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Monday, November 3, 2014

Divine Grace- its Processes and Effects

Hyderabad Brothers, 1998 - Ramanavami

An introspection by Shri R. Sachi

We are very happy to share with Rasikas worldwide excerpts from a brilliant vocal duet of the senior vidwans, D. Seshachary and D. Raghavachary, popularly known as Hyderabad Brothers, held during the Ramanavami festival at "Parvathi", Mysore, in 1998.

The Hyderabad Brothers duo made a mark for themselves during late 1970’s and have won many honours since, especially the prizes for for the best concerts of the season in the Music Academy, Madras, year after year. They have a beautiful vocal duet technique and employ a deeply classical idiom to connect instantly with their audiences. They received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for the year 2013.

The excerpts we share here have an enduring musical value. Consider the range of ragas essayed: Nata, Sriranjani, Ravichandrika, Kambhoji, Bhairavi, Tilang, Durga…What a range of krithis, and what contemplative lyrical depth. Many of the compositions dwell on the aspect of divine grace. What is divine grace and how does one become ready for it?

The very first song, a classic composition of Muthuswami Dikshitar, gives an inkling…

Swaaminaatha paripaalayaashu maam… kaamitaartha vitarana …bodha roopa nityaananda karana

So at a basic level, the Lord protects and nurtures us. At the next level, He fulfils our desires and wants. But His grace has its full effect in enlightening us on the ultimate reality of divine bliss, and taking us beyond worldly wants.

The following songs also highlight the same theme:

Brochevaarevare…bhavaabdhitaraNopaayamu nerani tyaagaraajuni karambidi..

Who else, but you, oh Rama, will take me across by hand over the ocean of worldliness.

Niravadhisukhadaa..saadhumaanasa susadana

Dwelling in the pure heart, you confer eternal bliss…

The Kshetrayya padam sung here, Rama Rama in Bhairavi, may appear at one level to depict the pangs of a lover, but Shringara is one of the nava vidha bhaktis. Radha, Andal, and Meera, all represent the yearning for the Lord that results in Mukti.

We also have in the concert an interesting admonition to the worldly man by Purandara Dasa. This Durga raga composition Dharma Shravanavidetake was made famous by GNB. The words used by the composer are quite strong, stating that it is totally futile for a man, even if born in the upper caste, to observe religious rituals and listen to spiritual discourses, until and unless he realises the futility of pursuits in the material world and yearns for liberation. He says, huttukurudage deepavidetake bhrashtanigeke kuladharma, meaning that the light of a lamp is useless for a man born blind, just as a depraved man should not flaunt the rituals of his high birth.

We can thus conclude that being eligible for grace is the only thing within our powers. Grace flows and confers on us the pleasures of this world, but more importantly, the bliss of liberation. And as all the saint composers stress, it is a question for us of looking for the true enduring reward of existence and not the trinkets of material prosperity.

Come, let us enjoy a brilliant concert recorded at Parvathi 16 years ago!

Concert Details

Hyderabad Brothers
(D.Seshachary and D.Raghavachary) -------- Vocal

H.K.Narasimhamurthy ----------------- Violin
Cheluvaraj ------------------------ Mridangam
Srinath ------------------------- Ghatam

on 9-4-1998 during Ramanavami at Parvathi.

Song List

01 Swaminatha-Nata-Muthuswami Dikshitar*** 02 Brochevarevare-Sriranjini -Thyagaraja*** 03 Niravadhisukhada-Ravichandrika-Thyagaraja*** 04 Kambhoji Raga-Tana*** 05 Pallavi-Kambhoji & swaras-Kambhoji, Bilahari, Saveri*** 06 Rama Rama- Bhairavi padam - Kshetrayya*** 07 Rama Rama-Tilang-Purandara Dasa*** 08 Dharmashravana-Durga- Purandara Dasa*** 09 Mangalam***