Guru Purnima Celebrations at ITC-SRA
Indian culture places Gurus who impart knowledge, at par with the Gods. Acquiring knowledge forms the basis of a man’s future, so worshipping a Guru is like worshipping truth, knowledge and invaluable experiences. Guru Purnima is a special day celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Ashadh, to pay homage to all Gurus. It dates back to the time of 'gurukuls' or 'ashrams' of ancient India. The day is also known as Vyas Purnima in remembrance of the great sage Ved Vyas, the Guru who wrote the great epic 'Mahabharata', the 18 'Puranas' and classified the 'Vedas' of the Hindu religion. On this day it is customary for students to visit their elders, teachers and guides, in order to show respect to them.
At the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, the only Sangeet Gurukul of its kind in India, where knowledge is transmitted in the tradition of the guru-shishya parampara, celebrations for Guru Purnima were organised at a special Wednesday recital on July 30, 2008. All the gurus were felicitated, with a special offering to the senior-most, Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, who is presently celebrating his 100th year. Inaugurating the celebrations, Dr Vidyadhar Vyas, Executive Director, said that there is a great difference between a teacher or instructor and a Guru. The Guru ensures that the shishya can imbibe not only the knowledge he imparts, but is also motivated with the necessary attitudes so that he can continue to excel and improve himself. When the time comes, he can also become a Guru and can continue to preserve and propagate the legacy that has been so carefully and meticulously handed down to him.
The Executive Director felicitated Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, senior-most Guru and Vidushi Dipali Nag, adviser, Scientific Research Dept, while the scholars felicitated Padmabhushan Vidushi Girija Devi, Vidushi Malavika Kanan, Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta, Pandit Falguni Mitra, Pandit Arun Bhaduri, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan as well as Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas, himself a renowned Guru. This was followed by a vocal recital by Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan. He presented khayals in Ragas Miyan Malhar and Nat Malhar, a chaturang in Raga Rageshree, a Bhojpuri geet and a bhajan. He was accompanied on the tabla by Shri Gopal Misra, while Shri Jyoti Goho provided harmonium support. Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan’s disciples played the tanpuras and gave vocal support. This was the first time that Guru Purnima was celebrated at the Academy.