Concert of Nishat Khan, Eve of Navaratri Puja

Campus, Cabella Ligure (Italy)


1994-10-08 Concert of Nishat Khan, Eve Of Navaratri Puja, Cabella, Italy

Shri Mataji:  His name you all you know, Nishat Khan, but somehow or other he has such a fascination for playing here, there is something very, I feel miraculous and kind of a holy alliance that I cannot explain.   And he is not only a very good player and all that – artist – but very humble man, very humble.  And I must say I feel shy sometimes the way he is humble to Me.  You see this artist is a very great example also because many people are against each other in the artistic world very much.  And some people said that he is a Muslim so why should he play anything, they are not allowed in the Koran.  I said I don’t believe that.  Mohammad Sahib could never have said such a thing.   It is all nonsense, how could he have said such a nonsensical things, He was a very sensible personality.  So all kinds of arguments people give.  It shows the smallness of their mind, and also in a way they are insulting Mohammad Sahib.  I feel that this kind of a taboo and nonsense has to go away.  I have told many a times how difficult it is to follow the Christianity.  Because Christ has said that if you commit sin it’s your one eye, take it out.  Take out another eye if you make mistakes, then cut your hand if you do any wrong thing.   So to Me, I have not seen any Christian without two eyes and two hands!  It’s very difficult to follow Christ, because Christ told, ‘You do it’!  But Mohammad Sahib, said no, no, let others should do it.  Mohammad Sahib said that it should be done by others…If you do anything wrong, if you have a bad eye, even to look at a woman twice, is a ‘Gunah ‘(sin) according to him, so take out your eyes and cut your hands if you are a thief, or he says that, I mean a very interesting thing he has said about also women because he thought that Christ was only talking about men.  He was so restricted on men, why not about women also.  But both these people never knew what human beings are really.  I think they were too great, too pure and I think all these punishments are for saints or Sahaja Yogis and not for normal people.  Normal people will be without their eyes in no time, isn’t it if a man looks at a woman or a woman looks at a man.  So it’s a very, very difficult religion, both of them.  And the Jews are no less.  All these three people I mean, three religions are not easy to follow for a normal person.  They have to be first saints and Sahaja yogis so that it becomes easy for them to follow.  That’s why I will tell them that first you become Sahaja yogis then become Muslims.  Otherwise, you can’t follow them, the punishments are too much.  Even Guru Nanaka had punishments for people, like we had our minister who had to clean the shoes of all the people who were coming to the Puja, so I didn’t understand.  He said, ‘No, it is written that if you do such and such thing, you better clean the shoes of all the people (or ‘Sadhakas’) who are coming there.’  But in Sahaja Yoga, we have no such punishments.  It’s love, it’s forgiveness. First you become a saint, then we will do the punishment part.  First you have to become the saint.  So there is no punishment, it’s only Love.  As you have seen that.  Because when I see…I went to America, I said, ‘Baba! All these Americans will have to lose their eyes and hands, because…and the women will have to be put in the… [above the ground?] and will be hit because the way they have no morality sense at all.

And these people talked of morality, morality, morality… And there is no sense of morality.  So Sahaja Yoga is a very right thing to do because with that you become a saint, and after becoming a saint, you automatically become Dharmic – automatically become a good Muslim, a good Hindu and a good Jew, good Christian and a good Sikh… everything.  Because you just become.  You can’t help it.  You become ‘Dharmic’.  So you have to take first of all to your realisation, and then talk of religion.  Before that I don’t think anybody can follow such religions where you have to take out your eyes and have to take out your hands.  So also when they say there is no music, should be no music…  I mean God can’t live without music, one has to understand.   God has to live with music and this kind of absurd ideas…there are many people or other austerities.  The other day I met some other people, in say Chicago.  So one fellow was there, he was a ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’.  And it was very cold like this, you see, and he was wearing a ‘dhoti’.   So I said, “Why are you wearing a dhoti?”   I felt real pity for him you know, the way he was wearing dhoti.   He said, “My guru has initiated and he has told me I should wear the dhoti”.  I said, “Your guru has no kindness for you.  You are in Chicago, you are not in India.”   See in India, people wear dhoti all right.   So he said, “No, Guru said if you wear ‘dhoti’, you will get ‘Nirvana.”  I said, “Then 80% Indians will get Nirvana also.  Use your logic.  Only by wearing ‘dhoti’ if you are going to get nirvana then it is the easiest way to do.”  I mean, he wouldn’t like it… He got into temper with Me. 

I said, “Krishna has said one thing, not to get to temper because temper is the worst according to Him.”  And he was quite surprised.  He said, “Have you read ‘Gita’?”  I said, “Perhaps I have…But you better now wear something to cover yourself and this dhoti won’t do.  Because I am a mother and I can’t see My children like this in a dhoti shivering here, sitting down.”  They couldn’t even listen to My lecture they were so cold.  I mean, I just don’t know why…by wearing dhoti, I never heard that you will go to heaven.  Who has said this?  Such stupid ideas they have.  So we have no austerities.  Austerities are against Sahaj.  ‘Sahajiya’ is the one where you live in a Sahaj way, you get your realisation.  Like Guru Nanaka has said, ‘sahaja samadhi lago’.  It should be Sahaj.  You see all of them have said the same thing.  Even Mohammed Sahib had said the same thing.  The problem is this that, this kind of restrictions if you put on a person who is just a normal person who’s not a saint, it’s going to be terrible.  I mean, how many people will exist with this kind of things that go on?  So to understand them, first you must get your realisation; that is very important.  Must get your realisation, so you will understand what Mohammad Sahib is.  You will understand what Christ is.  You understand what Krishna is.  Before that… you see, you can just go on criticizing, you see this kind of punishment is there… Punishment of wearing a dhoti also… I think it’s a punishment.   Why should you wear a dhoti in a cold like Chicago where people are freezing, you are wearing dhoti. So this kind of a nonsensical ideas are not in Sahaja Yoga.  You dress up the way you like.  You wear proper dresses.  You will be looked after.

Now as it is, you see, our artist is feeling rather cold, so I was thinking bring them one heater there so they will feel better. [Some Hindi] There’s one heater there, this one.

9:12 ‘Sahaj bhajai’, sahaj – spontaneous [more Hindi] 

[Shri Mataji showing artist’s sitar to Sahaja yogis] You know, can you see a Rakhi tied to the sitar?   That’s how they respect the instrument that they have.

This is Mother’s court.  Be comfortable first.  [Mother speaks to artists in Hindi]

He told me that he will be playing Shankara for the first time, as it’s a very beautiful raga.  Today is Navaratri.   Had forgotten? [Shri Mataji asks the artist and laughs] For the Navaratri, he said he will play ‘Shankara’ and I remembered it!  And ‘Durga’ too.

Nishat Khan:  I had said that Shankara is a raag, which Shri Mataji knows,  that Shankara is a raag which normally is played in the second half of the performance in ‘drut’ – ‘Sa Ga Pa Ni…[continues in Hindi] Sa Ni Dha Pa Ga Re Sa…

 Shri Mataji: He’s saying that this is a raga always played in the second half, and is a raga of only actually five notes and while going upward – as we call ‘Aroha’ – there’s only four.  And ‘Avroha’ is five.  So it’s a very limited, it’s a very limited raag, in the sense.  There are many others also, like Durga,  I would say also ‘Gunakali’.  All these ragas are also like that.  But you will be surprised to know that the Japanese play ‘Gunakali’, and when we play before them they are amazed that how can you extend it to that limit… [In Hindi – So you play relax-fully …. ‘Shankara’]

And he also says that Alap means the slow movement – what we call ‘vilambeat.  It is difficult in that and still, he will manage I know… [Mother smiles.  Artists continue to tune their instruments] 

What is the name of the person on tabla? 

Nishat Khan: Sukhvinder Singh.

Shri Mataji:  Sukhvinder Singh – means the one who gives you joy and happiness.  So, I have never heard him before I must say.  I have never …I have heard his name but I never heard him…  And we are all very fortunate that he is here and we are all going to enjoy him very much.  Thank you! 

[Performance starts15:51]  

[Shri Mataji comments on their performance…]

1:36:18 – Most of you must be remembering when we were in Austria once, we saw the Grace coming down, just like very spun out rain.  We all saw it, and that is what it is – the Grace, the shower of Grace pouring on us.  Thank you very much, thank you.

1:47:57 – You see every university is called as a family – is a Gharana as you call it.  Now he comes from a Gharana which is very well known.  His father was a great…He is still there, he’s a very great sitarist and his uncle – I have heard him also a very good sitarist… I mean, they are really great people, the whole family.  And the… what we call is a Gayaki style is, means based on the…like a, we can say the…more a song… On the song it is based, you see sort of a thing.  So it is a very appealing song, but if it is without ’gayaki’ then you feel it’s very dry.  So this whole Khan family has dedicated to the sense… See the beauty that he has of the song.  But song, you cannot sing like this, you see.  In the song you cannot sing like this the way you can play it on sitar. 

[Performance starts again]


We are very thankful to Nishat Khan sahib, I should call him Ustad because now he has reached the stage… [audience applauds] and Sukvinder Singh sahib have been…[more applause]very kind to give this recital from their  heart. It’s a very deep, subtle, experience we all have enjoyed because of their hard work.  Now I think you people are understanding Indian Classical Music more than Me and so I need not explain to you.  But only one or two points which are important, always to note is the offbeat when he was playing.  To understand offbeat playing, he was playing offbeat, going slow sometimes…..suddenly fast, suddenly… It’s a very mathematical thing.  They must be mathematicians you see, both of them, otherwise not possible because it’s all…like what you call…as a ‘Bandish’, means it is in the Maraydas.  Now suddenly he would go fast, in the same ‘avartan’ – means, when the tabla is in same 16 beats, suddenly in the 4 beats he’ll go fast, then he’ll slow then he’ll fast.  It’s something very remarkable… With that, the tabla is also moving… Now it is a great mathematics, which works it out, because he has to come to the first note in any way.  And in this coming to the first note, he should know how to multiply, and how to divide, you see… It’s very intricate work and some of you are professors of mathematics, here are sitting, you can also see how it has worked out.

So it is also creativity no doubt.  It’s a natural creativity, but also a lot of homework.  They work very hard – it’s called as ‘Riyaz’…  Without that you cannot achieve this every day to day, perfection the way they have.  And the mathematics part of it is so genuine and so innate but they have studied it.  It’s not that just that it’s coming to them, just they are sitting here and singing, it’s not like that.  Of course, they have creativity and they are showing every time a new pattern and all that, but is all built-in before.  And they have worked very hard with their Gurus, and you see, they have done so much of ‘riyaz’, means ‘the practice’.  This is the science, a very subtle science, of mathematics and of music and the sweetness… otherwise you cannot do it.  If it’s mathematics then it becomes very dry!  But if it is without mathematics, also it could be irrelevant.  Now you are all enjoying it so well and next time you have offbeat music, try to see how they manage the mathematical calculation.  It’s more than calculus, I can tell you this much.  And sometimes I get lost Myself.  So this is something… it’s a very intricate science of Indian classical music which of course you can see in your classical music, also and I enjoy that very much, and all of them were great composers.  But here there is no composer, no composer.   It is… they compose all the time…you see the rapport between us and them.  And they compose all the time though they know, I mean like an aeroplane is fixed you see, so they are fixed first of all nicely by the guru and then they fly.  And then they can fly anywhere because their aeroplanes are fixed, you see.  So all the melodies are fixed.  The systems are fixed.  But they can go to whatever height they want.    I mean, this is something a very Divine music, because it’s not possible in any other music …You have to have always something written down before you, you have to see what are the notings are and you have to play accordingly, it’s already been everything composed.  No.  But they had their such deep training from their Gharanas and from their gurus.   This dedication to gurus has brought this.  There are something, you see I always feel that Indian musicians are something ‘Gandharvas’ because this music nobody can sing, nobody can play.  It is impossible.  Try!   I mean he must be also having some disciples and so… It’s difficult but at least you people are enjoying it, is a very great thing.  In next life, you might become great musicians possibly, but just now I think you know. I also… I am nowhere compared to them.  I can only listen, appreciate, understand, enjoy and that’s what we have to do.  And we must thank you very much for bringing this great music to us in this farfetched place called Cabella.  And every time he plays in a different manner, in a different creative mood he creates.  I don’t know what to say more because all these ragas you know very well, and the way he has rendered it is remarkable actually.  All the permutations and combinations, I never saw him repeating even once the same line, never… This is the biggest thing and the same with, I must say with Mr Sukhvinder Singh.  He too never repeated the ‘mukhdas’.  Every time he played different, it’s very remarkable you see, very remarkable.  Well, you see I told you that My family was very…  They had addiction of music, all of them.   Morning till evening in My family, nothing but music, music…And I knew 4 o’clock in the morning they used to get up to practice, and this is how they achieved lot of things but these are something, rare birds I should say in the realm of music.  I really congratulate you very much.  And all My blessings, all My blessings for you to get to the deeper and subtler side.   We need it very much because this builds up our ‘Maryadas’.  This builds up our ‘Dharma’.  It builds up our ascent.  So such musicians are to be really respected and appreciated.  I know My father, he would not eat his food if he has to go to the music program.  He would never sit before the musicians have sat down.  He had such respect for this art, and he said, “You don’t know one day will come when the whole world will understand that India has such a divine Music.”  And now you can see how you all are enjoying.  It’s My dream being fulfilled you know.  I feel that this music should spread everywhere.  Also, you have classical music too, but nobody wants to hear it.  Nobody wants to listen here.  [UNCLEAR] is also very great.  We had great musicians here… [speaks in Hindi, about Vivaldi in Italy?] They were really such great musicians; I mean you just get lost with them.  Next time when you will come we will give you the present…It’s really remarkable.  So we all enjoyed it very much and there’s no amount of praise can really express our feelings and the joy we have.  So again I thank you very much.  Again, again, a hundred times.