Evening Program, Ganesha enters music

Campus, Cabella Ligure (Italy)

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Eve of Shri Ganesha puja, Cabella Ligure (Italy), September 9th, 1995

Nishat Khan plays on sitar Marva and Yaman ragas

[Starts at 1:08:26]

Nishat Khan: I’ve played many concerts but I have never played Marwa. I have never played Marwa for Shri Mataji, because I wanted to play for very long time, and when I arrived this evening, somebody told me that Shri Mataji has asked to play now, at 6:30. I said in this light? And I thought Shri Mataji knows So, I’m really happy that I got to play this beautiful spiritual raga for you, Madam.
Shri Mataji: I must say, apologize also, that Nishat Khan had told me that he would like to play on a Ganesha Puja. I had agreed also. But as you know the Swiss are very
particular about time. They make all the watches.
So, also we thought as there is very short time, I felt that he may not be happy to play for a short time something, because he likes to play for a long period.

But that’s our privilege. But this time, as you know, I have to go on Monday, and I have not done yet my packing or anything. And then from there, directly to Russia. It’s going to be quite a fast movement of marathon race of mine. So, we just thought that we’d better get somebody who is just coming up as a musician. And then we can have such a great artist like him later on when he will have more time to play. Especially, Marva is a raga which I like the most, perhaps. Because it is, as he says, it’s very meditative and very deep. And I remember first time, long, long time back, Asad Ali [Khan] sahib was there and he had invited me. They had never seen. And he was just playing some sort of a Bengali tune to begin with. And Sahaja Yogis told me that, “We were bored. And we thought he’s better stop, that will be better”. It’s in the beginning. And as soon as he saw me on the doorstep, suddenly he told me his hand started moving. And he played Marva.
My husband doesn’t like Marva. Today only, first time again, it’s the second time, that this was real Marva here. He, you see, he’s a –
No, no but something I must tell you that, that Marva he started playing. And after that, Asad Ali sahib became a great artist also. But that Marva, really, filled me completely with vibrations. He said, “Mother, I don’t know. I knew all these things, but normally, they don’t come to you easily. But as soon as you stand, I saw you standing there, and my hand started moving on Marva”. I said, “You made the whole palace of Marva before me”.

I cannot also forget that Marva, as this one. Because this is a raga very difficult, they say, because you have to have spiritual depth. Otherwise, you cannot play this. And you all have enjoyed it. Though commonly, people don’t like Marva so much. But in Maharashtra it is very, very much appreciated. And also in Punjab, I must say that the ragis always sing in Marvara.

So, it was very kind of you to have chosen this raga. Because – and you went into a kind of a, I don’t know, what we call sanchar, both of you. Sanchar is some Ganesha entered into them and started playing, I think. The way they played was really very divine, very beautiful, very remarkable. And this raga is very fulfilling. The way he has played, this is the second time I am hearing such a nice Marva. You see and because I know I’m very old and I heard so many people singing this.
Long time back also, I heard Abdul Karim Khan in Marva. He was another one, he used to just pull your strings of your heart, as you feel it, the way he sang. So, there are people who have been singing and also playing Marva. But playing Marva is not an easy thing, I think, it’s easier to sing.
Nishat Khan: [Hindi].
Shri Mataji: [Hindi].

So, this two times I was, say, twice, I have had this really thrilling experience of such ascendance, that the whole audience rises in spirituality. It is a raga to be really mastered and to be understood. I’m happy you all have enjoyed it because I don’t think you have heard Marva before, anybody playing before you. So, it was a very good choice.

Then our- another player is Sukhvinder Singh, who is very well known all over, I tell you. He said, “One thing I’ve missed in life”. I said, “What?” Tabla by Sukhvinder Singh. Moreover, I have another relationship with him, because Namdharis are the first who entered into Sahaja Yoga. Even in Taiwan and places like that, these Namdharis came in and they said, “Mother you are doing what is predicted about you”.

They gave me writing from the Guru Gobind Singh, where it is described in the future, what will happen, and how somebody will come and give you Realization and all that. That’s all with me. So, I was very much touched by them. Of course, now in Punjab, you have many Sikhs who have become Sahaja Yogis. Many, many Sikhs who have become Sahaja Yogis. And Punjab, also, I went because they came to Ganapatipule, some of them. And they were just rolling on the stage, you see, halfway. And saying, “Mother, come to Punjab, come to Punjab”. And Punjab was a disturbed area but then CP allowed me. And now we have many Sikhs, many, many Sikhs in Punjab, in the sense that, in their Chandigarh and also Rawalpindi. All over, they have taken to Sahaja Yoga. And I’m sure this will work out, the peace in that country. It has now. It is much better. Punjab is the place where I studied and I like Punjabis very much. And I find now this movement of Sahaja Yoga is so much appreciated by Sikhs, as well as by Hindus.
And also some Muslims met me. They called me in their village. And they said, “Why? Why are we denied? This is a promised in our Quran that we’ll get Qiyama, we’ll get resurrection. And why should you deny it?” I said, “I didn’t. You should have come”. So, the whole village was Muslim village. And it worked out. I tell you, it was so much of a assurance that this world will come to that global emancipation, to that transformation, that there will be peace. Without peace you can’t hear this music. If there is no peace in your heart, how can you enjoy this music? You cannot play this music and you cannot enjoy. Anything that is beautiful, you cannot enjoy unless until there is peace. And so, I’m going for this mission of creating peace. And I’m happy you all enjoyed it.
I must say that these artists are very near the Divine because the way they emit these vibrations by which we feel so peaceful, so relaxed and so much of the Spirit, that is within you, shines. So, it’s a very reciprocal activity between the musicians and all of you who are here and who are enjoying.
I don’t know every time, even Asad Ali Khan says and he also says, that in my presence, they can go into ecstasy. Possibly. I don’t know. But what I have got is a just a mother’s love. And I feel these are my children who are artists, and they have to come up. They have to come up because they have to give joy to all the people, pure joy. And this is what you are enjoying and I’m happy about it. I’m sorry because of this time limit, due to your watches, you see, [Laughter] we had to little bit adjust it and he’ll play one more raga, because we have other programs also.

[Hindi conversation]

Sir C.P.: It is quite true that Marva is not an easy raga to appreciate. And one must know music very well. But I assure you that from today, I have begun not only to like, but become a devotee of Marva. Sahaja Yoga means transformation. And even in me, you have brought about transformation for music today. So, thank you very much it was excellent.

So, now, we’ll have another raga played by him and which you all are enjoying as it is. And he, they are now lost in the heavens, I think, where, from where all these beautiful renderings are coming. And I don’t know how this rapport is established and how it works out. But more and more musicians must be encouraged and you also should learn music, I would say, to appreciate this kind of thing. It requires not only the practice, the ryas, but also a spiritual help. Otherwise, you don’t hear this kind of music. This is some sort of a very ‘ruki kamale’ [unsure; Hindi]

Nishat Khan: You know, sometimes, there are some difficulties arising suddenly, when I have to come. But because of Mataji, somehow, it works out. I’m very grateful.
Shri Mataji: No, no.
Nishat Khan: I’m very grateful.
Shri Mataji: You see, I wanted you to come first because of the shortage of time.
Nishat Khan: This is the first time I’m playing at 7:00 in the evening for you.
So, I have a chance to play little Marva, little Yaman.

Shri Mataji: All these ragas are to be played also. Because you people start after 10:00, so you just go with Jaijaivanti and Malkauns and all that. What about these ragas? They have to be played.

We all must really thank Nishat Khan and Sukhvinder Singh, both of them very much, for giving us such a great joy great joy entertaining our Spirit.

Today, I was reminded of another great musicians in India, who played before me Yaman raga. And you see, we must say that today is Shri Ganesha’s birthday we are celebrating here. And this is the first raga all the musicians have to learn: Yaman raga is the first raga they all have to learn. This is the Shri Ganesha, as they say, Shri Ganesha of the music starts with Yaman raga. So, it was very appropriate to play this raga here.

This raga, as I was telling you what Parveen Sultana also sang before me. She’s a very great artist, I must say, and normally people said that she becomes very shrill or something. But no, she was excellent. She sings so well and she’s such a fast-moving person, Parveen Sultana. But that day, it happened that her harmonium player, I know her because she was working in Khadi Bhandar. So, the harmonium player came and asked me, “What have you done to this lady? After every 5 minutes, she shouts at me normally. But today, what have you done? What magic you have created that she was so silent and so beautifully singing and this. And she also didn’t become that shrillness”.

Another brother of mine who is a great connoisseur, he said, “I’ve never heard this woman singing so beautifully raga Yaman”. And then one gentleman from there came, shouted at her that, “You sing a particular ghazal” which may be little romantic side or whatever it is. She said, “Do you know before whom I am I singing? How could you ask such a thing!” I was amazed at her. She said, “Such a thing I can’t sing before this”.

So, you know, in the music also, when they are playing, I think they go into that realm of purity, where they cannot stand anything impure or stupid. This, I was so surprised at her playing just a Yaman raga, which is the basic, the child. It is the child, the innocence of music. Because the first raga you learn is this and that as he sang was, “Guru binaka esay gunaka he, Guru namah neto gunaya we [unsure]”
It’s the one where they say that, “Without the guru, how can we get any virtues within us? How can we get any qualities within us?” And this is the first thing they have to learn, that you have to be very obedient to your guru.
And I know everybody, all of them, must have also known their gurus have been very, very strict people and extremely meticulous, but that’s why they are there. It’s such a, at such an young age, I mean to see such improvisation, permutations, combinations of the music, is something really out of the blue. You cannot think because, I told you, I’ve heard so many people, but heard all of them after 45, 50 years of age. They were not young people like you. Despite that, you have not only done such justice to this music, but also what your forefathers have given you, is a treasure. I tell you, what your forefathers have given you, there is no need for you to make new tunes, nothing. There, so much is there, so much! And when you see there are 900 ragas which are they call ‘prasida’, means are known to people and there are so many which are unknown also.

Then these all bandishes, as he is singing, every one of them they were so such geniuses, that they created these beautiful ragas. And the ragas also because they also created the ragas, not only that, they created the themes and the bandish, but also, they made it so much sort of, one with the timing, one with the idea. Now for example, this Yaman raga, which is to be learned first, is the Shri Ganesha of music. So, first thing is to respect your Guru. And this is how they have made all the bandishes. Very deep people, they are not cheap. They were not for any sort of show or they were not for any sort of a money or power or anything.

Very, very highly qualified. Very, very highly qualified. I met few of them Alaudin kasab also, I met. You see, and they’re very different people. And they had no interest in money or anything but they were sort of, you see, God has created them to create music. Special people, absolutely, and very loving, very kind, and extremely also very hot tempered with their disciples. And was very strict with them. But the disciples had to agree and had to accept what they are saying, because they were like we are: you are seeking truth, they were seeking the mastery in music. So, all the people had to be very obedient, careful. And I was myself surprised that in the Yaman Raga, they have talked of the guru. Because is the first raga, to be sung first of all, before learning any other raga. First, you learn Yaman. And it is a raga of today, because today we are celebrating Shri Ganesha’s birthday.
So, it’s all very timely because you have done justice to Marva and to Yaman raga. We are all thankful to you and always try to understand that there is some sort of a drama that takes place and that explains many things, you see. All these coincidences are done by this Divine Power.

So, it’s perfectly all right. We all enjoyed your music very much. We are all very thankful to you, to give this tremendous joy and I really felt Shri Ganesha is dancing in your hearts. That’s how it is worked out because he’s innocence. And he is the creator of the whole rhythm of the world. So, also today, they enjoyed your music very much more, I should say, and you also played very much in a more speed, because of accompaniment of Sukhvinder Singh. You see you, must always have ‘jod tour’ (alap), you see, yes. You must have equally well played tabla, otherwise, the enjoyment is not so much, you get sometimes bored. But [Hindi] every moment was enjoyable. So, it was my idea that you should bring him.

So, [Hindi conversation]

And we don’t understand, they are organized for us. Everything is for us and once we start realising why these coincidences, then you’ll be amazed that it’s all done very meticulously very effectively and efficiently by this All-pervading Divine Power. So, may God bless you.
May God bless you.
Thank you very much.
[End of talk]