Wednesday, December 12, 2012


RAVI SHANKAR, DIES AT 92 - Legendary sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92 years in San Diego in United States. Pandit Shankar was admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego last Thursday after he complained of breathing difficulties. He breathed his last at 4.30 pm Pacific Time Tuesday. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said, “ I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar. India has lost an eminent son, the world of sitar has lost one of its ablest exponents ever and a shining light in the firmament of music has been extinguished. 
Like many others around the world, I join you in grieving this loss and in extending to you and your loved ones my heartfelt condolences.” The legend had developed a style distinct from that of his contemporaries and integrated influences from Carnatic music. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar condoles the demise of Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. India has lost a distinguished son, she said.

Ravi Shankar was born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury on 7 April 1920 in Varanasi. Shankar went on to work as a composer, creating the music for Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy and was music director of All India Radio (AIR), New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from 1986 to 1992. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999. He received the music award of the UNESCO International Music Council in 1975.A three-time Grammy-award winner; Pandit Ravi Shankar was nominated for a Grammy award for 2013 where he was competing against daughter Anoushka Shankar, also a sitar player.  
In 2010, Shankar received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Shankar served as the country’s unofficial ambassador for music playing with the world’s famous artists like violinist Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison of the Beatles. He is survived by his wife Sukanya; daughter Norah Jones; daughter Anoushka Shankar Wright and husband Joe Wright; three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

The music world is mourning the loss of a legend. Ravi Shankar, a sitar player lauded as the “Godfather of world music,” died at the age of 92. “Many people, especially young people, have started listening to sitar since George Harrison, one of the Beatles, became my disciple. He is a beautiful person. His attitude toward our music is very sincere. He's very humble, and becoming better and better. His love for India and its philosophy and spiritual values is something outstanding.” ... “The message I'm trying to get through is that our music is very sacred to us and is not meant for people who are alcoholic, or who are addicts, or who misbehave, because it is a music which has been handed down from our religious background for our listeners,” the Indian musician explained. As extension of the Vedas, the Upavedas were created, for example, Sama Veda has its Upaveda, “Gandharvaveda”, which deals with the Art of Music.

Veda Vyasa compiled the Vedas - literally, the books of knowledge - into four parts: • Rig Veda. • Yajur Veda. • Sama Veda and • Athar Veda. Along with the main body of the Vedas, the Upavedas, or secondary Vedas, were created. These contain more secular sciences, such as the science of life (Ayurveda) and Vedic mathematics. Each Veda has its own Upaveda. The Upaveda in the Sama Veda is Gandharvaveda, which deals with music. The Gandharva music of the Sama Veda may have been the beginning of this fine art by mankind. The classical notes of this period have remained an inspiration for all music lovers through the centuries. India became the first land to use the system of notations. ... Carnatic (sometimes called Karnatic) music is the original classical music of the Hindu culture, which started the basis of the sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, and ni musical notes.

Dr. Hiro Badlani :
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 6: “Vedas: The Foundation of Hinduism”

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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