Music is the art of listening divine and infinite silence within you. May God Ganapati gives all of us the power to express our silence. Strength -not to utter any opinions, not to demand anything, not to condemn anything, not to speak anything, yes I mean anything. Just listen to Indra’s chapu, taandava, laasya, breathlessness, colors, crows, cows, butterflies. No talks on media, politics, man, woman, heaven, hell, families, headlines, highlights, lowlights, revolutions, achievements success, failures, spectrum, world, countries, earnings, traffic, money –anything, nothing –nothing-nothing .
Its disappointing that although we have lot of literature and records for 11/12 century we don’t have enough records for the era of 14/15th century due to Muslim invasions and destructions. Nevertheless this period is considered to be one of the most important era as far as Indian Music is considered , in which there was confluence of Persian , Native north Indian –Dhrupad, Native Carnatic-folk, and creation of new styles like Khayal, semi classical styles and Hari sankeertanas.
Regardless of political rivalry in North and South, among Muslims, and Hindus and various dynasties/sub states –Bhakti and devotional Music was thriving .Sankeertan trend was set up in 12/13th century in Maharashtra and laid as foundation by Gyaneshwar and Namdev and others, but during Purandara Dasa’s time with overlapping periods of Annamachari, Kanak Dasa, Vyasa Raya, Tuka Ram, Meera Bai, Sur Dasa and Haridasa , this was spreading the wings in all directions and force.
Purandara Dasa is famous for writing 4,75,000 compositions and being considered as father of Carnatic Music, he was born in Karnataka in ~1480.Purandara Dasa is also considered as father of Carnatic school of teaching music , and is believed to be the pioneer and initiator of methodology of why Mayamalav gowla raga is the first raga to be taught to a student who is initiated into learning Carnatic Music.
As per the records Purandara dasa died in the end of 16th century in Hampi, when battle of Talikotta was about to get over .This was the time that Vijayanagar dynasty was being overtaken by Bahamani kingdom , and influence of Muslim’s was increasing in North as well as in South.
Interestingly Puranadara was considered as teacher of Swami Haridas of Vrindavan , who was the Guru of Tansen . The foundation and influence of persian music has been there since 5th century AD itself but during 14th century, with acts of Amir Khusro and Persian music –it was more prominent.
From a famous composition of Puranadarada – tamburi –“Tamburi Meetidava Bhava Datidava”-
“The one who beholds and plays tambura by vibrating strings –will cross the cycles of birth and death, the one who holds the rhythm by clapping –will reach the association of celestial gods, the one who ties jingles on his ankles –will conquer the enemies, the one who sings sankeertanans will have the vision of embodiment of God’s form.”
As mentioned Purandaradasa had great influence on Hindustani music as well. The foremost Hindustani musician Tansen’s teacher, Swami Haridas was Purandaradasa’s disciple. Purandaradasa’s compositions are equally popular in Hindustani music. Hindustani music legends such as Bhimsen Joshi and Basavaraj Rajguru have made them more popular in recent years. Young, well known artists such as Venkatesh Kumar, Nagaraja Rao Havaldar, Ganapathi Bhatt, and Nachiketa Sharma are continuing the tradition of singing Purandara Dasa’s compositions in north Indian music concerts.(As mentioned by Subbalakshmi)
Today we consider Shayma Shastri, Muthuswami Dikhsitar and Thygaraj(born during 17th/18 century in Tamilnadu/Thiruvayur) –as holy trinity –due to contribution to Carnatic Indian Music, during English rules and confluence .The role of Kanaka das, Vyasa Raj and Purandara dasa in Karantaka during 15/16th century is of similar weightage during Muslim influence.
Life is beautiful and what makes it more elegant and full of happiness is involvement and indulgence with something which you like the most.This could be anything -from cycling to yoga to art to creating fancy crafts or even as weird as just listening.
More we make use of out of 5 senses , better our quality of life becomes.
Preparing food for our beloved and family members is one such thing and Music would be another ,which not only makes use of touch,hear,watch senses but also has a sequence and stimulates our brain to anticipate and enables to analyse the science and art in it.
Ahealthy brain and healthy senses means happiness and happiness triggers men to move ahead in life incessantly.
My riyaaz is doing good for the last few days and the music season in South is gearing up .Especially in Tamilnadu/Andhra/Karnataka/Kerala ; the gaan sabhas and thyagaraja aradhana mahotsavas will be in full swing.
After I got back from Udaipur and Jaisalmer,never knew if I can regain the speed and clarity on my instrument but now everything is settled ; just need to increase playing by a few more hours(!) and it’ll all be done.
It was a soothing feeling when I was introduced to a few colleageus of mine as musicians.Interestingly -Venkatachalam is a very good flute player(Carnatic Classical) and Ramya is a decent singer (Indian Classical) .Hope we could jam some time.
Looking forward for ‘Gaaja Baaja’ at Pune during February and meeting with Guruji for a taalim during 24-26th January in Mumbai.It has been really a long time I went to Pune.
Just going through Deepak dada’s (Deepak Raja-whoes book titled –Khayal Vocalism: Continuity within Change) was published recently and below few lines/translations are taken from his blog.Its about -“Music is not just about music…”.
“The knowledge of music becomes an effective means of attaining one-ness with Lord Shiva; for by the knowledge of music, one attains to a state of absorption and it is by attaining such a state that one-ness with Shiva could be obtained… One ought not to indulge, out of delusion, in worldly songs…”
Skanda Purana, Suta Samhita. 220.127.116.11-16
“To the yogin whose spirit attains a unified state in the uniform bliss engendered by delectation of objects like music, there occurs an absorption and anchoring of the mind in that bliss. Where there is a continuous and long flow of sounds from stringed instruments, one becomes freed of other objects of cognition and becomes merged in that ultimate and verily of the form of that Supreme Being.”
“We adore the Supreme Being of the form of sound (Nada Bramha) which is the one bliss without a second, and the light of consciousness in all beings that has manifested itself in the form of the universe. By the adoration of sound (Nada) are also adored God Bramha, Vishnu, and Maheshwara, for they are the embodiment of sound.”
Sharangadeva in Sangeet Ratnakara, 1.3.1-2
“One attains the Supreme Being by practicing continuously the chanting of the Samans (the sacred Vedic mantras set to music) in the prescribed manner and with mental concentration. The singing of the songs Aparanta, Ullopya etc… the songs composed by Daksha and Bramha, constitutes indeed liberation. One who knows the correct playing of the lute, has mastered the subtle semitones, and understands the rhythms, attains the path of liberation without any strain.”
Yajnavalkya Smriti, 3.4.112-15
“O Mind! The knowledge of the science and art of music bestows on a person the bliss of oneness with the Supreme Being. Music such as is accompanied by the blissful oceanlike stories of the Lord which are the essence of love and all the other sentiments blesses a person with oneness with the Lord. Music such as that cultivated by the discerning Thyagaraja bestows on a person affection (for fellow beings), devotion (to God), attachment to good men, the Lord’s Grace, austere life, mental concentration, fame, and wealth.”
Sangitajnanamu in raga Salagabhairavi by Thyagaraja
“O Mind! Drink and revel in the ambrosia of melody; it gives one the fruit of sacrifices and contemplation, renunciation, as well as enjoyment; Thyagaraja knows that they who are proficient in sound, the mysic syllable OM, and the music notes – which are all of the form of the Lord Himself – are liberated souls.”.
Ragasudharasa in raga Andolika by Thyagaraja
“Two Bramhana lutists are singing to the lute; this thing, the lute, is verily the embodiment of beauty and prosperity; and these musicians of the lute do verily endow him (the patron) with prosperity.”
Taittiriya Bramhana, 3.9.14
“These that sing to the lute indeed sing of Him (the Supreme Being) only; hence it is that they attain riches.”
Chandogya Upanishad 1.7.6.
“Whatever poetic utterances there are, and the songs in all their entirety, are aspects of Lord Vishnu, in his sonant form.”
Vishnu Purana. 1.22.84