Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pristine Pure

The gap between the main four strings (first string: sarani, second string : panchamam, third string : mandaram, fourth string: anumandaram) and the frets of the veena plays a prime role in determining the tonal volume of the veena. The maximum gap between the veena's main string (sarani or shadjamam) and the frets is reportedly somewhere between a quarter inch (0.25 inches) to half an inch (1.27 centimeters), while the minimum gap between the main string and the frets is one eighth (0.125 inches) or slightly lesser than that.
Veena with less gap between main string and frets is used for easy and fast rendering. The strings of such a veena (where the gap between the main string and the frets is lesser than the prescribed quarter to half an inch) are made audible through powerful contact mikes/ digital mixers and other latest microphones. By using an adept mike system it is possible to project a veena with lesser distance between the main string and the frets as a veena with a wider gap between the main string and the frets.
The true nature of a veena is determined only without the usage of microphone. Original resonance, purity and ojas of a veena could be gauged only when the veena is mikeless.
The resonance is strong and deep when the gap is the prescribed quarter to half an inch between the main string and the veena frets. When the prescribed gap is reduced to somewhere between one eighth or around that, the tone becomes feebler and weaker. A quarter to half an inch gap between the main string and the frets demands stamina in the player, even more in the case of gamaka-laden style or bani. Yogic playing of the veena with the recommended distance between the main string and the frets yield tremendous fruits. The player is able to progress through various yogic stages such as dhyana, dharana and samadhi. The player, through indefatigable and rigorous practice is able to attain "vairagya" (detachment) from worldly affairs and finally "kaivalya" (liberation of soul). Soulful rendering, thereby invoking the inner voice through the veena is also made possible in a veena having the prescribed gap between main string and frets. Ofcourse, the purity of jackfruit wood and correct seasoning of the wood are major contributors.
It is also amazing that the place where the jackfruit tree is grown contributes to the nature of the veena. If the jackfruit tree is situated around a temple area or in a nice garden with positive vibrations, the veena made out of the wood of such a tree would yield great spiritual and health benefits ( such as  lustrous complexion, thick hair growth and great energy which is nothing but OJAS) to its player.
When a veena is made out of a  jackfruit tree which is situated around a graveyard or any area with negative vibes, or close to decaying shrubs, contaminated ponds etc.  it will certainly cause bad results in its player. The health of the player would deteriorate resulting in a pale countenance, weakness in limbs, or the player could encounter even worse health problems.
While the player could become famous and prosperous by playing the correct veena (made of good, seasoned wood) he/she would encounter problems by playing the wrong veena (made of bad unseasoned wood). Many a time veenas are made out of venteak or wood essentially used to make furniture (second or third quality teak or rosewood).
For a player to be influenced by the veena he or she is handling, it takes long hours of dedicated and involved practice in an erect posture ( with an erect spinal chord) and breath retention. The practitioner's mere employment of hands to play the veena fails to tap the divine potency of the vedic instrument.
Making of this divine instrument or seasoning its wood on auspicious days or thithis such as pournami, dashami, ekadashi, dwadashi, pradosham, panchami, sapthami and on days when constellations belonging to Devaganas are spiritually significant for invoking the divinity of the instrument.
A veena made out of all the good things as mentioned above is pristine pure and a practitioner who plays such a veena is matchless in his/her worldly and spiritual possessions.




Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lake Shrine, Santa Monica



The ashram of Pujyasri Paramahamsa Yogananda near Santa Monica. After a memorable drive from San Diego, via Santa Monica to Malibu to visit the Balaji Temple and back to San Diego via Lake Shrine, situated close to Santa Monica.......

Friday, July 12, 2013

Subtle body.... a foreign view....

"In the terminology of certain Eastern teachings the first body is the 'carriage'
(body), the second body is the 'horse' (feelings, desires), the third the 'driver' (mind),
and the fourth the 'master' (I, consciousness, will).
"Such comparisons and parallels may be found in most systems and teachings
which recognize something more in man than the physical body. But almost all these
teachings, while repeating in a more or less familiar form the definitions and divisions
of the ancient teaching, have forgotten or omitted its most important feature, which is:
that man is not born with the finer bodies, and that they can only be artificially
cultivated in him provided favorable conditions both internal and external are present.
"The 'astral body' is not an indispensable implement for man. It is a great luxury
which only a few can afford. A man can live quite well without an 'astral body.' His
physical body possesses all the functions necessary for life. A man without 'astral
body' may even produce the impression of being a very intellectual or even spiritual
man, and may deceive not only others but also himself." A famous Russian philosopher.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Radhe Radhe..

Goddess Radha's star, Jyeshta (today's star as I am posting this) means "elder" which is probably an indication of Her being many years older than Lord Krishna. Their relationship surpasses human concepts and is essentially spiritual in nature.
The "sama sapthama bhavam"in the horoscopes of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha (Lord Krishna's star Rohini in Taurus and Goddess Radha's star Jyeshta in Scorpio forming a mutual aspect)is another indication of their supreme compatibility. ( my search for the horoscope of Goddess Radha continues for deeper insight......) A mutual aspect between boy's and girl's moons in their respective horoscopes eradicates every other disagreement under rajju, vedha, gana, rasi etc. of the charts.
Sage Durvasa, who worshipped Goddess Kamakshi (author of "Sowbhagya Chinthamani Kalpa" a divine text about the worship of Goddess Kamakshi) is believed to have presented a boon to Goddess Radha.
On a Dwadasi thithi while Radha was playing with her friends, the Gopis, Sage Durvasa arrived at the palace of Radha's father, King Vrishabhanu. All the gopis ran away at the sight of the angry sage, but Radha remained. Durvasa muni was immensely pleased to see the incomparable beauty of Radha and asked her to feed him sweet rice prepared with her own hands.
Radha immediately ran to Her mother to collect the ingredients: nicely scented rice, milk, sugar, raisins, almonds, cashew nuts, elaichi, camphor etc.
The sweet rice Radha prepared out of the ingredients turned out to be inconceivably sweet and delicious beyond belief. The nectarean rice Sage Durvasa ate while Radha served convinced him that Radha was none other than Goloka Mahalakshmi, no one else could have made such a wondrous preparation that defeated the taste of nectar and caused him to experience ecstasy.
Sage Durvasa, pleased with Her service and out of affection for Her announced,"I am offering You a boon that whatever Your hands touch, whatever You prepare, will taste better than nectar. Whoever tastes this food cooked by You will have long life, strength, beauty and fame, all of which will increase day by day!"
On hearing about Sage Durvasa's boon, Lord Krishna's mother Yashoda Devi requested Radha to cook for Lord Krishna so that He would benefit from Sage Durvasa's boon.
Goddess Radha went to their house to cook for Lord Krishna and His mother, Yashoda Devi so that She would have so many chances to see and meet with Lord Krishna!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tamizh Isai Vizha in Government Music College, Madurai- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

Principal Secretary/Commissioner, Dept. of Art&Culture, Sri.S.S.Jawahar, myself, Ms.Kaleeshabi Mehboob Subhani & Sheikh Mehboob Subhani (nadaswaram duo) at the inauguration of Tamizh Isai Vizha in Government Music College, Madurai on 25.02.13.

Monday, February 25, 2013

65 musical instruments!- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

I
Inaugural function of display of 65 musical instruments on the 65th birthday of Honourable Chief Minister of Tamilnadu on the 24th February, 2013. Principal secretary/Commissioner, Department of Art&Culture and Museums, Sri.S.S.Jawahar, I.A.S to my right and Curator, Ms.Brinda to my left in the photograph.
65 instruments also included rare varieties of veena like Kurma Yazh, Makara Yazh, Mayil Yazh, Vil Yazh, Rudra veena, Veda Veena etc.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 11th, 2013, Egmore Museum Theatre, Chennai- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

Honourable Minister for Youth Welfare, Sports, Education, Law and Courts, Sri.N.R.Sivapathi and Principal Secretary/Commissioner of Department of Art & Culture, Sri.S.S.Jawahar, Deputy Director, Dept.of Art & Culture, Sri.Gunasekharan in the 4th picture.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Inaugural and Valedictory functions of Tamizh Isai Vizha- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

Inaugural function of Tamizh Isai Vizha on February 6th, 2013 at Government Music College, Adyar, Chennai. "Sangeetha Rathna"title presented to Thavil maestro, Thirunageswaram Sri.T.R.Subramaniam. Chief Guest Prof. B.Krishnamurthy also seen in the photo.



Valedictory function on February 8th, 2013. Honourable Minister for school education, sports, youth welfare, law, courts and prisons Sri.N.R.Sivapathi and MLA Sri.Chandrasekharan gracing the function.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Isai Vallunar (Music Experts) Scheme- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University chapter



Sri.Sandeep Narayan (vocal), S.Manikandan (mridangam) on January 29th.

Kumari. Archana Narayanamurthy (Bharathanatyam) on January 30th.

Naattupurakalaigal (folk arts) on January 30th.

GOVERNMENT MUSIC COLLEGE, ADYAR, CHENNAI.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Isai Vallunar (Music experts) Scheme.- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

Sri.G.J.R.Krishnan (violin), Sri.Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam), Sri.Venkataramanan (Khanjira), 28th January, 2013.

Sri.Mohandas (Nadaswaram), 28th January, 2013.

GOVERNMENT MUSIC COLLEGE, ADYAR, CHENNAI.



Isai Vallunar (Music Experts) Scheme- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

Smt.Gayathri Venkataraghavan (vocal) Isai Vallunar ( 25th January, 2013)


Sri.U.Srinivas (mandolin) Isai Vallunar (25th January, 2013)
GOVERNMENT MUSIC COLLEGE, ADYAR, CHENNAI


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Isai Vallunar (Music Experts) Scheme- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

Sri.Tiruvarur Swaminathan (flute) 23rd January, 2013.






Sattur Sisters (vocal) 23rd January, 2013.

GOVERNMENT MUSIC COLLEGE, ADYAR, CHENNAI.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Isai Vallunar (Music Experts) Scheme- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

Smt.Lakshmi Rangarajan (vocal) on January 22nd, 2013.


Smt.Priya Murle (bharathanatyam) on January 22nd, 2013.

GOVERNMENT MUSIC COLLEGE, ADYAR, CHENNAI.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Isai Vallunar (Music Experts) Scheme- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

                                                Government Music College, Chennai

First photo:- Harikatha by Sri Bhuvaraha Murthy on Sri.Purandaradasa Charitham.

 Second photo:- Violin duet by Kumari Akkarai Subbulakshmi and Kumari Akkarai Swarnalatha.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Ultimate Music

The inner music has a strange quality. The outer music needs an instrument, it needs a duality-the musician and the instrument. The inner music does not need duality- the musician is the music, the musician is the instrument, the musician is all. There is no division. The inner music means silence, the sound of silence.
Silence has its own music. It can be heard only by those who have dropped all noise from the head. It can be heard only from the heart, not by the head. The heady person goes on missing it. Only the person who is full of heart, full of love, can hear the music.
This is the music that helps you to go beyond. It becomes a rainbow bridge. You cannot grasp it with the mind, you cannot comprehend it with the mind. The mind has to be put aside, completely put aside, and then suddenly it is there.
That is the whole art of meditation, putting the mind slowly aside and getting to the inner music, becoming attuned to the inner world of oneness. You can call it the experience of God, Tao, Truth, Dhamma; it is really nothing but the experience of the ultimate music-OSHO.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Isai Vallunar (Music Experts) Scheme- Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University

                                     THE GOVERNMENT MUSIC COLLEGE, CHENNAI
 First concert in the "Isai Vallunar" category. Sri T.H.Vinayakram's recital on 4 ghatams. Isai Vallunar is a unique theme initiated by the Department of Art & Culture where music experts from all age groups, highly successful and popular interact on an informal level with the students to inspire them.


The second "Isai Vallunar" programme by Sri.O.S.Arun accompanied by Sri.Kandadevi Vijayaraghavan (violin lecturer), Kumbakonam Sri. Saravanan (mridangam lecturer), Raghuraman (mohrsing lecturer), Hari (ghatam student), Giri (Kanjira student), James (tabla).

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