Music and meditation

Poorna Kulkarni
Friday, 9 August 2019

The Osho Monsoon Festival, starting from Sunday, will feature artists from different music backgrounds. Here’s a glimpse of the line-up

Meditation and music are tools used for silencing the mind and when they are used as a unit, they take the experience to a new level altogether. The Osho International Meditation Resort, like every year is hosting Osho Monsoon Festival, a five day event starting from Sunday. 

Maa Sadhana, the member of management at Osho International Meditation Resort, says, “The festival blends both music and meditation. Osho said art and meditation are not separate but they support each other. Meditation makes the art a most spiritual experience and art makes the meditation more colourful and sensitive. It is not a cultural and entertainment programme but about art and meditation.” 

In the festival, both instrumentalists and vocalists will be performing. We talk to a few of them.  

The raagas 
The Indian classical music is the only genre of music that has ragas which are performed at different times of the day. Pt Atulkumar Upadhye, violinist, will be performing along with his students for festival in the morning session on August 12. 

Pt Upadhye, who will be performing for the first time at the Osho Monsoon Festival, says, “Osho was a great music lover and used it for meditation as well. Music is an easy way to connect with the divinity.  I believe music is felt in the silence between the two notes and if one holds on to it, one experiences the bliss.” 

Upadhye will be performing in the morning session and accordingly he will play symphonies and compositions based on morning raagas like Todi and Lalit. His 25 students will perform in the afternoon session and play raagas like Bhoop, Kirvani and Pahadi. 

Another instrumentalist at the festival is Milind Tulankar, a Jaltarang artist,. He will perform  in the morning session on August 14. Speaking on how classical music can gain mass appeal, he says, “Music is a universal language. I have performed in different countries that didn’t know much about classical music but the people were seen intently listening and enjoying it. I also explain first before performing, so that the audience understands better.” 

“The jaltarang instruments comprise 70 per cent water in it and so does the human body. The soft music tones emanating from the water help in focussing,” he adds. 

A dash of Bollywood, Pop
 Abhijit Pohankar, a fusion exponent, and his band of six artists — Bollywood Gharana will perform on the evening of August 11. The band was formed a year ago and since then they have performed around 35 concerts across the globe. Their performance will shed light on how popular Hindi film music too has made use of raagas.

Pohankar says, “We will present a blend of old Bollywood hits and Indian Classical music. Bhavya Pandit will present Bollywood music and Gandhar Deshpande for classical recitals. We will open the concert with Bhini Bhini Bhor, sung by Asha Bhosale and composed by R D Burman. It is based on Raaga Todi and conclude with Inteha ho gayi based on Raga Madhukauns.” 

Pohankar, who is  known for his hit album Piya Bavari, has performed previously at the festival. He says, “I have performed here couple of times in the past and so I know the taste of the audience. They love to dance. Hence, I feel Bollywood Gharana is one of the best projects to perform here.” 

On Tuesday, August 13, Ramya Iyer, playback singer, will perform pop music, ghazals and a few numbers inspired by Sufism. She says, “We are here to experience bliss which is a connecting factor between music and the audience. I feel extremely blessed that I get to perform for people from diverse backgrounds. At the end of the day, happiness is all that matters.” 

Speaking on the deep connection between music and meditation, Iyer says, “Music is meditation! I feel anything that brings you closer to your divine self is meditative. Some sing, dance and others sit in silence; these are all different routes leading to the same destination.” 

Agreeing with Iyer, Tochi Raina says that music and mediation are the same thing for him. Raina and Rabbabbi will perform with his band, Band of Bandagi, at the festival. He says, “People will get to listen to funky jazz, blues along with classical elements. I have been working on this band for over two decades and I am bringing something unique for the people with this band.” Raina, who believes in the power of meditation, says, he knows the aura and nature of the audience at Osho International Meditation Resort. “I have been meditating for the last three decades. What I see amongst the audience here is that they enjoy life and learn about themselves a lot. I totally believe in this philosophy and will bring a message on the similar lines.” 

ST Reader Service
The Osho Monsoon Festival is organised at Osho International Meditation Resort, Koregaon Park, from August 11-15. The event is ticketed

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