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Vikram Hazra brings his brand of spiritualism to Adelaide, SUNILA VIG reports
Vikram Hazra, one of India’s leading devotional singers, was in Adelaide recently. He performed on 16 May at the Plympton Community Centre in a show organised by the Art of Living, Adelaide.
A man with ready humour, he laughed and exchanged pleasant banter with the audience and the full hall soon resounded with a heavenly harmony. As he began to sing, he wielded his electric guitar as if it were an extension of him.
The hall had roughly 250 people and packed, with people even sitting on the floor right in front.
He began with a Sanskrit chant on Lord Shiva, written by Divya Prabha of Nova Scotia. Divine vibrations filled the atmosphere and bathed the listeners in a clean spring flowing somewhere in Mount Kailasa.
Vikram got the non-Indian audience comfortable by letting them know that not many in the audience understood Sanskrit anyway.
He travelled the rural parts of India when possible, gathering music and lyrics that had been passed down the generations. These he then practiced and imbibed and carried them all over the world with him. No less than twelve albums have resulted, and Vikram has seemingly toured up to 47 countries.
It was fascinating to hear him sing an old song from Assam, in a language none of the audience had heard of, Brojaboli.
Another favourite of mine was composed by renowned poet-saint Kabirdas’s student Dharamdas. A beautiful soulful rendition, the rural lilt and Vikram’s complete voice made it even more uplifting. The lyrics were of a young woman searching for a groom, a metaphor for the individual soul yearning for the Divine. The tale of her incessant search, finding the groom and reaching the bliss of being united, lifted the audience as one being, high above the physical realm.
Some lead-and-follow bhajans came on next, and these were unabashedly and loudly sung by most of the audience.
Sri Krishna and Guru Nanak Dev songs mesmerized all and drew participation, with following of the chorus parts. A few more songs and a question and answer session later the evening drew to a close.
A writer, philosopher, social activist, corporate trainer and a media producer, Vikram certainly knows how to reach out to people.
An anecdote he recounted when he first met the spiritual master Sri Sri Ravishankar was memorable. Sri sri once asked him, a student of Quantum physics, what the crux of the discipline is. Vikram answered shakily, “Matter and energy are interconvertible.” Sri sri was pleased with the answer, he said.
Another thing that Vikram said strongly resonated with me as a practitioner and teacher of meditation. “Meditation is a gift every human being needs to give him or her self.” So true, and so important.
Much of the work of Vikram and his actress wife Tina Parekh are devoted to their Guru, spreading peace and love in the world.
We had a very special guest for the evening, namely Shri Dhaya Bhai Shastri Ji (Dada Ji), Padma Shree Awardee 2016, who sat straight in his chair in front at 91 years, seeming happy and keen to be present for the experience. He is the pioneer of Brahmarshi Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya in Gujrat and has devoted his whole life for ‘Sanskrit’ and ‘Sanskriti’ (language and culture).