Workshop and concert by Malladi Brothers
November 17, 2011
November 6, 7 and 8, 2011, were days to be marked in bold for Chinmaya Naada Bindu. The renowned Malladi Brothers – Sreeramprasad and Ravikumar – spared time to teach select students some rare compositions by Narayana Teertha and Bhadrachala Ramadasu, mostly tuned by their Guru Nedunuri Krishnamurthy.
The workshop was held in Mumbai at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Powai, a venue where spiritual culture is in abundance, with the 2-year Vedanta course being conducted for the 15th batch now. Being associated with the Chinmaya Mission from their childhood, the Malladis have great regard for Swami Chinmayananda, the founder, who they have met and sung for. Besides being outstanding performers, the brothers exhibited their excellent teaching ability with extreme patience too. They hold it as their moral responsibility, the honour of spreading the rare compositions to as many artistes as possible.
On the final day, they performed for the Ashramites, and the concert was open to outsiders also. They started with a varnam in Mohana Ragam, followed by kritis of Thyagaraja, Annamacharya, Narayana Teertha and bhajans by Meerabai and others. They were accompanied on the violin by Shivkumar Anantharaman, on the mridangam by Shankar Lakshmanan and on harmonium by Pramodini Rao.
Mangalam Krishnamurthy, one of the participants and herself a good singer, had this to say about the camp and the performance to the brothers: “From (Gambhiramaana) Naattai, the first composition taught to us, to the soulful Sindhu Bhairavi slokam rendered at the end of the concert, it was a wonderful spiritual musical journey with an emotional Aananda Bhairavi, a bhava laden Syama, a lilting Saalakabhairavi, a racy Ravichandrika, a sweet Saaranga, an enjoyable Bilahari, an emotional Neelaambari, do we need anything more to unite human beings than that ‘One and Only’ meaningful ‘Brahmam Okate’? We are indebted to you, respected Sirs. May He bestow us with more and more such opportunities to try and possibly aspire for moksha through such journeys with you.”
The concert was blessed by Swami Advayananda-ji, the acharya of the Vedanta course. He reiterated that music is the way to reach the goal of self-realization, and that the brothers took the audience on a fruitful ride on that path.
Chinmaya Naada Bindu that organized the workship is a gurukul for Indian performing arts inspired by Swami Tejomayananda’s vision to propagate India’s Vedic traditions through the performing arts. It is situated within the Chinmaya Vibhooti ashram, a spiritual resource center on 65 acres of land located at the foothills of the Sahyadri hills in the village of Kolwan near Pune. In addition to presenting yearly arts festivals, monthly workshops, and residential intensives in Bharatanatyam and Hindustani Music, CNB also provides retreat venue for master-artists to work, teach and create.