Published on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 1210 Hrs. IST
The testimony of the life of celebrated Saint Surdas witnesses his blunt rejection of a request from the Mighty Emperor of his time, Akbar, claiming that he only sings in the court of his Beloved Krishna. Singing for The Lord was his sole aim. In this modern time many celebrated artistes are blessed by the greatest good fortune of singing in the immediate presence of the Lord who walks the earth in Prasanthi Nilayam. Singing For The Lord! Singing Unto The Lord! is undoubtedly the greatest of the fortunes and joining this list of singers arrived popular Sufi Singer, Lakhwinder Wadali, counting blessings.
Taking its turn, on the evening of 8 Aug 2010, Delhi & NCR staged a Sufi & Folk Song presentation by popular North Indian Sufi Singer Lakhwinder Wadali and troupe in the immediate Divine presence of Bhagawan. Sufi rendering is an off shoot of Sufism that in turn promotes religious harmony. Sufi songs often reflect the pure state of one's mind and are focused on one's love towards God.
As Vedic chants continued, Mr. Jatinder Cheema, State President, Delhi & NCR, as per the command of Bhagawan presented a prelude to the programme introducing the singer to the august assembly. Profusely thanking Bhagawan for His nine days' North Indian sojourn in April, Mr. Cheema called the evening's presentation as an offering of gratitude for Bhagawan's greater benevolence that took Him to Delhi and Shimla. Introducing the singer, he made a mention of the singer's father, Padmashree Ustad Puran Chand Wadali, who had the blessed opportunity to sing in Bhagawan's Divine presence 37 years ago, in Moga, Punjab.
Commencing the programme, the blessed singer, singing from the depth of his heart to the heights of exalted heavens, rendered high pitched numbers that reverberated the packed 'amphitheatre' in Prasanthi. Taking the entire audience with his special 'twists and turns', with his infectious singing that are complete with meaning, the singer produced an electrifying musical evening, Singing Unto Him…Singing For Him! The singing was so alluring that the verve in the air was catching up with the packed assembly tuning rapt attention onto the stage. Among the numbers included Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's popular Sufi Qawwali, Dama Dam Mast Kalandhar, apart from compositions of Sant Kabir, Amir Khusrou and Sant Baba Bulle Shah.
An hour passed by when the singer was into his fifth number and at the end of the same Bhagawan moved off, asking the singer to continue. As he continued to make merry of the life opportunity bestowed upon, the twilight's shadow was soon catching up engulfing Prasanthi, and adding to this splendour arrived The Lord, in fifteen minutes, onstage at 1855 hrs. ...and the hall literally turned lit with His re-entry as the tempo was soon building up before the final whistle. The singer, who was by now into his seventh number was repeating the refrain "Aaja Mahi...Aaja Mahi.."; bringing a sudden twist pausing the song He addressed The Lord: "Sai jab chale gayethe tho hamara man nahi lag raha tha...tho hum aapke jaane ke baad ye sab kahne lagi..." Loye Loye Aaja Mahi, meaning, when Bhagawan moved off, he was feeling odd (in the absence) and was repeatedly invoking HIm, calling out Aaja Mahi..Aaja Mahi)...The tune was so infectious and melodious that it gave an enchanting mesmerizing effect to the waning twilight as the love of the singer who sung for The Lord was quite expressive in these lines. The singer continued with the song ending the electrifying musical extravaganza to a grand finale. It lasted for ninety long minutes.
Bhagawan called the singer unto Him to felicitate him by draping a shawl over him before blessing the whole troupe with safari pieces. It was 1910 hrs. and Bhagawan indicated for Mangala Arathi. Upon accepting Arathi, Bhagawan sat on and the session continued. The artiste on the Tabla who was vibrant with his 'hand-finger-tabla' combo won special appreciation as Bhagawan made a typical gesture indicating rhythmic beat of Tabla on his fingertips and as the artiste moved towards Bhagawan to receive his share of blessings, 'crowd' went into raptures in special appreciation.
Next to come was an emerald ring for the singer and subsequently Bhagawan asked the State President to announce about the next evening's programme. Time clock ticked to 1922 hrs. and Bhagawan indicated for another Mangala Arathi. Upon accepting Arathi, after blessing the concourse with abhayahastha, Bhagawan sat for a while gesticulating the students and the youth to go and have food. They burst into 'silent' laughters enjoying every bit of His Love and concern! A short interaction with a bhajan singer ensued before Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram at 1930 hrs.