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Gate Gate Paragate

Ravi played the sitar and
George's guitar wept....

I am not fond of farewells nor
of passages in and out of worlds
I barely know. There are hands
that hold the loam of fecund earth, there is sunshine
in the pockets of those amoung us, rising.
Rising again. Again.
In music, there can be no believers,
There are no earth-bound hostages in its


I want to free myself from the shackles of
polite society, from the dredges of a world
mired by the addled mind. Do not give
me another song. The days are colder now,
and the distance shadows walk to reach the
gateless gate are better
left unsung. Or unheard.
I don't know which.


Last few words: 
Gate Gate Paragate's meaning is gone gone....beyond. Ravi Shankar died.
Editing stage: 


Ah Ravi Shankar,
we sat beside the fire watching the flames flicker;
Yehudi Menuhin had invited Ravi Shankar to the Edinburgh Festival in 1964 or so.
"The Alap and Ghat in the Raga Sindu Bjaravi," was his piece,
well part of it, as it should take all night to be complete.

The audience listened to this unusual sound, we on the radio;
and entered into its spell, to become totally mesmerised by it,
as the subtle changes of rhythm that is typical of Indian Classical Music,
wound us into becoming the notes themselves,
it was a sensual absorption,
and when all of a sudden, as the climax was reached, breathless, listening,
Ravi, and his co musicians rounded off with two drum beats.

Silence fell and this continued for what seemed like several minutes,
and then all in one voice shouted, clapped
and probably stood up to dance out of their seats,
they had been so concentrated,
they hadn't come to the applause as quickly as usual.

That was something so exciting, that to this day,
it will remain one of my most exciting performances
of such music.

We sat silently absorbed, totally. Elation.

The Beetles may have copied,
or been inspired by this grand master,
but they are bland exponents
compared with him, in my opinion.

Hail to a master of the heart, mind and body.
Your followers, who learnt from you all the complicated
timings of your music, will carry your spirit on to the
next generations, and give us your love of life, through it.

" there is sunshine
in the pockets of those amoung us, rising.
Rising again. Again."
And it rises again, yes Anna.


P.S. I have since tried to regain a copy of this performance, even communicating with Ireland, where the BBC has their old archives, but to no avail. I had it on an old fashioned tape recorder, and this, tape plus the recorder itself (also tapes of my father long dead, etc) were stolen from my car in the street I lived in, in 1972. What is lost is lost, but its spirit lives in me for ever-in my lifetime!!!

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

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