Some of the memorable
performance during the last so many years are still fresh and alive in the
minds of the listeners even to this day.
It is said that when Shri Bala
Guru Ji was singing 'Hari hari daliyan-hari-hari
the listeners saw green garden laid with flowers and fruits before their
In the year 1911 -Shri Ganga
Dhar Datarya was singing a Bhajan 'Sudama Mandir Dekh Daree. The Bhajan was
so captivating that even after the end of the recital the tabla player
continued playing tabla and the listeners also felt as if the recitations
were still in progress. It was only Pandit Tolo Ram's announcement which
broke the trance of the audience.
In the year 1913 Pandit Vishnu
Digamber sang a Bhajan in Rag Bahar; the words were "Na Baba Chorun Ram
Nam". All of a sudden it started raining heavily. But the magic of music had
already done its work. The devotees were completely possessed. They felt the
rain by touching their wet
clothes only after the end of
Yet on another occasion Pandit
Vishnu Digamber was singing in his unique style. His controlled and
disciplined voice charged the atmosphere with thunder-Iike vibrations. 'Kunwar'
Maharaj of Kapurthala was sleeping in his palace in the Bikrampora (Near
Devi Talab). The thunderous voice of Pandit Vishnu Digamber woke up the
sleeping 'Kunwar Maharaj', he actually felt as if there was a cloud-burst.
He called his attendent and came to know from him that perhaps Pandit Vishnu
Digamber was singing and soon the 'Kunwar Maharaj' was sitting in the Pandal.
Mahatma Gandhi, the father of
the nation had a great respect for Pandit Vishnu Digamber. Mahatma Ji
accompanied Pandit Vishnu Digamber in the Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan
in the year 1919. His presence honoured the Sammelan.
It was decided that three
artists namely: Pandit Bhaskar Rao, Pandit Ram Krishna Bua and Pandit
Krishna Rao will present their items during Mahatma Gandhi's stay in the
pandal. But rousing welcome to Gandhi Ji enroute from Amritsar to Jalandhar
delayed his arrival in the pandal. Gauging the situation and the paucity of
time, all the three great artists made a joint presentation starting with a
bhajan in Raag Khamaaj- "Ram Bhajan Ko Diya Kamal Mukh..." Mahatma
Gandhi was overwhelmed at this unique presentation.
Baba Harivallabh Sangeet
Sammelan of 1919 will be remembered for all times to come. Pandit Vishnu
Digamber exhibited the remarkable feat of his divine talent. When he brought
sound from the center of naval, the listeners present in the Pandal
experienced the feeling of an earth quake, it frightened them, consequently
they rose from their seats and to their utter amazement they realized that
it was the effect of the 'Swar'.
In 1922, Imam Abdin of Gwalior
was singing a composition the words of which were 'Raja Ram, Siya Maharani.
He raised his voice in 'Aantra' to such a high pitch that the listeners
became awe- stricken and the singer also became unconscious.
Pandit Vishnu Digamber always
sang the national song 'Vande Matram' at the end of last sitting of the
Sammelan even in the British Raj.
Once Kale Khan, the famous
court-singer of Maharaja
Kashmir, was giving his recital. His rendering was remarkable. Pandit Vishnu
Digamber was requested to sing after Kale Khan. Pandit Vishnu Digamber,
modest as he was, said "Gana to ab ho
Unwillingly, Kale Khan happened to remark, "Gayen to Dekhen" (let us see how
you sing). This provoked Pandit Vishnu Digamber who immediately started
singing 'Bansury tu kahe Guman Bhari'
He exhorted Kale Khan to sit with him but he failed even to raise "aantra"
with the Master.
Pandit Omkar Nath Thakur would
never charge anything for his performance, instead he used to say that he
came to the Samadhi out of sheer devotion. He would only accept the one side
fare from Jullundur to Bombay and that too because it was in keeping with
Indian tradition of paying the guest the return fare.
Baba Harivallabh Sangeet
Sammelan enjoyed the patronage of the Maharajas of Kapurthala, Patiala and
Kashmir. Maharaja of Kapurthala always attended the Sammelan.
In the olden times, no
invitation cards used to be printed. December 26-29 used to be the dates
fixed for the Shree Baba Harivallabh sangeet sammelan. The artists, the music
lovers, the donors, everybody knew about these dates. These dates were
published even in the 'Panchang' under the heading -Important Festivals of
Northen India. The grand tradition of this Sammelan inspired people of
Amritsar, Rahon, Hoshiarpur and other places to hold such music festivals.
Only vocal artists attended
the Sammelan upto the year 1929. Vichitter Veena was introduced in the
Harivallabh stage by Mian Abdul Aziz of Patiala Gharana. Sitar by Ravi
Shankar, sarod by Amjad Khan and flute by Shri Panna Lal Ghosh.
Shree Baba Harivallabh Sangeet
Mahasabha celebrated the centenary celebrations in the year 1977 in its
101st session. The celebrations lasted for nine days. The music lovers can
never forget this centenary celebration function for the reason that they
had the occasion to listen to a galaxy of musicians and singers. The
prominent participants were Pandit Ravi Shanker, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad
Munawar Ali Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pt. Jasraj, Sh. Rasik Lal Andheria,
Ustad Imrat Khan, Pt.
Kumar Gandharva, Ustad Zakir
Hussain, Ustad Sabri Khan, Pt.
Hari Parshad Chaurasia,
Sh. Anant Lal and Party, Sh. Samta Parshad and many more.
On this centenary
celebration function, the Mahasabha decided to hold a Sangeet Pratiyogita
every year for students so that they may be able to display their talents
: Mrs. Promila Dada & Mr. Rakesh Dada
out of the books