Rap It Up
I don't follow the rap music scene so when one of our younger monks, Marshal, tells me that he sold a book "Perfection of Yoga" to muscian K'NAAN in downtown Toronto I most definatly do not know who he is talking about. Marshal was in ecstatsy though.
The closest I ever get to rapping is when Prema Dwani prayers are uttered, after a chanting session. I can't help myself but to spice up these long reverential word of glory with a tiny bit of my own pop rhythm. When I take the lead it is received with openess and welcome. Only one traditionalist spoke quietly with me in India last spring, expressing doubt. My mild defence was "In my country people rap. Also our guru Srila Prabhupada worte that one can sing as is done in one's country."
I incorporated a small toned down verison of the rap at a recent home visit where a family had three deaths occur. One after the other. While attending the funeral of a brother in the U.K, the couple was informed of an uncle's perishing and on the day of attending his funeral another close relative passed away.
Had the couple not had a strong sense of spirituality they might have fallen into depression. I felt the obligation to be with them for awhile in the company of others from our ashram. The chant and the subsquent subdued. Prema Dwani rap rendition pacified the family. Now tonight a birthday was honoured in Scarburough. Young Hari das turned 18 and a big gathering came to give support to a fine young guy. I was curious if Haridas knows Alice Cooper's "I'm 18" with lyrics "and I know what I want." But Alice is from another era. Haridas is likely more familiar with K'NAAN.