Becoming a Shagird of Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan

The heart of our ancient system, known as the guru-shishya-parampara - the continuity of musical tradition from master to disciple - can be found in 3 simple words, guru, vinaya and sadhana..."  excerpt from My Music, My Life by Pandit Ravi Shanker.

Most people understand that "guru" means master or spiritual teacher where in essence this individual personifies the divine on earth.  This representation places great importance on this person and therefore a student's choice of his/her guru must not be taken lightly.

Pani piye chhanke
Guru banaye janke

One of Ustadji's favorite sayings explains this idea very well.  It means one should only drink water after it has been filtered or in other words, only drink if you are sure it is safe. Similarly, a student should only take a guru once they are perfectly sure that they are able to put their entire faith or trust in this individual.

Becoming a shagird is no easy journey.  The first stage involves vinaya meaning humility.  Here the guru tests the student's sincerity or devotion but more so, his or her obedience and trust in the guru to guide them throughout their musical journey.  During this period, the guru can see in what direction the student tends to gravitate discouraging him or her if the path does not fit.

 "The trial period may be seen as a rite of passage in which the old self is abandoned in order to allow the new self to emerge....

"...Only after this initial period, does the student or shishya undergo a formal ceremony to become "tied" to his or her guru.  At this time, he/she becomes a khas shagird, a genuine, fully accepted disciple."  excerpt from The Life of Music in North India: The Organization of an Artistic Tradition by Daniel M. Neuman

This past shibir in Phoenix, three SPK Academy students, Mukesh, Alpa and Radhikha, chose their guru and underwent the nara ceremony to become shagirds of Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan.

Please join us in congratulating them on this monumental step along their musical journey. Congratulations!