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Music and Morality

By Ram S. Sriram I hope our past discussions on music, dance, and other arts have been exciting and fascinating to you. This month I want to share two stories from Hindu mythology. Mythology contains interesting and fictional stories about Gods, people, their beliefs, and traditions. The Ramayana and the…
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NADOPASANA FOR SALVATION

By Dr. R. Krishnaswami Nadopasana is bhakthi, worship, and devotion through music. As the article on Thyagaraja’s musical plays points to, Sri Thyagaraja Swami used his compositions to energize our inner spiritual forces or Nadopasana to attain moksha or salvation in this life. There are several references to Nadopasana in…
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On Knowledge

R. Krishnaswami About knowledge, Thyagaraja Swami says that it is not worth acquiring knowledge which does not improve the quality of man. A very well read man who has not benefited from his erudition and knowledge is an ass that carries a load of books. Humility and vinaya is essential…
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On Prayer

Dr. R. Krishnaswami Aldoux Huxley classified prayer into petition, intercession, meditation, and contemplation. Of these, petition, he said, was the lowest form of prayer; intercession the next best; mediation still higher and contemplation, the ideal. This closely follows Sri Thyagaraja Swami's views on prayer. In the kriti, "Mari Mari Ninne"…
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Rituals and Religion

P. Sreenivasan and R. Krishnaswami Frequently one hears the largely justified accusation that religion has failed to make man, moral or compassionate and that, it has divided man from man. All religions give us some code of ethics; of love of fellow human beings and all creatures. Religion cannot be…
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Sangeetha and Bhakthi – Swami’s Last Days

P. Sreenivasan Sangeetha and bhakthi should be acquired and practiced with humility. Genuine humility brings with it detachment, suppression or conquest of the baser instincts of Man and, ultimately annihilation of the ego to bring enlightenment. Mere scholarship without humility and music without devotion is according to Thyagaraja Swami, akin…
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The Musical Genius

By Dr. R. Krishnaswami and P. Sreenivasan Sri Thyagaraja Swami's contribution to music or sangitopasana and the esoteric nadopasana is unique. No other composer has sung about the grammar and mystic significance of sangita in such terms as Swami has. Arranged in the order of their subject matter, the songs…
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