Sunday, April 3, 2011

M S- Divine Voice , Yet Modesty And Humility Personified

The article on Srimathi M.S. Subbulakashmi has been prepared in memory of the late musician whose 93rd Birthday

falls on 16th September 2009

Best wishes

B.M.N.Murthy, Satrurday 12th Sept 2009

-Epitome of innate Modesty and Humility.

Many were the landmarks in the musical career of late Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi who attained worldwide fame with her participation in the Edinburgh Festival and her performance in the U.N.General Assembly. A Magsaysay Award Winner, it was she who took Carnatic music to the world famous Carnegie Hall in the USA. Another feather was added to the crown of this ‘Queen of Music’ [As Pandit Nehru described her] when the Viswabharathi University at Calcutta [founded by Ravindranath Tagore in ] conferred the title ‘Deshikottama’ on December 24th 1981.

On this memorable occasion Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi delivered a speech to convey her gratitude to the Vishwabharathi University. Her speech which revealed her innate modesty and humility is reproduced below:

“I am deeply moved and feel all the smaller to receive this doctorate of high distinction from this most respected cultural academy of our motherland, The Vishwabharathi. I tender my profound gratitude to you for the gesture.

When honours come to my humble self one after the other, it only helps me to intensify my surrender at the feet of the Motivator pulling the strings of this puppetry of Grace. I can do no better than recall the sublime words of Gurudeva Tagore:

“This little flute of a reed
Thou hast carried over hills and dales
And has breathed through it
Melodies eternally new”

Not only melodies of music but melodies of service to humanity He had enabled me to render to some extent.

He alone is the Deshikottama, the Teacher Supreme, as Lord Dakshinamurthy, as the Geethacharya, as the Mother Divine manifesting Her Grace through all the Masters. To that galaxy belongs the Life Force behind this Vishwabharathi, appropriately and affectionately called “Gurudev”

To me personally, the Guru manifestation has been in many forms. In music, my mother Shanmukhavadivu amma was my first Guru. Then I learnt from other Gurus also and I continue to imbibe musical values from many vidwans.

In my personal life, my husband Shri.T. Sadashivam is my Guru—Guru of a unique kind, combining in himself the attributes of mother, father, friend and guide. In fact he is my all and I owe my all to him.

In the Life Beyond, my Guru is the Paramacharya of Kanchi, Poojyasri Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakothi Peetham , who is moving on His feet in His 88th year, showering the Light of Knowledge even on those who, admitting their ignorance
Seek refuge in him.

I place this Doctorate at the feet of all those Deshikottamas and take it back as their Prasadam. May they and you all bless me to become at least a Shishyottama, a life-long Vidyarthi, filling up some potfulls from the ocean of Naada Vidya and watering some patches in this vast garden of humanity.

I feel indebted to the Vishwabharathi for two reasons: One, for turning my mind once again towards a rededication to all my Deshikas; two, for the joy of being in this Sanctum of Serenity, Shantiniketan.

In a way I can claim a special kinship of Guru Parampara with the Shantiniketan. If my husband is my Guru, he in turn moulded himself in the cast of his Guru, Poojya Rajaji; Rajaji’s sworn Guru was Bapu. And Bapu himself called the Architect of Shantiniketan as Gurudev.

Before I conclude, let me pay my homage to the two Deshikottamas who made a deep dent in my life, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru and Srimathi Sarojini Devi, both of whom poured their parental love and affection on me and my home over a period of years.

Once again I convey to you all my sincere gratitude and invoke the blessings of the one Deshikottama on us all, in the cadence of the Gitanjali:

“Let all my songs gather together their diverse strains into a single current and flow to a sea of silence in one salutation to these”.


ARTICLE NO. 521---Deshikottama Srimathi M.S.Subbulakshmi
Created: Friday, September 11, 2009 9:50 PM


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