Every now and then, chance or fate or whoever pre-ordains our existences singles out an individual not only to achieve greatness in his or her field but to be a unique individual who would set new standards by which everyone who follows in his or her footsteps would be judges. M.S Subbulakshmi is one such individual. Although she felt she was interpreting music, her audience felt she was creating it. Herein lay her genius; Many great artists had left their imprint on various songs. Subbulakshmi’s uniqueness, however, lay in making the audience remember only the way in which she sang these songs. M.S.Subbulakshmi was born on September 16, 1916. According to the Tamil astrological calendar, she was born in the month of Purattasi, under the star Bharani. According to an old Tamil adage, those born under the star Bharani are destined to rule the world. Subbulakshmi was to become, in a manner of speaking, the Empress of the world of music. Some of the giants of the music world came forward to teach her songs. Amongst them were Ariyakudi Ramanuja lyengar and Mazhavarayanendal Subburama Bhagavatar.
Bhajagovindam and Vishnu Sahasranamam
‘Adi Sankaracharya wrote a number of vedantic works to impart knowledge on the self and the universal spirit. He also composed a number of hymns to foster Bhakti in the hearts of men. One of these hymns is the famous Bhajagovindam. The way of devotion is not different from the way of gyana or knowledge. When intelligence matures and lodges itself securely in the mind, it becomes wisdom. When wisdom is integrated with life and issues out in action, it becomes Bhakti. Knowledge becoming fully mature is Bhakti, If knowledge does not get transformed into Bhakti, it is useless tinsel.
To believe that gyana and Bhakti, knowledge and devotion are different from each other is ignorance. If Adi Sankaracharya, who drank the ocean of gyana as easily as one sips water from the palm of one’s hand, himself sang in his later years to develop devotion. It shows that gyana and Bhakti are one and the same. Adi Sankaracharya has packed into the Bhajagovindam the substance of all Vedanta and set the oneness of gyana and Bhakti to melodious music.
Bhaja Govindam - Vishnu Sahasranamam
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