“Jaati na poochho sadhu ki
Poochh lijiye gyaan,
Mol karo talvar ka
Pada rahan do mayan”
The saint’s caste or lineage is not what you should concern yourself with; worry about his vast reservoir of knowledge. Is the sharpness of the sword more important than the fanciness of its sheath?
Almost in celebration of this philosophy of inclusiveness that revered mystic-poet Kabir preached and practiced throughout his life, the iconic Shivala and Guleria Ghats of Varanasi reverberated with soulful strains of music with the 4th edition of the Mahindra Kabira Festival.
From November 22-24, the rugged riverbanks of Varanasi played the perfect host to historic melodies by leading artistes, heritage walks down mysterious city alleys, literary talks and discourses, dreamy boat rides on a timeless river, and local food tastings that are intrinsic to the city’s ancient culinary traditions.
Jay Shah, Vice President, Head - Cultural Outreach, Mahindra Group, said “The ethos of the Mahindra Group centers around bringing about a positive change in the lives of the people and communities we engage with through our businesses and initiatives. In addition to this, respect for the dignity of the individual is one of our most important core values. The Mahindra Kabira Festival helps us further these ideas and reinforces our commitment to the arts.”
As the first rays of the sun touched the sky turning it orange, the two-day event began with stirring musical performances by renowned sitar-player Neeraj Mishra and Delhi-based Hindustani classical vocalist Ujwal Nagar. Perfectly accompanying the serenity of the early morning at the ghats, the waft of sitar and notes of Bhajan gave way to literary sessions in the afternoon that delved on rational spirituality and if Kabir helps us articulate it.