Striking a spiritual chord
After three days of devotional music and expressions of selfless bhakti, curtains came down at the Bhakti Sangeet Festival, with Kabir bhajans and other strains of spiritual music echoing through the air.
Kabir Café, a music band that draws inspiration from a deep understanding of Saint Kabir’s beautiful verses, performed on the last day, with its ‘Kabir bhajans’ vowing one and all. Others who performed on the last day were Arshad Ali Khan who sang Krishna bhakti poetry, Sumitra Guha whose performance was dedicated to Ram Bhakti, and Master Saleem who rendered the mellifluous Punjabi Sufiana Kalaam.
Delhi’s much-loved annual Bhakti Sangeet festival was presented by Sahitya Kala Parishad and Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Govt of Delhi. This year it had nine individual and group performances of Bhakti and Sufiana renditions over three days at Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri.
No matter what language we speak or which culture we adhere to, there are certain elements of human consciousness that transcend all tangible differences. Devotion to the Ultimate Being is one of those universal sentiments that find expressions in multiple forms. Be it in the form of bhajans or qawwalis or Gospel music, devotional music is one form of expression that does not fail to strike the chords of believers.
Over three days popular singers such as Anup Jalota and Shubha Mudgal performed different devotional strains of music.
“Every individual soul finds its own way to connect with the eternal reality. Some perceive the Creator as a formless transcendent reality; others conceptualise Him in a human form. In different cultures and languages, people develop and nurture their own devotional traditions. Each region borrows from the saints that roamed in their lands. Music is a form that resonates with people across the world by aligning the mystic frequencies of a mind to verbal expression of love,” says Shubha Mudgal.
From devotional traditions of South India to Meera bhajans, to ‘Nirgun’ bhakti and kalams of Bulleshah, the three-day festival showcased the variety of devotional music of India.
Other singers who performed at the festival were Meeta Pandit who introduced the Delhi audience to the beautiful devotional traditions of South India; Iqbal Ahmad Khan who sang Meera bhajans; the adorable Nooran sisters who rendered the kalams of Bulleshah, and Dhruv Sangari who also performed Sufiana kalams. The annual Bhakti Sangeet Festival serves the purpose of unifying and bringing together the multiple traditions of Indian devotional music at one stage.