By Swami Anand Kul Bhushan
“This reminds me of my nursery school days,” said a pretty, young Osho disciple clad in a long maroon robe after performing this Jewish folk song and dance number, Hava Nagila.
Huffing and giggling, she related her experience of holding hands in a circle and dancing in circles to uplifting music of joy with the song that stars: ‘Let us rejoice’.
The meditation group was introduced at Oshodham, New Delhi, to this song and dance number the previous evening after dinner during a video session showing young Jews dancing happily to this ditty. Before the video, a brief background of the Jewish people, their suffering, determination and spirit of celebrating life was shared. The folk song traces its origins back 1800 years and surfaced just over a century ago moving from Russia to Austria and to Israel.
photos and video by Swami Joy Sangeetam
In the 1920s, it became popular in Israel and immediately spread to all Jewish communities globally. A top favourite to be played at all Jewish weddings, bar and bat mitzvah (the coming of age ceremony for Jewish boys and girls) plus most family gatherings, Hava Nagila was soon popular with other communities as well.
Its lyrics in Hebrew language go like this:
Let us rejoice, let us rejoice
let us rejoice and be glad
Let us be happy, let us be happy
let us be happy and rejoice
Awaken, awaken brethren
awaken brethren with a cheerful heart.
After the first video showing how it is performed formally, band leader Andre Rieu’s version was liked; then came a techno version, Ghost Train by Beijing Team; followed by a Jewish Punjabi Bhangra in Vancouver. Finally, the most applauded was dimpled chubby faced Lauren Rose with English lyrics that had everyone going crazy.
The next morning, the meditation group, Disappearing in Dance, were eager to perform Hava Nagila and formed two circles; a smaller one inside a bigger one and got going. Soon, they wanted more versions they had seen the night before and they exhausted themselves after an hour, literally disappearing into dance.
Old and young, men and women, educated and rustic, people from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds melted into this music and dance to become a single entity in this universal celebration of life. After hectic dancing, they became totally still to absorb the energy generated and then re-start with the next number.
They followed Osho’s dictum, ‘Meditate Celebrate’ to its hilt with this uplifting melody and spirted dance steps.
The group embodied what Osho says, “When you dance, you become a whirlwind and by and by, you are completely lost in your dancing, it happens – something breaks down inside you, the barriers are lost – you become one unity. A great orgasm spreads all over your being. You are in tune with existence in those moments.”