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Shivaratri music celebration Feb. 28 at Polestar Gardens

A joint presentation of the Indian Classical Music Circle and Polestar Gardens — Shivaratri Music Sadhana — will be presented 7 a.m.-midnight Friday, Feb. 28, at Polestar Gardens at 7 Noni Farm Road in Pahoa.

The event will feature sarangi master Parashuram Bhandari of Nepal and friends in continuous 12-hour devotional vocal, kirtan and instrumental offerings on this auspicious day of Shivaratri.

From 6 p.m.-midnight, there will be kirtan, stories and meditation on the east lanai with the Polestar community, Robinette &Amy and others. Maha Shivratri marks one of the most auspicious days in the Vedic spiritual calendar, the day affectionately celebrated by devotees of Shiva. Shiva is the lord of meditation and the guardian of all spiritual seekers across the world.

It is believed his consciousness is awakened to unparalleled levels on this festive occasion, and his heightened sense of elevation reverberates around the entire universe. Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava dance. Devotees observe a fast and offer fruits, flowers, bael leaves and music. Sadhana means long practice. This is an opportunity for many talented and dedicated musicians to offer a recital of classical Indian music and kirtan.

Kirtan is the group chanting of sacred names and sounds in Sanskrit and English accompanied by harmonium or guitar. Parashuram Bhandari is a revered and well-lauded Nepali master of the sarangi (a strange and ancient relative of the violin) performing for more than 25 years. He hails from the former Kingdom of Nepal. His music ranges from the wildly exuberant to the hauntingly delicate.

The sarangi is an instrument with a cello-like timbre, bowed on three melody strings, with thirty-six sympathetic strings underneath.

Other musicians and singers who will be making offerings are Laura Acevedo (guitar), Babette Ackin (sarangi and tanpura,) Doug Fox (bansuri flute), Dakshina Godbole (mantra), James Grazzini (kirtan), Laurie Kallis (veena Hawaiian slide guitar), Steven Ryan (banjo) and Shanti Shivani (Dhrupad vocals). Parashuram will also accompany on tabla drums.

Donations are appreciated. For information, see or email


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