A slow, unhurried low octave, barely audible at first, gradually picks up pace and becomes powerful and vibrant as the rhythmic pulse and melody coalesce to create an ethereal feeling. As the song ‘Shambho – Bholanath’ became experiential and a devotional fervor enveloping everything, the surroundings soon looked like a lord’s abode where musical offerings were made.
Prominent Dhrupad musicians Sanjeev Jah and Manish Kumar, who wrote this piece during the COVID-19 pandemic, gave their voices to the intrinsic beauty and spiritual nature of Dhrupad music. raising. Dhrupad music is the oldest surviving style of Hindustani classical music and is known to bring peace and contemplation to the listener. A musician from Bihar, who sings together and calls himself ‘Dhrupad Bandhu’, was born during the same period in Benares where he studied music at Hindu University and Dhrupad of Bhopal where he studied from the same guru at Sanstan.
They weren’t from the same family, they were an odd team who chose to sing together, and it’s clear that isolation during the pandemic helped them unlock their true potential. And although I missed the interaction with music lovers whose applause and appreciation are in many ways encouraging, I have had enough to introspect, increase ryaz (practice), and better understand both music and life. I had time. “The artist and his art are inseparable. My life is inseparable from my music, so there is no such thing as professional or private for me,” he says Sanjeev Jha. Concurs Manish Kumar “By definition, Dhrupad music is not for manoranjan (entertainment). leads to
A unique experiment they have done is singing some selected shrokas from Shankaracharya’s Bhajagovindam in Dhrupad tradition. Shroka, the essence of Shankaracharya’s scholarship, has an eternal truth about human life compared to a drop of water on a lotus leaf. The lotus leaf quickly loses its shape and likewise encourages people to take the name of the Lord before their lives end. Sanjeev Jha and Manish Kumar, a great Vedic scholar and teacher of Advaita from Kerala, learned his work and were able to sing it in a musical style originating from the north of the country, which emphasizes integration and harmony. I feel blessed. Composed by raag Bageshree, the song was part of the repertoire of concerts performed by the musician at his LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, organized by the Dhrupad Gurkulam Foundation, Hyderabad. ‘Dhrupad Varshotsav’, based on the Monsoon raga, also featured the famous Surdas composition ‘Nis din Bharse nein hamare’ sung in Dhrupad style for the first time. The overwhelming applause for many firsts from the audience only reiterates the power of music to transcend the inequalities of all barriers and prejudices. you can enjoy music. “Music doesn’t need language. Most araps have only pure sounds and reach people from all regions and cultures,” says Sanjeev Jah. “There is only good music or bad music. All other classifications are just nomenclature,” adds Manish Kumar.
Reflecting on the fact that dhrupad singing, despite its ubiquitous nature, remains confined to a select few, musicians believe that most people are not sufficiently exposed to it, perhaps even grasping it. I find myself overwhelmed by classical tags that seem difficult to make out. was. This idea led to the release of the ‘Dhrupad Yatra’ which spanned the crisscrossing of the country. Dhrupad music. Not all of them will be performers, but at least they will be discerning audiences. This will be a great revival, ”he feels Sanjeev Jha. Our camps are educational and create a conducive atmosphere for learning and perhaps encourage many young people to learn Dhrupad’s songs,” added Manish Kumar, at the Hyderabad Gurkulam he conducts, where the 70 I note that many students over the age of Dhrupad’s class experienced better breath control and concentration.
The Dhrupad Yatra will begin in the sacred city of Benares at some point in January 2023 and move to various tier 2 cities and rural areas under its jurisdiction, modalities being considered. Shravanam or listening is an important part of learning in India and getting people to listen and learn about the antiquity and special features of Dhrupad is a real challenge. It can be traced back to mantra chanting and evolved over time with the introduction of verses and meters coinciding with the national bhakti movement. The pristine nature of Dhrupad music has survived to this day, continuing in both temple and concert formats, but unfortunately due to declining patronage and lack of recognition, it is restricted to a limited audience. Yatra hopes that Dhrupad Bandhu Sanjeev Jah and Manish Kumar, who have made the dissemination of Dhrupad their lifelong mission, will address this deficiency. Their musical journey is made stronger and more profound by this goal, as the music continues even if they don’t speak the language.