BANGALORE: Palace grounds witnessed a record in the making recently when the confluence of 1,008 veenas spread the message of harmony and peace. Sahasra Veena Jhenkara was organised by the Art of Living Foundation in collaboration with the Ranjini Kalakendra.
Performed in the presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living, the occasion was also graced by dignitaries like the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Sadananda Gowda, former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and many more.
Dr Suparna Ravishankar, director of Ranjini Kalakendra, who is herself a Veena exponent, led the performance.
Elaborate arrangements were in place, with a massive multi-tier stage showcasing the players and a backdrop depicting veenas.
The audience, eager to be a part of this historical event, were kept energised throughout the evening.
The twilight hour added to the beauty of the spectacle. But it was truly the day of the vainikas, resplendent in cream and blue, who had trained and practised for months to be a part of this enormous initiative. They were led by the senior Vainikas and accompanying them were artists on the tabla, mridangam, flute, kanjira, violin, guitar and drums. Altogether, there were 1110 artistes. Dr Suparna composed the music for the event which was a fusion based on the raagas.
The performance started with a traditional invocation to Lord Ganesh, Vaatapi Ganapathim Bhaje. After this came pieces set to raagas like Hamsadwani, Sriraga,Mohana, Mayamalavagowla, Brindavani, Kapi, Dhanashree (Thillana), Yaman.
According to her the Art of Living Brahm Naad event inspired her and made her realise that we need to create forums that will not only uplift practitioners of the ancient arts but will also enhance exposure and awareness on Indian classical music.
Addressing the gathering, Sri Sri Ravishankar lauded the veena as being the most ancient instrument known to mankind that kindles harmony and ignites the spirit.
The naada or sound that the veena produces resonates within us and
touches the heart.
He also mentioned an interesting comparison stating that the ribs in the human body and the frets in the veena are both twenty four in number. Overall, Sahasra Veena Jhenkara was indeed a memorable event