“When the Heart Sings, the Divine Dances.” The Art of Living and MARG Brindavan organize a megaperformance of Carnatic music with great success.
Chennai. January 30.2011: Filling the night sky, the sound of 5700 Carnatic music singers’ voices resonated in unison on Sunday, January 30th 2011 at south Chennai’s Sri Ram Gateway. Attendees at “Naadha Vaibhavam” witnessed the sheer power of music to transcend boundaries and express the voice of humanity as one. This ancient Carnatic musical tradition found renewed vigor when over one lakh participants sang ‘Krishnam Vandhe’ together. The event, organized by The Art of Living and MARG Brindavan, is expected to gain entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the 'World’s Largest Choir.'
On a majestically adorned stage at the foot of forested hilltops, renowned Carnatic vocalist Ms.Gayathri Asokan led the singers in an expression of the flowering of the heart. Youth as young as 10 years sang alongside learned maestro musicians in front of a massive audience spanning the length and width of the vast grounds. Making classical music accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds was the primary goal of the organizers of the first Naadha Vaibhavam.
Participants and audience members alike were brought toward a heightened consciousness through this music that celebrated devotion to the Divine. This performance was blessed by the presence of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who led the audience in a meditation session during his talk. “Music binds all of us,” Sri Sri said on Sunday. “It is one power that unites all others through Love. Music touches the hearts of everyone. Just as we learn swimming, we also need to practice to sing.”
Leading musician G.S.Mani commented, “We have never seen or participated in a mass event like this. Sri Sri Ravishankar has given us this chance. ...Where it is difficult to sing with 5 or 6 people,we have sung with 5700 people. ...Music is most convenient means to reach the divine and we did that here.”
Ten renowned Carnatic music vidwans presided over the choir. These were Shri. T.K. Govinda Rao, Shri. P.S. Narayanaswamy, Shri. Alleppey Venkatesan, Shri. G S Mani, Shri. O S Tyagarajan, Shri. Trichur Ramachandran, Shri. B Krishnamurthy, Smt. Suguna Varadhachari, Smt. Suguna Purushotham, and Smt. Charumathi Ramachandran.
During the event, five outstanding social workers were honoured with the Heroes of Humanity Award by H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for their exemplary service to society. These were Mr. M. Murali, Managing Director – Sri Krishna Sweets, Chennai, Mr. R. Elango, Managing Trustee, Trust for Village Self Governance, Kuthambakkam, Dr. R D Ravindran, Chairman – Aravind Eye Care Hospitals, Madurai, Dhan Foundation, Madurai & Mr. N. Krishnan, Managing Trustee – Akshaya’s Helping in H.E.L.P. Trust, Madurai. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar noted the selfless acts of the award recipients. “What should we all do in our life? ...Let’s all take a vow to reduce our needs and increase our responsibilities.”
Commenting on the occasion, Ms. Akhila Srinivasan, Tamil Nadu State President for The Art of Living and Managing Director of Shriram Life Insurance Co. Ltd., said,Shriram “We are all extremely excited by overwhelming response from the audience across cities towards Naadha Vaibhavam. I would like to thank H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for giving us the opportunity to organize, witness and participate in this first-of-its-kind prestigious event. I also extend my thanks to Marg, all the sponsors, our media friends and the spectacular audience for making this event such a grand success.”
Ms. Srinivasan added, “The event has achieved the objective with which it was conceived, to honour and showcase the rich, musical tradition of Chennai. The enthusiastic participation of musicians from all over the country is a beacon of light that our culture and tradition is bound to grow, breaking through all social, geographic and economic backgrounds.”
In addition to MARG, many of India’s well known business institutions have come together to support this exclusive event in association with The Art of Living, namely, Shriram Capital and Venture Lighting are Platinum Co sponsors; India Cements, Nalli, Larsen & Toubro, Chennai Silks as Gold Co-Sponsors and Apollo Hospitals as Silver co-sponsor. Naadha Vaibhavam is going to be Art of Living's 6th Guinness World Record. The Art of Living had earlier entered the Guinness Book of World Records with the following:
- Annam Brahma, the world’s largest vegetarian buffet with 5612 dishes an Ahmedabad, Gujarat
- Antarnaad, the world largest sing-along with 104637 people singing Vande Mataram in Pune, Maharashtra
- Brahm Naad, the world’s largest sitar ensemble consisting 1094 participants in NCR, Delhi
- Mehran De Rang, the world’s largest bhangra dance of 2,100 participants in Ludhiana, Punjab
- 1200 Mohiniyattam dancers performing together on one stage in Cochin, Kerala
The Art of Living continues in its constant endeavor to promote Indian art and culture. This event is yet another milestone to its portfolio. In the coming years, the organization intends to bring more such events which highlight H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s vision of a violence-free, stress-free, and service-minded society, which no longer remains a utopian dream, but an achievable goal.