I went for a kirtan darbar held in the city last evening . The raison d’être was that all the ragi jathas were playing and strange that it may seem, I think the advancing years, knees knocking have made me partial to the songs of the Maker. It was indeed an eye-opener and the soul got a bit more weary and saddened.
We entered to a lit up podium, flowers mixed and hoodwinking with artificial flowers and there in I should have realized the deception. It was an exercise in convincing the public concerning their devotion to the Granth. As, someone said today morning, it was a pat on the back, and someone’s got to do it. In this day and age we do not worry if it is self-promotion, I mean if one did not look out for one’s interest, who will do? And, money does make the mare go.
Well, there was a congregation of holy saints, true karma yogis who graced the occasion. The kirtan was loud in the beginning and the instruments were played with extra strength and fervor all indicating that the loud pitch and extreme exaggeration would bring Him closer. I had always believed that hymns were sung to God as a humble person who had finished, silenced his ego and was quashing all doubts of his existence, but it seems you have to move all the three worlds. There were serious zakhms on me!
Another strange thing which disturbed me was that a lot of the so-called preachers who sat on the dais were disturbed, tensed, the ‘noor‘ missing , a few were at peace and radiated inner solitude but the rest were more worried about their cholas and the positioning of the kirpans. The entourage with them were large with menacing weaponry. I wonder when, they stopped smiling? This kind of religious ascending to reach Him is a no-no for me. There were, however a few who sang and the crowds were swayed by their melodious mellifluous voice who indeed were calling Him to earth. May the Gurus be kind to them.
The sangat came in large numbers, attracted by the fireworks, the lavish langar, and a chance to be blessed by the mere presence of wants by osmosis. A charged atmosphere, you see! Politicians who graced us by their presence took a short route to supplicate in front of the Guru Granth Sahib, they didn’t have time to stand in line like us common minions. Actually, it is my fault to think that they would follow the tenets of Sikhism, they just don’t have time to be normal or common. Life for them is a fast paced vehicle to amass more and more so that when death comes they might even strike a deal then. Never trust a man with soft hands, is the old saying.
With a pinch of salt, let me say, for an ordinary nobody like me, it took away a few misconceptions. I was looking a forward to an evening of bliss which I did experience for some time but it did get clouded with moments of extreme materialism, crass exploitation of the gullible public as always. We do love being taken for a ride… kya karein aam aadmi hain, na.