“ ME.. AND MY FLUTE ”
In my child-hood, there was much music and singing of bhajans in my family.
My mother was a good singer of bhajans. And, since she could not learn music in a systematic way herself, in her child-hood, she wanted her children to progress in that direction.
“ VENU VINOD ”, my brother .. elder by six years .. picked up the instrument ‘ flute ’ when he was in the boys scouts in his higher secondary school days at Bodhan. Later on, when he went for Engineering studies, in Hyderabad, he started learning ‘ CARNATIC-FLUTE ’ systematically from GURU T.S. CHANDRASEKHARAN, a railway employee in Hyderabad, who was himself a direct disciple of the GREAT MASTER T.R. MAHALINGAM.
* * *
After studying up to ninth class in Bodhan High School, I went for further studies to Hyderabad. During my twelfth class period i.e., 1962-63, my brother put me on to ‘ tabla ’ which I seriously learnt for one year.
However, after one year of ‘ tabla ’, my brother put me on to his own GURU TS. CHANDRASEKHARAN for flute education.
The month of April, year 1963, was the beginning of my flute.
For the next five to six years, it was regular sadhana and regular learning from my Guru, SHRI T.S. CHANDRASEKHARAN.
After six or seven years, I could not go that regularly to my Guru, but was practicing constantly with my brother.
* * *
The year 1974 saw me giving many solo performances throughout Andhra Pradesh along with my music friend P.V.S.S. Sastry, an ardent student of Carnatic-vocal, and who later went on to become the Principal of the prestigious “ Vijayanagaram Maharaja’s Music College ” in Vijayanagaram.
* * *
Year 1975 saw me getting a job in M/s Coromandel Fertilizes Ltd ... in the marketing department .. as sales promotion officer, and I had KURNOOL, as my headquarters.
I arrived in KURNOOL in June 1975. Now, KURNOOL is the home for the most famous music personality of Andhra Pradesh, Padmabhushan DR. SRIPADA PINAKAPANI.
Within a fortnight of my arriving in Kurnool, I presented myself before the great MAESTRO and introduced myself as a student of music. He was impressed with my dedication and began teaching me in earnest.
From the year 1975 to the year 1978, I continued my higher training in Carnatic music with this great master and added new hues to my flute music. It is there that I also developed some of my vocal-style.
* * *
The year 1979 saw me entering the “ GREAT FIELD OF MEDITATION ”, and slowly all my attention was removed from MUSIC to MEDITATION. And, I stopped going to my Guru DR. SRIPADA PINAKAPANI and I put a total stop to all my aspirations in the field of music. Now, it is only my job / family on oneside .. and meditation, spirituality and spiritual science and nothing else on the otherside.
* * *
Starting with the year 1995, slowly, I began playing flute during meditation sessions and was also intermittently singing a little .. to facilitate intensive meditation.
Since the year 2000, however, I started totally integrating classical music .. into meditation and gradually I noticed that music enhanced meditation in a very beautiful way as the experience of every meditator showed. Now, invariably, I play the flute as well as sing in all my meditation sessions.
* * *
One thing was very striking after my graduation into meditation .. my vocal style developed certain distinct Hindustani music overtones. My own Guru DR. PINAKAPANI exclaimed “ When did you learn Hindustani music ? ”. This I attribute to my training in Hindustani music in my previous life-times.
* * *
Before I was given to the FIELD OF MEDITATION, I believed that music was only for music’s sake. However, now, in retrospect, I see that my music .. in my particular case .. was always meant and designed for MEDITATION alone and I am ever so glad about the same.
Hail unto music meditation.
- Brahmarshi Patriji
- Excerpted from Spiritual India Jul – Aug 2011, Page 17