Spirited Satsang @ Sunrise With Kabir Lovers!

Posted by Sheetal Sanghvi on Feb 2, 2013
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Shabnam Virmani, director of the Kabir Project was at The Urban Ashram this week along with her friends Vipul Rikhi, Gopal Singh Chouhan (manjiras) and Ajay Tipanya (dholak) to take us on a musical journey into the poetry of mystics like Kabir, Shah Latif, et al.

About 30 seekers gathered together at 6 am for an intimate early morning satsang, which began with an hour of silence. What made this silence gathering even more beautiful was the anticipation of the satsang that was to begin at 7 am.

When we closed the silence hour with ringing 3 bells; bright eyes, open hearts and quiet minds greeted the musicians as they started tuning their instruments. Shabnam said that she was hoping to get all of us to sing along with the musicians as well as share our feelings/ reflections/ interpretations of the songs.. And participate we sure did!!

Mystical poetry comes layered with many hidden messages and pointers for a seeker to discover the inner truth. Shabnam has an amazing gift, whereby she can interpret this poetry to make it applicable and understandable to the journey of an urban seeker.

Some songs evoked deep stillness and silent contemplation, while some like the popular "Mat kar maya ko ahankar" had all 30 of us playfully and joyfully clap and sing along.



After every song, we would take a few minutes to share what the music was invoking (and evoking) in us. Shabnam kept all of us engaged with her thought provoking questions and interpretations and we experienced multi dimensional perspectives in every song.

An older gentleman visiting from Princeton, USA shared "In such gatherings, my chattering mind quietens down, and I am able to see my inner truth more clearly!"

Another lady shared "I am feeling all the scattered parts of my being come together with your songs. I am experiencing a deeper acceptance of all parts of me, whether good, bad or ugly!".




Later in the day, as we visited our favorite store in Pune named Either Or, the Universe delighted us yet again as conditions ripened for a spontaneous little satsang right in the middle of the shop. As we were waiting for the others to finish shopping, I requested Vipul to share the tune of "Hove Re", a beautiful song that he learnt from Mahesha Ram, a folk singer from Rajasthan.

As he started singing, one by one all the others in the shop dropped whatever it was that they were doing and soon Shabnam and Gopal (sans manjira) pitched in to give us musical support. There was a beautiful energy all around the space with beaming smiles on everyone's faces. Love these little surprises that the Universe keeps throwing our way and deeply grateful for the same!

Before leaving Pune, Shabnam gifted me a 4 DVD set of her now iconic Kabir Project. The very same evening, a lady from the office of Rev. Dada Vaswani, calls me wondering if I had a set of these Kabir documentaries. Dada had heard about these movies recently and was keen to watch them!!

I smiled and said yes, and the lady said she would send someone to pick up the DVD's right away. And that's how these DVD's found their new home the next morning. What a blessed opportunity it is to be an instrument of sharing what I love with someone I love.

As I conclude this note, all I can intuit is a universal circle of "give. receive. dance" in which I am happy to "be"!

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Comments (3)

  • Snehal wrote ...

    Thank you for the wonderful experience with Shabnam and her team .To share my experience for the other day I just thought of writing a few lines:

    "The dhol ,the taal ,the strings that triggered the chord ,
    The words of maya , of kaya,of the seeking wanderer on the road that is odd.
    Their deep voices hinting to dance in the silence ,
    Reminding of kabiras presence in every ,absence.
    With every "kahe kabir suno bhai sadho"..they sang ,my dear
    let yourself bloom like the lotus, shining in the waters not so clear."

  • Neha wrote ...

    My heart is jumping with joy after listening to Shabnam's intense voice. Sitting right in front of her, getting tuned with her divine and feeling the sacred in these Bhajans, I believe a shift has happened in me with my awareness. I feel the flow within me being connected to divine. How beautifully Shabnam explained that we even renunciates who have left it all behind, carry a subtle form of ego which also needs to be renounced. Feeling deep gratitude for all these realizations!

  • Afreen wrote ...

    Wow! I have watched Shabnam's documentaries and am a fan - so reading this post made me smile just wider and wider. It's like an endless series of beautiful moments flowing one after the other... thanks so much for taking the time to share this Khush :)