The Optimist Citizen

A yatra to encapsulate Kabir for a new age

For the last 10 years, Malwa Kabir Yatra has been carrying musicians, listeners, travelers, seekers, nomads, old, young, rich and poor together at the same time, on the same path to inspire people from various demographic diversities.

Scooched in between thousands of people where boundaries of rich and poor seem to fade away, when consciousness deep dives into the subconscious and when happiness sees a new pinnacle – That is when you know you are witnessing something divine. This experience is emulated with the overwhelming annual Malwa Kabir Yatra. Travelling to different villages of Madhya Pradesh with musicians and artists from different regions, this yatra is a celebration of the teachings of Kabir.

The Yatra, held annually for 5 days, was started by renowned Kabir folk artist Prahlad Tipaniya. “My father has been organizing Satsangs (devotional music congregation) since the past 23 years in Luniyakhedi village, Ujjain district, Madhya Pradesh. Those satsangs attracted huge crowds. But, the idea of a yatra based Kabir performances came in when we were travelling in various cities of America. In 2010, we decided to start a similar journey and started the Malwa Kabir Yatra”, said Ajay Tipaniya, the organizer of the Yatra.

Malwa Kabir Yatra carries musicians, listeners, travelers, seekers, nomads, old, young, rich and poor together at the same time, on the same path to inspire people from different demographic diversities; making Kabir Panth itself a religion of the people from marginalized sections of society.

Even after more than 600 years of existence, Ajay Tipaniya finds the teachings of Kabir relevant for today’s generation. For him, “truth is similar to all and the teachings of Kabir are not limited to any religion. Thus, truth can reach the youth through the teachings of Kabir”. In a world full of concerts, he finds the Yatra an attraction to the youth with artists coming from Bengal, Rajasthan and Gujarat performing together on one platform. Not only do the teachings of Kabir reach people, it also creates a platform for social discussions and discourses.

For Abha, a volunteer and an ex-participant from Indore, the Yatra had been an enriching experience. Spending 24 hours with the musicians from different parts and to be a part of their practice sessions has been a divine experience for her. “With more than 1000 people, the spectacle of self-discipline is interesting. Detached from metropolitan fringed , Kabir’s Dohe, the devotion of the Tipaniya family and the rustic surroundings makes one believe in love, devotion and empathy”, she added. To Abha, “the experience of being a part of the Yatra was out of the world from which I didn’t want to return”. Talking about the celebrities who perform there, she found them down to Earth and also found it enlightening to watch the bond of a teacher and disciple.

She also thinks it is an interesting experience of learning a discipline for today’s young generation. To name a few, the Yatra allows people from all aspects of the society to their own share of work while staying at the same place and eating the same food.

Vedant, a young artist, who sings in contemporary sufi style and performs at Kabir Malwa Yatra, considers it to be “the best Kabir festival in India”. Performing for 3 years now, he thinks, “It takes music to the heart of land, deep into the villages”. Organized with love from the Tipaniya family, he finds his participation immensely overflowing with warmth, benignity and vehemence.

With 100-150 travelers, the Malwa Kabir Yatra will have an event at Ravindra Natya Grah, Indore on 22nd February, 2018. The events would be witnessed by an average of 3000-4000 people. What started as satsangs 23 years ago, the Kabir Malwa Yatra has come a long way and has been successful in creating comfort and powerful experiences to people for the last 8 years.

The Indore event would be co-organized and facilitated by local organization Anhad Pravah. Anhad Pravah has been facilitating events since 2013. You can contribute to make the Yatra a reality and help the teachings of Kabir live on for the torchbearers of a new generation. You can make your contribution here.

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