandie about the faith tradition, Vedanta, that I was blessed to be a part of. Open hearted and intellectually curious person that she is, Sandie wanted to attend a Sunday service with me. So we made the trip to New York together. It was an important day for me, introducing someone I loved to my adopted religion.
That Sunday, after Swami T. spoke, John began playing the day’s song. As it turned out, it was my favorite piece from Hymns of Yearning, “Chant Unceasingly the Name of the Lord and His Glory.” The holy words of Sri Chaitanya are made even more beautiful, more profound, by the music to which John set them. To me, that melody is soaring and intimate.
By the end of the song I had tears running down my cheeks. Swami T. graciously came up to greet Sandie and me and, noticing that I had been crying, he said something to me like, “Very good, very good.” I felt truly blessed.
I feel as though Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother put John’s immense talent and deep faith to good use, to help stir the hearts of devotees.
Bobby Miller and his wife, Sandie Friedman, attend the Vedanta Center of Greater Washington, DC. firstname.lastname@example.org