Ustad Zakir Hussain Sings For Jhoola Sai…

Man proposes and God disposes, and at times, He even re-proposes!  …And His defining catchphrase “Love My Uncertainty” does His ‘Divine Sport’ in between… As is the truth that the Sai Fraternity is bound to and by His Will, the Prasanthi Carnival called the 90th Appearance Day of Beloved Bhagawan earned an extended day today, ‘thanks to’ His supreme munificence.

It has been a set tradition in Prasanthi for the past many years to have Bhagawan entertained with the melody of musical offerings on Birthday evenings. Prasanthi’s rich tale of Birthday evenings have many shining chapters of such artistic expressions, especially musical offerings, where the Nada Brahma Himself would preside over the sessions, accepting the offerings…and for the landmark birthday occasions Bhagawan with His supreme munificence would allow Himself to swing on the Jhoola, for the sake of His devotees and for the greater good of His created world!

The Jhoola Mahotsavam on the Birthday evening yesterday was rescheduled to this evening owing to a brief spell of rain after prolonged inclement weather over the past almost two weeks.

In the evening, Prasanthi Mandir, bedecked for the grand occasion resplendent in shining glory like a blushing bride, ever ready to embrace Beloved Bhagawan, Who was…and is…‘Swami’ for ‘her’ and for the devout folks.

A ‘legendary’ offering was in the offing and the artist was Ustad Zakir Hussain, internationally renowned Tabla maestro.

Striking a ‘familiar’ chord with India’s rich ‘Guru’ tradition, Ustad, a picture of ‘adorable’ humility, began with musings, bursting into the famous Guru Mantra, “Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu…”. Pointing to Jhoola Sai, he said, Guru is there, Guru is here (in his heart) and Guru is everywhere… and if I play today, I say, it is Guru Who Is playing.” He then recounted his heart’s rich content of familiarity with Bhagawan, that he was blessed to enjoy during the late 70’s, and later during the 70th Birthday celebrations, when, he, along with his father Ustad Alla Rakha Khan performed in the Divine Presence.

In the next one hour, Tabla stole the limelight, with Ustad weaving his magical spell for Bhagawan.

His countless magical finger beats in the evening struck a unique note of familiarity with the equally countless heartbeats present in the august ‘november’ evening, transporting them to meditative, ecstatic, euphoric bliss.

Beginning with a spellbinding “Peshkar” in the traditional style of Punjab Gharana, Ustad continued with twin “Kaidas” of Delhi and Farukkhabad Gharanas. This was followed by a thunderous “Rela” in Madhya Laya.

Every finger beat appeared representing the exuberant joy of Mother Earth, celebrating the Foot Steps of Beloved Bhagawan… and every finger beat appeared representing the euphoric elated celebration of the countless heavens watching the carnival on Earth.

Narrating the beauty of the origin of ‘Thala’ that was derived from Lord Shiva’s Thandava and Mother Gowri’s Lasya, Zakir then produced the scintillating Damaru – Conch combination, well received by the capacity audience. His repertoire for the evening also included the conch, steam engine and energetic horse galloping.

He played for an hour and the audience sat in absolute silence, immersed in spellbinding enchantment and ended with a faster tempo with “tukdas, chakradhars and dhir dhir rela” leaving the capacity audience with a feeling of ‘Dil Mange More… a feeling of never ending contentment.

It was announced that his playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity. Indeed, it appeared that Ustad is beyond the state of Mastery…and is living with every beat of his adorable instrument, where ‘Laya’ happens, becoming one with his Musical Being.

This evening, Ustad was accompanied by another genius, Sri Sabir Khan on Sarangi, son of legendary Ustad Sultan Khan, who had also played along with Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain during the 70th birthday in Prasanthi Nilayam.

As Bhagawan continued to swing on the Jhoola, Prasanthi Music Group sang for the next one hour, resounding Prasanthi with Sai Fraternity’s collective heartbeats, singing adoring paeans at Beloved Mother Sai.

Beginning with a scintillating Ganesha Vandana, Mother Easwaramma’s Lullaby song followed next, cradling her ‘Little Bundle Of Joy’, before a devotional piece Mahe Parthi…. an enthralling Gurbani catprued the essence of Sai from Sikh parlance, ending up with a scintillating Vahe Guru… Vahe Guru…  This was followed by ‘heaven-binding Shiva – Shakthi adoration, an evergreen Shiva Shankara Shivananda Lahari before the final piece of  final song.

“It is wise to be greedy, not for the trinkets of the world, but the treasure that is sitting right in front…” echoed the voice of the students, presenting the final song, a ‘sailent’ reminder to entire creation, song being… “Sai Nath Ki Loot Hey… Loot Sakey Tho Loot…”.

Bhajans continued and the session ended with Mangala Arathi at 1930 hrs.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II