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Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam CONCLUSION ( wedding chapter 436-446)

436) BHAGAVATHKRUTHASHANMAASAAVADHIKAAGASTHYAASHRAMAVAASA PRATHIGNYAA Padmaavathyanugo Devo Brahmarudraadikairyuthaha Suvarnamukharee...

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ENERGY BEARERS 1

(Photograph of Moonstone )

Gems are not only precious, they can be semi-precious too! Gems and crystals are terrific energy-carriers. People who believe in the benefits of gems generally tend to overlook the importance of cleansing and energising the gem or crystal they wear on their body. The open-back style (for the rays of the gems to fall on the finger related to the corresponding mount)finger rings are meant for astrological purposes. Such rings are prone to dust and fungus collection between the metal and the gem behind the ring. Bad energies gather around fungus and dust collection, blocking the positive vibrations of the stone! Consequently the gem fails to yield the expected good results and gradually may even bring negativity into the life of the wearer.
Washing the rings with ordinary soap water is recommended. To clean the insides thoroughly, keep aside a new,unused toothbrush, which will ensure that every particle of dust and fungus is removed from the open-set ring. To energise, the rings have to be immersed in a copper glass of fresh water overnight. It is also recommended to wash the same in milk (unboiled). Finally incense sticks are used to energise the rings further.
Even the most beneficial gems operate effectively when they are worn periodically. Constant and continuous wear of the same gem-ring tends to gradually slow down to zero-activity. This could happen for apparently no reason, but the fact remains the same! By using it periodically (alternate between wearing for a month, or two weeks or 10 days to keeping it aside for a week , ten days, one fortnight or even a month!) the wearer gains the added benefit of experiencing a fresh surge of positivity, boosting his morale as well as his prosperity!
In a discussion with a gem specialist, I learnt that the wearer would attain instant wealth (money in the form of a bonus, gift or even lottery) by wearing or keeping a Garnet close to his body! But using the same stone for a longer period than the required amount of time could produce ulcers in the stomach, or any other abdominal problem! He even said the required period of using the Garnet varies from one person to another and it is difficult to determine the exact duration suitable for different individuals.
I also learnt that the usage of American diamond helps in weight reduction! Pearl and Moonstone are the friends of women. These stones set in an open ring (of gold or silver) are best worn on the index finger. Even though the index finger is identified with the mount of Jupiter and recommended for usage of Jupiter related stones like Yellow Saphire or Topaz, this finger is most suited for the usage of Pearl and Moonstone essentially because certain nerves of this finger are directly connected to the brain! The lustre, coolness and tranquility of Pearl or Moonstone when worn on index finger are transmitted to the brain, the effect of which is startlingly evident within just one week of using the stone. The wearer gets sound sleep, there is an added lustre in the countenance and complexion of the wearer and a general feeling of well-being. The negative aspect of continuous usage of either Pearl or Moonstone is hyper-senstivity. It makes the wearer highly emotional and touchy to the point of breaking into tears at the drop of a hat! Moon being the karaka of mind, its stones,Pearl and Moonstone naturally influence the mind.Whenever this point of touchiness is reached, it is advisable to remove the stone and keep it aside for a while. The best way to energise Pearl or Moonstone is by immersing them in a cup of purified water (not tap water) and keeping them exposed to the rays of a full-moon. For that matter, all other gems also benefit from energising in a similar manner. Pearl and Moonstone are representatives of the Goddess Herself! Most of the slokas of Soundarya Lahari compare Goddess to the moon and Her lustre to that of a Moonstone!
Moonstone brings out psychic abilities in people. Moonstone helps in heightening intuition and also fulfills wishes. For people suffering from insomnia, Moonstone is ideal. Even if it is not worn on the index finger, it could be held in the palm of the hand or kept under the pillow to drift into a dreamless slumber!
For anybody into gardening, they would see miraculous results by watering plants wearing a Moonstone pendant or carrying the stone close to the body. It is even better if the water runs down over the Moonstone and onto the plants for abundant growth and fertility!
It is highly recommended to carry a Moonstone in the shirt pocket to one's own business venue or for meetings to ensure maximum productivity!
The Moon Dasa (Chandra Dasa) and natives who belong to Kataka Rasi (Punarvasu 4th Padam, Pushyami, all the 4 Padams and Aslesha, all the four Padams) are generally advised to wear Pearl or Moonstone. This is a safe stone that can be used by anybody!
For people who believe in idealistic stuff, here is the method for wish fulfillment through Moonstone: Place a Moonstone on the palm of your hand and whisper your wish to it.Keep it exposed to the rays of a full moon and let it remain there till the next full moon, the moon will ensure that your wish gets fulfilled!
Diamonds and Blue Saphires are extremely potent stones capable of yielding remarkably good or bad results. It is always advisable to test them before buying them, like placing them under the pillow during night time and holding them close to the body during daytime. Princess Diana lost her precious life within hours of wearing a Diamond Solitaire gifted by Dodi Fayed.


(To be continued.........)


Saturday, November 21, 2009

His Excellency!



















I landed in Delhi for a concert on the day Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam was sworn in as President of India.The streets of Delhi were decorated with hoardings announcing in colourful letters-"SALAM KALAM!" I liked the sound of it! Like the rest of the country, I was tremendously drawn towards his intellectual personality. His informal and simple behaviour was an added attraction, not to mention his vegetarianism! I have this soft corner for anybody who is a vegetarian, more so when it is chosen as an option. His knowledge of Hindu scriptures touched me further. As though all that was not enough he also knew how to play the veena!!!!!!!!!!! I told myself, now this is somebody I've gotta meet!!
I was glued to the TV in my hotel room in Delhi, watching the swearing-in ceremony. To my delight, the President quoted "Endaro Mahanubhavulu..."(the famous pancharathnam of Sri Thyagaraja Swami). I was swept off my feet!
It so happened that in the same year I had received Sangeet Natak Akademi award from His Excellency!!
I wondered if our paths would ever cross again, and YES, they did! Rashtrapathi Bhavan called me to perform for the President on International Women's day in March 2003. I was ecstatic that I would be meeting Dr. Kalam finally!
At some point I had to ring up Rashtrapathi Bhavan to inform them of our travel arrangements, and while my call was being connected to the concerned person, I was taken aback to listen to my own veena playing on the phone. Later, as requested by the concerned officials in Rashtrapathi Bhavan, I had presented all my latest CDs.
Sri Madirimangalam Swaminathan (mridangam), late Sri. Kovai Viswnathan (ghatam) and I arrived in Delhi a day prior to the concert. We were accomodated in Rashtrapathi Bhavan itself. We were taken around the Bhavan. We also toured the Moghul Gardens and within the identical wing of the President's living quarters. We were impressed by the size of the rooms and the grandeur of the place.
As per our appointment the three of us reached the President's office next morning. After a short wait we were shown inside the office. To our utter shock and delight, the President of India himself walked all the way from his chair to the doorway to welcome us, his personal security following him closely. The three of us felt a little flustered by his gesture. He spoke in chaste tamil and put us at ease. His courteous and humble manners swept us off our feet.
He gently asked Sri. Swaminathan, "Where do you stay in Chennai?"
"Tiruvanmiyur"
The President was keen to know where in Tiruvanmiyur.
"Near the bus terminus Sir."
President looked very interested, "Is your house anywhere near Hotel Bharani?"
Sri. Swaminathan was clearly flustered, "Yes Sir."
His Excellency went on to tell us that he used to frequent Hotel Bharani on Lattice Bridge Road, Adyar while was teaching in Anna University. He said he liked the tiffin there.
His Excellency asked me about my family and when I told him that my second daughter, Haritha was doing her Electrical and Electronic Engineering (she was in second year of the course in 2003) in Anna University, he looked very happy and spoke very highly of Anna University.
I presented him a copy of my work on veena and he promised to go through it. While we were conversing, he abruptly got up from his chair, saying, "Please come with me". The three of us got up uncertainly. He turned and walked towards the wooden (or was it glass?)wall lining behind his table. He pushed at a panel which opened slowly to reveal a garden. We almost gasped, not realising all the while that it was a door, and that too a private access to the Moghul Gardens!
"Please come", the President repeated and we moved behind him slowly. The security man inside the office leapt into attention, quickly picking up his walkie talkie or whatever, issuing crisp orders in hushed tones, all the while pinning us with his sharp gaze. Obviously the security never expected the President to lead us into the garden as casually as though we were all sashaying out for some fresh air! Since the garden was open to public view, we could even spot many tourists at a little distance. We were flabbergasted and terribly concerned that His Excellency was walking nonchalantly into the gardens !
In no time atleast 20 or 25 armed guards rushed to surround us, walking cautiously and closely behind us. The three of us felt uneasy, but we walked respectfully behind the President. After a reasonably long walk, he stopped near a jasmine creeper and described how he had stamped it accidentally during his morning walk. His Excellency narrated a poem (which he had written on the creeper). I was not sure if Sri.Swaminathan and late Sri. Viswanathan were able concentrate on the poem, as for me, I was totally keyed up by the situation and by the presence of alert security men surrounding us. I felt a great sense of relief as we walked back towards the President's office.
While taking leave of His Excellency, I told him that my mother was a great admirer of his, but that she could not come as she was not keeping well. What he said took my breath away, "No, no, don't worry, I myself will go to her house to see her."
On our way out I ran into the President's private musicians (most of them spoke malayalam). They were a friendly lot. They played their musical instruments to show us a song composed by the President.
Instantly it struck me that I should learn the song and present it in my evening concert. I sat with the musicians and learnt the entire song. In the evening, I started my concert with "Endaro Mahanubhavulu" as it happens to be the President's favourite pancharathnam ( I am sure by now the President would've got an earful of " Endaro Mahanubhavulu" from all the artists from South who were invited to perform in his presence!).
The President looked very relaxed and happy, enjoying our music by shaking his head. Towards the end when I announced and played the song composed by him, he lifted his eyebrows, a look of surprise and delight on his face. The song was a roaring success and the audience gave a long ovation, to show their appreciation of His Excellency's composition.
After the concert, a surprised President asked me in tamil,"When did you manage to learn it ?" In the buffet, His Excellency mingled with us like one of us and strongly recommended the masala vadai,"I told them how to do it!"
The President enquired casually,"Can I find a good veena teacher in Delhi?" I almost choked on my masala vadai not believing it was the President of India who was enquiring about a veena teacher!
The entire day had a surreal quality to it. A rare treat indeed, to be in the company of simplicity capsuled in aristocracy!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ascent of Kundalini


When the Sringeri Jagathguru gave me the title of "Asthana Vidushi" of Sringeri Mutt in the year 2003, my joy knew no bounds! Sringeri and Sarada Kshetram are close to my heart. I feel there is a special sanctity attached to Sringeri Mutt and all the branches of Sringeri Mutt, wherever they are in India. The temples are maintained extremely well and there is immense dignity and discipline in the way the temple priests conduct the poojas in the temple.
His Holiness, Sri Bharathi Theertha Swamiji was born in Narasaraopet, Andhra Pradesh in 1951. As I am already attached to Sri Vidyaranya Swami's ashram in Narasaropet, I was overjoyed to learn that His Holiness, Sri Bharathi Theertha Swamiji also hailed from the same place!
The Jagadguru's Guru, Sri Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamiji in His interview with Sri R.M.Umesh (in the book titled "Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection") has described the ascent of 'kundalini' in detail.
Paramacharya of Sringeri states that one morning He sat in 'siddhasana' and did four pranayamas with 'jalandhara', 'uddiyaana', and 'moola-bandhas'. He began His meditation by directing His gaze to the middle of His eyebrows while mentally chanting "OM". Gradually a blue hue had manifested and He could not see any particular form. Suddenly He felt an electric shock at the middle of His soles. He felt intense heat and His body jerked sharply as the sensation moved upwards. His breathing stopped abruptly as the sensation continued to travel upwards and into His head. At that moment, He went deep into "savikalpa-samadhi".
The Acharya lost all sensation of His feet and legs and the lower portion of His body.The movement of the heat from the soles of His feet to His back had been swift and sudden, but from the base of His back to a little below the navel, the ascent was slower at the same time swift. From the navel to upwards, the heat moved with the speed of an ant.
The Acharya declared that when the heat reached the base of His back, He was able to momentarily view the lotus of the Mooladhara Chakra in full bloom. after that, He had a brief view of the Swadhishtana Chakra. As the sensation ascended His back to the level of His navel, He could clearly have a glimpse of the lotus of the manipooraka chakra facing downwards, with the petals fully closed. When the senstaion touched the chakra, the lotus instantly blossomed. The same pattern was repeated when the sensation reached the levels of Anahatha, Vishuddhi and Agna Chakras.
After the Acharya had briefly witnessed the Agna Chakra in full bloom, He experienced a bright flash of light like that of a lightning. Next He witnessed a beautiful, luminous, tiny blue orb. His attention became glued to this tiny blue orb and gradually its smallness became inapparent. Thereafter the Acharya apprehended the forms of Shiva and Parvathi within the blue orb. Acharya describes that moment as His "savikalpa-samadhi".

Friday, November 13, 2009

LOVE!

I have a book in telugu titled, "Nadichey Demudu" authored by Sri. Neelamraju Seshaiah. This book is a compilation of the experiences of many devotees (from Andhra Pradesh ) of Kanchi Maha Periyavaa, concerning His Holiness. Every essay is a moving account of feelings, devotion and experiences of the bhakthaas of Maha Periyavaa, I had read this book atleast twice.

The most touching version came from a devotee called Sri Kalloori Venkata Subrahmanya Dikshithulu. His experience strengthened my belief about 'bhakthi'. People usually misinterpret 'bhakthi' as overwhelming respect/fear, to the extent of distancing oneself from the deity instead of approaching and attaining the deity. I had always felt that 'bhakthi' meant overwhelming love aimed towards spiritual proximity packaged with intensity of passion and longing, same as the lovelorn sentiments expressed by Sri Thyagarja ('Nannu vidachi kadalakura'-Rithigowla, towards Lord Rama, ...'Ika thalanu nenu', Devibrova, Chinthamani by Sri Syama Sasthri towards Goddess Kamakshi, and innumerable other compositions of theirs in other ragas and compositons of various other saint composers, Azhwars and Nayanmars.)

I had read the article of Sri Kalloori Venkata Subrahmanya Deekshithulu many number of times as I found the dialogue in sanskrit between Maha Periyavaa and Sri Deekshithulu spiritually stimulating and emotionally fulfilling. The conversation between Maha Periyavaa and Sri. Deekshithulu in sanskrit left a deep impact in my heart. Here is a translation of the same from telugu to english in first person as narrated by Sri Kalloori Subrahmanya Deekshithulu:-
SANNIDHAANA BHAAGYAM
Srivaru ( devotees from Andhra address Maha Periyavaa as "Srivaru") was touring in Tamilnadu.I usually try to be in His divine presence( His 'Sannidhi' )during summer holidays. One evening, in a remote village in Tamilnadu, Srivaru commenced His discourse:-
" Birth and death are natural phenomena in human life. Manmatha is the cause of birth and Yama is the cause of death. If not for the misery caused by these two, there would be no birth or death. To avoid rebirth, we need to appeal to the One who had controlled Manmatha. To eradicate death, we need to propitiate to the One who had punished Yama. Both these jobs were done by only One Supreme being, who is none other than the Smarahara and Mrithyunjaya, Lord Shiva! Lord Srikantha (Maha Vishnu) is not easy to attain, whereas, Lord Shiva is very easy to please and attain. Let us all surrender to Lord Shiva,'Namah Parvathipathaye Harahara Mahadeva!"
I joined the chorus of voices. Srivaru then went on to another episode.
After the discourse Srivaru rested on the terrace of a small house in the village. The person who was appointed to attend on Srivaru was reclining on the steps. It was past midnight and I was unable to sleep. I sat downstairs on the 'arugu' ( a small cement slab in the frontyard of the house),pining for the Darshan of Srivaru. I mustered up some courage and decided to go upstairs. The man in attendance stopped me,"Periyavaa is taking rest, don't go upstairs." Feeling dejected, I went back downstairs to resume my earlier position. I tried to find solace in reading about the sentiments of the Gopikas towards Lord Krishna and the poetry of Sri Pothana. My mind refused to feel settled and I abruptly got up to go upstairs. I found the man in attendance half asleep. Without waiting for a second thought, I quickly jumped up the stairs towards the terrace.
I found Srivaru resting on His side, using His hand as a pillow. Without disturbing Him, I tiptoed to a distant corner, watching Him.
"Kaha?" (Who?) Srivaru asked me in sanskrit.
"It is me, Kalloori."
Srivaru asked immediately, "Nidraa Naayaathaa Kim? Naidaaghasthopo Baadhatheyvaa?" (Are you unable to sleep because of the heat?)
"Na Naidaaghasthaapaha (it is not because of the heat). From morning onwards I was trying to get atleast 5 minutes of time in your "sannidhi", I was pining to be with You! I want atleast five minutes of "Ekaantha Seva" (private darshan) in the presence of Your Holiness, You have to give me that." my voice was tremulous.
"Thvayi Gopikaathva Mathi Dishya Mayi Krishnathvam Sambhaavya Kimapi Sambhaavitham Khalu-"(Are you attributing Gopika tattvam [nature of Gopikas] to yourself and Krishna tattvam [nature of Lord Krishna] to me and imagining further?)
I wondered how He had guessed! I could not bring myself to reply.
Srivaru continued, "Adya Asmaabhi sthamila Bhaashaayaam Prasangaha Kruthaha Thvam Bhaashaanabhignyaha Kim Jaanaasi Maduktham" (We were conversing in Tamil, were you able to understand?)
I replied,"Srivaru ordained that I should understand, that is why I could understand." I had been travelling extensively in Tamilnadu for the sake of Srivaru, yet I could never understand the native language. Most surprisingly, I could follow the discourse of Srivaru on that day, as per His 'sankalpam'(His wish).Srivaru asked me to tell Him what I inferred from His discourse. I narrated the essence of His discourse in the form of a small sloka:-
"Janimrithi Virathirbhavedithithvaam Rathipathi Shaashakameesha Kaalakaalam
Himagiri Thanayaa Dvitheeya Meedey Parama Dayaarasa Meesha Madvitheeyam."
Translation:-"Manmatha is the cause of birth, Yama is cause of death. The Supreme Lord who had supressed both of them is Kamavairi Mruthyunjaya, Chandrasekhara, Lord Shiva. He presented half of His body to the daughter of Himalayas, He is merciful and compassionate. To defeat birth and death, we should surrender to Him!"
Srivaru listened with a smile. His smile felt like moonlight.
"You asked me for 5 minutes of my private time, how many minutes have passed?" Srivaru asked.
"Maybe 15 minutes have passed..."I replied.
I felt remorseful and guilty for disturbing His rest, I said,"I am unable to bear the sight of Srivaru resting on this hard floor."
He immediately replied,"Kim Nashrutham?"( have you not heard?)
'Kshithithala Shayanam Tharuthalavaasaha
Karathalabhikshaa, Kowpeenavanthaha Khalubhaagyavanthaha!"
(The most prosperous are the ones who wear nothing other than a loin cloth. Sleeping on hard floors, living under trees, food in the palm of the hand - who can be more prosperous than this? A materialist can never be so prosperous!)
He consoled me and sent me back.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Coffee /Self-Defense!

I had done my first level in Pranic Healing under Master Cliff Saldanha who is a great pranic healer and a clairvoyant. His training had been most absorbing and enlightening! I was fascinated to learn about chakras bearing different names ( there are additional chakras in pranic healing) according to Grand Master Choa Kok Sui's Pranic Healing, the founder of Pranic Healing. A Filipino of Chinese descent, he also holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and is a succesful businessman. He has authored many books and had extensively used his God-given gifts to touch countless lives. He had also conducted many lectures and workshops worldwide on pranic healing.
Pranic healing has eleven major chakras against our 'Shat Chakras' (6)or seven chakras including the Sahasrara Chakra (which are the 1)Mooladhara, 2)Swadhishtana, 3)Manipooraka, 4)Anahatha, 5)Vishudhi, 6)Agna and 7)Sahasrara Chakras).
The eleven major chakras in pranic healing are:-1) Basic Chakra, 2)Sex Chakra, 3)Meng Mein Chakra, 4)Navel Chakra, 5)Spleen Chakra, 6)Solar Plexus Chakra, 7)Heart Chakra, 8)Throat Chakra, 9)Ajna Chakra, 10)Forehead Chakra and 11)Crown Chakra.
Pranic healing is all about cleansing and energising the chakras mentioned above while treating a particular ailment or for general health. Meng Mein Chakra should never be energised, it can be cleansed- BUT NEVER ENERGISED! Energising or over-energising this chakra is bound to cause severe high blood pressure! (Master Cliff Saldanha, during his class joked -"Even if you fight with your mother-in-law, don't energise her Meng Mein Chakra!")
I was fascinated by the chakra-theory behind pranic healing, but all the extensive sweeping and gestures required to carry out a healing session came in way of my veena practice, as a result I do self-healing when absolutely necessary.
In the advanced therapy, colours are used for healing. I remember the time when I had cut my left hand middle finger while I was chopping carrots and I had to perform in The Music Academy the very next evening! Frantic with worry I rang up my musician friend (who has done his basic as well as advanced courses in pranic healing) for some quick colour prana-remedy. He advised me to apply Blue Prana which relieved me of my pain within no time and despite an ugly gash on my left hand middle finger, I gave a pain-free concert on the very next day in Academy!
Apart from healing physical ailments, Pranic Healing also deals with psychic self-defense against attacks by black magicians. Master Choa Kok Sui recommends water, salt and coffee bath for psychic self-defense. The method is as follows:-
Prepare a bath of warm water. Put 2 or 3 kilos of salt in it, then add 250-300 grams of pure instant coffee. Soak in the bath tub for 15-20 minutes. While in the bath, you may invoke for divine help and protection. After this, take a shower to wash the body.
The water, salt and coffee bath has a deep cleansing effect. People usually feel much lighte after taking it. It can also be used for self-healing. Salt breaks down dirty, diseased/destructive energies while coffee has the abiltiy to expel them. Unfortunately, to a slight degree, it also expels some of the healthy pranic energy from the body. This may cause some people to temporarily feel tired after taking the bath. To neutralize this possible effect, it is necessary to take food supplements with high pranic energy content such as juices, powders or tablet of barley grass, wheat grass and other green stuff, ginseng and bee pollen before taking the bath. In severe cases of psychic attacks by black magicians, it is necessary to take the above mentioned bath once or twice a day for the next several days or weeks until the condition in normalised.














Monday, November 2, 2009

THE COLOSSUS OF VEENA/PART3

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.








Sunday, November 1, 2009

THE COLOSSUS OF VEENA/PART2

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!