Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bhajan aur Bhojan

I have just come home after an uplifting satsang hosted by Neerja and Kumarmangalam Birla on the grounds of their magnificent mansion. It was a warm and still night, with the heady fragrance of rajnigandha thick in the humid air.... and yet, the moment I heard Vikram Hazra's version of 'Achchutam Keshavam..." I was transported. I forgot the heat... the traffic..... my persistent headache.That is the magic of music ... it can heal and soothe. And tonight I needed solace.... a gentle touch.... a reminder of my own vulnerability. Hazra is a senior instructor at The Art of Living Foundation. He is a self taught musician with no formal training. Perhaps that is best. He performs all over the world with his talented band, plays the flute beautifully.... and the guitar, too. But it is when he sings those well loved bhajans , and gives them a contemporary spin, that you experience divinity. The satsang ends with basic deep breathing exercises...... you shut your eyes and allow your mind to experience silence in the real sense of the word. A stillness settles into that over worked brain... and you find yourself floating.... your body - weightless, and your entire being suddenly at peace... one with the cosmos. Such a pity the spell has to be broken.... but at least you have been a small part of it... and for that alone you are grateful.
Hazra exudes good humour and cheer. An ex-Sony guy, he's married to a lovely young tv actress called Tina. I suspect he sings to her and for her! Which man wouldn't?? He jokes about his career switcheroo, saying lightly that he lives from bhajan to bhojan and loves it that way. His repertoire is eclectic with influences that range from Japan, Africa and Canada. He effortlessly combines all these marvelous sounds and weaves them into sanskrit shlokas... Surdas... Pali couplets. It has a mesmerising effect on listeners... as was evident that night. Oh well... I have reluctantly come back to earth. But who knows... I may wake up singing 'Achhutam Keshavam...' tomorrow morning.

28 comments:

Nazish Rahman said...

Peace of mind is what one looks for in any form...which is the most important thing in life.

Anonymous said...

hello madam,
i have been following ur blog for the last month.........totally impressed by your writing.....this one is also great.....each one has his own mindset on which music brings him peace or satisfaction......for me it is old tamil songs or slow tamil songs.
hope to write on ur blog often....and i sincerely hope u would reply to some of my comments....would make my day of course.
bye for now
narayan frm bangalore

Hobo ........ ........ said...

Peace !

*Aham* said...

Cho chweet... The sounds of silence are the loudest and the most soothing. I practice silence therapy often at night before I sleep. I enter a phase, a place which is for myself and all those beautiful things that my heart beats for.

Surprisingly, every night I practise this, I get a dream and what i dream actually happens in reality. And it happens AS IS exactly like in teh dream.

Dreams are a blue print of reality!

And Silence...

is the apt catalyst.

The Times of Priya said...

Slumdog Mumbaikar

What escaped Danny Boyle's observation was the "white-collar" slumdogs of Mumbai. I was one of the city's innumerous migrants commuting, complaining and continuing in Mumbai.Its just that I was a different breed of slumdog. I had a concrete roof over my head, legal electricity and gas connection and was "gainfully" employed. What I gained the most is to look around cautiously for suspicious looking items in train compartments.And there were the girls' night outs, and there was the building society complaining about bachelors & bachelorettes polluting the place, and there was retail therapy in Bandra...
But life was interesting & eventful.Life was Mumbaiful.

Priya

Maddy said...

A stillness settles into that over worked brain... and you find yourself floating.... your body - weightless, and your entire being suddenly at peace... one with the cosmos.........

Having attended AOL Course I know how that feeling is. Jai Guru Dev!!

Vikram Hazra said...

That was really flattering. Enjoyed meeting you again after an age, and also the brief adda with Dilipda! Hope your daughter is well, do accept our best wishes.
Warm regards and see you soon
Vikram (and Tina)
www.vikramhazra.blogspot.com

bhaw said...

Ah! Indeed the magic of Art of Living .. :-)

This bhajan is especially very special to me , since my best friend sang it for me, when I had not done the AOL course , and I remember I found myself in a completely new state, a place where I had never been before but I had always wanted to achieve...hahah see how words fail me when I begin to describe the Magic !

Jai Guru Dev
Best Wishes :-)

Now experience the "Sudarshan Kriya"

amol shende said...

swabhiman !!! thats how i know u shobha ji :)

yes i have heard vikram ji and i agree each n every word u saying he is just too good at blending music :)

amol shende

hari said...

thanx for giving information about Vikram Hazra.

hari said...

thanx for giving information about Vikram Hazra.

Uday said...

When I had heard 'achutam keshavam' for the first time some four and a half years ago I had tears rolling down my cheeks..I think every human on earth should experience this magic. A realisation creeps in that there is much more to life than what we perceive :) and Vikram Bhaiya....well he is absolutely brilliant :)

Regards,
Uday

Alpesh said...

Om Sai Ram Shobhaji,

Really liked the post followed from Vikarm Bhaiya's post.

Felt really nice to read about the transport that happens while listening to the bhajans sung by Vikram Hazra. The divine frevour that is created.

He is a blessed guy and carries divine with him, or divine carries him whichever way one may like to read. Both seems to be true to me.

With all those qualities his down to earth attitude touches the heart with all the love and fame he gets.

Aparna said...

gREAT! :)

mauve said...

achyutam keshavam...what it does for me is restore my faith and makes me feel calm...and definitely makes me feel one with cosmic energy.

Uma said...

you have a good life, woman! Our younger lot is going to struggle for our buckos. Maybe I can become a socialite too and get free food and entertainment.

nirmit19 said...

hmmm ....hey shobhade didi :) have you done the part 1 course?... well you will never feel that pity u mentioned about...once u do it, if not done till now..just do it...cause then... neither the spell will break..nor all experience you had after attending or beloved vikram bhaiyya's satsang..or anyones will ever fade...life will then become an ongoing celebration more so than now......i hope i see u soon in the bangalore ashram/ art of living international centre in the forth coming women's conference... do make it up.. u are a great writer and i adore u...see u soon..jaigurudev..nirmit19@gmail.com....http://corneablog.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Dear Shobhaji,

I relived the satsang that you described! I have been to those refreshing satsangs plenty of times and can completely feel the silence as well as an exhilarating and inexplicable joy, which you could put into beautiful words!

Thanks for such a simple yet refreshing post!

Mansee's Point Of View! said...

thats the effect which Vikrambhaiyas voice/ bhajans have ...amazingly blissful ...

i had the good fortune of listening to his beautiful voice singing blissful bhajans on new years ever at the Bangalore ashram...

u just have to be there to experience it yourself...no words can express the beauty of that moment.

mamta said...

hmm vikramji'satsang .it is meditaion in itself..it is a dream coming true ...

srisrifan said...

Have you undergone the Art Of Living Course? If not then what are you waiting for?......Just do it :-)

VISHAL said...

The best thing in this life one can experience is THE ART OF LIVING COURSE and meeting Guruji( Lord Narayana). So, if u havent done the basic course yet , then please dont keep urself away from the DIVINE........
MAY GOD BLESS U.
JAI GURUDEV

Mallika said...

The bhajan 'Achutam Keshavam ' is indeed divinity!
There is a feeling of purity and peace surrounding you while listening to it
Thanks to Vikram bhaiya for giving us this blissful experience.
Mam,if you havent done the 'Art of Living' Basic course yet,you are missing a really precious thing in your life.
Jai Gurudev!

Mona said...

When you hear any bhajan, you tend close your eyes due to your involvement in the song, music and the voice.
But when Vikram Hazra sings what transcends you to tranquility is his smile... Peace flows from his smile to our hearts...
Can you be unaffected by the troubles in life & stay detached - the happiness on his face says it all :)

maha said...

music is the best thing to forget our tensions...

Work from home India

Pushkar said...

Dear Shobhaa

I just came across your comments about Art of Living : Shri Shri Ravi Shankar.

Before commenting or writing or criticizing about A person/Organization, A person of your level should do extensive literature survey/experimentation along with proper validation and understanding. The larger person more detailed study has to be done on that.
I am sure you might have done few things on that part,

I think there is some confusion/error/incompleteness in your thought/conception/presumption process/data/study about him.

Please verify/counter check and do the needful.

srm said...

After ur last times comments about AOL, its a feel good mail this time. I am not so much anti SHOBha De this time. Kya kare...m very very sensitive when it comes to guruji. Sorry, if i wrote rude things to u last time. Just couldnt help it..

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