Soulful, sublime and sonorous
IT WAS a melodious evening that distilled a meditative effect when music maestro Pandit Jasraj took the audience to both musical and spiritual heights at the Bhajan evening at Ravindra Bhavan on Tuesday.
The programme ‘Pir Paraye Jane Re’ was organised by the Swaraj Sansthan to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. It also marked the conclusion of the five-day Lokrang festival.
Before starting his spiritual cum musical deliveries, Panditji said, “I will try to make you feel His presence”. And he did, as each of his musical renditions filtered a magnetic spiritual effect.
Attired in white kurta-dhoti, Panditji started with a Shloka (hymn) of Lord Krishna, which is sung as an ‘aarti’ in Dwarka. The ‘Kasturi …..’ in Rag Madhuvanti filtered a sublime effect, the long stretches on Sri Krishna Govind, the musical curves injected a sacrosanct flavour and set the spiritual tone for the rest of the evening. Towards the end, the environ echoed with ‘Govind Hare, Govind Hare’ in the backdrop of instrumental prowess.
Panditji’s disciple Ratan Mohan Sharma who played the svar tarang, accompanied the maestro in his vocal renditions. The next rendition was of Vallabhacharya in Rag Mishr Pilu. ‘Braj Basant Navneet Choram….’ was interwoven with dexterous alaaps. The musical stress on ‘Braj Basant’ and the swift overtones of ‘Gopangana’ were an aural treat taking the audience to a sacred realm. Panditji’s musical oscillations of ‘Radhika’ and ‘Choram’ reflected his adroitness.
The musical crescendo touched a peak and then nose-dived with the resonating chants of ‘Sri Krishna’. Adi Shankaracharya’s ‘Mano…….’ in Rag Darbari reverberated next. Panditji changed from one alaap to the next with flexibility but his musical acumen intensified when he exhaled the words ‘Shivoham’ with deep and long breaths, reflecting his lungpower.
Panditji then sang a bhajan ‘Jai Ram Ramanam Samanam’ which further drove the musical evening to a new spiritual boundary. The ‘Jai Ram…’ chanting coupled with the prolific tabla beats threw an intoxicating effect and you could see the audience enjoying the spiritual vibrations with closed eyes.
The programme concluded with Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnav ….. Tene Kahiye Je’. The blissful bhajan interspersed with ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ was a perfect way to end the nearly three hours of spiritual communication.
Former chief minister Sunderlal Patwa, Culture Minister Laxmikant Sharma, Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni and Principal Secretary Abha Asthana were present on the occasion. Panditji released a CD – Vande Mataram of the Swaraj Sansthan before starting the programme.
Those who accompanied Panditji were Shridhar Parthasarthy (mridangam), Kedar Pandit (tabla), Devkarc (harmonium), Neelanjana (tanpura) and Ratan Mohan Sharma (savar tarang).