Indian music and India’s heritage of Adhyatma are the two strong powers which will help us overcome all the strife around us and it is essential for us to preserve these and other strengths of Indianness in our fight against ill-will and hatred, said spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Tuesday.
Addressing thousands of his disciples at Antarnaad, a musical programme hosted by The Art of Living Foundation to mark the golden jubilee of Maharashtra, Sri Sri said Indian music has evolved entirely from the nature around us and thus has the basic power to sustain. Music is the route to achieve oneness with the God, he said.
The sprawling S P College ground came alive with simple yet graceful decoration where Sri Sri’s disciples and followers filled the air with calls of ‘jai gurudev’ and listened to him all ears as he spelt out his mantra for a stress-free, peaceful living. There were men, women and children eager to get a piece of wisdom of their beloved Guru, who treated them through a session of dhyaan (concentration), gyaan (wisdom) and gaan (music).
Sri Sri stressed the need to protect everything created by nature if India had to lead the mission of world peace and added that the original principles of living, such as nature-based farming (as against farming that uses chemical fertilisers), caring for the girl child and keeping the honour of woman, will guide in the process.
Sri Sri said mediation is not superstition, but can be pursued while maintaining a scientific mindset. “I am not preaching an insipid, dry lifestyle but want all of us to enjoy life in all its beauty and listen to the music of the soul, unblemished by hatred or jealousy,” he said.
“Haath baantke to dekho, kaam banta hai ki nahin; muskarake to dekho, duniya apnaati hai ya nahin (extend a helping hand and the task will become simpler; offer a smile and the world will accept you in all its generosity),” Sri Sri appealed, stressing the importance of smile and brotherhood in life.
More than 2,750 singers from all parts of the country and abroad — perched on a grand multi-level stage — sang in unison musical compositions set to ragas such as ‘Shankara’, ‘Shree’ and ‘Basant Bahar’ as the voice of the audience blended itself with the artistes. The singers, men and women uniformly dressed in white kurta-pyjama and off-white sarees, were a picture of bhakti (devotion) and shraddha (dedication) as they presented the well-rehearsed compositions.
Renowned musicians, including singers Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Shankar Mahadevan and Chitra Roy, as well as tabla maestro Arvind Kumar Azad led the presentation of the compositions. The programme is set to find an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, the organisers said.
Members of the state cabinet, including deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Harshwardhan Patil, were present for the function along with MPs Suresh Kalmadi, Shivajirao Adhalrao and Gopinath Munde. Shashi Vyas and Kathak dancer Sharvari Jamenis compered the programme adding value to the musical experience.