Along the same theme as my last post, I heard a This American Life program a few months back called Music Lessons.” It’s a mildly amusing story that perhaps musicians can appreciate more than I. However, in Act 3, about 45 minutes in to the program – a woman reflects on a recent experience she had at her church and how music created a “miracle.” Her poetic account of this experience is brilliant.

When I originally heard this, I immediately thought about Keertan, and the profound impact it has had on me and many others. Gurbani is not simply words on a page, but Guru Sahib specifically prescribed a raag to each Shabad – to convey it’s mood, to create that feeling and emotion he felt when writing it. How beautiful!

After listening to this, I thought about those rare moments at a Keertan Darbar or Samagam where I felt a sense of connection with the Sangat and how Keertan created that connection. It can be powerful!

I’m curious to hear what others think of the program and if anyone else has had a similar “Sangat Moment.”

About RP Singh

Writer. Poet. Organizer. View all posts by RP Singh

4 responses to “Music

  • Sevak

    I definitely agree with what you said about music and how the Gurus wrote the Raags. I don’t think though that its just “Sangat,” I think power in feeling is multiplied exponentially when its Sangat in company of the Guru. When the words begin to be realized in the mind, and the process of self-reflection begins in the moment of Kirtan, it is one of the best experiences. It is like your mind have the clarity of your eyes when looking into a crystal clear glass.I have not heard the program yet, but will soon.

  • Rubin Paul Singh

    Good point, Sevak – I agree. Sangat in the company of the Guru.

  • ravi

    I live for “Sangat Moments” which, lots of times, are the Magic of camp that you referred to later on. Every 2-3 camps, there is that one divaan where, for some reason, every kid decides to sing with his/her full heart into it. I can’t help but just sit there and tear up (yes, I’m a wuss, I know…)Additionally, there is no experience equal to singing a shabad and having the rest of the sangat singing around you. I know you basically stick to tabla but leading the sangat on the vaja is an entirely different experience altogether. A truly amazing feeling…

  • Rubin Paul Singh

    You’re right, Ravi…I think you just inspired me to play the Vaaja again (after a long hiatus)…Now you need to come and teach me some shabads!

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