Thursday, February 2, 2012

Musical fusion marks end of Buddha fest

Musical fusion marks end of Buddha fest

Times of India,
Barkha Mathur, TNN | Jan 30, 2012, 03.56AM IST

NAGPUR: A slight nip in the air, cool breeze and a giant Buddha statue under the open sky provided a perfect setting for the Buddha Festival underway at the Deekshabhoomi for the last four days. Organised by Nagpur Buddhist Centre, a unit of Triratana Boudh Mahasangh, the event was organised to promote Buddhist thought and culture. During its four day duration, the festival received more than 50,000 footfalls.

Inaugurated by actor Deepti Naval on January 26, the festival showcased Buddhist art, culture and heritage through photo exhibitions and art work related to Buddhist thought, relics and architecture from around the world. Workshops on meditation and lectures on Buddhist way of life gave a first hand experience of the religion to the participants. Programmes of dance and music also propagated its cultural aspect.

On the concluding day on Sunday, a fusion of Indian and western vocal and instrumental music presented by Surmani Pt Prabhakar Dhakde and his group provided a befitting finale. The drum beats and the strains of sitar and flute mixed and matched with the vocals which were thematic songs on the lives of Lord Buddha and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Stating the significance of such an event, Maitraveer Nagarjun, spokesperson for the festival, said, “There has been a decline in the understanding and practice of Buddhism in modern society. But its teachings are more relevant to our times. They are essential to bring about peace and harmony. So we organised this festival to revive the thought and to promote it amongst the younger generation. We had speakers like Bhikuni Baudhichita and Bhiku Dhamdata from Australia as well Dhamchari Achal and Bhiku Chandima from Uttar Pradesh who explained the importance of sacrifice, compassion and the need for a classless society to the audience.”

The meditation sessions and lectures introduced the participants to the richness of Buddhist thought. We had invited Deepti Naval as her photography work in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh has Buddhism as its underlying theme and speak of Buddhist practices.”

It was befitting the occasion that a 30-foot high statue of Lord Buddha, carved out of thermocol and other material, provided backdrop to the festival. The stage too had Buddhist images carved on it. Both the statue and the stage were designed by city artist Digambar Bagde.


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