Friday, May 7, 2021

Om Achyuthaaya Namaha, Om Ananthaaya Namaha, Om Govindaaya Namaha- NEED OF THE HOUR

SLOKAS RENDERED BY SMT. GAYATHRI GIRISH

24th April, 2021, a hot summer afternoon- The eerie silence on the otherwise busy roads of Bangalore gave me the chills. I thought of the sloka recommended by Maha Periyava, for defeating terminal diseases.

1) ACHYUTHAANANTHA GOVINDA NAAMOCCHAARANA BHESHAJAATH
NASHYANTHI SAKALAA ROGAAHA SATHYAM SATHYAM VADAAMYAHAM.
2) ACHYUTHAANANTHA GOVINDA VISHNO NAARAAYANAAMRUTHA 
ROGAANMEY NAASHAYAASESHAAN AASHUDHANVANTHAREY HAREH.
3) ACHYUTHAANANTHA GOVINDA VISHNO DHANVANTHAREY HAREH
VAASUDEVAAKHILAANASYA ROGAAN NAASHAYA NAASHAYA.
4 ACHYUTHAANANTHA GOVINDA SACCHIDAANANDA SHAASHVATHA
MACCHETHO RAMATHAAM NITHYAM THVACCHAARU CHARANAAMBUJE.

The above 4 slokas from Aapadudhaaraka Stotram are specifically meant for prevention of serious diseases. Chanting this sloka as many times as possible will protect one from serious health issues.

 A simplified method-

OM ACHYUTHAAYA NAMAHA, OM ANANTHAAYA NAMAHA,OM GOVINDAAYA NAMAHA  are the magical mantras one must keep chanting to ward off diseases. The 3 magical names of Lord Vishnu have powerful vibrations to keep diseases of any magnitude at bay. 

The Nama-thraya-mantra is known for its powers of healing and curing any deadly disease.

Method- Chant aloud for 108 times, chant mentally through out the day.



Friday, April 30, 2021

Bhagavan Sri Viswaguru Vidyaranya Swami Bhajan


 “VIDYAARANYA PAAHIMAAM, VIDYAARANYA RAKSHAMAAM.....” a home recording on mobile phone (30th April,2021)

Sunday, April 18, 2021

SPEECHLESS, PRICE TAG



 A LAZY SUNDAY AFTERNOON (18th April, 2021).... my granddaughter Shreeja belting out SPEECHLESS and PRICE TAG...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Selfless Dedication

SUBBALAKSHMI WITH HER GRANDSON 
Smt. Subbalakshmi Satyanand, well known as Meduri Subbalakshmi (child prodigy in Veena of the 70s) in one of her prayer-like Veena sessions in her residence. This most sattvik artiste who plays the acoustic Saraswati Veena is my cherished childhood friend right from early 70s. Precious as she is, her strict practice routine at home is charged by the power of Time. She maintains certain practice hours and never changes her timings. Such time-bound practice yields divine inner strength and ultimate tranquility. Smt. Subbalakshmi Satyanand exudes qualities imbibed through  her meditative Veena practice. 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Sun Rises

                                     RISING SUN                                     The transit of sun from Pisces to Aries (on 14th April, 2021) which is  round the corner is a much awaited event. Sun leaving the watery Pisces to enter its fiery comfort zone of Aries and that too in exaltation heralds sunny beginnings and a great surge of positivity!!

Monday, March 29, 2021

TRISHAKTHI


 1) HAMIRKALYANI THILLANA, 2) MANIKKA VEENAI ENDHUM, 3) CHANDRAKAUNS THILLANA 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

KvanathKAANCHIdhaamaa.....

                                                                                                                                                                              


My meditation of the 7th sloka of Soundarya Lahari 10 years ago was a revelation! The “Kanchi” vibration of the first verse (Kvanathkaancheedhaama) in the sloka manifested itself and led me to Kanchipuram, to Kamakshi. Sloka 7 of Soundarya Lahari-“KVANATHKANCHEEDHAAMAA KARIKALABHAKUMBHASTHANANATHAA  PARIKSHEENAAMADHYE PARINATHASHARASCHANDRAVADANAADHANURBAANAAN PAASHAAM SHRUNUMAPI  DADHAANAA KARATHALAIHI PURASTHAADAASTHAAN NAHA PURAMATHITHURAAHO PURUSHEEKAA!” Seated with my Veena and speaker/amp in the cramped, limited area in Gayathri Mandapam I directly faced Goddess Kamakshi. While drinking in the beauty of Her dancing eyes in the glow of the bright oil lamps surrounding Her I lost myself in the overflowing emotions that poured out of my Veena. Seated in darkness  I was not visible to the long queue of ardent devotees lined up below the Mandapam. I was drenched in sweat as I performed in the hot summer afternoon but I was oblivious to the discomfort. Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of devotees puzzled and searching for the source of Veena Naadham. That brought a smile to my lips.... while Her eyes continued to dance in the dazzling lights. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Monday, March 8, 2021

WOOD VIBES-2


The above is an acoustic recording/presentation.

BHOGAVASANTHAM and SUDDHADHANYASI. The panchama varjya ragam Bhogavasantham becomes shadjyama varjyam (devoid of 'SA') when the scale changes to create Suddhadhanyasi. The 'RI' of the ragam is used as 'SA' for scale change (Sruthi Bhedam) to form the ragam, Suddhadhanyasi out of Bhogavasantham.

(ABOUT THE RECORDING:-TOWARDS THE END OF THE RECORDING A SLIGHT DISTURBANCE HAS OCCURED IN THE SRUTHI. I AM POSTING THE SAME EVEN WHEN I HAD THE OPTION OF RECORDING ONE MORE TIME IN PERFECT SRUTHI. I AM UPLOADING THE SAME AS THIS IS NOT A COMMERCIAL SITE AND STRICTLY FOR EXCLUSIVE AND SELECT PERSONS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN FACTS. ACOUSTIC VEENAS ARE PRONE TO ENVIROMENTAL AND SEASONAL FACTORS AS ONE CAN SEE IN THE RECORDING. ALSO DUE TO DISTANCE OF THE RECORDING MOBILE, THE VEENA IS SLIGHTLY SHARP AND FEEBLE IN TONE.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

WOOD VIBES-1


WOOD VIBES-This is recorded using a mobile phone. No contact mike/pickup has been attached to the Veena. I have started playing on this Veena from the third week of January, 2021. The budding resonance of pure jackwood grains (of an old, unused Veena which happened to reach my hands) is what one can hear in the following 2 video clippings. Please use earphones for volume.
SAALAGABHAIRAVI and ABHERI alapana no.1-


SAALAGABHAIRAVI and ABHERI alapana no.2 (slightly lengthier version) 


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

SARASWATI VEENA-20

 


Size of Veenas differs from one another. Either the kudam is bigger or smaller than the other, or the Veena 'dandi' is lengthier or wider than the other. It's not necessary to record particulars of the size of Veena with a measuring tape. 

A Veena has to be tested by using and trying out different gauges of strings. It's wrong to state that all Veenas must use same gauges for saarani and panchamam strings.

The gauge is determined by testing it's 'jeeva' or 'kaarvai' (sustenance and resounding naadham or resonance when the string is played upon). The sound should not be clipped, but sustained and continuous (like in the case of tambura).

In my experience the same gauge measures differently, going by the brands and music showrooms. It's important to try out different gauges to arrive at the point of honeyed sweetness only a Veena is capable of yielding.

ABOVE APPLICABLE TO ACOUSTIC VEENAS ONLY

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Monday, February 22, 2021

WITNESSING ONESELF


Highly disciplined people, a few specific persons,  who despite immense wealth and prosperity follow a strict routine of God worship and meditation.
But will they be able to maintain the same discipline during a time of crisis?! That's when the mettle is tested. The real test to one's integrity lies in one's ability to unwaveringly conduct the disciplined routine of pre-crisis even during the time of crisis. 
The following is a great practice-
The Higher Self within ourselves is God or witness. The practice of withdrawing ourselves into the brightness of the Higher Self within and to start witnessing everything around including our own selves reveals the light at the end of the tunnel. 
The light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter as we gradually begin to realize the fact that our  namesake could be anybody or everybody else and not necessarily the bodies we are identifying ourselves with. As soon as this realization dawns on oneself,  bouquets or brickbats; adulation or assaults; justified or unfair....all will cease to touch oneself.
Nothing can affect ......really......it's a blissful state of detachment.....



Monday, February 15, 2021

VASANTHA PANCHAMI


 

VASANTHA PANCHAMI, THE SEASON OF SPRING AND LOVE-
Saint Thyagaraja  has composed this krithi in one of the most romantic raagams, Brindavana Saranga. "Kamala Kalathra" (Seetha Devi) as mentioned in the anupallavi is perhaps the dazzling gemstone added to the jewel called 'Kamalapthakula..."

16TH FEBRUARY 2021-VASANTHA PANCHAMI

The Vasantha Panchami heralds the beginning of the season of spring and love! 
The Goddess of Learning, Saraswathi is worshipped on this auspicious day. Many are not aware that this Goddess is also present in the Maadhuryaleela of Lord Rama and Seetha Devi as the female companion (Sakhi) of Seetha Devi!
Agasthya Samhitha, the ancient text of Sri Vaishnavism states (in Sri Rama Upasana) as follows-
"Dhyaatvaacha Manmatham Raamam Seethaamapi Rathim Smareth".

"One should meditate on Lord Rama as Manmadha (Kama Deva) and Seetha Devi as Rathi Devi (the potential pleasure of Lord Rama) in their worship, be it japam, homam or meditation."

Agasthya Samhitha further recommends that devotees should worship the divine couple with flowers, fruits, sweets, perfumes and exotic offerings. Flowers and clothes in the color of yellow and green are offered to the celestial couple.
It was during the spring season, following Vasantha Panchami that Lord Rama and His beloved wandered in the beautiful forests of Ayodhya and walked across the banks of River Sarayu...
                   LORD RAMA (MANMATHA)-SEETHA DEVI (RATHI DEVI)

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Valentine's Day -All About Loving.....


 PLAYING ON A NEW VEENA (FOR THE PAST ONE MONTH)
Kannanidam Eduthu Solladi Kiliye, Kanni Naan Avanidam Konda Kaadhalai...... Oonurakkam Vittu Avanai Ninaindhu Ullam Mezhugai Urugugiren Enru........ (Ragam- Darbari Kanada,Thalam- Adi, Lyrics- Ambujam Krishna, Music- My Guru, Sri.T.M.Thyagarajan)
 
Pyaar Kiyatho Darna Kya and Lag Jaa Gale (Only pallavis)


P.S. I HAVE BEEN PLAYING ON THIS VEENA ONLY FOR THE PAST ONE MONTH

Thursday, February 11, 2021

WISH FULFILLMENT!



HIRANMAYEEM LAKSHMEEM- RAGAM-LALITHA, THALAM-RUPAKAM, COMPOSER-SRI.MUTHUSWAMY DIKSHITHAR.

Playing this on Veena along with sahithyam (lyrics) for 40 days without break will yield unexpected abundance, fortune and wish-fulfillment.


DURGA SAPTASHATI (11th Chapter)


DURGA SAPTASHATI 11th CHAPTER FOR RAHU MAHADASHA/ANTARDASHA PERIOD. 

Listening or chanting the above everyday enhances native's natal chart's benefic Rahu or mitigates malefic Rahu results during Rahu Mahadasha/Antardasha period as well as during Rahu transits.

Friday, February 5, 2021

GURU VANDHANAM


My Guru, late Sri.T.M.Thiagarajan was an expert composer of krithis, varnams, pallavis and structuring krithis. His compositions of chittaswarams were admired by musicians and scholars. Many seasoned musicians perform his chittaswarams and compositions in thier concerts.
Above is a very humble offering of his chittaswarams through my album VEENA VANDHANAM for Geethanjali Audio (recorded in the 90s). Mridangam- Sri.R.Ramesh, Ghatam- Sri. Ghatam Karthick

Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Majestic Temples!


VEENA AND VIOLA-The rendition of Brahmakadigina Paadamu (Ragam-Mukhari, Adi thalam and composed by Annamacharya) was picturized in the great temples, Sri Kamakshi and Sri Varadarajaswamy temples of Kanchipuram for a musical produced by Sri. Govind Nallappa and telecast by Doordarshan in the 80s.

A unique combination of Veena and Viola with the viola played by none other than the legendary late Dr. Balamuralikrishna! His mastery of the instrument was amazing! The audio was recorded in Sangeetha Studio (Sri.Guruvayur Dorai- mridangam). Our action was filmed as we played our instruments according to the recorded audio version. The video was shot in bits in Sri Kamakshi as well as in Sri Varadarajaswamy temple, Kanchipuram.
Many devotees and vedic brahmins gathered around us to watch the film shoot. Dr. Balamuralikrishna's casual banter and jokes put me at ease as I felt painfully shy and self-conscious during the filming.
The temple prasadam (of pulihara-tamarind rice, chakkara pongal-jaggery rice and vadas) was served as lunch in the thick foliage of mango and various other trees in the backyard of Sri Varadarajaswamy Temple. 
The 2-day shoot in the holy and pure atmosphere of these majestic temples will forever stay in my memory!

 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Divine Ecstasy


MAMAVATHU SRI SARASWATHI- HINDOLAM-MYSORE SRI.VASUDEVACHAR

SRI T.M.THIAGARAJAN-Vocal

Ultimate Bliss


SRI RAJARAJESWARI-POORVIKALYANI-TANJAVUR SRI.SANKARA IYER (COMPOSER)

SRI. T.M.THIAGARAJAN-Vocal
SRI.M.S.GOPALAKRISHNAN- Violin
SRI. T.K.MURTHY-Mridangam


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

THE ULTIMATE GURU


                                       With my musical God and Guru, TMT (late)

1988-2005-
My music sessions with my ultimate Guru, philosopher and guide, late Sri.T.M.Thiagarajan were life-changing. He opened doors to a new magical world of over-flowing music and limitless creativity. My 15 years of training under him (since 1988) was the best phase in my life. 
A genius, he combined the power of his super-intellect-braincells with the cry of his soul. He achieved ultimate contentment through his music and lived on his terms.
He's my ultimate Guru, my musical God!
(Words are not adequate to express the treasure I had gained from this great legend....)



Monday, January 18, 2021

Gems of Swathi Thirunal


 
FUSION ALBUM IN COLD STORAGE- 1) PARIPALAYAMAM-REETHIGOWLA, RUPAKAM. 2) PAHI JAGATJANANI, HAMSANANDHI, ADI.

This album containing 15 numbers with jazz orchestra was recorded more than 2 decades ago but never found its light. Above are 2 numbers from the unreleased album.

P.S- This is a raw product, as you can make out that the sound and pitch levels have not been balanced. The final mixing of the product has never happened so far.
My Veena was recorded alone to the metronome beat. The body of orchestra was added later on to the skeleton of my Veena. I was told that the lead guitar solos were played by Keith Peters.
Kindly pardon uneven pitches and sound levels- E.Gayathri

Friday, January 15, 2021

Playing In The Dark

DANCING IN THE DARK- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN


My favourite Bruce Springsteen number, " Dancing in the dark" reminds me of my earlier Veena practice as a teenager.

"Playing in the dark" is what I used to do. I would switch off the lights in my room to make it pitch dark so that the Veena frets were not visible to me.



Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Rare Krithis of Mysore Sri.Vasudevachar

MYSORE SRI.VASUDEVACHAR
From left- My mother, late Sri.S.Rajaram (Grandson of Mysore Sri. Vasudevachar), Smt. Padmasini (Kalakshetra-member of administration), Smt. S.Rajaram


                                                         LATE SRI.S. RAJARAM

RAJARAM UNCLE (carrying my 20 days old daughter Haritha) AND MYSELF-a1984 photograph 

1984- 
KALAKSHETRA COLONY, CHENNAI.

He was appointed as Principal/ Director of the institution around the years 1984 to 1987. 
Our music sessions twice a week were filled with soulful raga exchanges and mainly krithis of Mysore Sri.Vasudevachar. Singing to a perfectly tuned tambura Rajaram Uncle would lose himself in his music, music was meditation for him.
His renditions of "Pahi Sambho" in Mohanakalyani and "Bhavayeham Raghuveeram" in Behaag are unforgettable and will always remain fresh in my memory. Our music sessions went on for almost all through his term in Kalakshetra, till he went back to Mysore.


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Veena Nada Yogini

WITH TEACHER

VEENA NADA YOGI, SMT. KALPAGAM SWAMINATHAN

1967-1968:-

I took my father's handkerchief which was big enough to tie all the flowers. I wanted to pick up all the 'parijatham' flowers that were lying scattered on the ground under the big 'parijatham' tree in Teacher's house. "Teacher", that's how I called my Parama Guru (mother/Guru's Guru), Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan.

It was a weekend routine. The walk from my house in 2nd main road, R.A.Puram to Teacher's house in 7th cross road, R.A.Puram was completed in no time as I skipped and hopped my way to her house.

My friends Tooti, Lokki and Bommi waved at me from their houses calling out loudly to me to meet them after my class. The R.A.Puram of 60s was a very calm area and quite safe for children to walk alone.

I ran the remaining steps leading to Teacher's house heading directly for  the 'parijatham' flowers. The gate opened noisily and as always I forgot  to close it.

"Gayathri, have you come? Close the gate child!" Teacher's voice came from the side room where she conducts her Veena classes. Obviously the screechy sound of the gate alerted her. I planned to first collect all the flowers before going inside.

As though reading my mind Teacher called out, "You can pick the flowers later child, come inside quickly. I have other students lined up after you."

Sulking, I went inside.

"Samatthu ( good child)", smiling affectionately Teacher asked, "Now show me what you learned in your last class."

2 YEARS OF TRAINING UNDER THE GRAND GURU (1967, 68) FOR ENHANCED TECHNIQUE THROUGH A COLLECTION OF VARNAMS AND KRITHIS. I WAS BLESSED AND PRIVILEGED TO ACCOMPANY HER (AT AGE 7) IN HER PERFORMANCE IN STELLA MARIS COLLEGE, CHENNAI.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

SRI MATHA SANGEETHA VIDYALAYA



GOVERNMENT SPONSORED VEENA GROUP COMPETITION HELD IN CENTRAL COLLEGE (PRESENTLY TAMILNADU GOVERNMENT MUSIC COLLEGE, ADYAR) IN 1970. Representing our Veena school Sri Matha Sangeetha Vidyalaya which is headed by my mother/Guru Smt. Kamala Aswathama, we were the youngest group to receive the first prize in the group competition. The prize consisted of silver Veena, regular Veena and a gold medal. Participants of the group- my elder brother-G.Vijayaraghavan, my dear friend and Veena student of Sri Matha Sangeetha Vidyalaya- Tata Bhanumathi (presently staff Veena artist of All India Radio, Pondicherry) and myself. In the photo (standing from left- Bhanu, my mother/Guru and myself. Seated from left- my younger sister Shyamala (presently Smt. Shyamala Sajnani who has taken over Sri Matha Sangeetha Vidyalaya and managing the school in Mumbai) and my elder brother G.Vijayaraghavan.
 
Myself, on behalf of our group receiving the gold medal from late Veena maestro, Sri.Kalyanakrishna Bhagavathar.

My mother/Guru receiving the regular Tanjore Veena from late Sri. Kalyanakrishna Bhagavathar.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

My Veena Guru-My Mother



MY VEENA GURU, MY MOTHER,  SMT. KAMALA ASWATHAMA
WITH MY MOTHER/GURU, HYDERABAD, TELANGANA
SERVED IN VADYA VRINDA (ALL INDIA RADIO, Chennai) AS VEENA ARTIST (retired-1991)
My mother, as a student of Kalakshetra. In the photo she can be spotted slightly above the right shoulder of Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale. Also seen in the photo are Sri.M.D.Ramanathan, Sri. D.Pasupathi, Smt. Shantha Dhananjayan ( seated on the ground, far left), Adyar Sri.Lakshman, Budalur Sri. Krishnamurthy Shastri, Dr. Krishna Menon etc.

PHOTO NO.3- In younger times with my mother/Guru.
VIDEO  - My mother enjoying listening to her favorite bhajans in her favorite balcony in Saket Pranaam, Hyderabad, Telangana (as on 12th December, 2020 at 03.55 pm).

DETAILS ABOUT MY VEENA GURU- GURUKULAVASAM with Mysore Sri. Vasudevachar and Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan.

Studied in Kalakshetra (Gurus- Mysore Sri. Vasudevachar, Sri.M.D.Ramanathan, Budalur Sri. Krishnamurthy Shastri, Karaikkudi Sri. Sambasiva Iyer).
 

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Last Prayer to my God

  E.VENKATA RAMAKRISHNA 26/08/1950-10/05/2021