Tag Archives: Music

What’s the Point!

13 May
No NhAladiyAr or Avvai KuRaL interpretations… 
No SwamyQuotes… 
… 
No New – in the past 4 days…
Not No More… Certainly not yet..!
Heh.. Heh.. Heh… 
… 

Anyway, despite no new – agmark original – content from Swamy,

the sky didn’t fall… 
  • the sun still promptly came up on east, shining at dawn… 
  • the birds still chirped merrily and flew around merrily… 
  • the strays keep finding many a hiding place in the concrete & steel jungle of compassionless humans to beat the boiling summer heat… 
  • the juicy news loving Indians somehow don’t seem to be bothered about the second coming of the loudest news anchor of them all, with his own channel now… 
  • the rain still doesn’t seem to be convinced that NammaChennai makkaL are worthy of at least a drizzle (when a downpour is the dire need)… 
  • the Americans – more than half of them, at least – still can’t believe their most unpopular President of all time (who they elected democratically only a few months ago) is running the nation like an arrogant game show host, making the unofficial, self-declared big brother of the world aka US of A, the butt of jokes, day after day… 
  • the other crazy despot ruling the rogue nation bordering the other big brother of the world hasn’t yet pressed that dreaded button, to ignite judgement day
  • the sad state of Tamilnadu that has lost its leader a few months ago and somehow trundles along miraculously as a headless body, is yet to wake up to the reality that there is practically no one around to fill her haloed position…

… wait a minute… this post itself is kinda like one of Swamy’s Nano blogs.. So, is he already back to what he does well – Write! That too, after a hiatus of just four days! Ha.. Ha..

1474812545607.jpgSo, since the post has anyway started flowing, why not explore this thought stream a little bit more and expand this to a Micro blog (don’t worry, this won’t be a Macro blong).

The reason why Swamy started writing this post is a truly humbling one. Despite having thousands of followers – all Social Media platforms combined, that is (he isn’t a celebrity after all – & he’ll never choose to be one, knowing how much he abhors BAUHumbug Template Living by the human herd), not one of them – yep, not even a single follower – seems to be perturbed about the absence of any posts from Swamy, in the past four days. Whoa! 
While a complete lack of response or reaction of any kind should be expected in this superfast paced world with a gazillion distractions, it had a telling effect on the person who continues to craft his ideas, thoughts, perspectives in the form of social media posts.
By asking himself “What’s the Point!” and contemplating the many possible intellectual explanations (ah, that bloody busy free mind is in action again) – in silence, if course – Swamy was had an awakening – that “he doesn’t matter!
img_0719.jpgWhile Swamy’s hymns, blogs, quotes, photos, comments, reflections, reviews, reminiscences, quips, jokes, clarifications, pointed answers & pertinent questions may resonate with a few fellow humans and may even matter to a few more, they might as well be from anyone else. Some random X, Y or Z, on social media!
Humans need information as much as they need oxygen.
Just as air – polluted or not – is everywhere, providing the necessary oxygen for people to breathe, content too is everywhere, providing the information – necessary or not – for people to consume.
Without information – useful or not – the mind can’t be active, since it needs information to keep churning thoughts.
If the mind isn’t active, there’s no individual identity.
Without the “i”dentity, there’s no existence. For anyone! 
As long as a creator (crafter) offers content (output),  in any form that a human being is familiar with (books, speech, art, music, etc), s/he will have fans / followers who will – passively, in all likelihood – await the next output from her/im. But,
In a world where quantity overwhelmingly outmaneuvers quality in pretty much everything, it really doesn’t matter who offers the content.
There’ll always be someone else. In fact, a lot more than one – for any type of content. 

That awakening really jolted Swamy out of his “I craft original content” stupor!

Because, it doesn’t really matter. At least not in the present reality – however much unreal it is. To anyone – friend, follower, fan or some nondescript human who stumbled across the original content, because big G (oh no, not the Creator G, but the Searcher G) led him/er to it. As soon as he stops crafting content, his fans / followers will always find some other source – who may or may not even craft any original content at all.
So, “What’s the Point?,” in creating anything, if it doesn’t matter at all!
Fact is – as hard it is to swallow, as any hard fact – only Content rules. And will continue to. Content creators just come and go. 
Lord KrishNA came & went. BhagawadgitA lives on. 
Gautama, the Buddha, came & went. DhammA, his path to nirvAnA, lives on.
ThiruValluvar came & went. ThirukkuraL lives on. 
Poets of the three Thamizh Sangam era came & went. The Sangam poetry collections like PadhiNenkeezhkaNakku live on. 
NhAyanmArs & AzhvArs came & went. Thirumurais & Dhivya Prabhandham live on. 
VAlmiki & Kambar came & went. Their RAmAyaN(am) live on. 
Adi ShankarA came & went. His bhAshyams, slOkAs, Stotrams & six paths of worship live on, as are the mutts, JyOthirlingA & Shakthi peetams he has created. 
AruNagirinhAdhar came & went. Thiruppugazh, VEl & Mayil viruttham live on. 
MahAkavi BhArathi came & went. His poetry & prose live on. 
ArutprakAsa RAmalinga VaLLaLAr came and went. Thousands of ThiruvAsagam hymns live on.
PAmban SwAmigaL came & went. His KumArasthavam & many other mantrA like hymns live on. 
img_1379.jpgParamahamsa YOgAnandA came & went. His “Autobiography of a YOgi” and the KriyA yOgA path he taught live on. 
Swami SivAnandA came & went. Hundreds of his books, offering amazing insights into the magnificent spiritual culture of BhArat live on. 
Bhagavan RamaNa Maharishi came & went. His “Who am I” self-enquiry and “AksharamaNamalai” and “ULLadhu nhARpadhu” live on.
KAnchi ParamAchAryA came & went. His “Deivaththin Kural” & many unrecorded, deeply insightful discourses live on.
Swami RAmA came and went. His path-breaking teachings, demonstrations and books – including the phenomenal “Living With The Himalayan Masters,” – that opened up the mystical world of Indian spirituality to the materialistic western world live on.
Osho came & went. Hundreds of his enchanting books – including “The Book of Secrets,” which expounds Lord ShivA’s teaching to DEvi Shakthi on the 112 ways to self-realization, and the myriad techniques he taught for self-realization live on.
Agastya muni, Pathanjali, AvvaiyAr, Aristotle, Plato, Rumi, KALidAsA, Kabir, Nietzsche, Whitman, Vivekananda, Tagore, ThyAgarAjA, KannadAsan, ChinmayAnandA, Watts… countless siddhars, saints, poets, realisd beings and masters came and went. The content they left behind, lives on.
img_0660.jpgThe list of great content creators – of past & present (including Swamy’s Master Sadhguru) – is pretty long, varied & impressive. And only their content – spoken, written, sung, performed, taught, transmitted – will live on. May be, forever. This has happened without fail, from time immemorial and will undoubtedly continue to happen, until there’s no time left (oh yeah, we’re a truly stupid species, endowed with one extra sense than other beings, that are very capable of crafting the total destruction of the only planet we inhabit in this incredibly vast, still expanding, universe). 
Humbled by this rude but real awakening, Swamy assured himself that he will continue to craft – and share – agmark original content. Of different kinds. As long as he can. Knowing full well that it’s his content that will live on. Not Swamy himself, who – the person(ality) known as @PrakashSwamy – will be consigned to the flames at some funeral place, when he must ease out of the mortal form, in which he remains trapped, in this lifetime. And that’s the only point of creating anything. For any creator. Perhaps, including “The Creator” of all creation that was, is & will be there!
adiyogi41s.jpgThank you Lord, for letting me realise that “I” don’t matter. Thanks to the awakening I had, the brand Swamy rests lightly on my shoulders now, with a lot lighter head than before! And with your boundless Grace guiding me for the rest of my existence, may valuable content continue to flow through me, if I’m worthy of being your instrument. PraNAm _/\_ 

Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer 🙂

~Swamy

@PrakashSwamy

img_20161225_080543.jpgYou’re welcome to cherish other Swamy blog posts (SwamysteryBeen There Seen ThatSwamyviewSwamyverseSwamygraphy), Quotes (SwamyQuote) & Poems (Swamyem – including 200+ #DhinamOruPadhigam hymns), leave a comment and share it with your social circles.

You’re also welcome to stay connected to Swamy (@PrakashSwamy) on Social Media.

~Swamy | @PrakashSwamy 

Im-mortal!

18 Sep

Im-mortal ~ a tribute to a true Legend & pondering about how mortal even such legends are – especially in the fickle human memory! 

Yesterday was the birth centenary (not your hilarious annual celebration of the day you stepped out to survive this silly world) of a once-in-a-lifetime… Nah… Once-in-a-millennium… Uh, huh… Once-in-a-creation kind of artisan, whose name is synonymous with her craft. Yet, as far as Swamy knows, none of the prime time media – including the most democratic of ’em all, the Social Media – did much to commemorate the momentous occasion!

Graphic: Awards, accolades & global recognition for the legendary MuSician (source: msstribute.org)

Before we get to the name, here are a few (there are very few in the entire history of human existence, btw) parallels, to give you a perspective of what we’re conversing about…

Football (no, we won’t call it soccer, like the unsure citizens of the global big brother nation) – Pele’

ScienceEinstein (no silly comparisons with Edison et al here, he remains incomparable)

WritingTwain (very debatable, but let’s just go with the longevity here)

ArtMichelangelo (we can add Craft too here as he dabbled in far too many things, so well)

PoetryBhArathi (as far as Swamy is concerned, there has been no one as versatile & skilled as the MahAkavi

ComposingBeethoven (yep, there are far too many like Back et al, but no one will have any problem with nodding their head for the big B)

PhilosophySages who wrote the Upanishads (if you haven’t read them, then you’ve no idea about the purpose of your human birth)

ActingChaplin (you’ve no idea – just shut up & go watch his silent classics)

StrategyChAnakyA (start reading his ArthasAstra, before buying yet another strategy tome) 

AutomobileFord (“you can have the model-T in any colour as long as it’s black” – ‘nuf said)

DefianceGandhi (just imagine the ‘half-naked fakir’ standing up against the once-mighty empire where the sun never sets – according to them, of course)

Leadership – Captain Cool aka MS Dhoni (just Google him & you’ll know why)

Guess you have a fair – even if only faint – idea of where we’re getting to by now.

Graphic: Life time line of the legendary vocal artist who simply has no equal (source: msstribute.org)

The legend – truly, in every sense of the word – we’re conversing about is MS Subbulakshmi, fondly known as MS Amma. She’s to Classical (& Devotional) Music what Pele’ is to Football (& all the aforementioned greats were to their respective art / craft / chosen space). 

She was popular at the age of 10. The popularity graph kept going up, up & away, defying celebrity gravity, all the way to her being awarded the Bharat Ratna – the highest civilian honour in India. She sang all over the globe, including the UN. Heck, even Gods wake up daily listening to her melodious rendering of their praise (e.g. Venkatesa Suprabhatam rendered by her is officially used in Lord Venkatachalapathy aka Balaji temple at Thirumala to wake the Lord up, daily – incidentally, millions of households too wake up with her signing the same – even today).

Her list of honours knew no limit, yet she remained humble all her life.

Her remuneration & gifts were sizeable, yet she donated most of it for charity (still goes on).

Her popularity was more than heads of states and celluloid celebrities, yet she remained intensely private.

She could’ve easily been a Diva, yet chose to remain deeply rooted in devotion – to her craft & the creator.

She went all over the world with an entourage, and she always travelled, stayed and ate with them, without any airs. 

She was the symbol of devotion, piety, simplicity, eminence, elegance, grace, gratitude, benevolence, humility, loyalty and a lot more things that we hardly see in a celebrity today.

Yet, this once-great nation seem to have collectively ignored this legendary performing artist’s existence, on the momentous occasion of her birth centenary. Other than a few concerts by true devotees (who saw her as divine incarnate) and probably a commemoration lecture or two, the voice that still wakes up millions – including the Gods themselves – has already faded away!

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Human memory (& loyalty) is a fickle thing. It forgets greatness easily – especially when the great ones aren’t around anymore. Humans are silly beings stuck in their mUlAdhAra chakra, who will remember only things that they can feel and experience with their sense organs, collectively. 

Someone like MS – arguably the greatest classical + devotional artist of all time – is still remembered when they hear her Suprabhatam or Sahasranamam in the morning. But that’s only one of the 5 senses – auditory. As soon as the song is done, she fades away from their pointlessly busy survival mind. Until the next morning.

Sujatha – arguably the most diverse & exceptionally talented (& needless to say, hugely successful) is remembered during the annual book fair. Or while reading one of his many amazing books – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, classics, science, God… You name it. And then forgotten entirely, until the next book.

MahAkavi BhArathi – arguably the greatest poet that ever walked the earth – had just a handful of people attending his funeral. His poems will make even a Millennial kid go wow, even today. 

KBalachandar – arguably the most daring director ever in the history of Tamil cinema (& TV), who also happened to mentor two of his greates superstars Kamal Hassan & Rajinikanth – is hardly remembered by the fans now.

Tagore, Palke, Premchand, Rajaji, Balasaraswathi, Mali, Ravi varma, Ray, RK brothers, Patel, GD Naidu, Sarabhai, Ramanujan, Dhyan Chand, … 

All of them, and a lot many more global celebrities – sportspersons, musicians, actors, writers, leaders, business icons, astronauts, artists, architects… – who once were celebrated as immortals, are all probably lamenting at how mortal they indeed are, muttering with a sigh, “I’m-mortal”! 

MS probably isn’t regretting it one bit because she treated her celebrity status – almost unheard of in her time, making her even more mystical – adulation, awards, accolades like one of those enchanting sarees she used to wear for her concerts. Useful & valuable at that point in time, but of no importance whatsoever once the concerns was over. 

In a way,

MS was a Yogini. Nada Yogini. Music was her sadhana


Singing with utmost devotion, from the core of her being, was her daily penance – to attain the ultimate liberation. She seems to have been created, nurtured, celebrated and protected by the creator exclusively to sing his praise (that her husband + mentor was named Sadasivam isn’t a coincidence). And boy did she do that.. And how!

MS, the mortal being, became the MuSic, the immortal being! 

You may cherish Swamy’s hymn tribute to the true legend of Classical & Devotional Music MS Subbulakshmi here ~ Isaiyarasi (இசையரசி – Queen of Music) 

You may know more about the legendary perfect performing artist here ~ msstribute.org

Who cares if the media didn’t care to acknowledge the immortality of her MuSic? They must be too busy chasing the next Im-mortal story. Until the next one. BAUHumbug!

Slide an audio CD of MS into your hi-fi or just search for one of her many immortal songs like Kurai Ondrum Illai on your smartphone or tablet. Close your eyes & open your ears. Listen deeply as her immortal voice caresses the deeply hidden devotion within you. Let the joy drops, i.e. tears flow. Repeat. Until you comprehend why (& how) MS is synonymous with MuSic!  

Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer 🙂

~Swamy

@PrakashSwamy   

Why Not!

16 Mar
Flower1A flower enchants by blooming and wafts doing what it loves…
plucked or not!
. 
A tree offers shade to many beings and breezes doing what [s]he loves…
chopped or not!
. 
A grain feeds by getting consumed and enriches doing what it loves…
harvested or not!
.
A fruit nourishes by getting eaten or slurped and ripens doing what it loves…
cut or not!
. 
PepsiSA puppy melts hearts with unconditional love and plays doing what [s]he loves…
shooed or not!
A cow nurtures with milk and moos doing what she (he.. he.. no He there :O) loves…
butchered or not!
.
A lion roams with pride and roars doing what [s]he loves…
hunted or not!
.
A baby woos with nonchalant smile and babbles doing what [s]he loves…
cuddled or not!
. 
JumpA kid explores with unbound curiosity and learns doing what [s]he loves…
chided or not!
. 
A youngster bonds with willful sharing and connects doing what [s]he loves…
shunned or not!
. 
An artist paints vibrant Life and colours doing what [s]he loves…
marveled or not!
. 
A sculptor chisels to bring stone or metal to Life and etches doing what [s]he loves…
bought or not!
. 
Kashgrapher2A photographer captures a memorable moment in Life with light and clicks doing what [s]he loves…
wowed or not!
. 
A poet enchants by giving Life to words and rhymes doing what [s]he loves…
appreciated or not!
. 
A sportsperson transcends the limits with skill and competes doing what [s]he loves…
celebrated or not!
. 
A performer enthralls by whipping up emotions and expresses doing what [s]he loves…
encouraged or not!
. 
A musician tugs heartstrings by transforming notes to tunes and resonates doing what [s]he loves…
applauded or not!
. 
Swamy_BalakumaranAn author transports to a different realm conjured in h[is]er mind and narrates doing what [s]he loves…
sold or not!
. 
A trainer enables by getting ideas into learners’ heads and shares doing what [s]he loves…
thanked or not!
. 
A coach lets discovery of self happen and propels doing what [s]he loves…
acknowledged or not!
. 
A seeker strives to eliminate self and expands doing what [s]he loves…
enlightened or not!
. 
Sadhguru_Quote18A guru transmits to realize the Truth and elevates whatever [s]he graces…
surrendered to or not!
. 
Who are you?
. 
What do you offer?
. 
How do you connect?
. 
How much do you share?
. 
How far do you dare to reach?
. 
When where you joyful?
. 
…………………………………

20120625_143222Why?

…………………………………

Why not!

.
SwamyProfile7aBe Joyful & Spread the Cheer :)

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Joy Drops!

3 Oct

Recently a colleague shared a few interesting tips on ‘How to Stay Happy Always’. One of them was “The tears happen. Endure, grieve. Then go on”. This got me thinking. Wondering rather!

Who says tears happen only due to grief? There are many instances in Life when tears well up in our eyes for reasons that have no relation whatsoever with grief. In fact, they are tears of Joy! So, what triggers them?

Great music. Try listening to Maharajapuram Santhanam’s ‘Bho Shambo’ song with closed eyes. Or the likes of TM Krishna, Sikkil Gurucharan, Bombay Jayashree & MS melting away into their music! Legends like Madurai (Mani Iyer), Kunnakkudi, Kadri & Seergazhi do the same effortlessly. Adele (Someone like you), Susan Boyle (I’ve a dream), Kenny G (Songbird), Yanni (Santorini), Elvis (In the Ghetto) and many such exceptionally talented and blessed musicians too will have the same effect on a keen listener. My recent ‘Aha’ ones were ‘Chakraview’ by flautist Pt. Rupak Kulkarni and ‘Ahir’ by Prem Joshua!

Darshan of a deity in the Garbagriha during Deepa Aradhana! When the priest slides aside the curtain in front of my family deity – Lord Muruga of Kumaramalai – after several minutes of alangaram (dressing up) and the Lord Child smiles at us with a slightly tilted head; When one finally gets the sight of Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupathi after several hours of wait, a sight that lasts only for a few brief seconds but forever etched in one’s memory; When Goddess Meenakshi in Madurai is ceremonially taken to her Palli Arai (bed room) clad in a simple white saree sans jewelry (she’s an Empress, mind you) after the Artha Jaama (late night) Puja; During the Nadha Aradhana (offering of sound) at Dhyanalinga temple at Isha Yoga center. This experience will be amplified in temples such as the Kukke Subrahmanya or Dharmasthala or the many shrines that are naturally lit by only oil lamps!

Aha moments while reading a book, such as the first and second parts of the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi that I’ve recently read. In ‘The Immortals of Meluha‘ (part 1), the first time when Lord Shiva’s Thaandavam (dance) is described in vivid detail, when his Neelkanth (blue neck) is recognized for the first time by Ayurvati (chief doctor) or when Lord Shiva recites the war cry ‘Har Har Mahadev’ (all of us are God of Gods). In ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ (part 2) when the identities of Lord Ganesh and mother Goddess Kali are unveiled (literally), when they were unconditionally accepted by both Lady Sati and Lord Shiva and when the sacred chant ‘Om Naham Shivay’ was chanted for the first time! Or when Subroto Bagchi’s blind mother tells him to ‘Go Kiss the World’ on her deathbed! You may read my reviews of all 3 books at GoodReads.com.

During those seminal scenes in movies with phenomenal performance by a star. When Jones Sr. calls Jr. “Indiana” for the first and last time in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’; Alfred tells Wayne “Never” in ‘The Dark Knight’;  Sully’s eyes open after the soul transfer at the last moment of Avatar; Vader looks longingly at Skywalker after throwing away Palpatine with his single remaining hand at the end of ‘Star Wars – A New Hope’; T-800 sacrificing himself by sinking into molten metal while looking at Sarah & John in ‘Terminator 2 – The Judgement Day’; Sakthivelu tells his followers ‘போதும்டா, போய் புள்ள குட்டிய படிக்க வைங்கடா’ (enough, please educate your children), to end the pointless bloodshed once and for all in ‘Devar Magan’!

ஈன்ற பொழுதிற்ப் பெரிதுவக்கும் (prouder than the time of birth) moment for a doting parent. Our recent one was when we came to know that Jr. has won the Bronze medal with his Indian team at the World Under-16 Youth Chess Olympiad at Istanbul, Turkey.

Listening to National anthem while representing the nation. Have you noticed how many Olympic athletes had moist eyes, while accepting their medals?

மாங்கல்யம் தந்துனானேன (groom tying mangalsutra in bride’s neck) moment. Most think it’s only for the parents, but many obviously know it isn’t only them.

First time of anything with a newborn – sight, wail, rollover, hail, grip, babble, move, step, fall, rise. And of course that utterly disarming smile that’ll melt any heart – even the ones made of kryptonite!

Brief moments of Deep spiritual experience during Meditation or while performing Kriya. It’s hard to explain, but experienced by many a meditator.

Being in the presence of Guru. my Master – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev – is an accomplished master blaster, when it comes to blasting open the floodgates within any meditator. He will only laugh out loud when we ask why!

Rewinding our flash memory (pun intended) by fondly looking at a decade or more old photo or video or faded greeting card with a hand written message.

When one stands amidst pristine nature, marveling at its magnificence and the skill and care of its creator! I’ve felt it in many places including the mighty Smoky mountains, foothills of Velliangiri and in the wilderness along the North shore in Minnesota. Lord Shiva’s abode Kailash and Manasarovar, Valley of Flowers, land’s end at Dhanushkodi, the Grand Canyon, Alaskan wilderness, Angel falls, Galapagos, The Great Barrier Reef, Aurora Borealis, the North Pole  are all in the to go list – in this Life or another!

When that brilliant but economically challenged kid whose study we funded gets selected by a top institution for higher studies or by a company for job, based on merit!

When the pet dog jumps at us and eagerly licks our face at odd hours, on our return from a trip. All it expects in return for showering the unconditional love is a gentle rub or a tummy scratch. And it’ll have moist eyes too!

When one comes back alive and kicking from a Life threatening injury or disease. I’ve seen the suffering, prayers and hope well up in my parents’ eyes when I started walking again after two surgeries in my knee that kept me bedridden for several months and brought any chance of a sports career to an abrupt end, when I was in high school. I’m sure Yuvaraj’s mother would’ve felt the same way when he triumphed against cancer recently. Vikram’s wife would’ve been through the same when he rose again and became a colossus in his acting career.

When someone (usually a child) asks a profound question for which we don’t have an immediate answer! All the knowledge we thought we’ve gained through years of experience is of no value at that moment.

India’s World cup winning moment. And when the entire team carried one of the greatest living legends of the game on their shoulders around the stadium! Oh, what a relief for a billion people – Cricket fans or not – to know that it could be done again, after all! And how hard it would’ve been for the brave bunch that did the impossible the first time!

When hearing a simple ‘Thank you’ from a student attending a volunteer training session, reassuring you that the weekend spent volunteering is an investment, not an expense. Our great nation will reap the benefits, someday!

When a Leader gently lets the limelight shine on his team during great moments of triumph and recognition. MS Dhoni, a great contemporary sports leader, does it happily, time and again.

Such teary moments are ample in everyone’s Life and they are never about grief. They are about joy, pride, love, triumph, reverence, gratitude and bliss. There’s no shame in shedding them. For they lift the facade we all have to wear – even if only momentarily – and offer us a glimpse of the true nature of Life. One that has to be experienced, cherished and celebrated. They are Life’s Joy Drops B:)

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