Guru Purnima Celebrations – July 07 2017, Day Two

The second day of Guru Purnima programme was presented by ‘Strings Attached’, the group led by husband-wife duo of Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh and Sri R. Kumaresh, the much-acclaimed couple in the Carnatic classical music scene in India. They were ably accompanied on Mrudangam by Sri Jayachandra Rao and Sri Pramath Kiran, a well-known percussionist who spoke to the audience through Morsing and Tabla. As a troupe, the four artists have regaled audience across the globe on the soulful journey of Carnatic music. In fact, both Sri Kumaresh and Smt. Jayanthi Kumaresh were child prodigies who began plucking the strings and communicating through their instruments even before they could communicate well verbally!

The scintillating musical performance began with a beautiful description by Smt. Kumaresh on the spiritual, esoteric, mystical and historical significance to the instrument Saraswathi Veena. This instrument was supposed to have been played by Lava and Kusha during the times of Ramayana. Veena is the representation of human body with a head, spinal cord and lower body. There are 24 vertebrates in the spinal cord and there are twenty four frets. Twenty four is a magical number. Gayatri Mantra has 24 Aksharas. There are four main four strings in the Veena that symbolize the four Vedas. There are three Thala strings representing Iccha Shakti (Desire), Jnana Shakti (Knowledge) and Kriya Shakti (Action). Using the tip of the finger to play the instrument stimulates the acupressure points. Shastras proclaim playing the Veena as a form of Kundalini Yoga. This is the only instrument which has both melody and rhythm incorporated in it. Similarly, Sri Kumaresh gave some interesting insights on Violin, Mrudangam and Tabla.

Sri Kumaresh mentioned that the Violin is a direct import from European culture. A similar instrument Dhanur Veena is a very ancient instrument found in a 4 BC ancient temple in Chidambaram and also in an ancient 8th century Chola built temple near Mysore.

This was followed by soul stirring renditions that brought out the expression of love and joy in every devotee seated in Premamrutham on this balmy evening. In the end of the musical offering, Swami materialized a chain for Sri Kumaresh and felicitated all the artists with shawl and gifts.

Swami retired for the day after offering Mangala Arati.