Saturday, February 15, 2020

Not for reception

                              INVITING AMMA FOR OUR DAUGHTER'S WEDDING

2006 August- "Intha kaalam ayinda nannu kalavadaaniki? (It took so long for you to meet me?)” I paused guiltily while arranging the tray with bundles of my favourite jasmine strings which I bought near Nilgiris on Dr. Radhakrishna Salai on my way to Poes Garden.
I smiled hesitantly.
She said again,  “I expected you to meet me when I appointed you as member of Iyal Isai Nataka Manram."She added, " Nenu powerlo unnappudu andaru nannu meet chesaaru! (Everyone met me while I was in power!)". 
I looked up from the tray I was arranging. Getting up slowly I found my voice, " Meeru chaala busyga untaaru, disturb cheyya koodadhani meet cheyyaledu. (I didn't meet you because I thought you would be busy)”.
She smiled and gave me an assessing look. I handed the heavy tray with the jasmines and invitation card.
"Your elder daughter?" she asked affectionately.
"Yes Amma".
After preliminary niceties she opened the invitation card saying," I can't make it for the Muhurtham as I won't be in station on August 26th morning. I'll surely come for the reception."
My heart leapt with joy. My husband and I exchanged a smile. 
She went through the contents silently. As she turned the card to see the details of the wedding reception her expression became gradually serious. Tapping on the card thoughtfully she read aloud the name of the performing artist of the wedding reception.
Looking up from the card she said firmly," I don't think I can make it for the reception."
My heart sank low and I said in concern," Amma, but you said you would be coming for the reception..."
"No I'll try my best to come for the Muhurtham itself, definitely not for reception."
"Mee raaka kosam veyyi kallatho eduru choosthu untaanu. (I'll be eagerly waiting for you)." I told earnestly.
She smiled at me.
"Take care and stay in touch." were her parting words as my husband and I took leave of her.                                                                                     

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Vasantha Panchami

Thillana- Ragam Brindavani, composed by my father, late Sri.G.Aswathama. Offering to Goddess Saraswathi

Sunday, January 26, 2020


Sekhmet in Doreen Virtue's Goddess Guidance oracle cards and The Strength tarot card (Celtic Cross, Rider-Waite etc.) represent Goddess Durga. This is a great card to draw as it assures Divine protection and extraordinary courage of the querent despite ominous surrounding cards. 
Sekhmet is an Egyptian lion Goddess. Sekhmet is the Goddess of Sun, war, turmoil and ultimate healing. Even from the point of view of pronology Sekhmet sounds close to Shakthi. Amazing that this Egyptian Goddess has a beejakshara- Sem. I also happened to stumble across  a mantra ( wish I knew its origin)- Om Sem Sekhmet Durgaya Namaha. Many are unaware of Durga-Sekhmet connection and that They are worshipped together in mantra form!

The Persian/Iranian Goddess Anahita who appears in divine oracle readings and psychic predictions is a Goddess of water, fertility and protector of women. Pronology relates Anahita with the Heart Chakra (Anahatha Chakra). This Goddess is a Guard of the mankind and the Persian counterpart of Goddess Durga. (DURGA lexigram/anagram- GUARD).

Thursday, January 23, 2020


While a layman is not sure why there are some guitar-like sounds coming from a Veena, it's a fact that even the brainiest of tonal adjustments on the amplifier connected to a magnetic pickup of a Veena cannot get rid of guitar-like sounds. 
Magnetic mike which picks up Veena's magnetic strings sans wood erases the true voice of Veena. 
Acoustic mike which picks up the true tone/ Veena Naadham from the seasoned jackfruit wood ennobles the player and the listener. The true tone of Veena is sattvic in nature.

                                           VEENA NAADHAM-SATTVIC IN NATURE

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Chi. Sumithra- True tone of Veena

I found this little one's (Chi.Sumithra) impressive rendition of a Pancharatnam on Veena at such a tender age  (on youtube). Purity of true, acoustic tone of her Veena were added features that caught my attention. May God bless her!

MAGNETIC PICKUP- Gives lot of gain in the amplifier. This pickup is sought after for providing artificial depth and continuity of tone, facility for gimmicks (usage of only left hand without plucking with right hand) and it picks up only strings and rejects the core of Veena which is jackfruit wood. Consequently the  Veena sounds like an electric guitar or a mandolin or a sitar.

ACOUSTIC PICKUP- Picks up the wholesomeness of true tone that comes from seasoned jackfruit wood. Tone is enhanced by the combined energies of the Veena player and the jackfruit wood. For details please  refer to -1) Miracles of Veena, 2) Grace of Veena, 3) Acupressure on Veena for tonal enhancement, 4) Eternal Grace, 5) Deiva Veena-Maanushi Veena, 6) Cruel act of dismantling Veena, 8) Veena/Gayathri Mantra/Upanishads,9) Veena Rahasya and 10) About the Veena in this blog.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Moola Nakshatra - About the Veena (4)


Veyuru Tholibangan Vidamunda Kandan
Migha Nalla Veenai Thadavi 
Maasaru Thingal Gangai Mudimel Anindu Yen
Ullame Pugunda Adanaal
Naayiru Thingal Sevvaai Budhan Vyaazhan Velli
Shani Paambu irandum Udane
Aasaru Nalla Nalla Avai Nalla Nalla 
Adiyaaravarkku Migave

MEANING:- The Divine One who has taken into His Body His feminine soulmate (Goddess Parvathi) with bamboo like shoulders, Whose throat has stains of the poison He swallowed, Who plays the Veena faultlessly, Who wears the blemish-free Moon and the flowing River Ganges on His Head, He has entered my heart! Therefore the planets Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the the two Nodes (shadowy planets) Rahu/Ketu will not harm me in anyway. They will only do good, good and very good for me!!

The above is the first stanza of Kolaru Pathigam authored by one of the brightest of 63 Nayanmars, Thirugnanasambandar. In the first verse itself the great Nayanmar has established not only the supremacy of Veena in spiritual texts, the fact that Lord Shiva plays the Veena in tune with the Universe has also been stressed here.

Thirugnanasambandar was born in the Nakshatram Moola. His birth took place at a time when Jainism and Buddhism were strong religious influences in India.
A child prodigy and God-gifted, Thirugnanasambandar at a tender age of 3 sang Thodudaya Seviyan which is the first Thevaram Verse when Goddess Parvathi fed him milk in the Sirkazhi temple.  

Thiruneelakantha Yazhpanar one of the 63 Nayanmars. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and an exemplary Veena exponent. Thirugnanasambandar would compose the lyrics and Thiruneelakanta Yazhpanar would set the tune for Sambandar's lyrics and render the same on His Veena. Thirugnanasambandar's heart always melted at the divinity of Thiruneelakanta Yazhpanar's rendition of the Veena. Thiruneelakanta Yazhpanar felt very fortunate to be with Thirugnanasambandar and together they travelled to many temples, spreading Saivism through Their divine music and literature. rics and render the same on His Veena.      
Slowly Yazhpanar started developing a sense of ego when he mastered the art of composing music for Thirugnanasambandar's lyrics. That was when Lord Shiva wanted to rectify Yazhpanar's egoistic thoughts. At this juncture, Thirugnanasambandar and Yazhpanar reached Lord Shiva's temple in Dharmapuram, (presently in Puducheri district). Inside the temple, Thirugnanasambandar in divine ecstasy started to recite verses in praise of  Lord Shiva. Despite supreme efforts Thiruneelakanta Yazhpanar could not reproduce on His Veena whatever Thirugnanasambandar was chanting. In frustration and humiliation Yazhpanar wanted to break the Yazh (Veena) and end His own life. Lord Shiva appeared before the duo of Thirugnanasambandar and Thiruneelakanta Yazhpanar and took the Veena from yazhpanar. Lord Shiva Himeself set the tune for Thirugnanasambandar's lyrics and played them on the Veena and danced to the tune at the same time. This divine spectacle shattered the pride and ego of Thiruneelakanta Yazhpanar. Due to this divine incident the Lord in this temple is known as Yazh Muri Nathar. In this temple Lord Shiva is shown playing the Veena!! All Veena aspirants will benefit from worshipping here.


In Yazh Muri Nathar temple Thirugnanasambandar's birth star is celebrated as Guru Pooja in the tamil month Vaikasi on the day when moon is in the constellation of Moola.

Thirugnanasambandar's heart always melted at the divinity of Thiruneelakanta Yazhpanar's rendition of the Veena. Thiruneelakanta Yazhpanar felt very fortunate to be with Thirugnanasambandar and together they travelled to many temples, spreading Saivism through Their divine music and literature. 

The Veena developed from Yaal or Yazh ( harp without frets which is played with both hands) during the period of Thirugnanasambandar. The Veena with frets and the concept of gamakas originated during the lifetime.

Dr. Premalatha, musicologist states (in her thesis Music through Ages), "The biography of Thirugnanasambandar marks an important stage in the development of the concept of gamaka and incidentally of the fretted Veena. The strings of the yazh were tuned to the notes of suddha scales. Since it was a plain instrument there was no provision to manipulate the grace and quarter tones in Megharaga Kurinji."

P.S: Kolaru Pathigam contains powerful affirmations. The word "Nalla Nalla" (Good Good) is repeated in all the verses. In modern times we have authors like Louise L.Hay writing about the manifestations of affirmations. The practice of positive affirmations has been implemented many centuries ago by saints like Thirugnanasambandar. Thirugnanasambandar's affirmations invoke nothing less than the planets and above all the Divine Grace of the Lord Almighty Shiva and His Divine Consort, Goddess Parvathi! Kolaru Pathigam is a magic sloka for mitigating problems arising due to planets in transit as well as in the natal chart.

Monday, January 6, 2020



Magnetic pickup/strings use the " Saraswathi Veena" only for the sake of appearance and as a disguise. The magnetic pickup/strings reject the acoustic properties of jackfruit wood. The"kudam" or "resonator” is reduced into a dummy piece as it’s energy is not picked up by the magnetic pickup/strings. Magnetic pickup/strings depend wholly on the amplifier for artificial tonal adjustments. Where the magnetic pickup/strings are concerned the form or shape of the instrument and the kind of wood used in making the instrument are of no significance and therefore totally negligible.

Saturday, January 4, 2020


Late Sri. M.B.Srinivasan was the General Secretary/ Treasurer of Cine Musicians ‘ Union. I was probably one of its youngest members who had joined the Cine musicians  fraternity in mid 60s! (this membership card is dated March, 1970). This card is a treasure as I had learnt lessons in versatility from the field of Cinema.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Sri Viswaguru Vidyaranya Swami, Narasaraopet, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh


Main Temple Inside Ashram Where Bhagavanji's Samadhi Is Worshipped

Bhagavanji Sri Viswaguru Vidyaranya Swami
Pooja on Bhagavanji's Brahmaleena Mahotsavam Day
Serene and peaceful morning in the ashram- walking around the ashram I tried to capture the moments on my mobile camera..... Mathaji's Samadhis, Yaagashaala, the distant temple of Medha Dakshinamurthy on top of the hill (Kotappa Konda) which is not visible due to cloudy weather......

Starting from left (Mathaji Chidvidya Prabhadevi (attained siddhi), Mathaji Vidyasukha Prabhadevi (attained siddhi) and Mathaji Sadvidya Prabhadevi).

Bhajans rendered by MALLADI BROTHERS
Music composed by A.K.RISHAL SAI
Album produced by my husband E.V.RAMAKRISHNA

My husband, Sri.E.V.Ramakrishna with Mathaji Chidvidya Prabhadevi

Myself with Mathaji Sadvidya Prabhadevi
Bhagavanji, as He is reverentially called by His devotees, Sri Viswaguru Vidyaranya Swami attained Brahmaleenam (Immersion in Brahman) on Sapthami thithi in the month of May, 1999. Shortly I will be posting translations of His works ( in Sanskrit)- Anugraha Bhashanam and Bhagavad Bharathi

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Total solar eclipse in Moola Nakshatra- Veena practice

                                                           GODDESS SARASWATHI
Total solar eclipse is going to take place in Moola nakshatra on 26th December roughly between 8.00 am to 11.30 am. Eclipse of Sun in Moola nakshatra, 4th pada (in transit at 09:46 degrees) occurs when Moon (in Moola, 4th pada) passes between Earth and Sun, completely blocking Sun from Earth's view. Other planets involved in the eclipse and transiting Moola nakshatra are Mercury, in Moola, 1st pada  (00:53 degrees) and Jupiter in Moola, 4th pada (11:09 degrees). Two other planets Saturn in Poorvashadha 4th pada  (26:34 degrees) and Ketu in Poorvashadha 1st pada (14:26 degrees) are in the same zodiac (Sagittarius/Dhanur Rasi) though not in the eclipsed constellation which is Moola.
Moola being the seat of Saraswathi is ideal for practising original acoustic Saraswathi Veena and listening to Saraswathi Suktham of Rig Veda. Practice of Veena during this particular eclipse will yield abundant benefits. Prayers to Lord Anjaneya ( belonging to Moola Nakshatra) also yields great results

Friday, December 20, 2019

Acoustic Veena in Cinema

Earlier Veena functioned entirely as an acoustic instrument. Veena never had a contact mike    (or even an acoustic pickup) while recording in studios.  In studio recordings Veena was recorded by a normal voice mike (placed on a stand) and facing the instrument. Amazingly this proved to be the best and most sensitive mike which had the capacity to pick up the most minute details and nuances of Veena music. In recent times Veenas are plugged in even inside recording studios, whether it is in Cinema/All India Radio/Compact Disc recording studios. The Veenas use pickups/contact mikes that are directly plugged into the recording console or into a portable amp/speaker in front of which a voice mike is placed. Veena loses its natural tone when plugged in for studio recordings.

Late Sri.Chittibabu had recorded his Veena in many films of my father, film music director, late Sri.G.Aswathama.
                                                         LATE SRI.G.ASWATHAMA
In all my father's songs Sri.Chittibabu'sVeena was recorded directly by a stand mike and without the usage of contact mike/ pickup. 

My father's hit song from the telugu film "Annaa Thammudu" in the year 1958 -Veena by Sri.Chittibabu (Use earphones)

All through my involvement in the field of Cinema (films in Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil from the year 1965 to 2000) I had used the voice mike for my Veena and I had never used the pickup/contact mike for recording and re-recording sessions. My concerts for the All India Radio were also recorded through the voice mike and without pickup/contact mike.




MY ACOUSTIC VEENA AND MY VOICE ( the song required an amateur female singer. Primarily I was assigned to play Veena in this song and after much thought from my side the decision to mix my amateurish voice was taken in the last minute.) WITH S.P.BALASUBRAMANIAM IN RAJAHAMSA (1998). 
(The English wordings I sang as shown on screen are wrong and hilarious!!) The correct words are- First BGM "Is this love or is that how I feel? Is it magic or is love so real? I want to find this place of ecstasy so is this love, someone tell me please." Second BGM-" Love is a special thing it never grows old. It can make you laugh, it can make you sing, it can't  be bought, it can't be sold!" 
(Use earphones)


Not for reception

                              INVITING AMMA FOR OUR DAUGHTER'S WEDDING 2006 August- "Intha kaalam ayinda nannu kalavadaaniki? (...