In Memory of Sri Ras Bihari Desai

In Memory of RasBhai

Today, I received unfortunate news about the death of my friend and colleague Sri Ras Bihari Desai, whom I called Rasbhai.

When I heard the news, my mind immediately went back to a morning long ago when I received a phone call at 5am.

It was Rasbhai on the other end.

“Divyangbhai, please listen to this.  I know I’ve woken you up, but you must listen to this.  We’ll talk after,” he said.  Before I could really say anything, I heard the sound of drumming on the line. The patterns were set in mishra jati.

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What is Sadhna by Pandit Divyang Vakil

What is Sadhna?

Sadhna.

The word sadhna comes from the word sadhya, which means to achieve; or to aim or focus. Any intense practice that is done with 100% focus is called sadhna.

Sadhna is a long path. To do sadhna requires great patience. Sadhna can be done of any subject, be it music, yoga, archery or any other practical art. The goal of sadhna is to become one with the subject; to reach a point where there is no distinction between the subject and the practitioner. For this, you have to focus all your energy on the subject that is to be mastered or achieved.

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The Secret of Growth by Pandit Divyang Vakil

The Secret for Growth

It is always my wish and prayer that my students and all those that I know grow with each passing year. As we begin 2010, I would like to share a small story about speaks of the secret for growth, whether it be in your spiritual life, professional life or personal life.

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State of Today's Indian Classical Music Concerts by Pandit Divyang Vakil

State of Today’s Indian Classical Music Concerts

A musician needs two types of people in the audience – those who really understand the depth of the music and those who may not understand its full depth, but offer financial support for the musician.

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Runa Mukti

Runa Mukti – A Beautiful Concept

In Indian culture, the concept of indebtedness or obligation plays a strong role. As humans, we are being obliged by God, children have an obligation towards their parents, students are indebted to their teachers.

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Rhythm in Plants by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Rhythm in Plants, Laya in Everything

I always tell my students that music has to be digested. Laya (variations of rhythm) have to become a part of you. The experience that one gets when music becomes apart of your being is incredibly beautiful.

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Finding a Tabla Teacher by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Finding a Tabla Teacher

Today, a young man and his father came to my music school. The son wanted to take tabla lessons at our institute and he had been referred to me by a music friend of mine. At Rhythm Riders, we take very few new local students as a quality control measure more than anything else. I told him this, yet the father persisted saying that his son wanted to learn more seriously . His son had been learning from someone else for 4 years, but now finding a tabla teacher who could take him forward was very important. I could see that the boy was talented and very interested in music, so I conceded and gave him a chance to play.

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Vijay – one of my first US workshop attendees

In my initial years of working in America, my student Sejal and I used to conduct small workshops. At this point, I was a new name to American audiences, so it was usually a small audience (10 – 15). Even though there was small attendance, EVERY workshop I found someone who went onto become a devoted student who did many things for me over and spent great amounts of time with me. It was a sign of how my luck worked so well in America.

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First Meeting with Abbaji by Pandit Divyang Vakil

First Meeting with Abbaji (Ustad Allarakha Khan)

It was 1975 or 1976. I came to know that Ustad Allarakha was to be in Ahmedabad to accompany Pandit Ravi Shankar. It was a program arranged by Sur Singar, an organization that I was a young youth volunteer for.
I received news of Ustadji’s arrival and that he had checked into a hotel across from Town Hall (I can’t recall the name). I reached to the hotel at 8:30am with a small bouquet of flowers. I knocked on his door. I distinctly remember how he looked when he opened the door. He looked royal and you see his immensive personality. I gave him the bouquet, took his blessings and introduced myself.

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Tabla Taalim Textbook Sejal Kukadia

Tabla Taalim by Sejal Kukadia

I am very pleased to inform you about the wonderful tabla textbook that my dear American student, Sejal Kukadia has written. I am very proud of her and wish her all the best. The book is beautifully done and I know it will be a great resource for all. If you wish to purchase it, please contact Taalim School. Information about this guide to tabla is below.

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