Origin of Indian Music

Music is the oldest of all arts which
have been in existence, even before man or animals. It is this sound which has
been referred to as Anāhata Nāda. 
Sāma Vedādidam Geetham Sanjagrāha Pitāmaha

Brahma derived music from Sāma veda.
The Melody of sāman is delightful to the ear and heart, and so Sāma veda can
also be called Chandas meaning- to please. Sruthi affirms this: 
Swargo Vai Lōkaha Sāmavedaha

Sāma veda is verily the heavenly
world. Heavenly melody lifts one to the highest divine experience in the
opinion of Yagnavalkya. He who knows actual play of Veena, an expert in the
Science of melody and time easily attains Brahman. Sri Krishna has declared –
Among Vedas I am Sāma veda. This ascertains that Sāma veda earned a special
recognition for its musical form.

Music has a divine origin and is
named after celestial nymphs- deities of sound called Muses. According to
Indian culture, music is also called Gandharva Vidya, as it was practiced by
Celestial minstrels called Gandharvas.

An all pervading sound rang through
space even before the creation of world. According to puranas, Brahma the
creator, Vishnu the performer, and Maheshwara the destroyer were fond of music
and were themselves musicians. Saraswathi the consort of Brahma is said to be
well versed in playing Veena.

According to Hindu Mythology:

Vishnu holding the conch in one hand,
while churning the ocean, was charmed with the vocal recital of Maheshwara, and
began to melt. It is said that this gave birth to the sacred river Ganges. Lord
Shiva was so much elated with joy after slaying the demon Tripura that he began
to dance. Brahma prepared a drum out of the earth saturated with the demon’s
blood, covering both the heads of the instrument with demon’s skin and asked
Ganesha to keep time (laya) to the performance.

Brahma began to impart knowledge of
music to his disciples. Of them Tumburu, the inventor of the stringed
instrument cultivated and spread the knowledge of Vocal music. The celestial female
dancer Rambha learnt and taught dancing. Narada the inventor of stringed
instrument Mahati Veena and Bharata the father of Drama practiced theory of
Music. Each of these musicians composed musical treatises. It is also said that
the court of Indra had abundant celestial musicians who entertained him with
songs, dance and drama.

Another version says:

Since Brahma is the eternal supreme
power and also the creator of universe, the origin of music starts from him. He
imparted this heavenly art to Shiva the god of eternal bliss, who bestowed it
to Saraswati the goddess of knowledge and wisdom, who in turn taught this art
to the heavenly musicians and dancers, namely Gandharvas, Apsaras and Kinnaras.
These divinities are supposed to have taught this art to the great hermits like
Narada, Hanuman, Bharata and others, who descended to earth, for imparting
knowledge to the mortal beings.

When we casually mention the identity of a raga or a composition, we should remember that in each case it is the finished product of human experiences and experiments going back to thousands of years. The distinct characters of our music has been built up and enriched by the cumulative effort of ideas and experiments of our ancients. The object of studying history is to recapture all the important stages of the human efforts. Thus we can divide the whole range of history of Indian music into three broad periods under- Ancient, Medieval and Modern.


Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar and Compositions in 72 Melas

The controversy of rendering
compositions in all the 72 Melas i.e. with Vivadi melas is there since a long
time. Mela is a Janaka raga or Melakarta raga which was first mentioned by Sri
Vidyaranya in his treatise Sangitha Saara during 14th century and later
formulated systematically by Venkatamukhi in 17th century. Maha Vaidyanatha
Iyer composed a Ragamalika in 72 Melas followed by some more composers
composing individual kritis in all the 72 melas like Koteeshwara Iyer,
Dr.M.Balamurali Krishna and others.

This controversy which was a topic of
discussion mainly in Tamilnadu, stepped into Mysore also. Sometime in the year
1926 the famous Nagaswara Vidwan Madhurai Ponnuswamy visited Mysore Palace. It
was Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s reign in Mysore during that period. This was
said to be a Golden era for Karnatak Music. Once it so happened, Ponnuswamy in
presence of the King mentioned- only 32 Melas were suitable for compositions
and the remaining 40 Vivadi melas not worthy to sing and hence can as well be
removed from the 72 Mela system. This statement annoyed both King and his court
musicians.

Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar himself
being a Musician decided to show Ponnuswamy the importance of all the 72 melas.
He ordered the court musicians/ composers to compose kritis in all the 72
melas, and also announced a reward for the composer who would complete the
assignment first. At once the composers were all set to accept the challenge.

It was senior Belakawadi Srinivasa
Iyengar-1888 to 1936 AD, who first completed composing kritis in all the 72
melas. A letter written by Durbar Bakshi dated 5th April 1927, which is in
possession of Palace Archives, Mysore, confirms the above fact. The letter also
states that Srinivasa Iyengar played these kritis on Violin explaining the
subtleties of the ragas to the King and received honors.

According to the records at the same Archives dated 6th of August 1928, Vidwan Chikkarama Rao- 1891 to 1945 AD also a court musician of Mysore composed kritis in all the 40 Vivadi melas and two kritis less in the remaining 32 ragas, summing to total 70.

It is disheartening to note that none
of these kritis are available with the descendents or the shishya parampara.
Their innocence and Raja bhakti made them to submit all compositions to the
King, without keeping a copy for themselves.

It is disheartening to note that none
of these kritis are available with the descendents or the shishya parampara.
Their innocence and Raja bhakti made them to submit all compositions to the
King, without keeping a copy for themselves.

Veena Shivaramiah– 1886 to 1946 AD appears to be more sensible in this aspect. Before presenting the 72 kritis to King Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, he might have kept a copy of the compositions or collected back after the perusal of the King. These are still in the possession of his descendents and now it is published. After composing the last kriti Dinamani chayāpate in raga Rasikapriya, he has written a note in Kannada- with this I have completed kritis in all the 72 Melakarta ragas as ordered by his Highness, and submitted them with due respects.

Mysore Vasudevacharya’s compositions in ragas Varunapriya, Vakulabharana, Kokilapriya, Bhavapriya, Sarasangi and many more justifies that he had also attempted composing in these rare melas. Veena Sheshanna’s compositions in some of the melas like Vanaspati, Jhālavarali, Rishabhapriya, Nātakapriya, Gānamurti etc. rises a doubt, that he also might had challenged Ponnuswamy at the tail end of his life.

There might be many more composers in
the court of Mysore, who attempted to compose kritis in 72 melakarta ragas on
the behest of His Highness Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Unfortunately the
treasure of compositions has been lost along with the glory of Wodeyar dynasty.


Luminaries of Mysore - Veena Shamanna (1832-1908 A.D)

Once a musician from different state came to the Court of Mysore,
boasting that he could play shatkāla pallavi on Jaltarang and asked the King to
bestow the winning certificate on him.The King accepting it as a challenge,
replied that he could certify him only after he defeated his court musicians.
One of the Court musicians immediately played on Veena a pallavi in the raga Natakuranji.
He also sang the pallavi in trikala set to one gati, maintaining the tala in
another gati. When the visiting musician was asked to play in 4th speed, he
could neither sing nor play on Jaltarang. Accepting his defeat the musician
left the palace. The court musician was honoured by the King for keeping up the
prestige of the state. This great musician was none other than Veena
Shamanna.

Shamanna was born to Rama Bhagavatar
in the year 1832 A.D. His ancestors were under the patronage of Tanjore Kings.
When famine struck in those areas, the brothers Rama Bhagavatar and Lakshmana
Bhagavatar left Tanjore and settled at Gopichettypalyam.

Later with the ambition of receiving
patronage from Wodeyars the rulers of Mysore, they traveled towards Mysore. During
the journey, Lakshmana Bhagavatar died and Rama Bhagavatar alone with his
family came to Mysore somewhere between 1845–1850 A.D. Mummadi Krishnaraja
Wodeyar pleased by the knowledge of Rama Bhagavatar, gave him a respectable job
of performing on festivals and other important days in Kote Varahaswamy and
Trinayaneshwara temples, which were situated in the Palace premises.

Shamanna learnt Veena from his father
and gradually became an ace Veena player. Chamaraja Wodeyar IX, the King of
Mysore appointed him as his Court musician, and this continued till the end of
his life, even during Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s reign.

Shamanna popularly known as Tāla Brahma was not only a Vainika but also well versed in playing Violin, Ghatam and Swarabath. He was very conservative and strictly adhered to the shastras or theoretical aspects of music. He had composed few Swarajathis and a Varna.

Shamanna’s house was a center of
Cultural activities. Many great musicians like Parameshwara Bhagavatar, Maha
Vaidyanatha Iyer, Pallavi Shesha Iyer, Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar, Tirukkodikaval
Krishna Iyer and others visited his house. Shamanna was the first music teacher
of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and his sisters. The royal family’s respect towards
him was so high that, a street in Mysore was named after Veena Shamanna and he
was presented seven houses in that lane.

Many are the laurels and awards to
his credit. Among them a silver medal engraved with Peacock was awarded at
Madras in the year 1880. Many come under the shishya parampara of Veena
Shamanna. Apart from his children Veena Ramanna and Veena Subramanya Iyer, his
nephew Subbarayaru, Veena Padmanabiah, Sundara Shastry and Karoor Krishnarao
were prominent disciples.


Katha Keertan In South India Lecture delivered by Dr B M Sundaram in the National Seminar on Katha Keertan

Dr. B M Sundaram
Karnatak Musician and Musicologist

Every religion has its base in the
scriptures, many of which were revelations to the great seers. Hindu religion
has its base in the Vedas. They insist on Dharma. “Dhriyate janai: iti
Dharma:”It implies charity, piety, morality and so on. This message is carried
to the man, through the characters in a story and this is the very purpose of
the Puranas. Those, who undertook to spread the underlying message of the
Puranas among the people, were called ‘Pauranikas’ or ‘Upanyasakas’.
Story-telling has been in existence in our country, since very early times. For
instance, in the households, the mother induces the child to sleep, with the
help of a story. In Tamizhnadu, there were and are people, who extol ‘Maha
Bharata’ consecutively for many nights. In Karnataka, it had different names
like ‘Katha Vinoda’, ‘Kathana’, ‘KathaPrasanga’ ‘Goshti’ etc. Similar types of
storytelling are prevalent in Andhra Pradesh also. It took a refined shape in
‘Purana Pravachana’ (literary discourse) and not much later as ‘Sangeeta
Upanyasams’ (musical discourses). Those endowed with sweet voice and knowledge
in music, as also, Puranas and Smrtis, became Sangeeta Upanyasakas.

Maharashtra is spoken of by learned
men as the ‘Bhakti Land’. There the art of ‘Powada’ (Marathi version of the
Sanskrit word, ‘Pravāda’) singing was quite popular, at least from the last
part of the 16thcentury. ‘Powada’ in general is a ballad, eulogizing great
heroes, mighty warriors and tactful dacoits. Noticing such sessions were in no
way beneficial to the people, except being an entertainment, wise men like
Vaman Pandit, Moropant, Mayurpant, Amrutaraya Kavi, Chintaman Kavi and some
others composed ‘Keertans’, stressing the need of Bhakti, in the footsteps of
their predecessors like Eknath, Tukaram and Namdev. When devotion towards God
and patriotic feelings among the common people started to dwindle, it became an
inevitable necessity to tell them, through moral stories about these,
musically. Speech (comprising of stories, mostly drawn from the Puranas, with
relevant examples) interspersed with musical compositions in praise of God or
His devotees or on a specific theme-an amalgamation of all these blossomed as a
new art-form, called ‘Keertan’. The word ‘Keertan’ is from the verbal root ‘krt
samsabdane’ – singing the auspicious qualities of God and this, originally,
meant only a devotional song. Keertan or Keertanam is one among the nine-fold
Bhakti forms. Samartha Ramdoss declares “Kaliyugee keertan karāve- kėvala
kómala kuśala gāvė”(In this Kali age, do Keertan). ‘Padma Purana’, as also,
‘Bhāgavata Sāram’, portrays the Keertan performance of Shuka. The name
‘Keertan’, originally ascribed to songs of devotional nature, was adapted to
the new art-form of Maharashtra, by its progenitors. Sant Namdev (17.11.1268-
9.6.1350) is considered to be the earliest ‘Keertankar’. Samartha Ramdoss Svami
(13.4.1608- 1.12.1681), guru of Chhatrapati Sivaji, at the request of the king
composed and presented ‘Keertans’. This helped to invigorate the people, who
were at that time, mentally depressed by the terrorizing activities of the
Moghul Emperor, Aurangazeb.

With regard to the advent of
‘Keertan’ in the South, let me first take up Tamizhnadu. Marathas came to
Tanjavur in 1675. Ekoji, step-brother of Chhatrapati Sivaji came to Tanjavur
and after the demise of the ruler, Vijayaraghava Nayak on 3.2.1675, crowned himself
as the king on 17.3.1675. With him and sooner or later, a number of Maratha
families, from Maharashtra domiciled to Tanjavur. In 1676, Samartha Ramdoss
Svami, en-route to Ramesvaram came to Tanjavur and camped there for about a
month and later left some of his disciples, namely Bheemraj Svami, Bheem
Gosvami at Bhikaji Shahpurkaar and Raghava Svami. These three established their
mutts at Tanjavur, Mannargudi and Konur. They, in turn, got many followers and
the Samartha sampradaya flourished. All the heads of these mutts regularly did
worship and performed Keertans. This was the ‘Ankurarpana’ for the art of
‘Keertan in Tanjavur and around.

Inspired by the Marathi Keertankars,
Varahur Gopala Bhagavatar (1815- 1878) was the first one to do the discourses,
standing. But it was not real Keertan or Harikathakalakshepam. His accompanists
had their seats among the audience. When songs were sung, members of the
audience joined as a chorus to repeat each line and it appeared more like a
congregational Bhajan, but speech by the Bhagavatar added to it. Invariably all
songs were only Sanskrit verses and musical pieces of the ‘Keertan’ like Saki,
Dindi etc. were missing.

The bunch of songs, ‘Guccha’ used in
Keertans, was called Nirupana. Keertan and later Harikathakalakshepam are
inter-related with Nirupana. The term ‘Nirupana’, in Sanskrit, means form,
shape, definition etc. According to the Marathi ‘Sabda Kosa’, Nirupana is an
exposition of stories pertaining to God, employing sweet music and simple
lyrics. Samartha defines ‘Harikatha nirupana’ as some discussions on Dharma and
Puranas. Be what may the grammar, the Sants of Maharashtra had devised a
systematic repertoire of songs. It consists of Saki, Dindi, Arya, Abhang,
Anjanigeeta, Lavani, Khadga, Mattakokilam and many more. But it is not
necessary that all these should find a place in the presentation and not also
in a fixed order. Almost all these musical pieces indicate verses in the
respective metres (Chhandas) “Chhandati pruṇāti róchatė iti chhanda:” (That
which pleases the ears is Chhanda:), according to Panini. Song forms, in meters
like Vārdhika, Bhāmini, Bhóga Shaḍpadi and Kaḍak were handled in
Karnataka. Such Marathi nirupanas were composed in the Tanjavur region by
Nandan Gosvami, Ananda Nandana, Bheemraj Gosvami, Madhava Svami, Merusvami,
Chintaman Pandit, Udke Govindacharya – all lived between 1700 and 1830 and by
some others.

The works that helped Maharashtrians
and later the early Harikatha artistes of Tamizhnadu to choose and perform
Keertans are ‘Keertana Mala’, ‘Keertana Roopadarsika’, ‘Keertana Kaumudi’,
‘Keertana Tarangini’, ‘Keertana Masika’, ‘Keertana Muktahara’, ‘Akhyana
Samuchchay’ and some others.

In ‘Keertans’ practiced in Tanjavur,
the audience would be seated on two sides, ladies on one side and gents on the
other, leaving a gang-way between them. The main performer would stand at the
centre of the gang-way, while accompanists would be seated on the floor, at one
end, where the idols or portraits of the deity were kept. The Keertankar,
wearing a ‘Kafni’ (a long coat like apparel), a headgear called ‘Peta’, anklets
and holding a Chipla in the hand, would move from one end to the other, while
speaking and would station at one place, during singing. Only Marathi Nirupanas
were used, though at times, there might be an inclusion of one or two Sanskrit
slokas or Hindi Dohas (couplets). The Chipla served to reckon the tala.
Whenever the Keertankar felt so, he would tap on the floor by foot and the
anklets would produce the jingling sound. Sometimes he would dance. The Puranic
characters and dialogues would be dramatically presented to enthuse the
audience.

The invocation in ‘Keertan’ is the
‘Panchapadi’. This is a set of songs or verses in praise of Ganesa, Vishnu,
Sarasvati, Guru and Anjaneya in order and hence it gained that name. The song
addressed to Ganesa has three sections or verses, each rendered in a different
gati and speed. Many started with the song “Moresvara Mauli’ or ‘SreeRama
Jayarama’ or ‘Himagiritanaya tanayam’. ‘Tandava Nrutyakaree’ is a verse by
Samartha Ramdoss. This will be followed by ‘Nama Siddhanta’ (efficacy of God’s
names), which has a preceding song called ‘Prathama Pada’. Then comes the
‘Poorva Peethika’ (Introductory part) and then the actual story. Inclusion of a
‘Dhrupad (different from the North Indian Dhrupad) in between the Naama
Siddhanta and Poorva Peethika would be complimentary. This Dhrupad, though
resembles a Tillana, is different. The four important items usually found in
Keertan are Abhangs of Tukaram or Namdev, Ovis of Jnyanesvar, Aryas of Moropant
and slokas of Vaman Pandit. This structure was strictly adhered to by all
Keertankars.

Generally these Keertan programs were
esoteric restricted within the confines of the Mutts and those who attended
them were mainly the devotees of that particular mutt. Not all people had an
access to it, until the advent of Morgaonkar Ramchandra Bawa (Buwa) (1812-
14.2.1881). It was only he, who served the very delicious ‘Keertan’ to
everyone, in the Tanjavur soil.

After King Sivaji, the last Maratha
ruler of Tanjavur, who died in 1855, the Royal representation and guardianship
of the entire property were vested with Kamakshi Amba Baisaheb, the coroneted
queen of Sivaji. She was a very pious lady and spent most of her time in
religious pursuits, renovation of temples and establishment of chowltries and
so on. Ramchandra Buwa of Morgaon, a village in Maharashtra, who lived in
Gwalior for 2 years, came to Tanjavur in 1864, on his pilgrimage to Ramesvaram.
One great scholar has said that Ramchandra Buwa migrated to North Karnataka
from Maharashtra, though this statement has no authenticity. Buwa, a Keertankar
of high caliber, stayed, at the first instance, in Tanjavur for two months and
during his camp performed Keertans in the palace, on the invitation of the
queen. Fascinated by his performance, the queen requested Buwa to continue his
stay for some more time. Buwa consented, since he felt that his mission was to
propagate Keertan in the Tanjavur land. The happy Rani built a mutt especially
for Buwa in the North Main Street and the mutt still stands there. Initially,
his troupe consisted of his son, Vishnu Buwa (vocal support), Tanjavur Davoodsa
(who played Sarinda, a stringed instrument like Sarangi) and Pudukottai Nannu
Miya (Dholak). A regular attendant to the programs and an aficionado of Buwa
was Krishnasvami Naig (addressed as Sakha Naig), a former courtier and a
wealthy connoisseur. Even today the street, where his mansion stands, is called
Sakha Naig Street. When Davoodsa fell ill after some time and Nannu Miya wanted
to move over to his native Pudukottai, Sakha Naig sent word to the Mrudangam
celebrity, Tanjavur Narayanasvami Appa (1839- 1907). Appa was born in Tanjavur
and learnt the art of Mrudangam from Sivasvami Appa and Heeroji Rao, but stayed
in the Merusvami Mutt at Mannargudi, for some reason, better known only to him.
On receiving the message from Naig, he returned to Tanjavur and became the
Mrudangam accompanist to Buwa. After few months, Krishna Bhagavatar joined this
troupe in 1866, as a Swarabat player (another stringed instrument) and a year
later, he switched over as the vocal supporter to Buwa.

Krishna Bhagavatar, well-versed in
many languages like Marathi, Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, besides his native
tongue Tamil, as also some musical instruments, learnt the art of Keertan from
Buwa, much by listening. Buwa passed away on 14.2.1881 and Krishna Bhagavatar
started to perform Keertan, but with the name ‘Harikatha Kalakshepam’.

Krishna Bhagavatar was born in 1841,
as the son of Venkatesa Sastri, a clerk in the Tanjavur palace. The family
belonged to Tiruppoonturuthi. The father left the family and went after a
concubine. Krishna Bhagavatar was entrusted by his mother to Tillaisthanam
Narasimha Bhagavatar for musical studies. Then he came to Periyanna, the former
minister of King Sivaji and was tutored in playing the Swarabath, Violin and
Mrudangam. Later he came under the guidance of Morgaonkar Ramchandra Buwa.
After the demise of Buwa, he himself started to do Keertans with the name
Harikatha Kalakshepam and his maiden performance was ‘Radha Kalyanam’ in 1881.
Portraying any character life-like was an important aspect in his Harikathas.
Once he was performing ‘Prahlada’ and when he came to the part of lord Narasimha,
a Narasimha-Upasaka in the audience stood up and started to shout in frenzy. In
‘Bhakta Ramdoss’, he as Taneshah was uttering the prayer, “Allahu Akbar”, when
a Muslim in the audience started to repeat the prayer loudly and later he
became the perfume supplier to Bhagavatar. He was once performing ‘Draupadi
Vastrapaharanam’ in Vellore and when he, as Duhsasana enacted removing the
saree, a policeman standing in a corner shouted, “Arrest this rogue! He
denigrates the modesty of a woman. ‘Chamatkara’ (savoir faire) was in-born in
him. He was doing ‘Rukmini Kalyanam’ and while singing the seven slokas,
purported to have written by Rukmini in a letter to Krishna, he, inadvertently,
forgot the last sloka and managed with some suitable words. Kappanamangalam Svami
Sastrigal, a very learned one in Puranas and Sastras, got up from the audience
and asked the Bhagavatar to repeat the line. Bhagavatar replied, “You are a
great person. Don’t you know that we have no propriety to open the sealed cover
and go through the love letter of a girl? It is between her and the lord and we
have no business in that”. Always he was admired and praised by one and all.

He simply christened it as Harikatha
Kalakshepam, but the term Harikatha Kalakshepam was not coined by him. The term
Harikatha is found in many earlier works also. A verse in Srimad Bhagavatam
runs as: “Dėvadattam imām veeṇām swarabrahma vibhooshitam | moorchayan
Harikathām gāyan charāmi bhuvanėshvaham”. Potana’s Bhagavatam in Telugu has
many verses in which the word Harikatha finds place. “Kalidósha
nivārakanaiyalaghu yasul pogaḍunadi Harikathanamu nirmalamati”,
“Ātmaroopakuḍagu Harikathāmrutamunu’ and so on. Chaturlaksham
Krishnamacharya (12thC) in one of his vachanas says “Vėdamulu chadiviyunu
vimukhuḍavai Harikathalunādarinchina”. Sreepadaraja has sung “Karṇa
Harikathena kėḷali enna” (Na ninagenu beduvadialla). Purandaradasa (1482-
3.12.1564) has said, “Harikathā śravaṇamāḍo-paragatikė idu nirddhāra”
Tallapakkam Annamacharya (1408- 1503) has mentioned this in some of his
Sankeertanas E.g. Harikathalanādarinchanai (Konchemunu ghanamunu). The dasa in
an Ugabhoga avers: “EIIi Harikathā prasangavu alli Yamunā Gangā Gódāvari
Sarasvati – ella teerthavu bandu eṇeyāgi nillalu”. Sant Tukaram (1568-
18.3.1650) says in one of his Abhangs that if Harikatha is listened to, all the
miseries would go far away (Śravaṇakadā Harikathā kada tumhė doorkara
avavyadha). In another Abhang, he says, “Yamadharma sānge doota tumhā nahee
tethe satta | jethe hóya Harikathā sada ghósha nāmācha” (The lord of Death
has instructed his messengers not to go near the place that reverberates with
the sound of Harikatha). He speaks about Harikatha in not less than 20 Abhangs.
We may go on quoting such verses. Samartha Ramdoss says that Keertan’s another
name is Harikatha “Sagun Harikathā yā nāva keertan (Das Bodh 4.2.23). Dr R
Satyanarayana says that Katha Keertan acquired the name Harikatha in Karnataka.
In the case of the Dasas, Harikatha means nothing more than the story of Hari
and not definitely the art. “Na hi śabdamātram arthasvaroopam sambhavati
śabdārthayórbhėdāt”, says Bhagavad Geeta. Astigmatism should be eschewed
in dealing with the subject. A same term, at different periods of time, gets different
meanings or used to indicate different things. For instance, the term ‘Pada’ in
Sanskrit means only a word; but it came to be used to mean a particular type of
song form. In fact, the compositions of the Haridasas were called Padas (Dasara
Padagalu); Annamacharya is adored as the ‘Padakavita Pitamaha’. But today pada
means a different type of song and the compositions of Annamayya are indicated
as Samkeertanas. Simply because the term ‘Harikatha’ has been oft-mentioned by
the members of the Dasakoota, we cannot take it as the art form, Harikatha
Kalakshepam. V.S. Sampatkumaracharya states that Harikatha took birth in
Karnataka, travelled to Maharashtra and from there to Andhra Pradesh and
Tamilnadu. This only seems chimerical and the author’s presumption, because
there is no authenticity to prove this. The regions of Tamilnadu and Karnataka
have a musical affinity since earliest times of history. The languages Kannada
and Tamizh are more inter-related. It may not be necessary to tell anyone that
Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh were only different
geographical constituents of a homogenous ‘Dravida Desa’ and the whole regions
were called Madras presidency. Parochial affinity is a matter to be commended
only to a certain extent. Vidvan V Ramaratnam wrote: “Any story with
Sangeetabhinaya coupled with anecdotes is called Katha kalakshepa. This has had
its origin in Maharashtra”.

For the purpose of innovating a new
art form, out of the earlier Keertans, Tanjavur Krishna Bhagavatar didn’t discard
·the basic format of his predecessor like Panchapadi, Dhrupad, Naama Siddhanta
and such other segments, as also the musical forms like Ovi, Dindi, Abhang etc.
On the other hand, he included songs in Telugu, Kannada and Tamizh and
discoursed in Tamizh. Some changes too were brought in by him.

The Bhagavata (formerly Keertankar)
should wear a dhoti in Panchakaccha, an upper garment (Angavastra) in the
fashion of a Yagnyopaveeta, garlands of Rudraksha or Tulasi beads on the neck.
Kafni and Pėṭā were discarded. Holding the Chipla, he should stand only at a
single place, not moving to and fro, while the sidemen should be positioned
behind the Bhagavata. The Sadhaka (vocal supporter) and Upasadhaka (assistant
vocal supporter) should stand behind the Bhagavata, separated by a bench and
the mrudangam player sitting on the bench. The sadhaka should keep time with
Gundu tala (smaller cymbals) while singing and the Upasadhaka strumming the
Tambura and singing. Almost all songs used were in Carnatic tunes, though, at
times, some Hindustani ragas also for relevant songs. Occasionally one or two
folk songs like Kavadi Chindu and Temmangu found a place, if need be. These are
the changes envisaged by Krishna Bhagavatar and observed by all Harikatha
Kalakshepa artistes, until recent years.

Somesvara II in his ‘Manasollasa’
(1129) prescribes the qualifications of a Kathaka, which is applicable to the
later Harikatha artistes also. The Kathaka must be ‘an orator, skilful, mature,
youthful, yet older in wisdom..’ and so on. Samartha Ramdoss in his ‘Das Bodh’
also speaks of this. An extract is: Rāgagnyānee, tāḷagnyānee sakala kalā
brahmagnyānee nirabhimānee..’ “Man ṭhevoon eesvaree jó kóṇee Harikathā
karee tóchi ye samsāree Dhanya jāna”. Katta Achayya of Vetapalem also gives
the qualifications “Vararoopamu sangeetamu sarasa kavitaya madhuramagu svaramu
prasatócchāraṇamunrutyambun bhaktirasamu gala Harikathakula Keertinchuḍan”
(Sree Krshnavatara Mahabharatamu). Many of these lakshanas may not be found
among the Harikatha performers of today. While Krishna Bhagavatar and his
successors presented Harikathas in their native language, some others did in
other languages. Tanjavur Veerasami Raju, the mentor of Adibhtla Narayanadasa
of Vijayanagaram performed in Telugu. Embar Vijayaraghavachariar had done in
Sanskrit, Marathi and Hindi; Padmasani Bai in Sanskrit; Munainjipatti Subbayya
Bhagavatar and T.S. Balaksrishna Sastri in English; Tanjavur Nanayya Bhagavatar
in his mother tongue, Saurashtram; C.Sarasvati Bai in Kannada. Similarly, in
Karnataka, Bhadragiri Achyutadasa has discoursed in Kannada, Tulu, Marathi and
Hindi, while his younger brother, Kesavadas in Konkani, Tulu, Marathi, Hindi
and English, besides his native language, Kannada.

‘Sivakatha’ is the name used by some
for their discourses. ‘Jinakathe’ and ‘Sivakathe’ are names used in Karnataka.
Mukkavelli Narasimhadasa of Bobbili titled his Harikatha, ‘Parvati Parinayam’
as ‘Sivakatha’. There is a general notion that Harikatha is a story only about
Vishnu or on Vaishnavite themes. Actually the word ‘Hari’ has a number of
meanings. ‘Amarakosa’ gives 25 meanings, Lord Vishnu, Lion, Monkey, God and
Divinity in general and so on. There may be Harikathas on Sakti, but, so far
none has titled it as ‘Sakti Katha’. Moreover, it is generally considered by
many that Harikatha is meant solely for topics of Hindu religion. Stories like
‘Anjani Bahubali Vruttanta’, ‘Neminatha Vairagya’ and ‘Yasodhara Charitre’ were
Jinakathas. Jainism has its strong hold in Karnataka and the earliest available
Kannada literature ‘Vaddharadhane’ (10thcentury) depicts stories of some Jains.
But there was a staunch Hindu, who composed and presented Harikathas with
stories from “The Holy Bible”. He was careful that his nirupanas wholly adhered
to the Harikatha format – Panchapadi, Saki etc. He performed it on one day or
in a series. He was Tanjavur Sivaramakrishna Bhagavatar, generally addressed as
Siva Rao. It was his close friend, Raosaheb Abraham Panditar, of ‘Karnamruta
Sagaram’ fame, who inspired and induced Siva Rao to try his potential with
Christian themes. Siva Rao used to present his Harikathas in a local church
during the Lent period. He also trained Panditar’s sons and daughters in the
art. ‘Yesu Charitram’, ‘Daveedu Charitramu and so on. Later, Manḍapāṭi
Abraham Bhagavatar – 1926, performed ‘Yesu Charitramu’. Attoṭa Ratna Kavi of
Gurupupalem did “Christu Janma Rahasyamu’, as also ‘Samson and Delailah’.
‘Muhammadu Vilasamu’, highlighting the life of the prophet by Khadar Khan Sahib
(1912) also came up. Some Hindu composers of Andhra Pradesh like Chevoori
Lakshmeenarayanacharyulu and Dāmerla Nagendram have also composed Harikathas
with Christian themes.

It was not un-natural that composers
of other religions have performed Harikathas with Hindu themes. Tonḍapi
Kasimdas, a Muslim regularly performed ‘Bhakta Kannappa’, ‘Markandeya’ and such
others. Shaik Nabi Sahib of Andhra Pradesh had composed ‘Ambareshopakhyanamu’
and ‘Dhruvopakhyanamu’. In Kerala, there was Sebastin Kunjunju Bhagavatar
(1901- 1980) of Alappuzha, who was regular in performing Harikathas of Hindu
stories. In 1954, he presented a series of Harikathas in Srilanka for about 20
days. For the first fifteen days his Harikathas were on ‘Seeta Kalyanam’,
‘Jatayu Moksham’, ‘Bhakta Dhruva’, ‘Ambareesha Charitram’ etc allotting the
remaining five days for Christian themes. Religion was never a hurdle in the
artistic and cultural activities, which is a matter for great appreciation and
heart-warming.

Harikathas, for many days, consecutively,
in series were also done and the trail-blazer was Tiruppazhanam Panchapakesa
Sastrigal. His ‘Ramayana’ Harikathas were in series. The ‘Tiruttondar puranam’,
also called ‘Periya puranam’ dealing with the 63 Saivite saints (Nayanmars), in
series was performed by Soolamangalam Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar. Tiruvaiyaru
Pandit Lakshmanachar was the only one who performed “Bhagavad Geeta” for a
number of days.

Purana Pravachanam in Kerala was in
existence since a long time, with the name ‘Pāṭhakam’. It was Merusvami of
Mannargudi, who introduced Keertan, for the first time, in that land. On
listening to them, King Svati Tirunal composed ‘Ajamilopakhyanam’ and
‘Kuchelopakhyanam’.

In Karnataka, there were and are many
Harikatha exponents like Belur Kesavadas, Bangalore Krishna Bhagavatar, Hande
Sreepadadasa, Gamaki Ramakrishna Sastri, T.K. Venugopaladas, Sosale
Narayanadas, B. Sivamurthi Sastri, Gamaki Narayana Sastri, Hebbani Krishna
Sastri, Honnappa Bhagavatar, Bhadragiri Achyutadas, Bhadragiri Kesavadas,
Gururajulu Naidu, Lakshmandas Velankar and many others. Adibhatla Narayanadasa,
Neti Lakshminarayana Bhagavatulu, Musunoori Suryanarayana Bhagavatar and many
others were Harikatha artistes of Andhra Pradesh. Gavai Visvanatha Bhagavatar,
Prof. R. Srinivasan, Alappuzha Sebastin Kunjunju Bhagavatar, Alappuzha
Annasvami Bhagavatar, Ochira Raman Bhagavatar and Tiruvanantapuram Narayana
Bhagavatar may be mentioned as some Harikatha artistes of Kerala.

Harikatha Kalakshepam or the earlier
Keertan were exclusively male-dominated art form. Women had no place in these,
since it was considered that they were not fit to speak about Dharma. Only
those, who have studied Vedas and Sastras were eligible, according to many male
Harikatha performers. But, aeons ago, women were performed Upanayana, they
studied Vedas, kept fire (Agnihotra) and took alms (Bhiksha), a fact made known
by ‘Harita Smrti’, quoted in ‘Smrti Chandrika’. In spite of great oppositions,
Ilayanarvelur Saradambal (1884- 24.11.1943) boldly set her foot in the
Harikatha world in the year 1901. One, who followed her, was C.Sarasvati bai
(1994- 1974), who did Harikatha, for the first time, in 1908.

Before concluding my speech, I wish
to say a few words about a phenomenon in the field of Harikatha Kalakshepa.
Embar Vijayaraghavachariar was born on 2.11.1909, as the son of Embar
Sreerangachariar in Chidambaram. He got the degrees ‘Advaita Siromani’ and
‘Sahitya Siromani’ from the Annnamalai University. From 1933, he worked as a
Research Scholar in the Oriental Research Institute, Baroda for four years. He
became well-versed in Marathi and Hindi. The he returned to his native place
and worked in Lutheran Mission High School, as the Sanskrit teacher. After
learning Harikatha from his father, he made his debut in 1935. Very soon he
outshone his colleagues. Like his father, he brought in new charitras. He was
the first to do the topics, ‘Sri Sadasiva Bhrahmendra’ and ‘Sri Ramana
Maharishi’, the latter spontaneously, when he was asked by the saint to do some
Katha. Similarly he performed ‘Sri Desika Vaibhavam’. He was the first to
dispense with the traditional Panchapadi. Instead he used to sing various other
songs on the respective deities. A number of awards he got. This preternatural
genius, who was in the apex of the Harikatha world attained eternal rest on
2.6.1991, at Srirangam, where he lived from 1951.

Many others excelled in this art.
Harikesanallur Muthayya Bhagavatar, Karandai Govinda Bhagavatar, Mangudi
Chidambara Bhagavatar, Tiruppazhanam Panchapakesa Sastrigal, Soolamangalam
Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Palakkadu Anantarama Bhagavatar, Pandit Lakshmanachar,
Tiruvaiyaru Annasvami Bhagavatar, Sarasvati Bai, Padmasani Bai, Banni Bai and
Tanjavur Kamala Murthi may be mentioned as some among them. In the present times,
only Kalyanapuram Aravamudachariar performs the true Harikatha.

Harikatha Kalakshepam is a composite
art that requires good music, knowledge in the Vedas, Sastras, Puranas,
Histrionics and proficiency in many languages, oratory skill, imagination and
many more. It has three aspects – literature, music and acting or dance, as
they say in Tamizh – Iyal, Isai, Natakam. Day by day, the requisites of an
ideal Harikatha performer have marched towards the decrease and the very
art-form has been speeding up towards entropy in many places. Any art requires
a forum and unless there are rasikas, there cannot be artistes. The
responsibility of saving this great art from entering into the grave vests
equally on the people. It is the duty of the people to encourage, patronize and
foster this noble art, so that they could reap a rich moral harvest for
themselves.


Bharatiya Samskriti Darshana 17 - Nava Durga, Sadhana Shibira 3

‘Sadhana Karna Chahiye Manva Sadhana Karna
Chahiye” - (Oh Mind!  focus on dedicated
practise) - the first session from Keerthanacharya Shri Lakshmandas Velankarji
started with this essential tenet . It 
took our minds immediately to the past two Shibirs where ,  in the first Shibir, Durga Devi had
introduced herself as the cause and effect of life , and subsequently, in the
second Shibir, Durga Devi explained the Narada Bhakti Sutras. Here she was
again,  through her regular messenger
Velankarji , about to unveil some more secrets! 
And immensely lucky were the audience who were about to gain wisdom on
the nine forms of Goddess Durga !

In the serene natural surroundings of
AuroVeda Ashram on Kanakapura Road, Dr Meera Rajaram Pranesh inaugurated the
shibir. After a scintillating invocation song, any doubts about the nine forms
of Durga were put to rest by Dr Meera in her inaugural address. She said that
across the country , there are innumerable forms and names of the Devi , be it
Kamala, Narayani, Trishulini, Vindhyavasini and many more !  She narrowed all this down to a concept , the
concept of Durga .

Our minds were trying to connect a few
dots now - The shibir is about nine Durgas - Dr Meera elaborated nicely
that  Durga is many, yet Durga is a
concept ! The lovely resplendent  mother
goddess installed as an idol in the left corner of the discourse hall , was
looking at us from the corner of her eye and telling us - “ If I am the
concept, you are the creation. Hang on! I have more to tell! “ . And indeed,
her messenger Velankarji started unravelling the mystery from the word Go.

He introduced the nine forms -
Shailaputri, Brahmacharini,
Chandraghanta,Kushmanda,Skandamata,Kathyayani,Kalaratri,Mahagauri,Siddhidatri

He said but all the nine forms are one and
the same mother goddess, and further narrowed it down to the concept that Dr
Meera mentioned - the all pervading consciousness that is responsible for all
forms .

However, the way variety is the spice of
life - be it food,clothing or shelter , so is variety an essential ingredient
of spiritual teaching and existence, and all forms and their attributes are
created as a need for this variety - be it God or humans . With this essential
background, Velankarji started explaining the nine forms. This was spread over
his four sessions .

For Shailaputri , the story of SatiDevi,
the daughter of the mountains, and the consort of God Shiva , was beautifully
elaborated.

For Brahmacharini, essential references to
Nadopasana were made.

Chandraghanta came with reminders of the
power of our Chakras.

Kushmanda brought the notion of Srishti or
creation.

SkandaMata was a reminder of the valour of
the warrior God Karthikeya.

Kathyayani stood for an apt family life.

Kalaratri stood for foresight.

Mahagauri embodied Sattva or purity.

Siddhidatri was the highest of all Siddhis
or enlightenment.

Velankarji explained the above nine forms
with apt examples and his usual touches of wit and humor. This kept the
audience engaged. The mother goddess also moved with us to the open air early
morning session on the second day , under the tree. She was smiling at us and
she seemed to be saying “Is this better or the rooms with AC where you lock
yourself regularly?”

The highlights of the shibir besides the
obvious takeaway I detailed above, were the pre-session awesome musical
renderings by some of the shibirites , the lovely journey of the Saktipeethas -
courtesy Dr Ananth Pranesh and Dr Meera Rajaram Pranesh, and a scintillating
Harikatha performance by Dr Dattatreya Velankar.

If the soul’s hunger was satisfied by
Velankarji’s wisdom , our physical hunger was satisfied by sumptuous food . At
the end, were the valedictory and photo sessions, where memories were captured
on camera

As I departed, I turned back for a glance
at the Mother Goddess in the left corner of the discourse hall. I felt she said

“ I am with you! I am in you ! My
messenger Velankarji and coordinator Dr Meera have been trying to make you
realize this. The people here with whom you smiled  and laughed and shared happiness - I was in
them -  till you understand the secrets
of my presence in nature and in you, you shall not escape from me!”.

Waiting for more such Shibirs…….

- P Narayanan Iyer


Book Reading Session - Naa Kanda Kalaavidaru

About the Book

The Book 'Naa Kanda Kalavidaru' authored by Sri Mysore K Vasudevacharya was published in the year 1955. This is one of the earliest books written in Kannada, narrating the life and contributions of eleven great stalwarts of Karnataka music. It also features very interesting episodes, anecdotes connected to these musicians, which were witnessed by the author himself. This makes the book more authentic and a reference material for any student of music. Vasudevacharya's writing and narrating is in a very simple style and it keeps even a layman read the book with utmost interest. 

About the Author

The author Mysore K Vasudevacharya (CE 1865-1961) was a great musician and a versatile composer. He has   composed hundreds of compositions comprising all the musical forms of Karnataka music mostly in telugu and sanskrit lanuages with the mudra 'Vasudeva'. He was the court musician of Mysore Wodeyars, and was patronized by four Wodeyar Kings. He went to Madras to teach in Rukmini Devi Arundale's Kalakshetra and was highly respected by the renowned musicians of Tamilnadu too. He had also authored books. Vasudevacharya was a recipient of many awards and honors. To name a few Sangeeta Shastra Ratna and Sangeeta Shastra Visharada by Wodeyars, Central Sangeeta Natak Academy and Padmabhushana awards from Govt. of India, Sangeeta Kalanidhi by Madras Music Academy and so on..

Relevance of the topic in present context

This book which was authored in the year 1955 narrates about the yester year musicians, their life, personality, happy and difficult times of their musical journey, interesting episodes and anecdotes.. which can be an inspiration to the present generation. Since most of the facts provided in the book were witnessed by the author himself, the information is authentic. As it is a very old book, many are not aware of this or it might have gone out of their minds and reading this book is like bringing back to life the golden times of yester year music environment.

About the Speaker

Dr. Meera Rajaram Pranesh, a Karnataka musician, musicologist and a researcher is the Managing Trustee of Vanamala Center for Art and Culture and is serving as an Adjunct Professor of music in Department of Performing Arts, Jain University. She learnt Veena at the age of seven from vidwan L. Sheshagiri Rao and then pursued Karnataka music- vocal under the tutelage of vidushi Sudha V. Murthy and vidushi Rohini Manjunath. She received her Post graduate degree with gold medal in Karnatak Music; M Phil and Ph D from Bangalore University.  She was guided by the great stalwarts like vidwan Belakawadi Srinivasa Iyengar, Sri. B V K Shastry, Prof. Rajalakshmi Tirunarayanan and Dr. B M Jayashree. She was also the recipient of the Research Fellowship from Human Resource Development, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, and completed her project under the guidance of Dr. R Satyanarayana.

Along
with concerts, she has delivered several lecture demonstrations and has
multiple publications under her name. She is a UGC approved Guide for M
Phil and
Ph D research scholars. She has been instrumental in conceptualizing,
writing the script, directing and singing Bhaktiyaana an
audio CD is a group of songs depicting the daily upacharas like
suprabhata, alankara, vivaha, naivedya, shobhane, laali etc. to Lord
Lakshmi Narayana;Sri
Chakra Darshana

a DVD, explains the concept of Sri Chakra, Shaktipitas through visuals
and rendering of Kamalamba Navavarana Kritis in the original format
composed by Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar.  The
documentary Sri Chakra Darshana was selected for the International online Film festival.
She has authored and published the books - The Musical Composers
during Wodeyar Dynasty
and Harikeshanallur
Dr L Mutthaih Bhagavatar- A Biography
; Edited and published a book on Suladis of Haridasas and a DVD comprising of Suladis.

Date & Time: 13-July-2019 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Venue: Vanamala Center for Art & Culture

13A-15, Madhuvan, SGS Layout 3rd Main Road,

Kothnoor Dinne, 8th Phase, J. P. Nagar

Bengaluru - 560076

Map


Release of DVD and Book Kannada Suladis of Haridasas

Vanamala center for art and culture recently launched two books. 
The event took place at Atithyam hotel on 10- Oct-2018.

One book namely “Namma Preetiya Vidushi Sharada”, is a biography and collection of writings about Karnataka Kalashree Prof. T Sharada. The second book namely, “Kannada Suladigalu” is on Suladi of Haridasas written by Dr. Meera Rajaram Pranesh under the guidance of Prof. T Sharada. A DVD was released along with the book on Suladi of Haridasas.

Suladi can be broken down as "Sulabada haadi", an easy way to reach the almighty. 
The Suladis were composed by Haridasas as a tribute and calling out to Lord Hari.
The speciality of these compositions are that a given Suladi will have a single raaga but multiple talas - generally seven.

The agenda behind the making of this DVD and book is to make sure that the Suladis do not go extinct and that they reach the common masses. The rendering of Suladis has been done by Madhuvanthi, Shivashankari, Vasudha, Ananya, Charumathi, Karthik, Navya, Apoorva, Soumya, Bhavya, Shubha, Manasa, all students of Dr Meera Rajaram Pranesh.

The guests of honour on this occasion were Dr K R Venugopal, vice chancellor, Bangalore University, Sri N S Krishnamurthy, former Director AIR , Karnataka Kalashree Prof. T Sharada and Dr. R. L. Kashyap. The occasion was also graced by Prof. Mysore V Subramanya, Vid. Rupa Sridhar and Vid. Anasuya Kulkarni. 

The evening was hosted by Dr. Meera Rajaram Pranesh, the founder of Vanamala centre for art and culture.
Dr. Meera Rajaram's guru and peers Vid. Sudha, Vid. Rohini and Vid. Vijayalakshmi were present to support her.

The lovely evening began by invoking lord
Ganesha in the song “Gam Ganapathe” tuned to the beautiful Hamsadhawni
Raaga followed by a ear soothing Veena recital by disciples of Prof. T
Sharada. 

The disciples of Dr. Meera Rajaram Pranesh
soulfully rendered the Suladi - “Achyutananta”, which is set to the
raaga Kashiramakriya written by Sri Purandara dasa. The audience was
mesmerized by the Bhakti, Bhaava and the expertise
showcased during the rendition.

This was followed by the lighting of the lamp and launch of the books and the DVD by the guests of honour.

The books and the DVD were distributed by
Prof. T Sharada to the students who have sung the extremely difficult
Suladis with such ease and grace in the DVD.

The dignitaries on stage marveled at the
dedication for propagation of the Suladis and expressed their love and
happiness towards Dr. Meera Rajaram Pranesh and the students who have
put in more than hundred percent efforts to make
the book and the DVD easily understandable and pleasing.

The magical evening ended with some delicious dinner. It is an understatement to say that the event was a grand success. I feel lucky to have been a part of this wonderful milestone!

-Bhagavathi Nagendra

Achyutānanta- Rāga Kāśīrāmakriya- Purandara Dāsa's Suladi presented by the Disciples of Dr. Meera Rajaram Pranesh during the DVD release function.

The DVD is available for sale, here are the details :

Kannada
Suḷādis of Haridasas

Suḷādi is a musical form of Karnataka music composed by Haridasas. These are structured in a very scholarly manner and are set to simple melodies. The lyrics are embedded with philosophical principles and they are set to various familiar and rare talas.

Tandeyāgi-
Rāga Bhūpāla- Vyāsarāyaru

Hari
naḍeyadiralu- Rāga Nāṭa- Purandara Dāsaru                                                                                        

Maṇimouḷimalle-
Rāga Gouḷa- Purandara Dāsaru                                                                                        

Tāyi
lakṣumi- Rāga Varāḷi- Purandara Dāsaru                                                                                        

Hasugaḷa
kareva dhwani- Rāga Dēvagāndhāri- Purandara Dāsaru                                                                                        

Achyutānanta-
Rāga Kāśīrāmakriya- Purandara Dāsaru                                                                                        

Guidance: Prof. T Sharada (Tirumalai Sisters)

Direction: Dr
Meera Rajaram Pranesh

Vocal: Ananya Bhagath, Apoorvalakshmi P V, Bhavya H S, Charumathy Nagarajan, Karthik Ganesh, M.A. Madhuvanthi, Manasa Girish, Navya Nagara, Shubha Srikanth, Sowmya D R, Shivashankari J, Vasudha Prahlad

Tambura: Sandhya Ram

Camera:   Vishwas

Video Edit: 
Suhas K

Price: Rs.
250/

Contact for Copies

Vanamala Center for Art and Culture ®                           

Mob: +91-9845514661 +91-9986799652


Bharatiya Samskriti Darshana 17 - Sadhana Shibira 3

Nava Durga

A
Series of lecture demonstrations/workshops/discourses on the Origin and
Development of Indian Culture 

 Nava Durga– Saadhana
Shibira

Vanamala Center
for Art and Culture
is organizing a two day Saadhana Shibira on Nava Durga on 23rd and 24th of February 2019 at Auro Veda Farm, Yedamadu
village, Kanakapura Highway,
which is about 10 kms from Sri Sri Ravishankar
Ashram.  Nava Durga would be explained in detail by Keertanacharya Lakshmandas Velankar a
reputed Kathakeertankar, erudite scholar as well as noted author.

Keertanacharya
Sri Lakshmandas Velankar a
noted personality
in the field of Kathakeertan is a scholar par excellence. A disciple of Santa
Sri Bhadragiri Achyutadas and Santa Sri Keshavadas, Keertanacharya Velankar
developed his own unique style in performing Kathakeertan. His knowledge in
Sanskrit and philosophy has moulded him to be an excellent narrator and an
author. Keertanacharya Velankar has authored books on Kathakeertan and has
translated more than 80 books published by the prestigious Geetha Press,
Gorakhpur. Some of them include Bhagavadgita, Devi Bhagavatha, Shiva Purana,
Bhagavatha, Ramayana, Nava Durga and many more. He has also served as a
lecturer in the internationally renowned Keertan Mahavidyalaya and trained many
students in Kathakeertan; He is a Former Member, Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya
Academy; Editor of Daasa Vaani, a magazine published by Daasashrama
international Center. A recipient of Karnataka Kalashree from Karnataka
Sangeetha Nritya Academy, Keertanacharya Velankar has been honoured by many
organisations.

Keertanacharya
Sri Lakshmandas Velankar had conducted a similar Sadhana Shibir for the center
on the topic Devi Saptashati and Narada Bhakti Sutra which was well received by
more than 40 delegates and the shibira was a great success. It is heartening to
herald that it is the enthusiasm of the delegates which made Center to conduct
a new event on the topic Nava Durga.

Dr Meera Rajaram Pranesh would be giving an introductory
talk on the Concept of Durga. Dr A Pranesh who would be presenting a slide show on
the Devi
temples across India.
Dr Meera and Dr Pranesh have travelled extensively across India and
photographed several temples for their projects. They have conceptualised,
produced and directed Sri Chakra Darshana, a documentary on Sri chakra and Kamalamba Navavarana Kritis of Sri
Mutthuswamy Dikshitar which was selected for International Online Film
Festival.

Dr Dattatreya
Velankar,
a
renowned Hindustani musician who has done a doctoral thesis on Influence of
classical music on katha Keertan would be presenting a Katha Keertan on Sarva
Swaroopa Sri Durga

Sessions-

Saturday 23rd February 2019

6:00 AM Coffee
7 – 8:30 AM Session V     Nava Durga Keertanacharya
Lakshmandas Velankar
8:30 AM Breakfast               
10 – 11 AM    Session VI Nava Durga Keertanacharya
Lakshmandas Velankar
11- 11:30             Tea Break
11:30 - 12:30 PM       Session VII       Katha Keertan
Sarva Swaroopa Sri Durga
Dr Dattatreya
Velankar
12:30- 1 PM  Valedictory
1:30 PM Lunch

Sunday 24th February 2019

9:00 AM Breakfast   
10 – 10:30 AM Inauguration
10:30- 11:30 AM Session I Concept of Durga
Introductory Talk
Dr Meera Rajaram
Pranesh
11:30 – 12 Noon    Tea Break       
12 – 1 PM     Session II Nava Durga Keertanacharya
lakshmandas Velankar
1:00 PM Lunch    
3:30 PM Tea             
4 PM – 5 PM       Session III       Nava Durga Keertanacharya
lakshmandas Velankar
5-  5:30 PM    Snacks/Tea    
5.30 – 6:30 PM  Session IV Devi
Temples of India
Slide Show
Dr A Pranesh    

Participation
Fee

Rs.3000/ per person for the whole Shibira,
which is inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner along with lodging facility
at Auro Veda. Rooms are styled in a Dormitory fashion and would be on a sharing
basis with 3-5 other participants. Rooms are furnished with beds, pillows and
blankets. However one can bring their own bed sheets. Hot water is available
round the clock.

As the area is plastic free zone, we
request all the participants to carry their water bottles and refill water from
mineral water cans which would be provided.

Interested persons can reach the venue
on their own, or pick up and drop from Metro cash and carry Kanakapura road near
Konanakunte signal can be arranged on prior intimation.

The number of
participants is
limited to 40. Those interested are requested to confirm their consent by
January 24th 2019.

Payment of Rs.3,000/ can be made through
Cash/Cheque/DD/Online transfer

Cheques and DD
are drawn in favor of Vanamala Center for Art and Culture Trust

For Online
Transfer-

Vanamala Center for Art and Culture 

SB A/C. 0024104000314398

IBKL0000024

IDBI Bank, Sarakki lake Branch

Sowbhagya Complex, 24th main, 5th phase

JPNagar, Bangalore 560078

Contact: Ph: 9845514661; 9845324144

Email: info@vanamalaarts.org

Visit us @ www.vanamalaarts.org

Warm Regards

Dr. Meera Rajaram Pranesh
Managing Trustee
Vanamala Center for Art and Culture (R)

About Vanamala Center for Art and
Culture(R)

Vanamala
Center for Art and Culture, the brainchild of Dr. Meera Rajaram Pranesh, traces
its origin to 1995 when it was first instituted as Vanamala Art Foundation.
Over the years it evolved into an organization for promoting Indian art and
culture. Vanamala Center for Art and Culture provides an environment for
learning, through expert guidance, to preserve, promote and propagate Indian
Art and Culture for posterityAll Donations are eligible for Tax relief under
section 80G (5) (vi) of Income Tax Act 1961