Sivaratri celebrated

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SOULFUL: Rajan and Sajan Mishra performing at the Isha Yoga Center.
SOULFUL: Rajan and Sajan Mishra performing at the Isha Yoga Center.

Over 300,000 people congregated at Isha Yoga Center at the foothills of Velliangiri on Sivaratri. Devotees turned up in droves from across the country and from the U.S., Germany, Lebanon and Singapore and the Isha Center came alive with night-long festivities. Founder Jaggi Vasudev started the celebrations by paying obeisance to the great yogic masters at the Dhyanalinga multi-religious shrine, followed by a discourse. At the stroke of midnight, he initiated the gathering into the sacred Maha Mantra meditation with the chant, `Om Namah Sivaya'. This was followed by the electrifying drums of Sounds of Isha. During the night, Jaggi Vasudev also launched the second album of Sounds of Isha, White Mountains, in the presence of Indu Jain, chairperson of Times Foundation and D.R.Karthikeyan, advisor, National Human Rights Commission and former director, CBI. Also launched were a series of Tamil booklets and CDs containing discourses by Jaggi Vasudev. The cultural programmes commenced with a concert by the Hindustani duo Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra, who had the crowd in raptures with their soulful performance. The brothers, exponents of the Benaras vocal gharana, began the concert with an invocation to Lord Siva. The concert was enhanced by the harmonium of Mahmood Dhaulpuri and the tabla of young Akram Khan.Next was the turn of Mandolin U. Srinivas and U. Rajesh, and percussionist Pete Lockett, who created magic with their music. Jasbir Jassi, Punjabi pop star of `Dil Leh Gayee Kudi Gujarat Di' fame, was a crowd pleaser. After a slew of peppy numbers, he moved on to more soulful songs, much to the delight of the audience. SUBHA J. RAO



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