Shirdi Music Experience (Kaasi)
Last year in fall of 2016, I had the amazing privilege of being able to sing with my friends and band mates in Shirdi, India, at the mahasamadhi of Shirdi Sai Baba. His tomb was literally about 40 feet from where we were playing on the stage- it was quite surreal.
Before this, I had never played music in front of as many people as I had played and sang in front of that night in Shirdi. I was a bit nervous about this, but maintained a positive outlook and saw it as a great opportunity to use music in a great way, while having a divine experience of being a channel for positive energy and the uplifting of other souls.
The reality, though, was that in the moment of being onstage, the nervousness really lasted only a couple minutes. Being there on the stage, using music in the way that I was always meant to use it, and seeing thousands of people going by all worshipping Baba, I felt completely at home. No matter how many years I’ve been playing music, I still get tense even if I play for 3 people. Playing in Shirdi was a miracle in the sense that Baba’s energy, and the experience of playing in front of thousands of Baba devotees, made it possible for me to completely let go of my character defects and merge with the experience of something bigger than myself. That night will always stand out to me in this way.
There was a sense of unity with the other band members in this experience also. There was a lightness about it and a general happiness that was shared between all of us I felt, not to mention there was just a sense of fun also about playing in India in Shirdi, and sharing that with one another as a kind of first time experience. I was playing a guitar that was borrowed, and the strings were probably 5 years old (another opportunity for my mind to make a stress for me- “oh my God, how is the guitar going to stay in tune…am I going to break a string…??”) miraculously, again, the guitar sounded perfect for the entire performance, and I don’t think it ever went out of tune. Guitar players know that once strings get past a certain point, they are impossible to keep in tune and break easily; obviously, Baba wasn’t concerned about it one bit and he took complete care of that.
It was an all around beautiful experience for me. I got to see the faces of a lot of the Indian devotees after the concert as well, and how appreciative they were, how much it opened their hearts, and I felt that in turn also. The experience stayed with me for a long time afterwards, and is still with me now when I recall it.
I am grateful for the opportunity to share this experience, as I feel the energy of that night’s experience coming again even as I have been writing this. I hope those reading feel it too.
Kaasi, United States