Raag Bhairavi by Ustad Rashid Khan
The world lost Ustad Rashid Khan this week. We lost a giant in classical music. His unforgettable voice, artistry, and legacy will live on inspiring millions.
We lost Padma Shri & Padma Bhushan, Ustad Rashid Khan this week.
I’m at a loss for words, so I’ll let the painting speak. This c.1610 watercolor (see below) shows Bhairavi imagined here as a ragini, worshipping Shiva by a lotus lake. Bhairavi / Bhavaani, the name, is one of the forms of Devi - “born of the burial ground”(1). At this time, I pray for grace and strength for his family, friends, and the community he built globally.
Bhairavi is also one of the favorites to end a classical baithak, so it’s a fitting Raag to pay homage to Ustadji, who is himself paying homage to Miya Tansen.
Here’s Ustad Rashid Khan singing one of Miya Tansen’s compositions in Bhairavi,
Jaya shaarda bhavaani Bhaarati
Vidya dani maha vakya vani devi dhyaven
sur nar muni mani
devi ko tribhuban jani jo
jaki man iccha soyi udaape
mangal budh dani gyan ko nidani
veena pustak dharni pratham devi dhyaven
tansen teri astuti gaayo
sapt sur teen gyan raag rang
lai aksar aave