The Ravi Shankar's family, including daughter Norah Jones, wife Sukanya and Anushka offer a gesture in appreciation to those in attendance
Under blue skies on a warm Southern California morning, friends and family of the sitar virtuoso Pandit Ravi Shankar gathered to celebrate the life of a man affectionately addressed as 'Raviji
Anoushka Shankar arrives with her husband Joe Wright and son Zubein
Guests were welcomed by a simple white rose and advised to wear white, the traditional Indian colours of mourning. The floral tributes at the podium were a gift of Olivia Harrison, the widow of former Beatle George Harrison.
Speaking to NDTV, Olivia Harrison explained, "Ravi did so much for me. He supported me so much after George died. It's a small thing to do in return".
Former Beatle George Harrison's widow Olivia shares fond memories of Pandit Ravi Shankar
Known abroad as an experimenter and collaborator, Pandit Ravi Shankar worked with and western music icons like Beatles guitarist George Harrison, Jazz Musician John Coltrane, classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin, avant-garde composer Philip Glass. George Harrison called him "The Godfather of world music."
According to Olivia Harrison, George had immense respect for Ravi. "He thought his music was celestial," she said.
Through his influence on his friend, George Harrison and with appearances at legendary music festivals like Woodstock festivals Ravi Shankar became a household name in the west. According to the operatic conductor Zubin Mehta
"When India was an unknown quantity in the world Ravi was opening up our country to everyone. Everybody got to know India through Ravi".
Ravi Shankar's music transcended trends and cultural barriers and even today lives on in the next generation through his daughters, Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar who also plays sitar. Norah and Anoushka Shankar performed the last rites of their father.
Norah Jones arrives for the memorial
Ravi Shankar, whose health had been fragile for the past several years, underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last week here in California. He was 92 and led a life rich with accolades and accomplishments right up to then end. Hours after his death it was announced that he would be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Grammy award.
According to his Son-in -law, Film director Joe Wright, "I never at any moment saw his fingers not playing, not beating a rhythm. Even as he was wheeled into the operation theatre his fingers were still moving, even as he faced death." Wright is married to Anoushka Shankar. They have a son, named Zubin, after the legendary conductor and family friend Zubin Mehta.United in grief: Members of Pandit Ravi Shankar's family hug each other
As they gathered outside his home in San Diego, for those who had a personal relationship with Ravi Shankar and even for those who had never met him but were touched by this music it was an opportunity to say farewell.