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Morari Bapu welcomes Ghulam Ali’s recital at Sankat Mochan temple, gives Dharma a universal meaning

Well-known Ramayana Kathakar and spiritualist Morari Bapu wholeheartedly welcomed and supported the performance of Pakistani ghazal singer Ustad Ghulam Ali at the Sangeet Samaroh held at the famous Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi last week.

Morari Bapu welcomes Ghulam Ali’s recital at Sankat Mochan temple, gives Dharma a universal meaning

New Delhi: Well-known Ramayana Kathakar and spiritualist Morari Bapu wholeheartedly welcomed and supported the performance of Pakistani ghazal singer Ustad Ghulam Ali at the Sangeet Samaroh held at the famous Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi last week.

He expressed even greater pleasure at the fact that the Pakistani musician had chosen to stay at the residence of the temple Mahant (priest) rather than a 5-star hotel in the city.

While addressing his shrotas (listeners of Ram Katha) in Goa, the Hindu saint said that he would like his message of openness and large heartedness to be communicated to Pakistan, as a means of building a bridge between nations and religions. Bapu also lauded Ali for breaking out of narrow domains of orthodoxy and using music as a binding force.

Recalling how he was once questioned about the subject of Dharma at an inter-religious convention in London in 1994, Bapu had responded that “All Dharmas should be accorded Sanman (respect) but all religions were not Saman (similar), as each had its own identity and unique set of beliefs.” However, real Dharma (essence of spirituality) is always one.

Pressing home the point, Bapu defined this Dharma to be an encompassment of Satya (Truth), Prem (Love) and Karuna (Compassion).

Further elaborating on the subject, the Ramayana Kathavachak said Dharma (religion) becomes a source of conflict when we get entrapped in sidhant (dogmatic principles), but gains a generous disposition when the same dharma (spirituality) becomes our Swabhav (nature). Conventional rites, rituals and beliefs can sometimes become onerous and burdensome while a flowing tradition keeps us light and unshackled.

Shri Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh is being held in an unbroken tradition for over nine decades on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti, as the monkey God is himself considered a connoisseur of classical music. However, this is the first time that any Pakistani artist has performed at the temple.

The Pakistani maestro’s musical recital at the Sankat Mochan festival gains significance considering the temple had been a site of a terror attack in 2006.

Meanwhile, Ustad Ghulam Ali also expressed his pleasure at singing at the music festival and said he had come to India with a message of love and peace.

Other artists and musicians like Ustad Amjad Ali Khan also welcomed the Pakistani vocalist’s move to perform at a historic Hindu temple.