Practice of the art of music is an endeavour directed towards self-realisation. All endeavour irresistibly emanates from an inner urge, may it be obscure or evident. In the evolution of living beings from the beast to the perfect Guni, every individual represents a stage in the attainment of self-realisation.
The choice of the means for fulfilling this innate urge depends upon the individual's evolution and level of awareness. This explains the diversity of paths to self-realisation, which in the case of music may take the form of vocal music, instrumental music (such as sitar, sarangi, tabla, etc.), and the various styles of dance.
It is therefore not justifiable to discriminate between one path and another, for this is tantamount to criticism of the individual's state of evolution. The criterion of judgment, therefore, is not the attainment of the destiny, but the spirit behind the quest. The spiritual application of the endeavours to a particular form or style is like one of many roads terminating at the same destiny: self-realisation.
Ud. Shamshuddin Khan accompanying Ud. Abdul Kareem Khan
Ustad Shamshuddin Khan
Bombay Years -
In 1932, Taranath migrated to Bombay to study commercial art at the Sir J. J. School of Arts, where he eventually took a degree, and to join his Ustad, but met with disappointment. Shamsuddin Khan had accepted a staff position at All India Radio (AIR) which occupied him day and night, leaving no time for a student. However he promised to teach Taranath whenever he became free of his responsibilities to AIR. That was not to happen for seven years.
A Rupak Tal Chakradhar Gath composed by Ud. Ahmedjan Thirakwa, notated by Pt. Taranath in my lesson book.
Pt. Taranath Rao playing pakhawaj.
Pt. Taranath and his wife Sushila
(Guru-ji and Maami-ji).
Pt. Taranath with his nephews Shashi and Ravi Bellare.
Pt. Taranath performing in memory of his guru, Ud. Shamshuddin Khan.
Pt. Taranath, Ud. Papa Miya (son of Ud. Amir Hussain Khan), Pt. Nikhil Ghosh, Ud. Ahmedjan Thirakwa.
The preceding text is from Shri Jef Feldman's edition of Pt. Taranath's manuscript on Tabla: 'The Tabla Legacy of Taranath Rao - Pranava Tala Prajna' with additional material from the souvenir booklet for the Felicitation program for Pt. Taranath in Los Angeles, 1982, written by Jan Steward.
I have known Shri Taranath since 1945 when I lived in Bombay. He was at that time an excellent tabla and pakhavaj player. He accompanied me on tabla at that period to many of my sitar recitals. Then through the years he emphasized on teaching and became a great teacher of tabla and pakhavaj.
He had many outstanding tabla players as his students who were so attached to him as he taught them with such love and care. Apart from being a wonderful artist and teacher, he was a great friend and human being.