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Great Masters

July 24, 2008 1 comment

I had to share these videos. I am spellbound every time I hear this kind of music. In the first, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi unleashes a drut bandish in Raga Todi at the Sawai Gandharva festival ’63. In the second, the other master from Karnataka, Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur presents a sublime Raga Bihagda.

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The Indian upon God

May 7, 2008 5 comments

I passed along the water’s edge below the humid trees,
My spirit rocked in evening light, the rushes round my knees,
My spirit rocked in sleeps and sighs; and saw the moorfowl pace
All dripping on a grassy slope, and saw them cease to chase
Each other round in circles, and heard the eldest speak:
Who holds the world between His bill and made us strong or weak
Is an undying moorfowl, and He lives beyond the sky.
The rains are from his dripping wing, the moonbeam from His eye.

I passed a little further on and heard a lotus talk:
Who made the world and ruleth it, He hangeth on a stalk,
For I am in His image made, and all this tinkling tide
Is but a sliding drop of rain between His petals wide.

A little way within the gloom a roebuck raised his eys
Brimful of starlight, and he said: The Stamper of the Skies,
He is a gentle roebuck; for how else, I pray, could He
Conceive a thing so sad and soft, a gentle thing like me?

I passed a little further on and heard a peacock say:
Who made the grass and made the worms and made my feathers gay,
He is a monstrous peacock, and He waveth all the night
His languid tail above us, lit with myriad spots of light.

–W.B.Yeats (c. 1889)

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