Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan and myself in her residence, just before she was taken ill.
Queen of veena, Smt.Kalpagam Swaminathan breathed her last this morning around 9 a.m in her residence. Her rich life was filled with penance and worship of veena, apart from imparting great knowledge to innumerable worthy disciples.
Veena playing, according to ancient scriptures is meant to be "rahasya vidya" (secret art). This "kalaa" (art form), treated as upasana (penance) is equal to Srividya Upasana in the form of "nadopasana". Such an approach towards the vedic instrument makes the practitioner an expert in every nuance, intricacy and secrecy pertaining to the instrument. Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan, a veena yogi and nadopasaka of the highest order had mastered all the techniques and aesthetics of veena. She lived and breathed veena. The last few months of ailment and heartache due to her inability to play veena have been the most critical times of her life. Having completed her remnants of karma, she has gone to the celestial world where she belongs, to the abode of God, in a timeless world, to play the celestial veena for eternity.