ASHADI CELEBRATIONS - 2nd
Summary of the 2nd Day -
Pandit Suresh Talwarkar Concert...
Thursday, July 2, 2009
This evening's programme was a concert by Pandit Suresh Talwalkar and
troupe. Bhagavan finished His darshan round and came onstage to begin
the proceedings at 5.30 pm. After taking His blessings, the group
proceeded to the high stage built at the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall with
large speakers on either side. The hour-long performance had tablas and
other percussion instruments like the pakhawaj accompanied by vocals,
flute, sarangi, keyboards and so on. Swami sent clothes for the artistes
and accepted Arati at 6.45 pm. After Arati, He blessed the troupe with
group photographs before returning to His residence.
A Virtuoso Musical Concert
by Pandit Suresh Talwalkar and group
Posted on 3rd July 2009 @ 0030 hrs.
July 02, 2009
Music is verily Divine! In olden days, there used to
be the tradition of court singing wherein celebrity singers would
perform in presence of Kings, royal family members and invited guests of
Now with the tradition of court singing no more in
practice, Prasanthi Nilayam brings a new dimension to this older version
of court singing, wherein devout artistes of greater talent come and
sing in the immediate Divine Presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba!
Verily this has been happening when troupes after
troupes, singers after singers, artistes after artistes visited
Prasanthi Nilayam over the years, tagged to various festivities to sing
in His immediate Divine Presence!. …and Prasanthi’s music tradition is
2nd July 2009, the second day of Ashadi Ekadashi
celebrations, after a morning session when Bhagawan chose to sit on the
dais for quite some time graciously blessing the packed gathering with
His Divine Darshan, the stage was set in the evening for a musical
An elaborate stage consisting of two levels laid with
metallic frames having an equally grand acoustics, the first of its kind
in Sai Kulwant Hall greeted the devotees and students to the Hall.
The stage covered the entire stretch of the central
part of the Hall horizontally. Eight big focus lights gave a good view
of the artistes on the stage.
What was in store was a Tala Kutchery, as one could
call it, by 12 artistes led by Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar.
Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar is one of the greatest Tabla exponents
of the present times, synonymous for his untiring efforts, devotion, and
endless passion in pursuit of promoting Indian classical music. Pandit
Sureshji belongs to the illustrious “Keertankar” family of Sri Dholebuva.
“Keertana” being a classical form of devotional and
musical discourse, a liking for the classical music was inculcated in
him right from his childhood. Pt. Sureshji introduced for the first
time, the novel concept of taking vocal accompaniment and added a new
dimension and direction to the solo playing of tabla.
The artistes after offering their obeisance to
Bhagawan took the stage and an announcement was made that they felt they
should enhance their efforts in the path shown by Bhagawan, the path of
Namasmarana, to understand His Nirguna Nirakara Swarupa.
The Pandit, introducing the programme to Bhagawan and
the audience, said that he was most privileged and fortunate to do Seva
(service) after having his maiden opportunity to sing in His immediate
presence, way back in the year 1973. The percussion based performance
had five tablists, including a lady tablist, a flautist, two vocalists,
one on sarangi, an artiste on dholak, one each on harmonium and
The Sarangi is a bowed, short-necked lute of the
Indian subcontinent. It is an important bowed string instrument of
India's Hindustani classical music tradition. Of all Indian instruments,
it is said to most resemble the sound of the human voice – able to
imitate vocal ornaments such as gamakas (shakes) and meed (sliding
The twilight’s music extravaganza was a continuous
stream of music, with a harmonious blend, at times reaching a crescendo.
Weaving musical waves on the combined percussions, often building up to
bring it down in the next, most meticulously perfecting the beats, was
indeed a treat to the ears; with the lights on, and the Sun that was
setting was overshadowed by an emerging twilight, with Bhagawan on
stage, it was the perfect stage for Easwara, the Nataraja, the Lord of
Dance, to dance listening to the beat of music. …and the first song was
on the Lord of Dance, “Shankara Mahadeva…”, right tribute to the Musical
The songs “Ananda Lahari Bhajave …” and “Dheem, Dheem
Dama Damaru Baaje …” by the two vocalists and the taals (vocal beats) by
the Panditji kept the appreciative audience riveted to their places with
intermittent applauses for more than an hour. There were also interludes
in the form of performances by the flautist, one each on the tabla, on
the Sarangi, on the harmonium and on the keyboard that added variety to
the performance. The whole concept was designed in an innovative way as
the Panditji was well known for it, to make it an apt offering to the
Musical Divine in physical frame.
At the end of the performance, Bhagawan asked the
State President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Maharashtra and Goa
to honour the artistes with shawls and white safari suit pieces.
Bhagawan also blessed the artistes with Padanamaskar and a group photo
session. Prasadam was distributed to the entire congregation of
devotees. After Arati, Bhagawan retired for the day at 6.45 p.m.