Friday 26 March 2010

The making of "How to play veena?"




Above are work stills of the DVD shoot. Smt.Aruna Sivaramakrishna, Sri.Gopi (cameraman), Sri.Sivaramakrishna and myself.The DVD shoot yesterday by Navin Daswani's Super Audio Company on "How To Play Veena"was exciting. The entire day was spent on teaching the camera lens how to play the following on veena: sarali varisai, janta varisai, special veena gamaka exercises, thristhaayi practice (sa ri ga ma... on three octaves), variety of 'daatu varisai, alankarams, geethams, swarajathi and varnam was great to say the least. The entire coordination/concept and direction is by Sri. Sivaramakrishna (http://sitarsivaramakrishna.com/) and his wife, Smt. Aruna. They were so well-planned and fantastic in their directions! Recording in Karpagam Studios (so ancient!) was like stepping into my father, late Sri.G.Aswathama's time. The old studio with its high ceiling reminded me of my film-recording days when I was in my teens! Felt great!
A sense of fulfillment in reaching out to a great number of people at the same time(more so after the innumerable requests asking me to teach veena)! Performing is one thing, but to be able to reach out to guide aspiring veena practitioners is something else!!

Sunday 21 March 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam (wedding chapter49-57)

Above is a photo of the temple in Narayanavanam (35kms from Tirupathi, 95kms from Chennai and 5kms from Puttur, where Lord Venkateswara married Goddess Padmavathy).

49)Rathishachyau Chaamarey Cha Veejayanthyau Sthithey Thadaa
Chchathram Dadhaara Saa Devee Bhaarathee Bhakthisamyuthaa
Paadukey Pradadau Bhadraa Gangaa Gangaapithusthadhaa!!

Meaning:
Rathidevi and Sachidevi holding the fans ('chaamaram') in their hands, fanned gently. Bharathidevi held the umbrella ('chathram') reverentially. The most auspicious Ganga having originated from the Feet of Lord Vishnu, offered footwear to Her Father, Lord Srinivasa.

50)Nidhaaya Paadau Parapaadukaadvaye
Yayau Prapannaarthiharo Harihi Swayam
Yaabhyaam Puraa Paavanathaam Gathaa Muneyhey
Shaapeyna Chaashmathvamupaagathaabalaa!!

Meaning:
Ahalya, who had taken the form of a rock due to the curse of Sage Gauthama, placed both the feet that had cleansed and purified her (relieving her of the sage's curse), in their holy footwear ('padukas').Lord Srinivasa who offers shelter to the needy...

51)Paadukaabhyaam Charan Bhoomim Varaasana Magaadharihi!!

Meaning:
Walking on the planet Earth, seated Himself,decorating the throne.

52)Brahmaadaya Ssurasreyshtaaha Indraadyaaha Lokapaalakaaha
Kashyapaadimunisreshtaaha Vasishtaadithapodhanaaha!!

Meaning:
The divine clan including Brahma, the rulers of the Indraloka (heaven of Lord Indra), great sages including Kashyapa Maharshi, sages known for their penance including Sage Vasishta....

53)Sanakaadyaashcha Yogeendraaha Bhrugvaadyaashcha Rusheeshwaraaha
Aaaryamaadyaashcha Pitharaha Thumburvaadyaashcha Gaayakaaha!!

Meaning:
Yogis such as Sanaka, 'mouneendras' (who practice silent penance) like Sage Bhrigu, the likes of Arya who are the 'pithru devathas' (dead ancestors or departed souls), great singers such as Tumburu..

54)Rambhaadyaashchaiva Narthakyaha Soothamaagadhavandinaha
Upaasathaasaney Ramye Pashyanthaha Purushoththamam!!

Meaning:
Dancers such as Rambha, the 'Soothas'( the race of 'soothas' is highly celebrated in the puranas.They were widely known as the reciters of Ithihasa-puranas like Ramayana, Mahabharatha and the eighteen puranas. They were devoted to the vow of truth), 'maagadhas' (who sing epic poems and ancient ballads), people who praise others for a living....

55)Swaamipushkarineetheerey Dakshiney Pakshivaahanam
Ashtameendukalaakaarey Lalaatey Darpanasphutey!!

Meaning:
All the above mentioned meditated on Purushottama (the best among human race), who was seated on a ruby-studded plank placed in the southern direction of Swami Pushkarini Lake, and on Whose clear forehead , the crescent moon of the eighth lunar digit..

56)OordhvapundramDadhaaraadha Sreenivaasa Ssathaam Gathihi
Thadaaha Kamalaam Raajan! Vakulaa Lokamaatharam!!

Meaning:
formed the symbol of 'Oordhvapundram' ('thilakam' or traditional symbol). The Divine Mother, Vakuladevi addressed Goddess Sridevi,...

57)Rekhaam Rachaya Kalyaani Lalaatey Kunkumeyna Thu
Evamukthaa Devamaathraa Ramaa Kunkumamaalikhath!!

Meaning:
"Sridevi, please decorate His forehead with 'kumkum' (sindoor' or vermillion)". Sridevi followed the Divine Mother's instructions.

Thursday 18 March 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam(wedding chapter39-48)


AKASHA GANGA TEERTHAM

39)Haridraachoornapishteyna Nirmrujya Cha Vrushaakapim
Sumangalairvaadyaghoshaihi Saha Parichchadaihi!!

Meaning:
Auspicious musical instruments resonated with melodious tunes as Goddess Sridevi anointed Lord Srinivasa's body with turmeric paste.

40)Samanthaathsarvaveedheeshu Karikumbhairupaahruthaihi
Samanthaath Punyatheerthastha Punyatheerdhaabhipoorithaihi!!

Meaning:
Majestic elephants on all the pathways walked elegantly, carrying great pots on their backs that contained holy water and other auspicious ingredients...

41)Sarathnaihi Kaanchanaihi Kumbhaihi Thaapithodakamishrithaihi
Abhishekam Thathashchakrey Kamalaa Jagadeeshithu!!

Meaning:
Hot water mixed with holy water showered over Lord Srinivasa from golden pots studded with rubies.

42)Aapadamouliparyantham Saa Kruthvodvarthanam Hareyhe
Meyney Kruthaardhamaathmaanam Sevayaa Keshavasya Thu!!

Meaning:
After anointing Lord Srinivasa from His head to His toes with turmeric paste, Goddess Sridevi felt contented and fulfilled.

43)Chathurasthru Suvaasinyaha Paanibhihi Kalashaanrupa
Dhruthvaa Moukthikathoyai Stham Abhyashinchi Sureshwaram!!

Meaning:
Four married women showered Lord Vasudeva with water and pearls that poured out of the golden pots in their hands.

44)Jalairneeraajayaamaasuhu "Puthraan Dhanavaan Bhava
Ithyaashishaabhinandanthyaha Sreenivaasam Suraanganaaha!!

Meaning:
Carrying auspicious vessels ('poorna kumbham') and offering camphor-fire ('haarathi') the married women blessed Lord Vasudeva to beget sons and wealth.

45)Gaayanthyaha Shubhageethaani Kownkumaihi Salilaisthathaha
Aaaraarthikaam Maangalikeem Sarvaashchakrusthadhaanganaaha!!

Meaning:
Singing divine songs, those women offered camphor-fire ('haarathi') in water mixed with saffron.

46)Thadaa Dadau Brahmapthnee Saavithree Vasthramuththamam
Theyna Vasthreyna Sarvaangam Mamaarja Vidhivadramaa!

Meaning:
Afterwards, Goddess Savithri, the Divine Spouse of Brahma offered a rich-textured cloth and Goddess Sridevi used the cloth to gently wipe Lord Srinivasa's body.

47)Paarvathee Dhoopamaadaaya Dadau Lakshmeekaraambujey
Dhoopayithvaa Sudhoopeyna Vikeeryomjhithabandhanaan!

Meaning:
Goddess Parvathi brought incense-smoke ('sambrani'), Goddess Ramadevi combed Lord Srinivasa's hair to remove tangles. She then dried His hair over the incense-smoke...

48)Babandha Kamalaa Devee Moordhajaan Madhughaathinaha
Aadarsham Darshayaamaasa Saavithri Swarnabhoshitham!

Meaning:
And tied His hair. Goddess Savithri showed a gold-framed mirror to Lord Srinivasa.

Saturday 13 March 2010

BHAGVAN NITYANAND





























Jeeva-samadhi of Pujyasri Nityanand Maharaj is in Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra. He was a born siddha, an Avadhooth, born in a state of enlightenment (a perfected yogi by birth). He hailed from Kerala where He had spent the eary part of His life. In later years He moved to Ganeshpuri, 75 kilometers from Mumbai, in Maharashtra.
Right from His young age He became famous for His healing powers. He attained the name "Nithyanand" as He was constantly in a state of bliss, immersed in Supreme consciousness. He always maintained silence, speaking very rarely and only when it was necessary. Wearing a
loin cloth, He was totally oblivious to His surroundings, having no material possessions to call His own. Disciples followed Him everywhere, magnetized by His divinity and preachings.
Sadguru spread the message of Advaitha, urging disciples and followers to travel inwards towards their heart, which He said was the "hub of all sacred places!" He asked everybody to go to their hearts and roam within their hearts.
The village of Ganeshpuri grew larger after His arrival, and subsequently He established an ashram and hospital in the village. The Sadguru did not adhere to any particular spiritual practice or tradition. Sadguru Nityanand preached unique 'mantra deeksha' to His disciples.
The Swami Nityanand Ashram was also known as Gurudev Siddha Peeth. The region around the ashram had always been famous for hot-water springs. Ganeshpuri is on the banks of River Tansa which is surrounded by hot-water springs. Sadguru Nityanand Maharaj attained samadhi on August 8th, 1961.

Monday 8 March 2010

Most powerful Rama Mantra


At sunrise today (09/03/2010)

Nakshatra (star):-Moola

Date (tithi):-Navami
Today is the auspicious star of Lord Anjaneya and the auspicious date of Lord Rama's birth. It is ideal to chant the most powerful Rama Mantra to invoke His grace.

"Raamaaya Raamabhadraaya Raamachandraaya Vedasey
Raghunaathaaya Naathaaya Seethaayaah Pathaye Namaha!!"

Why is this the most powerful Rama Mantra?
This sloka consists of the various names of Lord Rama as addressed by the most near and dear personalities of Lord Rama in His lifetime. Each name is laden with emotional intensity and content, revealing the adoration of all who were related to Lord Rama.
1)Raamaa: As sage Viswamithra addressed Him.
2)Raamabhadraa: Lord Rama's father, King Dasaratha addressed Him as Rama Bhadra.
3)Raamachandra: Lord Rama's mother, Queen Kausalya called Her divine son as Ramachandra.
4)Vedasey: All the rishis and munis (monks and sages) in the forest addressed Him as Vedasey.
5)Raghunaathaa: The citizens of Ayodhya addressed Lord Rama as Raghunatha.
6)Naathaa: Lord Rama's Divine Consort, Vaidehi addressed Him as 'Nathaa'.
7)Seethapathi: Lord Rama was known as Seethapathi to the people of Mithila (His inlaws' kingdom).
8)Namaha: I bow to Thee!

Chanting this sloka would strike a chord with Lord Rama, reminding Him of the various emotions contained in the different forms of addresses. Each name is fragrant with love and adoration for Lord Rama! Chanting this sloka repeatedly endears the devotee to Lord Rama, while He is reminded of His Guru- Sage Viswamitra, His beloved father- King Dasaratha, His beloved mother- Queen Kausalya, the revered and pious sages of the forest, His dear most people of Ayodhya, His beloved wife-Sita, and His inlaws and citizens attached to them, all of whom were His well wishers !

Sunday 7 March 2010

Radhe Radhe!

At sunrise today (08/03/2010):-
The auspicious nakshatra (star) and date (tithi) of Radha Rani's birth!

Star:Jyeshta
Date:Ashtami

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam(wedding chapter 29-38)

29) Uththishta Thyaja Dukham They Samaaroha Varaasanam!
Sa Ramaagirimaakarnya Santhoshaannayanaajjalam!!

Meaning:
Shedding tears of joy when Goddess Sridevi pleaded, " Please leave your sorrow behind and kindly be seated on the most auspicious "asana" (seat,'plank')."...

30)Munchan Munivaraan Raajan! Nandayan Narasaaradhihi!
Kashyapaathribharadwaaja Viswaamithrapurogamaan!!

Meaning:
And making all the assembled sages and rishis happy, and to sages like Kashyapa, Athri, Bharadwaaja, Viswaamithra..

31)Pranipathya Vasishtam Cha Aaha Viswam Vidambayan!
Sreenivaasaha:-
Anugyaam Dehi May Brahman! Majjanaardhamahamuney!!

Meaning:-
And Vasishta, He prostrated. Pretending in the eyes of the world that He is a mere human being, Lord Sreenivasa addressed thus,"Vasishtaa! Kindly permit me to partake in the "abhishekam" (holy shower)."

32)Thadhaasthvi Thyabraveethkrushtam Vasishtaha Sapurohithaha!
Sapathneekaan Suraan Sarvaan Sabhaaryaan Rushimandalaan!!

Meaning:-
Sage Vasishta, along with the 'purohith' (priest), blessed the ceremony of 'abhishekam' (holy shower) and asked Lord Sreenivasa to proceed with the ceremony. Devas and Rishis (monks) along with their wives...

33)Anugnyaapyaanugaissaardam Udathishthathsuroththamaha!
Vikeerya Keshamoolaani Poorvaashaabhimukham Thaha!!

Meaning:-
Were taken into confidence by Lord Sreenivasa as He rose along with His companions. Beautiful women belonging to the Deva clan untied Lord Sreenivasa's hair and facing East...

34)Aaropayan Rathnapeethey Sreenivaasam Suyoshithaha!
Thaasaam Madhye Sindhuputhree Ramaa Kamalalochanaa!!

Meaning:-
They made the Lord sit on the gems-studded plank. In their midst, the Daughter of the ocean and lotus-eyed Sreedevi...

35)Rukmapaathram Samaadaaya Thailapooritha Maadaraath!
Abhyaanchayaththadaa Devee Swasheerbhirabhinandya Tham!!

Meaning:-
Carrying a gold vessel filled with oil and supported by the blessings of the entire gathering, started to oil the Lord's hair...

36)SreeRamaa:-
Dheerghaayurbhava Govindaa! Bahuputhro Dhanaadhipaha!
Chathurdashaanaam Lokaanaam Ekachchathraadhipo Bhava!!

Meaning:-
O Govinda! May you be blessed with longevity, many sons, unlimited richness and the ability to be the best Ruler in all the fourteen worlds.......


37)Evamukthvaa Thadaa Devee Sabhya Nakthisma Maadhavam!
Devaangam Mardayaamaasa Thailenaathisugandhinaa!!

Meaning:-
May you prosper in all that I have mentioned!".Saying thus, Goddess Sreedevi applied the most fragrant oil all over the Lord's body.

38)Thadaa Dadhau Brahmapathnee Chandrakaashmeerakardamam!
Theyna Maarjaalathailena Thadhaa Mrugamadeyna Cha!!

Meaning:-
Goddess Saraswathi offered 'pachakarpooram' (camphor). With cat-oil and kasthuri....