In the previousfour blogs we talked about Hinduism, it’s philosophy, mythological stories, the Gondhali tribe, the Gondal, the Sambhal and the music of Religion. Read the Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4 of this blog.
Presentation of Sambhal
The instrument of Sambhal, like mentioned before , has immense religious importance and its presentation in itself a procedure.
- One must take of his/her slippers when one is playing the Sambhal, or is in the vicinity of playing the Sambhal as slippers carry a lot of dirt in them, and the instrument is regarded to be very sacred and it would be wrong to desecrate it or offend the person playing it.
- It starts with ‘Gan’, basically meaning addressing Ganesha through the verses of the hymn ‘Vakratunda Mahakaya’.
- Then comes the ‘Aadishakti pad’ followed by the ‘Stuti pad’ which are applicable to the respective prayer.
- Then comes the ‘Akhyan’ or the adoration of the power of ‘Maya Devi’ which is common to all Sambhal presentations.
- The ‘Aarti’ is sung last to thank the higher power for the result, which is an intrinsic feeling of calm and quiet.
The Sambhal is one of the several instruments that are being pushed into oblivion by the less spiritual instruments of the mainstream because the commitment required to play the instrument is far greater, says Mr. Haridas. I do not mean to lament the westernizing of our culture, because that is what human beings do, we are programmed by nature to take from each other and keep morphing into different people. The world wasn’t meant to be demarcated into communities that live and die with each other, the world is meant to mix, to experiment, to open up, to form something new. At the same time, it does not do good to forget who we are, if we can take something, we can give something. We come from a land where we have so much to give that it is going to take a very long time for the world to forget our snake charmer stereotype even if we were to give them something new every day.
The interaction with Mr. Haridas was one that opened up new perspectives for me. That while I am a non-believer and that is what I want to be, I do not rubbish what someone else believes, in fact, it is something that tingles my curiosity to no end. So when Mr. Haridas was telling us the several stories that form the centre of his religious beliefs and upbringing, I could tell that there was immense pride. So what if religion and tradition are almost concentric circles in India, we can still appreciate religion for the good it has done to the performing arts, even though I believe it is the other way around.
Art, just makes everything better.
Author – Anitha Krishnamurthy
Come. Drum. Be One