Archive for category Andhra Pradesh

The Trinity of Karnataka Sangeetam

Music is an integral part of an Indian’s life. Classical music indeed brings peace and harmony to the soul. Musical renditions have the power to lift man from depression into ecstasy, especially when sung with a devotional note. In an earlier post on Hindustani music, we had seen the contribution of the legendary Pandit Bhatkhande in helping to sustain the survival of Hindustani classical music. Hindustani music is to northern India what Karnataka Sangeetam (Carnatic Music) is to South India. Like the former, Carnatic music is also highly systematized. In fact, classical Carnatic music is one of the world’s oldest and richest musical traditions. In the modern era, three musicians had seminal influence on the evolution and popularization of Carnatic music – Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri. They were the Trinity of Carnatic music. They were each prolific composers with unique styles and were contemporaries who lived during the period between 1760 and 1850 in the Kaveri delta of Tamil Nadu. Even today songs written by them constitute an integral part of Carnatic music concerts. This post will narrate short anecdotes from each of this trinity’s life. Read the rest of this entry »

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The second Buddha – Nagarjuna

Before the Buddha left his mortal body on the earth, he made a prediction that another soul would be born to uphold the teachings of Buddha in the land of Bharath. True to that prediction, 400 years after Buddha, the second Buddha had arrived.

In the Nalgonda district in Andhra Pradesh, a married couple were really upset because the town oracle had predicted that their newly born baby boy was going to live only for seven years. The couple was devastated to hear this. When the boy turned five, they were very sad and were not ready to see him die, so they sent him away on a pilgrimage with several other Buddhist monks who were visiting the town. This little boy sincerely followed the monks around and learnt all the mantras and yogic practices. The monks taught the boy a special mantra called the Amitabha mantra. Amitabha means eternal light and health. The boy sincerely repeated this mantra day and night, and lo! He turned seven, and was still alive! The Amitabha mantra had given him an extended life. This is the first of the many miracles that happened in this boy’s life.

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Kannappa Naayanar – he donated his eyes to the Lord!

Just like how the most special among the worshippers of Lord Vishnu are called alvars, the saints who worshipped Lord Shiva are called the nayanmars. There were 63 nayanmars in total and one of them was the hunter called Kannappan. Kannappan and his hunter friends and family lived around the area that is now called Kalahasti, on the banks of the Swarnamukhi river in Andhra Pradesh.

During his hunting rituals in the forest, one day he was drawn in a particularly distant direction by an animal he was determined to shoot. There, he found a beautiful Shiva lingam that he instantly felt attracted to. A small temple was constructed by his hunter friends for the Shiva lingam that Kannappan had found. Kannappan had not learnt any rituals of worship, but he was imbued with a deep sense of devotion to this deity. He loved the Shiva lingam so much, that he wanted to worship it everyday. Read the rest of this entry »

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