Music and a monk ‘Baba’

I first solemnly assert about my little perception on the vast ocean of music. To portray Ustad Allauddin Khan’s (known as Baba Allauddin Khan, October 8, 1862 – September 6, 1972) life with some more words is like finding pearl from deep sea. From Shenia to Maihar Shenia gharana (Genre) his life is a big journey.  He was born in Shibpur village in Brahmanbaria (presently in Bangladesh). Baba took his first music lessons from his elder brother, Fakir Aftabuddin Khan. Later in his early age he went to Kolkata and managed to become a disciple of Gopal Krishna Bhattacharya (known as Notu Gopal) with help of a physician named Kedarnath. After death of his guru (master) he turned to instrumental music and mastered on many aboriginal and foreign musical instruments under the tutelage of Amritalal Dutt, a cousin of Swami Vivekananda and music director of the Star Theatre. Later great veena exponent Ustad Wazir Khan took him under his auspices and taught him Sarod. It is said that one day he stood in front of Nawab’s (the Nawab of Rampur) vehicle and begged to become Wazir Khan’s disciple and his steadfastness pleased Nawab finally.
All these are just pieces of his life. But beyond everything, a deep yearn for music always kept him obsessed with pursuit.
Pix by Amit K Sikder
Baba Allauddin Khan composed many new ragas like Prabhakali, Saraswati, Shovavati, Hem Bhairav, Hemant, Hem Behag, Manj Khamaj, Madhavasri, Madan Manjari (named after his wife).  A true seeker only could unfold the supreme knowledge, Baba made it with his meditation (sadhana).
Now let me explore the unique width of Indian ragas in connection with the religious perspective. The Indian music has its origin in Vedas as it’s evolved from the intricate and extended chants of Samaveda. A sound balanced with Swar (connotes a note in the consecutive steps of the octave), Taal (repeating rhythm pattern) and raga (a melodic framework in Indian classical music), go well in sync with the cosmic vibrations, the highest religion is established. Indian Ragas in different forms thus by being manifested in varied auras worships male and female deities. It is simply a premier chanting of cosmic mantras and process of rousing the Kundalini (the supreme knowledge; according to Hindu Shastra it is a form of divine feminine energy).  We all know the cosmic sound ‘Aum’ represents consciousness of soul. It reverberates in the universe to balance the whole creation.
Baba with his pious feat has painted a signature in the page of cosmic conscience. His rare is a monk. Apart all gullible religious belief he has made it to a truth how the highest practice of music could serve the whole humanity. Belonging to the Muslim community he has chanted the mantra of Bhairavi (An Indian Raga) with the highest call of humanity and made an exclusive mark in the realm of religion. He did a great for all of us.
All hardships of his life and finally becoming a monk of music unfold an era. Today in between pains of turbulence and intolerance we should not forget to remember this great life and how a divine deed being made beyond all narrowness of evils of thought. Baba is not only a great composer and musician of 20th century above all he is soul-reflect of the humanity. He is the confluence of three truths Raga, Swar and Taal. In the name of supreme humanity he will remain all-pervading in the mind craving for singing the soul.

Tolerance Does A King

The world is growing exorbitantly. Amazing, we hanker after it for long. We have made it with a giant growth of industry, trade, people etc all and in particular the best means of communication which has united us under a single umbrella ‘the universe’. We are finely intermingled with the globalisation thread. It is as if everyone is invited today to the joyous sacrifice (Sacred oblation; Anonda Jogge) of the world. It seems to be a sure manifestation of Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy.

Pix by Amit K Sikder
A primordial nature of getting united always lured us out of an accord. A mere reading of the history of invasions and launderings fails to fathom the beauty behind it. An intention of winning the battle and establishing dominance miraculously turned into en enrichment of thoughts, culture and creations with the passage of time. The sphere of knowledge and understanding sprouted finally to give a better course to the evolution of society. Like, even today when we visit the highest installations and monuments built during Muslim, English, French, Dutch and Portuguese reigns get bewildered how a clear picture of Indian society and its ancient heritage had been portrayed. All wounds of exploitations with the due passage of time has wiped away but the best of life still being chanted by all big monuments. A nice part of lesson, Hindu, Muslims, English, Dutch, Portuguese all are united today and highest monuments are bearing a religious note of highest unity.
The call of globalisation today is like a soothsaying I feel. It is a successful consensus in making the best unity among us without exploitation. It is our long sought and finally we are blessed with the gift of globalisation. We must rouse our holy spirit for the joyous sacrifice of the globe.
Today amid the pandemic it seems we all are in a forceful meditative state. A forceful meditative state does not go well, but I have concluded this way as the situation mostly brings pains to us and we are not fit enough to tolerate it. Let give a pause and observe with a keen attention, a participation in hurry now may not augur well moreover could harm us violently. So it will be an intelligent to move with a calm and it’s bound to come within our ambit. It is the rule of the Universe. Let us play the sham of a placid mind full of tolerance. A united feeling of globalisation has tremendous spirit to overcome the turbulence if it is exercised with a pious sense of tolerance.
A juicy titbit of conflicts can never be a subject of a concern today. A participation of numerous ideas on a single platform of the universe sometime might sum up to a conflict, but that cannot be an ultimate consensus. To debate over it is like to waste time and burden the mind. It wrecks havoc on our attitude. Now the time is to dump it and move on.
The idea of tolerance only could carry us to the zenith. Tolerance is our finest might and does a king.
 

A Gobbles Green Up With Gusto

Green is almighty’s pleasant paint on earth. It is mother earth’s best blessing. It preserves the subtle pran (life) energy with motherly warmth, serves the whole creation with an utmost ardour. The best image of almighty the green is. The whole aphorism of pranic (Vital life force) energy is green’s finest gift bestowed upon us. Green is an eternal truth; green is God visible in bare eye. Worshiping green is our pious responsibility.
Practice of truth, tolerance, universal brotherhood etc all goes well with the green. The real inner green can only contain the outer green. Failing to see the green within thus can never be a success in making external world a peace.

Pix by Amit K Sikder
When green is mind, the society will get its best participant, democracy will be best realised and socialism will be a conscience. What else we need? Today we are in limbo with a critical concern of growing corruption. But it’s not a big problem at all. We have made it a habit and thus become a usual practice. A simple and clear understanding on it is enough that corruption can never benefit anybody even who is practising it. It is proven. A mere policy has less to do with it. It fails to reach to the intended point which is purely internal and wander around like a vagabond. We have seen despite policies the evil is looming recklessly.  
Sometimes excessive exercise of policy throws the fair section of society in some unwanted inconvenience. An uncontrolled desire is the key cause of corruption. So a core green effort can do huge to blot out the transgression.   
When green is education, the highest we can reap out is in terms of having a finest soil for civilisation. The Great poet Rabindranath Tagore said, “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence”. Yes the highest education brings the best harmony of participation and tunes the rhythm of social evolution in a generous way. Education can never be a subject of policy priority. It is our birthright.  The highest monk of our country Swami Vivekananda rightly said, it is manifestation of perfection already in men. Sometimes we try to mend it with new set of propositions to fit the dire need of market economy. And at the end it technically leads us to the trail of high productivity but put rare consent on the life force energy and conscience as well. The tall order of trade keeps us busy in money making. But the green food for thought can never be neglected.
When green is freedom, then freedom become an absolute attitude. It cannot be ensured by anybody. It is already within us. No crisis can malign its essence. During crisis a feeling of being dejected undermines the freedom. Freedom remains but the feeling of dejection apparently puts it away. Freedom is the key conscience of the cosmos. To preserve it with a grace of green is subject to a meditative motive. The pure outer world resonates with the pure inner world. It is a sole green rule of life. The demon of greed consumes all our pure (green) with gusto at once.                                       
 

That’s Me? When My Wish Runs Amok!

To me to become world’s richest man can never be a plausible wish. Answer is very simple. To be a richest man what is needed? A reasonable amount of monetary belongings required at first given which I can start my journey. I lack it, solemnly declaring. It is frenzied when the utmost optimism provokes me to reverie it. It does not have any real. But if my uncontrolled thought for a wink made me a billionaire not bad at all. That’s not me for sure but a dreamy stay in a lavish accommodation full of all amenities and securities is amazing, courtesy my wish running amok.


Pix by Amit K Sikder
Sometimes my wish incites me to be a politician for a good cause, I got excited. Especially when I think being a top political leader of the country I would serve nation and people and above all I will be the last person to decide upon people’s fate. Now Anil Kapoor starrer Hindi movie ‘Nayak: The Real Hero’ comes in my memory and how only within a short span Shivaji Rao Gaekwad made the best for the people of the country. It is possible, courtesy my wish running amok.
When I dream of becoming an economist, for delivering the best policy to the nation, again got excited. During this crisis-ridden situation a best economic policy is obligatory. Being an Economist suppose I have successfully made the best policy elixir and people are best benefitted. Oh, what a nice journey as an economist. My dream economics always hover around the marginal livelihood and sees big within it. The best for the marginal class is the best for the prosperity of the nation. An apt economic policy thus could bring people out of the blue for sure, courtesy my wish running amok.
Sometime I dream myself as a social worker. I don’t like to work on propaganda rather put more focus on understanding the soul of society. Society is very silently bearing the brunt of uncertain invasions on multiple aspects. Thus to heal it properly is subject to best care and understanding. Otherwise a single wrong step may be more painful for it. So to be more correct it needs a monkish treatment. Like before treating the ‘inequality in society’ as a case it’s more important to realise inequality and reject iniquity first. I feel it is very crucial to come close to the heart of the society and then to scare locusts away by beating drums. A better dawn then is must I believe, courtesy my wish running amok.
To be a good human being is a thought of my last resort. When fail to become all above I have mentioned and rest with nothing instant my running wish without any fail stick to it as it is within my reach. A ‘good human being’ always suits everything and has a genuine capacity to perform beyond imagination in a magical way. Here Gandhiji penetrates me more with his teaching of self realisation. Yes a ‘good human being’ is the best constituent of society to best realise the pains and pleasure. If all else fail a ‘good human being’ will survive tall to bring us out of blue. At the end I deny to be a failure, courtesy my wish running amok. Yes that’s me replicating the life eternal which remains jubilant forever.                    

 

Musings of a Misty Mind

Why do I exist in the world? The supreme God has created me; still allow me to stay here. But what is the purpose behind my existence and stay on earth? A misty aspect often lands in my mind. The moment it knocks, the mind starts to travel ditheringly either or become a mist itself. Every single day I am passing by is merely a routine work of daily activity which largely being prioritised by the basic wants of livelihood. Not more than that. Mind among its millions of sojourns for a day absolutely gets no time to think about - why do I exist in the world?
I don’t feel shy at all to say when I ascribe the world as mundane that’s a clean hypocrisy. A real embodiment of spirit of the thought is subject of an intense musing and a deep understanding of the key philosophy of life. To be a success in imbibing it well needs an honest practice of belief. A misty mind often fails to bother belief. It keeps itself hallucinated with a dump of thought uncalled for.  

Pix by Amit K Sikder     
All religious scriptures have strongly ascertained the miraculous intervention of almighty God in every sphere of his creations. The supreme power is controlling the universe. I am not an exception. Only this much belief is enough per se. But the misty mind with its vacillating nature travel in between belief and reality. Its tireless journey at the end makes us dull. A roaming thought without tuning of an insight is insane.
When we stick to reality only in milieu of worldly reasons then any small shock on expectations leave us in lurch. On ground of belief which fully survives on some considerations the chance of getting dejected is high. So both the extremes are critically unreachable. Apparently both need each other to be validated. Here is conflict. Which one among ‘belief for reality’ or ‘reality for belief’ to be taken in consideration to give a befitting reply to the misty mind? All religious say are firmly ready with the solution. The practice of belief is obligatory to understand the reality is an affirmed conclusion to the conflict.
In the stalled phase of economy I am surviving with a lower remuneration. So here what will be my belief pattern? I will have to correct it at any cost, will it be my belief? Or I am happy with this crisis. I am blessed.
For the sake of discussion if I consider the last consideration and remain idle it does not sound good coz God helps those who help themselves. From the standpoint of the second consideration if I remain worried about the situation and exerts my toils to make it better may be conflicting to God’s wish. Like, it may be so that the almighty wants me to pass through this turbulence to learn a bigger aspect of life. Now my misty mind again starts its monkey like movement.  Little before, I took a break from writing this article. Meanwhile my misty mind has raised another question. Is my life for understanding the dichotomy between belief and reality? Is my existence for decoding this dichotomy?
When I am not a misty mind then all queries start to blot out and the absolute I with its all-pervading nature come close to close and heal all wounds with peace which is beyond the dichotomy of ‘belief and reality’.