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Daler Mehndi sings Aarti in Raag Dhanasri, Raag Prabhati and Raag Sorath


Tribune Web Desk

Chandigarh, November 22

To a five-year-old Daler Mehndi, ‘Aarti’ was a magical friend, which could make him visualise a sky full of billions of twinkling stars. Decades later, connecting to his spiritual side, Punjabi pop icon Daler Mehndi has brought to life his imagination in a unique format that’s close to his heart. He has sung Aarti in a musical pathway across three ragas — Raag Dhanasri, Raag Prabhati and Raag Sorath. Calling it a gift from Baba Nanak, it came to him while working on Aarti after 5 months of study and one month in the studio.

The singer says it’s the first time in the history of Gurbani singing that Aarti has been sung in all three Ragas together.

For Mehndi, Guru Nanak is breath, music, poetry, light, wisdom, birth, death and the journey beyond to me. “I am overwhelmed with love and deep gratitude to Guru Nanak ji for blessing me with this musical brilliance of the new epic marriage of Dhanasri with Prabhati and Sorath. It took me months of reading the exalted shabads of Guru sahab and the Bhagats in the Aarti and a month of work in the studio thereafter,” he said.

Reminding us of when Rabindranath Tagore called Guru Nanak’s Aarti a composition of universal anthem for humanity, Mehndi talks about how he has sung the Aarti before, but this one he says is unique, “for it is the confluence and progression of these Ragas.”

Coming to the chronology of the Ragas in the Aarti, first is Raag Dhanashri, representing wealth and abundance, followed by Prabhati (the daybreak or awakening) becoming cognisant of this true wealth – the Naam, and then back to Dhanashri. It is then followed by Sorath, the notes of which serve a reminder deep within of something important.

“Aarti to me has been and is a very immersive experience, the sounds used, the conch calls, the naad of the universe, together it is a prayer of celebration, of subjugation … not a blind surrender, but a wakeful one,” Daler Mehndi says.

Here’s Daler Mehndi’s latest rendition of ‘Aarti’:

The Aarti is authored by Guru Nanak Ji and the shabad extends to the prayer offerings authored by Bhagat Ravidas, Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Dhanna, Bhagat Sain culminating with Guru Gobind Singh’s words, who seals it with a prayer to the creator.

Aarti is available on Apple Music Store, YouTube, Hungama, and JioSaavn.

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