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Effervescent KarmaYogi - Pandit Ravishankar

15th August 1969, Woodstock, New York, United States of America.
5 lakh spectators, witnessing a history in making. A revolution set in motion by a 49-year old Indian.

On the same day, 15th August 1969, New Delhi, India, celebrating the 22nd year of Independence was sprinting with vigour to the national song,”Sare Jahan Se Accha” written by Iqbal and tuned by the same 49-year old Indian - Pandit Ravishankar.

The response to both these performances matches Victor Hugo’s words - “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

The world reacted to this phenomenon by anointing Ravishankar the Global Ambassador of Music that day!

The baton which Pandit Ravishankar carried successfully for 7 decades, without a break, to make music an universal language in the West and the East as a true effervescent KarmaYogi.

Sitar was the chosen medium by Pandit Ravishankar. Navarasa, the nine emotions which form the foundation of the Indian Classical Aesthetics, is very delightfully expressed through this musical instrument.

The 1960s and the 1970s, the curiosity about the Indian classical music was growing around the world. The music bands in United States of America and United Kingdom were experimenting, mixing the elements of Indian Classical music with Rock and Jazz. The Sitar recital at Woodstock Festival in 1969 was the grand feast to the Hip-Hop, Rock-n-Roll western music lovers which was relished with equal delight.

The 1950s through 1970s was also the golden - era of Indian Classical Music back home in India. The Indian Classical Art arena was at it’s zenith with the best of the musicians performing in all age groups - senior, middle-aged and young. Any art is incomplete without Rasikas. The concerts then lasted for five to seven hours !

The stage was well set to the effervescent performance of Pandit Ravishankar. His music was not limited to the classical concerts, he reached his rasikas through different mediums - Ballet, Orchestration Film Music, Music Theatre, Electronic Music and so on. The result was the long lasting association with Yehudi Menuhin and the tutorship of George Harrison of Beatles fame.

All these experimentation did not change one fact - Pandit Ravishankar did not compromise on the solid foundation of Indian Classical Music, which he got from his esteemed Guru, Baba Allauddin Khan of Maihar Gharana. Pandit Ravishankar carried the legacy of the Maihar Gharana till his last breathe performing for 7 decades on stage, enthralling the rasikas and also imparting the same talent to his students with the true spirit of gurukul.Pandit Ravishankar neither charged his students nor tolerated any indulgences from the audience and patrons during the recitals. In Pandit Ravishankar’s own words, “Music when expressed, creates an eternal happiness within, which is like seeing God or feeling a sense of complete contentment of the soul .”

Sergei Rachmaninov’s (well known Russian Pianist of the late 19th century and early 20th century ) words sum up the life of the Legendary Karmayogi, Pandit Ravishankar - “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for Music.”