Glimpses : The Sacred Art

The following account, told by Kismet Stam, gives us a glimpse of the attitude that Hazrat Inayat Khan held toward the art of music.

Murshid said, “Music in India is now considered an amusement.” Besides the qawwals*, who continue to consider their art to be sacred, there are very few nowadays who see in music something different from a pastime.

Murshid told how in Maula Bakhsh House there used to come two vina players, famous all over India for their marvellous art. They had the habit of practising all night long. And in order to be kept awake in case they might begin to nod and have a chance of falling asleep, they used to tie their hair with a rope to the ceiling.

Murshid said, “That is how formerly they acquired their wonderful skill.”

*Qawwals are musicians who sing and play at Dargahs, the shrines of holy people. The poetry they sing is spiritual and highly devotional.

2 Replies to “Glimpses : The Sacred Art”

  1. Bhakti Parkhurst

    Many years ago I told Murshid Hidayat that I’d started to play the piano again. He immediately replied,
    “How many hours a day do you practise?”
    My face must have said it all because Aziza chided Hidayat telling him I was only doing it for fun. I often think back to this to test the seriousness of my resolve.

    • Nawab Pasnak Post author

      Thank you, dear Bhakti – for those who might not know, Murshid Hidayat was himself a very accomplished violinist, who toured, in his early years, with a chamber quartet of international standing.


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