Guru Purnima Evening Programme

The programme for the evening started with Veda chanting at 4.30. After Veda chanting, two programmes were slated for this session. The first was by famous Carnatic classical music exponent Smt. Aruna Sairam. Aruna Sairam received vocal training from her mother Rajalakshmi Sethuraman, who was a disciple of the Alathur Brothers and Thanjavur Sankara Iyer. She later received training from prominent vocalists, Madurai Somasundaram and T. Brinda. She also learnt the art of Pallavi singing from T. R. Subramaniam.

Aruna Sairam collaborated with many Indian artistes like the famous playback singer Shankar Mahadevan apart from internationally acclaimed artistes like Dominique Vellard, the French Gregorian singer. Aruna Sairam has presented her concerts in all major Sabhas in India, as well as many destinations across the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Le Theatre de la Ville in Paris and the Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco.

Aruna Sairam started her concert by paying obeisance to Guru through the Sloka (verse): Gurur-Brahma Gurur-Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheswara; Guru Sakshat Param Brahma Thasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.(Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheswara. Guru is verily the supreme Brahman.  So, salutations to the Guru). She was accompanied by artistes on Ghatam, Mridangam, Violon and Tanpura. Her first classical piece was Samajavaragamana… which was followed by the Thyagaraja composition Ra Rama Intidaka…, Bho Shambho Siva Shambho Swayambho…, Manasa Sancharare…, the Marathi piece which captivated one and all Bhaktajana Vatsale… The Bhajan Govinda Bolo Gopala Bolo…, the Kannada famous song of Sage Purandaradasa Bhagyadha Lakshmi Baramma…, the popular song sung during the Mahalaya period Jago Tumi Jago… Her presentation ended with the Bhajan Antharanga Sai Anathanatha Sai… At the end of the concert, all the artistes were presented shawls. Prof. Anil Kumar while complimenting the artiste Aruna Sairam mentioned that recently the “Outlook” magazine had compared Aruna Sairam to the Queen of Music Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi that she matched her in diction, purity, voice and impeccability.

The next singer for the evening was Sri Hans Raj Hans, a proponent of Sufi tradition of music.  Hans Raj Hans stands tall among all Sufi singers, with his unusual ability to present this genre of music in its truest form. His voice and style of singing is indeed suited to Sufi renditions. This noted Sufi artist is a Padma Shri Awardee, the highest civilian award, presented by Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil for his inimitable and significant contribution in the field of music.

His performances have not only established him as a musical treasure in his own country, India, but have gained him worldwide fame. In appreciation of his contribution to Sufiana Singing, San Jose University, California, U.S.A. had appointed him as visiting Professor of Sufism. A recipient of numerous honours from the beginning, he was awarded Punjab State Singer Award (Raj Gayak) by the Punjab Government. He has been conferred lifetime fellowship by Punjabi University, Patiala, in recognition of his originality and versatility. He has ceaselessly worked for Indo-Pak relations and Indo-American relations. He had the opportunity to sing in the Divine Presence during Bhagawan’s visit to Delhi in 2010. Sri Hans Raj Hans said, “I am fortunate to sing in front of You in Delhi, I am singing today. You are the Supreme Creator who is never born, who never dies.” His first composition was Rakhomori Rakho Rakhomori Sai Baba. The next song conveyed that all the pride and popularity he has is because of Sai. His songs were marked by lively singing with full of verve and vigour. He enlivened the stage with his swaying and taking the audience along with him in his songs. The audience too responded by clapping to the beat of the songs. After a few more songs like Baba Jagataki Vani… Sri Hans Raj Hans ended his concert. The artistes were honoured with shawls after which Bhajans were sung by the students. The students too added to the lively mood in the devotees by singing the Bhajan Subrahmanyam Subramanyam… with full gusto. Arati was offered at 7.10 pm. Darshan of Mahasamadhi continued in the evening too. It was now the turn of students from the men and women’s campuses to have Darshan of Bhagawan’s Mahasamadhi. After students and senior staff had Darshan, devotees had Darshan of the Mahasamadhi. Guru Celebrations will continue on 16th July too with a music programme by the alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in the morning and a Bal Vikas drama from the State of Tamil Nadu.