Sufi music is divinity with the power to heal and soothe your senses. Musicians practising it claim that Sufism has the power to connect you to the almighty. Naadbramha, a qawwali group from Ahmednagar who performed at the ongoing Osho Monsoon & Mediation Festival on Saturday, says that they love to take the audience on a mesmerising experience through their music.
The band, which has performed at many international music festivals including Fadjr International Music Festival, Iran, believes in bridging cultural and religious deferences through music. Says Pavan Naik, vocalist of the 16-member qawwali ensemble, “We believe that all religions are one — Allah, Bhagwan, Buddha — they just need a form.
Our music is full of love and passion which is why it goes beyond cultures and faiths. However, Sufism has been greatly misunderstood by people for they always associate it with Islam which is not the case. Sufi music mein roohaniyat hoti hai [Sufi music is soulful] which makes your forget yourself and get engrossed in the love of the almighty.”
The band belongs to the Qawwal Bacchon Ka Gharana, which is closely related to the Gwalior Gharana of music and follows the khayali ang of singing. “I am deeply inspired by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab who was a pioneer of the Gwalior Gharana. We borrow our lyrics from saints like Kabir, Mira Bai and Bulleh Shah talk more about insaaniyat (humanity) and do not glorify any religion in particular,” says Naik. The group mostly uses acoustic music and intruments like the sitar, banjo, flute, table, and the harmonium.
The vocalist who says that although Bollywood has popularised Sufi music among youngsters, it has lead to misinterpretation of the genre and presented Sufism in a different light. “If we sing Main tumse pyaar karta hoon it means love for soul and love for the divine. However, the context in which it is shown in the film is as if the singer is talking about physical love and his longing for his beloved. This is the reason why a lot of Sufi singers do not approve of Bollywood Sufism,” quips Naik.
The aim of the group is to propagate the message of peace, love and harmony among all religions. Says Naik, “We aim to make people intoxicated with music and help them connect with divinity. Hum sur aur labzon ko gehrayi se mehsus karte hain aur wahi logon ko mehsus karwate hain. Lay, taal aur labz ko is tarike se gaate hain ki bhasha koi bandhan nahi hota. [We deeply feel rhythm and lyrics and make our audeinces feel it too, even language is no barrier then]. The deep alaaps we take resonate with the audience irrespective of their language and culture.”
The band has been propagating the idea that Sufism should also be looked at as a medium to heal and as therapy. “For time immemorial, music has been a healing therapy. Sufi music being so soothing and full of roohaniyat gives you respite from this stress-full life. Although electronic music is a craze, it has never matched up to the magic Sufi music creates,” he concludes.
ST READER SERVICE
The Osho Monsoon Musical & Meditation Festival is on till August 15 at Osho International Meditation Resort, Koregoan Park from 9.30 pm onwards