In my initial years I used to wonder why, or even how, devotees dance after the morning Guru puja. I would place them as sentimental devotees, priding myself as the one who is here for the serious knowledge. I still remember, at Punjabi Bagh temple, some devotee would try to pull me in and I would reply with a lame shrug. Of course, I never danced in my whole life, was an introvert and on top of it I am gifted with two left feet.
Bewildered, one day I finally asked one senior devotees why do they dance ? I got the reply that dancing is to please the Lord, that dancing in front of the Deities is recommended in the Vedas as well and is also part of bhakti. I was not convinced.
This changed over last 1 year. I slowly let go of my shyness to join in and my awkwardness about dancing steps and then came to a stage where I actually started to look forward to it and would happily jump in.
How much I have changed, I realised 2 week back, when at the Gurgaon centre, HG Haridas Thakur Prabhuji started a kirtan after the morning Bhagavatam class. May be the prasadam was delayed or some other reason but I knew it was going to be a short kirtan. After few minutes of listening I felt like dancing and not just dancing but jumping with joy. The kirtan was very melodious and Prabhuji always sings very well that but the surge in my heart was a new surprise, and shock, for me. In few seconds I felt that I would choke if I don’t start dancing immediately. I tried to stop myself as I could see everyone else was very nicely standing and clapping. I prayed let someone else start it and I looked around for any eye contact but to no avail. I had no idea how but I took the first step and then requested the devotees to join in, ever merciful, some devotees obliged and we dance for a few minutes.
Now at home or in most of the kirtans I always feel like dancing in front of the Lord, the feelings come like a big surge and I have to control myself to hold them, but mentally I dance and I dance – for the pleasure of the Lord !
All glories to the most merciful Lord Jagannath.
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.