One Note Pitch Piper Man? Well that’s my live experience beyond imagination. Nevertheless I would like to share it with all the readers interested to know more about it. I was travelling to Yamuna Nagar in Haryana with some of the team members of SPIC MACAY (Society For The Promotion Of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst The Youth) in a car. Dr. Kiran Seth was sitting in the front left hand side next to the driver’s seat. I was sitting with Mrs. Suman Doonga. Abhishek and Divya were happy to be the seated at the back of the car (it was INNOVA). I was able to see Dr. Seth through the rear mirror of the car. It was wonderful to observe Dr. Kiran Seth fully absorbed in the yogic and meditation. He was a man with action and performed whatever he taught to others. He was spreading the message to the youth across the globe to promote the SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS, CULTURE, MUSIC, ARTS AND DANCE. According to him, this is the movement of the youth studying in various schools and colleges. The young students undergo the Orientation programme and understand the simple message of SPIC MACAY.
Various artists, musicians, dancers, film directors and any person involved in culture and tradition are invited and showcase their talents to the students. These events are organized in the form of VIRASATS-annual circuits of programmes across the country. There are workshop demonstrations wherein the performing artists visit the schools and colleges. With the help of their performances, they introduce the importance of the music and dance. There are GURUKUL SCHOLARSHIPS provided to the students wherein they are able to spend and stay with the great spiritual leaders and artists for a month. This provides them to interact with the great maestros directly and observe their life styles. The students get an awesome exposure to know the inner journey and progress received in the external world. There are workshops on Calligraphy and Handicrafts and these are simply fantastic for the students and they learn directly from the different artisans. There is a special screening of classical films and movies directed by the great individuals like Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Adoor Gopoal Krishnan, Ritwik Ghatak, Shyam Benegal, etc. for the students.
I was lost in my own thoughts. Mrs. Suman Doonga pointed towards something and this was my intermission for the next part of my experience for the rest of the day. Dr. Seth placed a spherical thing between his lips and took it out after few seconds. I thought that it was his breather machine (used by the asthma patients). However, I observed that he was behaving in the same manner and it was an oscillating action-place the spherical thing between the lips and take it out after fraction of seconds. Was he hungry? Was it part of the yogic exercises?
Meanwhile Mrs. Suman Doonga narrated her experience at the Pre-Play School started by Dr. Seth. It was called ARAMBHA PLAY SCHOOL. Nothing could be better than teaching small children and being in their company constantly-learning and teaching takes place simultaneously. She told me that he takes classes twice a week and spends his time with these kids. She also added with amusement that he teaches them only ONE NOTE OF THE INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC. This is “SA” (it is same as the note “DO” in the Western Music). Wow! I thought. I remembered my own lesson from PLATO’S REPUBLIC. This is a true vision of the great philosopher PLATO.
What’s this-Dr. Seth busy with his ritual and did not stop it. I checked out my cell phone to keep the track of the exact time and discovered that two hours are spent in the car. Still he was not disturbed and took a short nap. Mrs. Suman Doonga observed the same and started smiling at me. I was really curious to know why Dr. Seth was doing this continuously after a gap of few minutes. Is he suffering from some kind of illness? Was he addicted to something? Was he feeling hungry and munching the biscuits? Why was he behaving in a peculiar manner? Was it due to his age? I kept questioning to myself. I really wanted to know more about this behavior of Dr. Seth. I was taking my own time to question him. Thus, I was creating my own set of conjectures and questions -typical characteristic feature of a student of philosophy.
Ultimately I took the courage and asked him few questions. I bent down towards the front seat and saw that it was not a spherical BISCUIT. It was black in color and circular in shape. There were certain designs present on the both sides of the spherical disc and was placed firmly between the fingers of Dr. Seth. I asked him,” What is this Sir? Is it something useful for the yogic exercises?”. He took a deep breath and kept quiet for few seconds. He uttered,” It is a PITCH PIPE”. Further on he added on by placing it between his lips and I was able to hear a sound through it. He said, “This is SA Note. I am trying to focus on it”. I was simply zapped and simply looked at him with astonishment. I did not know what to question him and kept pondering on it. I was thinking -“SA NOTE”. He very humbly said,”I am trying to FOCUS ON this JUST ONE NOTE called SA”.
He continued with his side of the story. He is the disciple of Wasifuddin Dagar-the famous maestro in the Indian Classical Music. He was Dr. Seth to focus exactly on this ONE NOTE by practicing it at least for eight hours in a day. This practice would enable him to experience the “SA” NOTE and perceive it directly. Dr. Seth was practicing it for last 12 years and waiting to get the direct perception of it. This was indeed mystical to me. This refreshed my own memories of the METAPHYSICAL REALM of the CLAP OF THE SINGLE HAND in Zen Buddhism, perception of the ULTIMATE CONSCIOUSNESS, power behind the physical world, etc.
I was trying to decipher the hidden meaning behind those sentences narrated by Dr. Kiran Seth. The summary is the following:
- Try to focus only on one thing at a time.
- The regular practice would make the individual perfect in their endeavors of their daily life.
- Abhishek added on, “It is better to focus on the bird present in our hands rather than two in the bush”. To my astonishment, I replied back,” The bird in the hand might be killed or given the freedom to fly off. The birds in the bush might fly off due to the disturbance created from our end. However, the true and regular practice would be our own inner journey which cannot be stolen or given away to someone else. This is the real metaphorical bird for us. There is no need to fear that someone might rob us. It is our own consciousness and experience. No one can interfere in it. It stays with us till the death time. . We are able to share our experience with others”. Bingo-we were already experiencing the journey in our discussions too.
- Too many things in our hands would not lead us anywhere in our lives.
- There are 7 notes in our musical system. It is the regular practicing of exactly one note that one would be able to gain something rather than become a JACK OF ALL TRADES.
This is the important spiritual lesson learnt from my mentor Dr. Kiran Seth. This is the true understanding that I learnt from him in the car without any kind of classroom, book, boards, etc. I did not pay him any fees also. That’s the true lesson I learnt from THE ONE NOTE PITCH PIPER MAN.