Rudra Veena - Meditate through Sound to experience the Silence -
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Rudra Veena - Meditate through Sound to experience the Silence

Team Satsangh is happy to share an interview with Pandit Hindraj Divekar, a renowned Rudra Veena maestro. Know the subtleties of this divine instrument and join us in this cause of preserving this perishing art form.

 The Rudra Veena is considered the mother of all string instrument. Lord Shiva is said to have played this instrument when he created whole Brahmanda - The entire Cosmos . This is the instrument of Lord Shiva. Devi Parvati used to dance to the music that emanated from this divine instrument. Then after many year’s it goes back to the very time in human’s hand when music was invented by Indian Rishis, Munis, Meditators and Musicians trying to find a way to express their inner experiences. Rudra veena is an instrument with the most meditative qualities. Today there are hardly very few Rudra Veena players left in India.

Pandit Hindraj is the one of the very few surviving Rudra Veena player also called as Beenkars in India. Pt Hindraj ji is a Master of Sound and Silence  and  has written a book on the Rudra Veena tradition, an ancient musical string instrument in the year 2000. Pandit Hindraj Divekar has equal mastery in Sitar and Rudraveena (Been). Pandit Hindraj is able to use different sounds of both instruments taking his audience through a wide range of moods and emotions. He is teaching Rudra Veena (Been) in the Dhrupad Style and Khayal Style, North Indian  Hindustani musi, and Sitar at his Academic center in Pune.

A happy balance of immaculate design, imagination and mastery of the traditional ragas of North Indian classical music, combined with youthful dynamism, his musical concerts keep the audience in a trance, taking them towards an unforgettable experience of North Indian Hindustani Music.
1.  Panditji, you are a Maestro in Rudra Veena, how is Rudra veena different from other veenas?
There are so many Veena’s in the Indian music history like- Rudra Veena, Saraswati Veena, Vichitra Veena, Varkari Sampradayi Veena, Shatatantri veena (Santoor), Mohan Veena and so on. Rudra Veena is the first musical string instrument, ancient and very rare in our music history since Vedic times.  Also very rare musicians and Gurus are left in today’s very fast and advanced technology world. You can count them on your finger like 3-4 who still exist. Lord Shiva has invented this most beautiful instrument and was playing for this divine sound for meditation and for the peace of world. In India there is only one sculpture in Sri Shailyam Temple near Hyderabad where Lord Shiva is playing Rudra Veena, I have that small video of 2-3 minutes for my record.

The Rudra Veena’s origin sound is totally different than others existing veena’s. It is deep and of very low frequency. Rudra Veena sound sustain 16 to 17 second, if you listen very carefully. Sitar sound is only 4-5 second sustaining if we pluck the string. Rudra Veena sound helps us to go or enter in silence meditation.
It is not very high pitch indicating that there was silence in the world when it was created by Lord Shiva unlike today’s world. The holding style of Rudra Veena is totally different than other veenas. 
You may visit on - rudra veena concert to get an idea of the origin sound, holding style and khayl style of rudra veena. This was a  programme organised by Gaanwardhan pune.

2) Which is your favorite style of Rudra Veena Recital?
Dhrupad style as well as Khayal style, both are good but my favorite style is the Khayal style.  The Dhrupad style Rudra Veena is accompanied by Pakhvaj  & the Khayal style Rudra Veena is accompanied by Tabla..

3) Can you please share few significant memories of your concerts Abroad.
I have played Rudra Veena with pakhawaj , my live concerts in Australia in 1979. That time people of Australia told me that it was the first time rudra veena is been played at Australia in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne Sydney. All the Australian audience were very happy to listen to this very rare sound and also see a very rare instrument in their life. It was amazing. All my live concerts were telecasted in few cities, also in Australian colour television, private FM radio stations in various cities. They had the same experience when I played in Germany for 22 concerts in various cities, also in Paris – France, Italy, Spain and in 2010 Portugal.

4) Panditji, you have mastered very unique and divine musical instruments. Can you please tell us about your Guru.
I have not yet mastered. I can say that I am a very simple Sadhak of Rudra Veena – a very unique and divine musical instrument.
I have learnt Rudra Veena from my childhood from my father, Late Pt Hindgandharva Shiavarambuwa Divekar - who had dedicated his life as a Vocalist and a Rudra Veena Player .  He was a Marathi drama stage actor and singer too. After he passed away, I took guidance from Pt Pandharinath Kolhapure, Late Ustad Ziamoiuddin Khan Saheb and from late Pt Bindumadhav Pathak.

5) What inspired you to write a book on the Beautiful Ancient Instrument ‘Rudra Veena’?
I have noticed that there was no books available for learning or even knowing about Rudra veena. I wondered then how will the students learn this most divine instrument which is now soon vanishing. All types of books are available for vocal, all instrumental, guides, theory of Indian music, examinations in schools, colleges, university level. But no book was available for Rudra veena. So I thought already the Rudra veena musicians are very rare in India. It is soon vanishing. I decided that it must be saved , uplifted and handed over this ancient rare art knowledge and  instrument to the new generation. Hence I wrote this book.
Unfortunately we did publish only one edition in 2000. There after we could not publish due to certain publishing problems.

6) How do you integrate Spiritual culture, Tradition and Music in your life?
I am from Gurav cast of Hindu Family. The Gurav cast people would take the care of Temples, do the poojas on the Shiva temple, Devi temple and other temples in the village and later in cities of India. This beautiful holy tradition work is done by our Gurav cast since 5-6 thousands years.
So naturally in my family this tradition has come to take care of our village temple of Gods, and to sing devotional songs, and playing instruments like Bells ,Tanpura, Veena, Pakhawaj, Tabla, Nagra,Shahanai, and other instruments for the service of God.

7) Satsangh offers our gratitude for sharing your valuable moments with us. What is your inspirational message to the seekers and music lovers of satsangh?
I would like to give my message to the seekers and music lovers of Satsangh.
Listen and meditate in divine peaceful Rudra Veena pure divine sound every day.  Save and uplift the very few musicians of this Rudra Veena. The children as well as all students in schools, colleges, and university level should learn and preserve this beautiful instrument.  If there are any readers running any foundations or universities support rudra veena, I request all of you help us organise live concerts.  My appeal to the Media and doordarshan id to arrange rudra veena programmes as an educational programme.

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