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Published on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 0720 Hrs. IST

Echoing Music Divine, The Festival of Divine Love - a Nine-day long festival celebrating the 85th Year of the Advent of the Lord - got off to a sublime beginning in Prasanthi Nilayam this evening.

Setting a perfect background for the "Festival of Divine Love", Prasanthi experienced evening rains, an auspicious sign as is believed, for any fresh venture. With the dark clouds coupled with rains forcing an early sunset, the Divine Assembly in Sai Kulwant Hall shone brilliantly under the lights anticipating the Divine entry. Adding charm to the glare, the dais was bedecked with floral costumes. Enhancing the audio facility, in view of the week-long festivity, special speakers were installed at proper locations and facilitating closer view, two LED display, on both gents' and ladies' side, along with number of closed circuit tv sets were also set in place.

Emerging at the twilight hour, at 1845 hrs., His twenty minutes' round of darshan found the magnanimity of the Lord coming to the fore as Bhagawan negotiated the round most patiently, attending to many on the ladies' side, the primary school students and devotees from both within India and Overseas before coming on to the verandah where the artistes for the evening as well as many an organisational office bearer got the opportunity to seek his blessing.



Coming on stage at 1905 hrs., the stage was ready for the session to begin. An announcement on the programme was made introducing the artistes for the evening with brief description. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, the Sarod Maestro of fame along with his sons Aayan Ali Khan and Aman Ali Khan were to perform to be followed by Abhishek Raghuram, a child prodigy and grandson of legendary Mridangam Artiste, Palghat Raghu, on Carnatic Vocal.

Born in the illustrious Bangesh lineage, the Ustad had his maiden recital at a tender age of six. He has participated in numerous music festivals, around the world, and is the recepient of various national and international awards including The Indian Civilian Award, Padma Vibhushan.

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Ustad Amjad Ali Khan began his concert with a solo, an own composition inspired by a piece of Saint Puranadaradasa set to Raga Sivaranjini. He announced that this piece had been rendered by ML Vasanta Kumari, the Legendary Carnatic Vocalist of yester years. Beginning the second piece with an introduction of his sons, the maestro on Sarod along with his sons produced a magical spell of instrumental music that lasted for more than twenty minutes, well received by the audience with rapturous applause.

Music is Divine and when legendary musicians perform on the stage with music's sublime touch at the highest platform, it not only entices the onlooking mortal audience, but the first and foremost recipient of the offering, the Divine Musician Himself. With serene musical notes emanating from the blessed Sarod producing subtle waves, often raising and rising, slowing down, pausing, harmoniously blending with accompanying tabla, the session turned out to be a scintillating jugalbandhi, a perfect start for the Festival of Divine Love.

Aptly wrote the Dalai Lama once about the legendary artiste, when Amjad Ali Khan performs, he carries with him a deep human spirit, a warm feeling and a sense of caring... The evening indeed witnessed the above attributes of the legendary artiste whose humility was his forte.

Bhagawan blessed the artistes by draping shawls over them while giving away other presents.

From the world of Instrumental into the world fo Carnatic Vocal.From the world of Instrumental into the world of Carnatic Vocal. The second programme for the evening was by Abhishek Raghuram, an upcoming Carnatic Vocalist who began with a Thyagaraja composition "Nee Dayarada" set to Shrutibhairavi on Rupaka Talam. Perfectly harmonising with the accompanying mridangam and violin, the solo lasted for fifteen minutes. One more piece followed before he took the bow. The singer was completely engrossed in his devotional rendering and one could read his devotion to his dedicated profession. He spellbound the audience with his mesmerising rendering.

The blessed artiste earned his moment when Bhagawan blessed him with a golden chain. Accompanists on mridangam and violin were also blessed before Bhagawan called for Mangala Arati at 2020 hrs. Prasadam was distributed to all devotees. Blessing the artists one more time enroute, Bhagawan retired at 2028 hrs..