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Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation

 Present in this special event are Durga Jasraj ji, Shaarangdev Pandit ji, Neeraj Jaitly ji, co-founder of Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation, all the musicians and artists of the country and the world, ladies and gentlemen!

Music, ‘sura’ and ‘svara’ are considered immortal in our country. It is said that the energy of ‘svara’, as well as its effect, is also immortal. Therefore, the eminent soul, who has lived music throughout his life and that has been echoing in every particle of his existence, remains immortal in the energy and consciousness of the Universe even after leaving the body.

The performances by musicians and artists in this program and the way Pandit Jasraj ji’s ‘sura’ is echoing here gives an impression that Pandit Jasraj ji is present with us in this consciousness of music.

I am glad that all of you are carrying forward his classical legacy and preserving it for generations and centuries to come. Today is also the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Pandit Jasraj ji. Today, I congratulate all of you on this innovative initiative of establishing Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation. I especially extend my best wishes to Durga Jasraj ji and Pandit Shaarangdev ji for taking upon the responsibility to dedicate your father's inspiration, his penance, to the entire world. I too have had the privilege of meeting and listening to Pandit Jasraj ji many times.

Friends,

Music is a very complex subject. I am not very well-versed with it, but the comprehensive knowledge that our sages have given about ‘svara’ and ‘naada” is amazing in itself. It is written in our Sanskrit texts -

नाद रूपः स्मृतो ब्रह्मा, नाद रूपो जनार्दनः।

नाद रूपः पारा शक्तिः, नाद रूपो महेश्वरः॥

That is, the forces that give birth to the Universe and maintain and govern it are the forms of sound. This ability to feel the cosmic energy and ability to see music in the flow of the universe is what makes Indian classical music tradition so exceptional. Music is a medium that also makes us aware of our worldly duties and it also helps us transcend worldly attachments. What is so special about music is that it resonates till infinity even though you can’t touch it.

I am told that the primary objective of the Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation will be to protect, develop and promote India's national heritage, art and culture. I am glad to know that this foundation will support the budding artists and will also try to make them financially capable. You are also considering promoting education and research in the field of music through this foundation. I believe that this initiative and the roadmap that you have formulated for a great personality like Pandit Jasraj ji is a big tribute in itself. And I would also say that now is the time for his disciples to give ‘Gurudakshina’.

Friends,

Today we are meeting at a time when technology has penetrated a lot in the world of music. I urge this cultural foundation to focus on two things. We hear about globalization quite often, but it is largely centered around the economy. It is our responsibility that Indian music should also make its global identity and create its impact globally in today’s era of globalization.

Indian music has the power to stir the depths of the human mind. Simultaneously, it also emphasizes the experience of the oneness of nature and the divine. Similarly with International Yoga Day! Yoga has emerged as a kind of spontaneous existence all over the world. It has been observed that the entire human race, the entire world has benefited from this heritage of India. Every human being in the world deserves to know, understand, learn and benefit from Indian music. It is our duty to fulfill this sacred exercise.

My second suggestion is that when the impact of technology is in every sphere of life then there should be a revolution of technology and IT in the field of music too. There should be start-ups in India that are completely dedicated to music, musical instruments and musical traditions. A lot needs to be done on how to equip the sacred streams of Indian music, such as the Ganges, with modern technology. While the ‘Guru-shishya’ tradition should remain intact, there should be attempts to become a global power and there should be value addition through technology.

Friends,

At the core of the knowledge and philosophy of India, our thoughts, ethics, culture and music is the spirit of service to humanity which fuels consciousness in all of us for centuries. The desire for the welfare of the entire world is clearly manifested in it. Therefore, the more we promote India and its traditions and identity, the more opportunities we will create to serve humanity. This is the intention and mantra of India today.

Today we are reviving our art and culture centers like Kashi. Our faith in environmental protection and love for nature is showing the world the way to a secure future. ‘Sabka Prayas’ (effort of all) should be involved in this journey which India has embarked on the mantra of heritage along with development.

I am sure the Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation will attain new heights of success with the active contribution of all of you. This foundation will become an important medium for service towards music and ‘sadhana’ and for the fulfillment of our resolutions towards the country.

With this belief, thank you very much and many best wishes for this new endeavour!

Thanks!

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.

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