What Happened Today at the Monastery?
A group of ladies from Toronto vacationed in Hawaii and made sure their first stop was to visit Kauai’s Hindu Monastery and have darshan with Bodhinatha.
It is the last day of our phase and the Ganapati Kulam gave their report. The whole team is almost 100% focused on finishing up the editorial work for the October edition of Hinduism Today.
END OF PHASE
Today is the last day of our phase.
This edition of TAKA will remain posted
over our coming two-day retreat,
until Dasami Tithi, Sun One, Sunday, July 26th.
Gurudeva’s Second Generation Carries on the Traditions
It is always an inspiration to see the young growing up in our Church. Some who we have known since they were little ones are now grown young men and women, the leaders of our future.
The Hotranatha Ajaya family has carefully nurtured their family in Gurudeva’s teachings. This is a review from California on seventeen-year-old Yatrika Ajaya’s recent solo performance there. Gurudeva would be proud to hear the following story.
A Pilgrim into the world of Carnatic Music
“Yatrika in Sanskrit means “pilgrim.” Yatra is a pilgrimage to a temple or holy destination for thanksgiving or seeking divine favors. Carnatic music is an arduous pilgrimage towards achieving “Nada Brahma Aikyam,” (union with God). Yatrika Ajaya began this pilgrimage with her vocal guru, Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan, over ten years ago. On May 4, 2008, she gave a solo carnatic vocal concert at a temple in Sunnyvale to a standing-room-only audience. Most in this group knew and appreciated Carnatic music. She was given excellent musical support by Rangashree Varadarajan on violin and Ravindra Bharathy Sridharan on mridangam.
“The compositions Yatrika sang were gems in praise of many godforms in the Hindu pantheon: Vinayaka, Siva, Sakthi, Vishnu. This emphasizes Thyagaraja’s affirmation that music without devotion to God is not virtuous.
“(Sangeetha gnanamu bhakthi vinaa sanmargamu galadhe manasaa.) The selected kritis were from great composers in different Indian languages including Telugu, Tamil, Sanskrit, and Kannada. Yatrika’s rendering in all of these was flawless and meaningful. Raga and Tala are basics, mastered with practice, but Bhava can only come with involvement and understanding of the meaning, even though music can transcend barriers. To say the least, she did full justice.
“One listener commented that Yatrika’s performance was the obvious fruition of hard work, discipline, dedication, and devotion to her beloved teacher. Having know Yatrika for many years and having watched her blossom into a beautiful and talented young woman, this listener found it an especially moving experience to see her sari-clad and so “grown-up” looking, smiling, a bit nervous perhaps but confident, eyes on her teacher and so focused on the music. Ah–the music, Thyagaraja’s Mokshamu and Papanasam Sivan’s Paratpara were two of her favorites, and although they lulled her young granddaughter to sleep, they were exquisitely performed. Another devotee in attendance at the concert also selected Mokshamu and said that though it was difficult to choose the best, this difficult kriti with its soft Saaramathi rendered in slow tempo stood out as the “winner”.
“At the end of Yatrika’s performance, the audience gave her a standing ovation. How great to find this talented person born in the West taking up this beautiful art which enshrines the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus past, present, and future. We wish and pray for Yatrika’s continued success in her Carnatic music pilgrimage.”