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Dr. Raja Shastri)
In the world of Indian
Classical Music, one story has been making rounds for more than 300
hundred years. The story goes as follows:
In the seventeenth
century, when the doyen of Gwalior School, Ustad Hassukhan had almost gone
blind due to old age, a young man in his twenties went to him late in the
evening. After the initial pleasantries, the young man told Hassukhan�s
aide that he was a disciple of one of the disciples of Hassukhan. On
hearing that, Hassukhan said to the young man: �Shakal Dikhao!� �
meaning �Show me your face.� The young man moved as close as possible
to Hassukhan, yet wondering how this blind octogenarian would be able to
see his face. To his surprise Hassukhan repeated: �Shakal dikhao!�
Utterly confused when the young man looked at the aide, he said: �Sing
what you have learned!� He didn�t understand what is the relation
between face and singing, but nevertheless sang a composition taught to
him by his Guru. When he finished singing, Hassukhan put his hand on young
man�s head and said: �Indeed, you have learnt from my disciple.� To
Hassukhan, the face of the young man or his identity, was his music!
This should explain in nutshell, the concept of the Guru-shishya parampara
in the Indian Culture. In ancient India, when a person completed twelve
years of age, he used to go to the Guru�s house and stay with him for
next twelve years acquiring the in-depth knowledge. Indian culture
believes that the Guru is next to God. (And even Gods had Gurus. Lord
Krishna stayed with his Guru Sandipani.) The Guru�s duty was not only to
teach the student a specific subject, but also develop the overall
personality of the student. The Guru was supposed to give his student a
character, versatility, confidence, strength and overall vision of life.
The ideal Guru was supposed to be the best friend of the student. He was
supposed to be � what we call today � a friend, philosopher and guide!
The life in the fast
lane today probably does not allow the Guru (and also the disciples) to
attain such relationship in the present days. But the fact remains that we
do find the glimpses of such relationship even today in the art field.
Wish it was in academic field too.
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