If you could sing joy, what would it sound like? Alai Alai is a song that carries the exuberance of being human. Composed by Sounds of Isha, it is an expression of the boundless joy which has seeped into the hearts of millions across the globe in the form of "Ananda Alai - A Wave of Bliss" which originates in Sadhguru.

Making of Alai Alai

This was a song written for the series of Sadhguru’s mahasathsangs, Ananda Alai, which swept a whole mass of people in South India and is spreading across India and abroad, offering thousands of people at least "one drop of spirituality." Since Sadhguru had named the mahasathsangs "Ananda Alai," we thought we should have a song about Alai, which means wave; and naturally, a fisherman relates to Alai more than anyone else, as his life depends on it. So, the song became a fisherman’s song.

It was in the wake of the Tsunami too, which had left its impact on our minds, and which is reflected in the song. During the Tsunami - a huge wave, and a gigantic destructive force for many human beings - the fish were comfortably and safe deep inside the sea. It showed us that the surface nature of life cannot do anything to us if we are rooted deeply within who we are.

The whole ashram contributed to this song in its making by lending their voices to the chorus, and we all had a lot of fun in the process. After all – it’s a Wave of Bliss!

Alai Alai

Alai alai alai alai alai alai
Alai alai alai alai alai eṉa
Like a wave

Maṉam dhiṉam adhu ōduthē
Sugam thaṉai adhu thēduthē
The mind runs on
In search of happiness

Uyiriṉ uṟavu uṇarndhidāamalē
Without understanding the nature of life


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Yelēlō ailēsā yelēlō
Yelēlō ailēsā Yēlēlō

Nethili meeṉa pōla āasai (āahō
Thimiṅgalam pōla adhuvum pēsa (āahō)
Your desire is just a small fish
But it grows into a whale

Thimiṅgalam thāaṉ pudichu nāaṉē thantha piṉṉum
Nethili vāasam iṉṉum pēsa (āahō āahō)
And even after catching the whale
You still want another small fish!

Kāathu adikkutham'mā
Ōdam asaiyutham'mā
Āasai alaigaḷiṉ mēlē
The wind blows
The boat rocks
On top of the waves of desire

Uḷḷam thudikutham'mā
Vāazhkai nadakkutham'mā
Āasai alaigaḷiṉāalē (Alai Alai alai…)
The heart beats
Life happens
Because of the waves of desire

Thanthanāaṉē thāṉētham thanthanāṉē
Thanthanāṉē thāṉētham thanthanāṉē

Alaigaḷ ellām Kadaliṉ mēlē dhāaṉē
Kadalukkullē Meeṉgaḷ suthanthiram dhāanē
The waves are only on the surface of the sea
Deep inside, the fish are free

Āasai ellām Maṉadhiṉ mēlē dhāaṉē
Uḷḷathuḷḷē Āaṉantha thāaṇdavam dhāaṉē
The desires are only on the surface of the mind
Deep inside there is just the dance of ecstasy

Uṇarnthāalē dhāṉ Uṉakkuḷ āaṉandham dhāṉē
Alaigaḷ ellām Āaṉandha alaigaḷ dhāaṉē (Alai Alai alai…)
When you realize this, you will be blissful
And all the waves will be Waves of Bliss

Yelēlō ailēsā yelēlō
Yelēlō ailēsā Yēlēlō

Sadhguru: If you look at it with the necessary awareness, you will see the very process of life, whatever we refer to as the process of living, is a certain seeking, a certain urge to include, evolve and grow into our ultimate nature. If you look at the most basic desires within you, you will see that the fundamental desire is to include something or someone as a part of yourself. Fundamentally, you want to expand your way of being; and you will not settle for any amount of expansion. There is something within you which is looking for a boundless experience. When it finds an unconscious expression, we call this a materialistic way of life. When it finds a conscious expression, we call it a spiritual way of life. They are not different, they are in no way conflicting with each other. It is just that one is an unconscious process, another is a conscious process. One is walking with your eyes closed, another is walking with your eyes open. That's all the difference is.

If you have seen money, power, wealth and pleasure, you have tasted everything in your life and you have realized that nothing is going to work in the real sense and fulfill you ultimately, then it is time for yoga.

This longing for oneness or this longing to include everything as a part of yourself, when it finds a basic physical expression, we call it sex. With sex, you are desperately trying to become one with someone. However hard you try, it doesn't happen. There are moments when it makes you feel like you are one, but the next moment everything is separate. If you try this mentally, generally it gets labeled as greed, conquest, ambition – you are trying to include everything as a part of yourself, you want to conquer the world itself. If it finds an emotional expression, we call this love. If it finds a conscious expression, we call this yoga. It is the same longing to include something as a part of yourself.

Why is it that you want to include another person as a part of yourself? Somehow, the way you are is not sufficient. For a few moments, you have known a little bit of bliss in it, so that is what you are going after. Suppose you are so complete within yourself that you are absolutely blissful by your own nature, would you long to become one with someone else? No. So, it is not ambition or sex that you are going after, what you are seeking is blissfulness. The few moments of blissfulness that you have known are not sufficient for you. So, isn't it time you approached it consciously?

That is why Patanjali, when he wrote the yogasutras, started them in a strange way. The first chapter of the yogasutras is "…and now, yoga." Such a great document on life starts with half a sentence. Intellectually, it does not make any sense, but experientially what it is saying is: "If you still believe that building a new house, or finding a new wife, or getting your daughter married will settle your life, it is not yet time for yoga. But, if you have seen money, power, wealth and pleasure, you have tasted everything in your life and you have realized that nothing is going to work in the real sense and fulfill you ultimately, then it is time for yoga."

Editor’s Note: Follow Sounds of Isha on Youtube for more great music.