art music philosophy

Indian Classical music- The alcohol without alcohol

People are behind alcohol because it relieves. It relieves you of all your worries. Though this state is temporary, people starve for it. it is just like running behind the shadow. Alcohol creates the shadow and people run behind it.Duty of any art is to realize the  situation; to make people happy without deluding them.Indian Classical Music which can be called as Hindustani Music, I think is serving this purpose very well.

Arts also, most of the time, are used for the purpose of deluding. I accept that the performer performs it as a prayer but I doubt the feelings listeners. Most of them, they just come to listen cause it relieves them just as alcohol does. Music or rather any art is like alcohol. It takes you away from the reality. Indian Classical Music has immense potential of bringing you to the reality; many artists have almost realized themselves but the listeners, they miss the whole point.

The Divine Music

Any music has in it alcohol. Some types have it more some less. But they have it. All most all of the people listen music for this alcohol-which depending on the situation can boost you up, can calm you down, can take you to the eternal heights. The film songs or what we call as light music, is very very concentrated. Its like more alcohol and less water. It can very easily soothe you, it can very easily take you away from the situation.As far as Indian classical music is concerned, it is water….just water.Hindustani music has no alcohol. You can find at max a drop or two of alcohol in it. Just a drop, nothing more.

And the quantity of alcohol used shows the quality of the artists. The one who needs more alcohol to delude his crowd, is substandard. After listening to many artists you can easily find out these ‘Alcoholic’ artists which use it free handedly to just amuse people without much of efforts. In these famous musicians of India, there are some genuine artists, who have so much potential, that they just serve water and people are delighted. Delighted by the water….without a drop of alcohol. This joy is the bliss..The real bliss… Where you need no alcohol to be delighted. No false world is needed to be created to be happy. Where you can make merry putting your hands in the hands with the reality.

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Famous musicians of India #2

Ustaad Allauddin Khan

It was a noon time.A poor man was trying to sell his sub standard music drums called as Dafli which are played with the help of hands.He was merely successful in doing go.Along with him were sitting his poor children waiting for a customer;if he buys the drum they are going to get the food.Suddenly a man comes to the man.Not bearing the pain of the poor condition, he just lifts up one of those drums and starts playing them.Within a moment, the whole crowd is enchanted by that magical rhythm played on those very ordinary drums.For the entire time,people are out of the

ir senses.The performance is over.People within a moment, hypnotized by that divine music,take out whatever they find in their pockets and put it in front of the man.That man collects all that money,hands it over to the owner of the drums and without speaking a single word,leaves the place.

This soft hearted and India’s most loved and most respected musician was,Ustad Allauddin Khan.What we call as divine music is the music of Allauddin Khan.Allauddin Khan with a lot of efforts was accepted as a disciple by famous Veena player Ustaad Wazir Khan of Rampur.He was court musician to the Maharaja Of Maihar Estate.

Ustaad Allauddin Khan unlike other musicians, never practiced music as an profession.He was completely absorbed in music or rather music had absorbed him completely.He had reached the highest peaks and also the deepest and most subtle roots of the music.Allauddin Khan was a Sarod player, but he could play any instrument with so much mastery that anybody would think that this man must have wasted his whole life in playing that instrument.He could play all sort of instruments with equal ease and equal command.

As a musician he was the most successful; but as a Guru or Music master also, no one will deny the fact that he was most successful.He was father and Guru of world famous Sarod player and one of the finest musician of this country,Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan and very divine SurBahar player, Shrimati Annapurna Devi(Pt.Hariprasad Chaurasia is a pupil of Annapurna Ji).Many of the most successful musicians like Sitar players Pt.Ravishankar and Pt.Nikhil Banerjee, flautist Pt.pannalal Ghosh were his disciples.If we consider producing a chain of worthy disciples as a success, no one is as successful as Ustaad Allauddin Khan.

Along with the musician,Allauddin khan was a very spiritual person.Greatest musicians of those times and also today’s music lovers, with love and respect call him Baba,which means father.He was also one of those rare musicians who explored themselves through music.He was equally in love of all religions and also always absorbed in the godliness.Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho was very much interested in Baba Allauddin Khan and used to visit him frequently.When Osho was asked that if he knew any musician who had attained enlightenment through music,Osho answered that it was only Baba who had realized the self through his music.As Osho says,while playing the Saord, Baba got his enlightenment.As at that time Allauddin Khan was above 100 years old, his delicate and fragile body could not bear that load, and Allauddin Khan left his body at the very moment.

This essence of his divine search can be felt in the music of Baba Allauddin Khan and it is a real mystical experience to listen to his music.

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Famous Musicians of India #1

I am very pleased to announce that for the first time I am starting a new series here on this blog.The series is named as Famous Musicians of India.India can be considered as birth place of music.Thousands of years ago Vedas were sung in musical notes.From there originated the concept of Sura(note) and Taal(Tempo or rhythm).On these two fundamental parameters based is the Indian music.

From its origin time, Indian music has undergone a series of transformation and now has reached the form it presently has.In this journey,various talented artists have made their contributions.The specialty of Indian music is that the same note can be sung in thousands of ways according to the way voice of the artist or the hand of the instrumentalist is trained. There are Hundreds of Ragas and also hundreds of different styles which make Indian classical music  a sheer joy and a very inspiring source for contemplation and meditation.

Another strange fact is that all of the famous musicians of India were having a very strong spiritual background.Their music was nothing but the journey to the self exploration.These musicians were practicing their music not as a source of income or as a source of entertainment but as a door to the eternal which can be found inside themselves.

So it is very insightful experience  to explore these famous musicians of India as it can give you anything you want-from entertainment to very deep contemplation.The very first musician which I will be discussing will be Allauddin Khan. The actual series will start with the next post.

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Rhythm Divine:Myth or Truth

There are many things which at first sight seem absurd and unbelievable, but at the root lies very simple reason.India is quite famous for producing such personalities whose skills have been underestimated as myths.One of such personality is Taansen, the legendary singer.

The fact about Taansen is that when he used to sing, all the instruments would be automatically played with him.No person was needed to play them; rather his voice and his perfection was only thing which was sufficient.Today this is considered as a myth.But any person with a little bit of musical and scientific knowledge will come to know that this is not a myth but highest height of perfection and totality.

While learning Indian Classical Music tradtionally at home of my Guru I  came to know that while tuning one instrument when its frequency is same with some other instrument, the other one vibrates and makes sound automatically over a considerable distance.And practicing a  little bit for 8 years I myself reached the point where Just by singing a note I can bring it out automatically from Harmonium.Just the principle of resonance.

While singing a Raaga, Taansen used to be in such a totality that all the instruments placed there used to produce the same note due to resonance and the result was complete raaga being heard on the instruments.So, the story of Taansen is not a myth;but a story of Devotion,Totality and perfection.

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The Hindu : Arts / Music : My First Break: Pandit Ravi Shankar

The Hindu : Arts / Music : My First Break: Pandit Ravi Shankar.

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Divine Strings……

In india one can find thousands of stringed instruments.All these instruments were collectively called as Veena.One of the very famous stringed instruments of all these Veenas is Sarod.In India Sarod has been played by many famous players which were praised internationally.

The most famous and most profound Sarod player from India was Ustad Allauddin Khan.Allauddin Khan created a very huge generation of various world famous musicians which include famous Sitar player Pt.Ravi Shankar, famous Sarod player Ali Akbar Khan who is Guru of Musician Jay Uttal and many more artists.

This article is specially devoted for Amjad Ali Khan, one of the most talented musician India has produced.Amjad Ali Khan who has been nominated for Grammy has explored music to its deepest roots.Many people may find it controversial praising Amjad Ali Khan so much.Many critics even dare to  call him a second rate artist.Here I dare to say that India has produced a limited number of first rate artists and Amjad Ali Khan is one of them.

One of the subtle part of music is silence which can be generated in between the music.Very few artists have known this beauty of silence.It is really a sheer joy listening Amjad Ali Khan along with this silence pouring out in his music.This breath stopping beauty of silence can be found only in the music of Amjad Ali Khan.We are fortunate to have such a talented performer in our age….


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Raaga Charukeshi……

The one thing I love most about Indian classical music is that, each Raaga has a soul in it.It is not that a Raaga is only a combination of notes,but apart from it, it has a soul.The job of artist is to discover this soul,to make it apparent.Each Raaga has something to say to you-something which establishes the very flavour of that Raaga.But, some of the Raaga are really saints,just as we have them in us humans.These saints are really strange-living their lives,not wanting to publicize it.Their life has grace which can be felt by any passer by.

Charukeshi is such a saint-neglected one.Very few musicians will agree this conclusion of mine,but ya,if Raagas are considered analogous to humans,Charukeshi is a saint.The very first difference is that,the flavour of Charukeshi is gone when it is sought.It is there…..very mild…..sublime….but if one tries to get it deliberately,by force,it is gone.This is the beauty of the Raaga.Other thing is that,through this Raaga,a very deep trust in existence is portrayed.The message from the Raaga is same as that obtained from Bhagwadgita-work hard but leave the result in the hands of Existence.That your role is up to doing it totally.Charukeshi transmits this feeling-of working with so totality that you remain no longer to expect the results.

Charukeshi is a song-of utter trust.It does not have any complaint,nor suffering.Charukeshi is an acceptance.In other words,it is sacred yes to the divine…….

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Make it simpler…….

With very much of efforts,I got a book which I wanted to read and was searching for it for an year.The book is,”Thus spoke Zarathustra’,written by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.One thing I love about the book is that it is simple…so simple that even a child can read and understand it.

The book speaks about a metaphor of camel,lion and child.This transformation from camel to lion and then from lion to child simplifies the whole spiritual journey.The camel represents the very initial stage-the stage of carrying all the burdens,dogmas,traditions,beliefs.Then comes the lion,who rebels against all this.The most lovely point is that the lion is king.He has everything with him.Then why the child?And I love the explanation given in the book-‘For child is the sacred yes to the game of creation’ .This metaphor has simplified the complicated journey and has made it very very simple(as far as understanding part is concerned.)

I think,this is need of time-make the things simpler and lucid rather than complicated and bulky.

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Hariprasad Chaurasia…….the divine showers….


I love rains…..rains are divine…..but yesterday night,they got an added bit of divinity…The divinity of divine flute of pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.

The Auditorium was flooded with the crowd as expected and many of them were striving to get the tickets.Soon after a while,the the flute brought the message ….the message of clouds…..that they are coming….totally filled and ready to shower at any time.As usual,Hariji was silent and calm….the calmness before it rains…..very pregnant silence…..and soon,it started….the showers of the divine flute…..coming out of the purest fulte….blown by purest artist.Accompanying on the Pakhwaj was Pt.Bhawani Shankar and on the Tabla was Pandit Vijay Ghate.

The flute was representing the rains and the winds and the thunders  and the peacocks and the cuckoos…Pakhwaj the frightening clouds..and Tabla what you feel when they strike you…….

I love rains…..i have experienced them a lot…..but yesterday,there was no I to experience them…..there was a bliss….a divinity….a hollowness full of totality….the rains showered….and was showered the bliss….

I am in bliss……total bliss……

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