DROPLETS MEET THE OCEAN
A gush of cool air indicative of the typical Bangalore weather and a cup of hot Masala Chai..so far, it was the usual June Sunday, but I was very excited as this one was going to be different. Like the ocean beckoning the droplet, RFA had provided yet another opportunity and yet another unique one. This time it was a lecture demonstration on ‘Parent Child Relationship through Classical Music’ by Ganakalabhushana Vidwan Shri RK Padmanabha.
As Shri R.K. Padmanabha took the stage, there was an unexplainable aura of peace and calm. Shri RKP first thanked RFA for always striving to bring out the greatness of Classical Music in a unique way, and started with an invocation on his Guru ,Shri Vadiraja .He then delved right into the topic of the day. He emphasized how important it is for parents to first teach their children to respect all castes and creeds because classical music is free of , and should be kept free of , all these idiosyncrasies. It would greatly help the cause if parents also learn to appreciate classical music, he said. He questioned the need to do yoga , when singing classical music itself is pranayama.
Shri RKP explained the greatness of classical music. He spoke of classical music as a tonic for stress relief, and a tool for instilling discipline into the child . He said classical music has all the ingredients – artistic beauty, lyrical beauty, scientific foundation , ability to tone human emotions – he said, if classical music is so prolific, how can any child reject it? A food for thought indeed !
He demonstrated a pleasing Sahana outline , and spoke about how Sahana is actually helps in Sehna ( Hindi word for tolerance) . True indeed , the mysteries of the ragas acting on the human subconscious have long been researched and to a large extent proven, but here I was , experiencing this live , as Shri RKP spoke. Thanks to RFA for this !
He went on to render Kamboji and Atana demonstrating their ability to evoke the Veera Rasa ( courage) .He also demonstrated how the Dhaivatham in Atana could be used booth soothingly as well as to display pride and courage.
A sea of melody and knowledge was flowing from Shri RKP and the lucky ones were partaking of this. He also sang a Vadiraja composition on tolerance . Shri RKP stuck to the topic at all times by reiterating that this abundance in classical music should become an enabling factor for the child via the parent. The parent has to ensure that the child avails of the nectar of classical music to the maximum extent possible.
Shri RKP went on to explain the power of musical notes. They are no less than Xrays he said. They can work very positively on the human mind . One should always allow an environment of pure notes. He talked of the power of Antara Gandhaaram and how this note alone has so much musical depth and effect . And then came the master statement “ A person who listens to classical music becomes classical “ . A simple but profound statement from the master .
Shri RKP took the example of the Charanam line ‘Praanaa Naala” from Mokshamu Galadhaa to show how Saint Thyagaraja understood the scientific aspects of music and sound. He said that Saint Thyagaraja and Shri Purandaradasa were scientists as well. A quick medley of Thyagaraja’s compositions on Nada(sound) followed.
Shri RKP said that there is happiness in music . Let the child listen to music at least 5-10 minutes a day. He will evolve into a better human being at the least. He said that today, there are a lot of opportunities for the child to listen to music ,because of technological advancement, and we should enable this for the children in the correct way. Bhakti is an important element of music and should be cultivated in the child. He demonstrated how Kalyani Ragam influences parent and child. He also demonstrated how various shaded of the Nishadam have an effect on the parent and the child. He laid thrust on the importance and therapeutic effects of gamakas from Carnatic Music , and how gamakas provides vital exercise for the mind and body.
Shri RKP said that music , in addition to everything above, gives status and respect to the individual. The came one more gem of a statement “ Every half hour of music adds two hours of academic capability to the child “ He narrated how Swami Vivekananda was a Hindustani musician himself Swamiji’s music brought him closer to Shri Ram Krishna Prahamsa, who used to surrender to the melody of Swami Vivekananda . Shri RKP went on to emphasize that a vocalist must strive to attain bhava oriented singing. Meditation of a few notes are sufficient for a whole lifetime of serenity.
As was the protocol for the day, the words of knowledge were followed by a wave of melodious music. This time it was a medley of 15 ragas in about a minute presented to perfection .It was mesmerizing. When music has all these ingredients for a fuller life , why not imbibe it , rather than anything else ? Shri RKP had left my mind resounding with these questions swimming among the echoes of his melodious voice . And I am sure I was not alone in such an experience.
Shri RKP spoke about the immense capacity of the brain and how music can help reinforce this capacity. Music helps us tune to the natural rhythms of life. We stay connected to nature. He spoke of the depths available in the Dikshitar Navagraha krithis, Thyagaraja Pancharatnams and other group compositions . The Vedas and the Upanishads are presented in lucid form in music. It is rightly said that by singing the Dikshitar Navagraha Krithis in true spirit , one can reap the divine benefits Sri Vidya Upasana
The knowledge and melody from the master kept flowing . Shri RKP went on to urge parents to remember these tenets of classical music and spend time listening and learning, and emotional bonding will definitely increase between parent and child. He said that music is beyond all tatvas. He said he is the happiest person , as he has music with him , and his wish was to have suswara until the last breath. Well, Sir, we wish you suswara forever. The concluding melody a memorable rendering of Dikshitar’s Akhilandeshwari (Dwijavanthi).
This was an amazing selfless distribution of knowledge which left parents and children with a lot of wisdom to takeaway and reminded parents of their responsibilities towards making their children good musicians and good human beings and as Shri RKP rightly put it, making them true citizens of India.
-- Narayanan Iyer
Parent Child Relationship through Music