BEAUTY IS CLARITY……..
Pujya Swamiji Sri Dayananda Saraswati
Murli, my brother in law recounted this beautiful statement that Swamiji had made, in Bombay, during one of his many discourses, as we were running some errands yesterday.
Suddenly it hit me like a thunderbolt and I had my opening statement for the panel discussion on Veena Dhanammal Bani (style), to be conducted that evening, commemorating 150 years of that tradition and celebrating the torch bearers of the same!
I had the great fortune of learning under two such torch bearers, namely, Sangita Kalanidhi Smt.T.Brinda and Sangita Kalanidhi Sri.T. Viswanathan.
The very name Dhanammal encapsulates the idea of a lady, who is an embodiment of “Dhanam” which literally means wealth! The wealth here being, the assimilation of all musical thought, that was beautiful! She was an exponent of Veena and an exemplary musician with exceptional repertoire! Her home was a repository of great musical thoughts, simply because every single member of the family, was either a musician (Vocal/ Instrumentalist ) or dancer, mostly, both.
Between them, the entire gamut of classical arts got encompassed. Besides, great musical minds, both
from the South and North, frequented their household and there was a constant influx and exchange of musical ideas! This totally explains the variations in the musical styles of the practitioners of this tradition!!
But what is most amazing is the fact that, every variation and innovation is so well amalgamated and integrated, that however different or separate the individual styles may seem to be, the under current of the strong Bani, remains. Exactly the way rivers finally become the ocean, were, even when they chart different courses, essentially they all are, at the core of it all, the same water!! One supreme consciousness manifest in various forms!!
SO HOW DOES CLARITY BECOME BEAUTY???
What is clarity? If you look up the dictionary, it will say, clearness, which literally means something that is well defined, transparent and not clouded. So when we are clear about something it signifies that we understand that “something”, very well. Understanding something well, helps us to appreciate that “something”, because we relate to the various components and parameters that define it.
Even when we enjoy nature, we don’t realise that so much information, about colours, forms, formations, etc etc, are continually being processed in our minds… What the mind doesn’t know, it doesn’t comprehend and therefore doesn’t exist!! It is thoughts that come through a certain understanding, that brings alive, an existential world!!
NO THOUGHT! NO WORLD! NO REALITY!!
What a thought! No……………………….
We as human beings, keep going into black holes of sleep, waking through the imaginary worm hole, caused by folding time, that only leads you into yet another black hole (sleep) again, every single day :)) Our thoughts manifest as the world we live in and when there are no thoughts, that is when you are in deep sleep, there is NO WORLD!!!!! Isn’t it?
Wowwww!! Constant contemplation on a thought, does bring in clarity! Even beauty as we perceive it, is our ability to relate to something, based on our understanding of the same, which may not be complete, coz we go by definitions of beauty as advocated by a certain section of the society we live in. Almost to say that if u don’t understand something well, it is difficult to see the true beauty in it!!! A peripheral idea of beauty, can only be skin deep!
It is this understanding that made me realise why Veena Dhanammal Bani was not easily accessible, even to a regular rasika of music. The bani requires a certain understanding of the ingredients that go into the making of it, so that we can relate to the unimaginable flavours and aromas that arise from the unique combinations of those ingredients!! To relish and cherish something truly, to see the true beauty in something, clarity is the key. Be it music or human relationships !!!
May we all receive the blessings of Pujya Swami Sri Dayananda Saraswati and the embodiment of Saraswathi, Smt Veena Dhanammal !!