Ravi Shankar died earlier today at the age of 92. He had been suffering from upper respiratory and heart problems and had undergone heart-valve replacement surgery last week. He died in a hospital near his home in Southern California.
Ravi Shankar was a musician that not only introduced many of us to new sounds but also to a new kind of consciousness, a state of mind and heart in which music clearly revealed its spiritual nature.
Rumi wrote “we rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.” Ravi Shankar brought the “inward music” outward and suffused popular culture with his sweet celestial sound and in it we found that part of ourselves that was dancing, now and forever.
In celebration of the beauty of Ravi Shankar’s life and influence, here is an excerpt from his historic and groundbreaking performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. The audience’s ovation at the end of his four hour set says it all: this truly was a moment for the ages.
The clip is from D.A. Pennebaker’s Monterey Pop.