Friday, May 29, 2020

SARASWATI VEENA -14

GODDESS SARASWATI

In continuation of Veena Sutras -9, "The other side of the coin - how else is Veena used as a carrier of negative energies?"
First and foremost how to prevent negative energies from entering the aura of your Veena?

Before anything else it's of utmost importance to make sure that the player's pranic energy which is contained in the instrument is undisturbed and pure. The following steps have to be taken in order to maintain the exclusivity of one's Veena.

1) As far as possible try not to let anybody to 1.play, 2.carry or even 3.touch your Veena.

2) Of all the above points number 1 is most significant and has to be implemented at all costs as there is this danger of infiltration of different energy, whether good or bad.

3) Female Veena artists to avoid playing, carrying or touching the Veena during the 4 or 5 days of their menstrual cycle. This causes disturbance of the purity of energy within the Veena. Apart from this the player's exertion of abdominal muscles while playing could lead to excessive bleeding and weakening of the uterus.

4) Point 3 causes serious blockages in the functioning of kundalini.

5) To remove drishti (nazar) of the Veena after every performance by circling the instrument with rock salt and lighted camphor (thrice anti-clockwise and thrice clockwise).

6) Before acquiring Veena, finding out whether the wood is pure Jackwood or not. A clairvoyant has the ability to feel the types of energy and wood of the Veena by merely gazing at the Veena, or even by running his/her hands over the instrument.

7) Using a dowser by a practitioner is also recommended. This will ascertain whether the Veena contains negative energy or not. Can any Veena contain negative energy? 

This brings us to the topic of Tantriks who use Veena as a medium for attracting (vashikaranam) and black magic.

Please note that the above points are not applicable to electric 'Veenas'.

   



Sunday, May 10, 2020

MY ICON (VEENA UNPLUGGED)

Recorded in 1999. For my icon, Michael Jackson- Jam.
Konnakol by Sri.T.H.Subhashchandran (at 4:33)

Thursday, May 7, 2020

SARASWATI VEENA -13

            MICROPHONE SOUND MIXING CONSOLE

A 'prana' (life force energy) induced resonance of Veena needs very little 'gain' in an acoustic microphone. Amazingly these Veenas can be recorded in all clarity even on an Iphone. The kundalini power induced resonance of Veena nadham does not depend on enhancements on the mixer or microphone console. Whereas when a Veena that depends on magnetic mike for stage performances (due to the obvious absence of kundalini shakthi induced resonance)  attempts an acoustic recording, extreme adjustments have to be made especially in the 'gain' (gain in microphone increases the amplitude of  microphone signals) and other enhancing levels like bass, treble, reverb etc. Sadly the beauty of pranic resonance is still not achieved.
The levels on the microphone console are a give away of whether the Veena contains human prana or not.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

NAAYIKA BHAAVAM (ULTIMATE STAGE OF DEVOTION-EMOTION OF A LOVER)

THIS INCIDENT IS AN EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK NADICHE DEVUDU (WALKING GOD-TELUGU). THE BOOK CONTAINS EXPERIENCES OF DEVOTEEES'  WITH JAGADGURU PUJYA SRI CHANDRASEKHARENDRA SARASWATHI, THE 68TH ACHARYA OF SRI KANCHI KAMAKOTI PEETHAM. WHILE ALL THE INCIDENTS WERE VERY ENGROSSING, THIS PARTICULAR ONE STAYED IN MY HEART FOR THE NAAYIKA BHAVAM (LOVER'S EMOTION) WHICH  THE ARDENT DEVOTEE SRI KALLURI VENKATA SUBRAHMANYA DEEKSHITHULU FELT FOR MAHA PERIYAVA (REFERRED TO AS 'SRIVARU' IN TELUGU). I HAVE TRANSLATED THIS INTO ENGLISH.
         JAGADGURU PUJYASRI CHANDRASEKHARENDRA SARASWATHI SWAMI

Srivaru was travelling in Tamil Nadu. I had made it a habit to have His Darshan during summer holidays. One fine evening He started His discourse in Tamil.
"It is a natural phenomenon for human beings to take birth and to die....Kama (Manmadha) is the cause of their birth while Kala (Yama) is the cause of their death. If these two (Kama and Yama) did not function there would be no birth or death. If one wants to escape rebirth, he must surrender himself to someone who has conquered Kama (Manmadha). If one wants to escape death he must surrender himself to somebody who has punished Yama. There is somebody great who has done both these things and that is none other than Lord Shiva who had conquered Kama (Smarahara) and Yama (Mrithyunjaya). Lord Srikantha may not be easily accessed, but Lord Shiva is very easy to approach, let us all surrender to Him! Namah Paarvathee Pathaye Harahara Mahaadeva!"

I joined the chorus along with the crowd. Srivaru started to narrate another incident.

After the discourse Srivaru rested on the terrace of somebody's house. Vedic brahmins were keeping vigil downstairs. It was past midnight. I was unable to sleep. I sat in the verandah area, pining, anxious and eager for the Darshan of Srivaru. Gathering courage I tried to enter the house. One brahmin who was keeping vigil stopped me and said in tamil, "Periyavaa is resting, you cannot go upstairs."

Utterly disappointed I turned back empathizing the agony of separation of Gopikas from Lord Krishna. I sat down again and tried to read some poems of Pothana. I simply could not focus on anything. Feeling a sudden sense of determination I got up abruptly. I walked towards the steps leading to the terrace and quickly climbed five steps. The brahmin who was keeping watch was looking in some other direction and did not notice me. I felt as though somebody called my name. I leapt on to the terrace in a flash.

I found Srivaru lying on His side, His head resting on His arm. Careful not to make noise I quietly tiptoed and stood a few feet away from Him.

"Kaha (Who)?" Srivaru asked in Sanskrit. 

"It's me, Kalluri."

He asked immediately' " Nidraa Naayaathaa Kim? Naidaaghasthaapo Baadhathevaa? ( Unable to sleep? Because of the heat)?" 

"Na Naidaaghasthaapaha- Not because of heat. From this morning I have not been fortunate to see You or be with You for at least five minutes. I have been longing and pining.  During Darshan I need to be with You in private for at least five minutes. I appeal for Your Ekantha Darshan (private Darshan). Please bless me with what I have asked You."

"Thvayi Gopikaathva Mathi Dishya Mayi Krishnathvam Sambhaavya Kimapi Sambhaavitham Khalu-(Are you feeling like a  Gopika woman and seeing Lord Krishna in me)?"

I wondered how Srivaru had guessed!!

Srivaru continued" Adya Asthaabhi Sthamila Bhaashaayaam Prasangaha Kruthaha Thvam Bhaashaanabhignyaha. Kim Jaanaasi Maduktham- (today I spoke in Tamil, did you understand)?"

" Srivaru had willed me to understand. That's why I could understand." I replied.Even though I have toured along with Srivaru in many parts of Tamil Nadu, I could never understand Tamil and found the language to be very difficult to comprehend. But that day.... I was surprised, I could easily follow Srivaru's discourse!! Of course, that is His will ... that I should understand His discourse. 
Srivaru asked me to tell the synopsis of His discourse that day. I told, in a nutshell, in the form of this sloka-

" Janimruthi Virathirbha Vedithithvaam Rathipathi Shaashakameesha Kaalakaalam
Himagiri Thanayaa Dwitheeya Meedey Parama Dayaarasa Meesha Madwitheeyam."

Meaning- " Manmathaa is the cause of birth, Kaala (Yama) is the cause of death. These two were conquered by the one and only dispassionate Mrithyunjaya, Chandrasekhara, Lord Shiva! He gave half of His body to the daughter of the Himalayan King, He is cool, compassionate and benevolent. By surrendering oneself to Lord Shiva one can defeat birth and death." I completed my narration of the gist of Srivaru's speech.

Srivaru heard with a smile. His smile spread around me like the moonlight.

"You asked for at least five minutes of my private time, now tell me how many minutes have gone by?" asked Srivaru.

"I think 15 minutes are over..." I told hesitantly.

Srivaru didn't answer and seemed to be in deep thought.

Seeing Him lying on the bare floor I burst out, " Srivaru, you are sleeping on the floor, I am unable to bear it, my heart is in agony."

Srivaru said immediately, "Kim Nashrutham (Didn't you hear)?" 

'Kshithithala Shayanam Tharuthalavaasaha
Karathalabhikshaa, Kowpeenavanthaha, Khalu Bhaagyavanthaha.'

Meaning- 'Most prosperous and fortunate are spiritual seekers in loin cloths. A floor to sleep, a tree under which to rest, a lump of rice in the palm- who can be more fortunate and prosperous than this? A person possessing anything more than this cannot be as content.' Srivaru consoled me and sent me to rest.- Courtesy-SRI KALLURI VENKATA SUBRAHMANYA DEEKSHITHULU








Saturday, May 2, 2020

Sarswati Veena in the true sense - COLOSSUS OF VEENA PART- 1

The Veena Yogi, Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan is 'Akka' to my mother ,Smt.Kamala Aswathama(who was from Hubli and did her gurukulavasam for 2 years in Smt.Kalpagam Swaminathan's house in the years 1956 to 1958). My mother had the honour of accompanying the stalwart in many kutcheris, and got to meet many legends like Sri. Boodalur Krishnamurthy, Sri Tiger Varadachary,Sri. Musiri Subramani Iyer, Sri. T.L.Venkatarama Iyer and others. Earlier as a student of Kalakshetra, she had the great fortune of coming under the direct tutelage of greats like Sri Mysore Vasudevachar, Sri M.D.Ramanathan and Sri.Karikkudi Sambasiva Iyer.
(Incidentally,during Sri.Mysore Vasudevachar's tenure in Kalakshetra, my mother, as a student and hostelite of Kalakshetra had the greatest fortune of washing his "panchapathram" (pooja utensils), sweeping his pooja room and decorating the pooja altar with "kolam" everyday throughout her student career. Since she was the only student who had sound knowledge of Kannada, Sri.Vasudevachar was able to communicate with/through her.
My mother met him for the last time when I was little baby. Carrying me to his house, she sought his blessings while he was in bed. He had blessed me by placing his hand on my head! The very next day the newspapers announced his sad demise!)
My parents' alliance materialised during my mother's gurukulavasam days in Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan's house. I literally owe my life to Smt.Kalpagam Swaminathan, who is more like a grandmother to me, but I call her "Teacher" like all her other students.
I remember the days when I was a mere child of 6. I would walk from 2nd main road to 7th main road, R.A.Puram to learn from Teacher. I used to love the sight of the "parijatham" flowers lying scattered in her garden, I used to rush to pick them up to tie them carefully in my handkerchief. All the while Teacher used to call out from the house, "Gayathri, SeekkiramVaamma!" Till today I associate the smell of Parijatham with Teacher.( Listening to her veena today, I am not surprised that she reminds me of a divine flower like "parijatham"!)
I had the honour of accompanying Teacher in Stella Maris College as a tiny tot of 7 ( in 1968 or 69). On stage she encouraged me like a loving grandmother and let me play the veena in my own childish way.
After so many years, in the recent Veenotsav09, when Teacher opted to play on my veena after my performance. I was thrilled! I felt that her touch on my veena had sanctified the vedic instrument even further.
As I watched the amazing display of her true nature, which is veena, she seemed like the colossus straddling the Veena arena, formidable and imposing in her knowledge of every aspect of veena playing and musicanship. Years of veena-sadhana without aiming for anything other than the divine pleasure of veena-playing have elevated her to the status of a nada yogi. Veena is an extension of herself and vice versa. Any distinction between herself and the veena has been dissolved through her soulful penance on veena, today the veena and Teacher have become one and the same!
Yesterday's "Samvada" held by Sampradaya had Teacher sharing her experiences and ancedotes with Smt.Suguna Varadacari. Her spontaneous expressions, disarming in their innocence were as forthright and assertive as her veena-playing. With Teacher seated in front of the banner that read "Sampradaya", she figuratively seemed to convey that she was many steps ahead of "sampradayam", reaching out to the Absolute through her veena. This veenayogi lives and breathes veena most naturally, and veena is simply her way of life. Natural dedication and devotion towards veena and traditional veena technique have laid the pathway towards contacting the divinity within herself. Divine radiance gushes forth in the form of heavenly resonance through every note that she produces on the veena. The heaviness (azhuththam) of every note produced by her fingers is laden with heavenly nectar! She is a yogi living in our midst today!
What are the striking aspects of her yogic abilities?

(Photograph-Veenotsav09, organised by Brahma Gana Sabha and Mudhra on 10/10/2009.Teacher playing on my veena, I am sitting behind her.)

Saraswati Veena in the true sense- COLOSSUS OF VEENA PART- 2

Exactly a week after Teacher's stupendous performance in the Veena Festival, I made up my mind to visit her. I wondered how I would get to the point of knowing whether she experienced certain things as a yogi in her advanced stages of nada yoga. Knowing her, she would only speak through her veena and her music. I even wondered if she was aware of her status as an advanced yogi! She only knew to breathe, drink and live veena/music.
I was tense and worried about whether she would understand the purpose of my visit. I thought I would plunge headlong into the issue of 'yogic experiences' after our initial small talk. The last thing I expected was for Teacher herself to volunteer the much needed information, and that too, most innocently! I was excited to say the least!
After enquiring about her health and other general issues, I asked her if she liked going to the US (she went to Cleveland last year and had also received an award). She was more excited to relate about her experience during her flight to the US. She told me that something extraordinary had happened in the flight. While all the passengers were fast asleep, Teacher alone was awake, feeling extremely thirsty. Teacher was unable to wake up her escort who was fast asleep and she was also not aware of the bell to summon the stewardess. I felt moved to tears when Teacher told me that she almost fainted due to thirst. Her parched throat felt so dry that she could not even whisper a word! Suddenly Teacher could hear her veena playing loudly in the aircraft. She said the loud volume could have easily woken up all the sleeping passengers. Teacher was utterly surprised that nobody woke up to the sound of the loud veena that was being played as inflight music! Her veena continued even after everybody woke up and Teacher was finally able to quench her thirst. Teacher asked all the other musicians who were travelling with her if they could listen to her veena. Despite straining their ears, none of them could hear the sound of veena and Teacher was totally puzzled.
Looking awestruck, Teacher told me that till date she was trying to figure out how none of them could listen to her veena that was being played at a high volume on board the flight.
As she was narrating the incident, I realised that Teacher heard the "Anahatha Nada" (unmanifested sound).Yogis of high order and in advanced stages of 'sadhana' acquire the power to detect sounds of bells, veena, conch, mridangam, ocean waves and thunders in the cosmos that is within and outside oneself. Teacher, though not consciously practising the veena for the sake of attaining meditative powers, has gained yogic experiences in her journey of nada yoga. She was able to invoke the veena from within her being, the unstruck sound became audible only for her ears. At this juncture, I was also reminded of the advice of a Reiki healer whom I had known. He had asked me to meditate during flights where the air prana (life-force energy of air) is visible to the naked eye. Meditation is most effective and yields faster results when performed on high altitudes, like hill tops, mountains and on board aircrafts. This healer even related to me an incident about a flight journey where his co-passenger had a cardiac arrest and had passed away during the flight. The healer told me that he was able to witness the light as it went out of the body of the dying passenger. The healer claims that even for a trained eye, a similar sight would have been nearly impossible had it occurred on a ground level.
Precisely the reason why Teacher could listen to the unmanifested sound so loudly and clearly in high altitude!

Saraswati Veena in the true sense COLOSSUS OF VEENA PART- 3

When we analyse the image of Goddess Saraswathi, we realise that She is normally picturised as holding the Veena in an inclined position (like a sitar). As a result, the upper trunk of Her physical body is required to be absolutely straight and erect in order to reach across to the lowest frets of the Veena. Playing the Veena in an erect posture facilitates the kundalini to flow freely in an upward motion (starting from the Mooladhara Chakra towards Sahasrara Chakra). My postings on "Veena Rahasya" and "Deiva Veena-Maanushi Veena" contain further details with regard to this subject.
A few years back, while in conversation with a man who is well-versed in 'tantrik yoga', I was advised to wear an abdomen belt while playing the veena. He said it was necessary to always keep in mind my posture even while engrossed in the melody of the Veena. Practitioners tend to stoop (especially when they are tall and broad-shouldered) while they are absorbed in playing the Veena.
That is precisely the reason why one should start learning to play the veena at a very young age, when the child's head barely reaches the veena dandi. The child's spine is naturally erect, owing to the small trunk of the child. The spinal chord is straight as the the child reaches upwards to run the left hand over the veena frets. By starting from a very young age, the practitioner gains enormous pranic-strength, as the naturally erect spine facilitates the smooth, upward flow of the life-force energy arising from the Mooladhara Chakra.
Looking at Teacher (Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan), I was able to understand her capacity to play so effortlessly at the age of 87! For somebody who needs to be assisted while walking, she is remarkably at ease as her hands work out the most complicated prayogas on veena. Being of average build, her height seems to have lessened further (due to ageing), forming a natural alignment of her chin and the veena-dandi. Her build, almost like that of a child of 10/12 years, is ideally suited for veena-playing, as her erect spine allows the smooth, upward flow of Kundalini. Physical strength is no match for life-force energy (kundalini shakthi) which can be activated only through erect posture of the upper trunk of the practitioner.

As a matter of interest, anybody could practically witness /experience the difference between playing the veena by a)hunching over the instrument and by b) sitting absolutely erect (without even the slightest bend in the upper trunk of the body). The player would feel tired and insipid while playing in the former position, whereas he/she is instantly rejuvenated when the shoulders are pushed back and the entire upper portion of the trunk is stiff and erect as per the latter position.
One need not worry about posture while playing the modern, distorted versions of Veena that are available in the market. While playing the Saraswathi Veena, every note produced has to be nurtured through Kundalini Yoga which is possible only through correct posture.








Friday, May 1, 2020

ATTRACTING ABUNDANCE (Power of Affirmations)



My favourite pastime is to watch videos of  Gayathri Reddy modelling her own creations of delicious looking rich colours splashed across yards of pastry-smooth silks. Her descriptions of the sarees she is modelling while draping it across her shoulder, ("Idi entha baagundo cheppalenu, chaalaa ante chaalaa chaalaa baagundi. Antha baagundi...!") ooze innocence and genuineness. Her hearty appreciation of each and every saree she models (she probably would have modeled thousands of them till now) are not mere salesman tactics, but seem more like ardent love for the beauty of the sarees. Every saree of hers has her gushing "Chaalaa chaalaa baagundi", from the bottom of her heart.

So why am I blogging this?! Gayathri Reddy's positive affirmation, "chaalaa chaalaa baagundi (very very nice)" is unwittingly her pathway to success. Her hearty declarations of "how beautiful, so nice".... are mantras for attracting abundance in life. But shouldn't fake it, must feel passionately when you utter the positive affirmation "chaalaa chaalaa baagundi!!"- like the entrepreneur Gayathri Reddy.


FEATURED POST

Bhagavan Sri Viswaguru Vidyaranya Swami Aradhana, December 2020

  BHAGAVAN SRI VISWAGURU VIDYARANYA SWAMI ARADHANA POOJA IN ASHRAM, Narasaraopet, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh.