Swami Manasa Datta
Guru Purnima and Celestial Message 2008; July 17–20, 2008;
New Jersey and New York City
Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji is a sage of exceptional and rare spiritual attainments in the contemporary world. His mystical personality defies all description, as is the case with all holy sages and saints of yore. Yet, for practical reasons, here are a few lines about his mission.
Sri Swamiji was born on the 26th of May, 1942 in Mekadatu, about 100 km from Bangalore. He was initiated into spiritual life from his childhood by his mother, Mata Jayalakshmi. From boyhood itself, Sri Satyanarayana (Sri Swamiji’s birth name) had begun to display extraordinary insight into phenomena of life and supreme knowledge about the causation of existence and the purpose of human life. Sri Swamiji established Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashram in Mysore in 1966. The dimensions of his spiritual energy began to spread so fast within India and abroad that, within a span of two decades, his glory as a great spiritual master and a true exponent of spiritual culture and heritage has come to be recognized throughout the world. He has adapted music as a medium of communication with people and gives insightful, meditational concerts around the world. These days, he is considered to be a beacon of hope to mankind at large. A reviver of Indian culture, reformer of society, and a messenger of peace and joy of life, Sri Swamiji’s divine personality radiates universal love, compassion, and the highest truths of spiritual wisdom. The ideal that he practices and preaches is “Humanistic culture, humanitarianism or manava dharma, which aims at universal welfare without discrimination” as he says, “the path to the realization of the divine or the supreme reality is varied. Everyone irrespective of one’s personal religion and faith, needs to sincerely follow their path and long for divine grace. Whether one takes the path of action, devotion, or inquiry, one has to ultimately get rid of one’s ego (ahamkara) and submit to the higher power. This is experiential truth. Peace and happiness are the inherent nature of each of us. They are not to be acquired or freshly gained. Only the obstacles caused by wavering and doubting mind need to be removed.”
His mystic musical notes:
His innumerable devotional compositions are popular, and his meditation music is known throughout the globe. The mystic nature is such that it is not aimed at the creation of harmony of musical notes but of harmony of the human mind, body, and soul. What goes into the creation of harmony is the yogic energy transmitted through the medium of sound vibrations. He has conducted more than a thousand music concerts for meditational music within India and around the world. For his effect of extraordinary spiritual energy transmission through musical notes, Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji is known as the Present day messenger of music.
Human service mission:
Through his spiritual leadership, a wide variety of institutional networks geared to help mankind have sprung up throughout the country. A vast variety of social welfare programs are being run, such as medical dispensaries, hospitals, schools, daycare centers, senior citizen homes, and developmental programs, particularly for the disadvantaged sections of society. Notable among them are Vagdevi Center for the rehabilitation of the communication impaired in Bangalore, and the Ammavodi (mother’s lap) project, a home for the rehabilitation of destitute women in Hyderabad.
To summarize: Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji and his teachings are not confined to any particular doctrine or faith; instead, they are universal and relevant to day-to-day practical life. He advocates comprehensive synthesis of all paths, and he stresses the value of sacrifice and service towards the upliftment of mankind. As a yogi in the Dattatreya lineage who has perfectly realized the unification of the individual body with cosmic truths and the power of absolute spirit, Sri Swamiji manifests perfect freedom from all ignorance and ego consciousness, all bondage and narrowness of outlook, all desires and attachments, and all sense of difference and plurality. He is the one who has attained that subjective depth of fullness and has empowered to take up activities at far greater magnitude, nevertheless remaining anchored to actionless subject within. ~ Sachchidananda.
Sri Swamiji's Music - An Understanding
Guru Purnima and Celestial Message 2008; July 17–20, 2008; New Jersey and New York City
The music of India, samgeet, is one of ancient and most sophisticated art and has been attracting worldwide attention for more than a couple of centuries now. Indian musicians, saints, and accomplished yogis have gone abroad to create awareness and interest in students.
Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, a saint born in the Dattatreya lineage, continues to give music that spiritual dimension, while at the same time making the technicalities of music simple, even though music is quite sophisticated with its own grammar.
It is, however, obvious that the music of the land of India should not necessarily be confined to the classical, technical, appealing, artistic, or elitist. Like an iceberg, there is much more beneath the classical attention. There are so many regional forms of music and so many musical instruments and how they have evolved is a subject of great interest. The flour-grinding songs of music of rural women folk grew into folk singing in an intricate manner. Then the "Vedic music'" of "Ghandarva Veda" commenced as a recitation of three tones and ended as a seven toned chant (sapta swaras). In temples, mutts, ashramas, and monasteries, this music, which is basically meditative, is a vital part of worship even today.
Through bhajans, abhangs and keertans in various languages, Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji has manifested most profound truths and thereby promotes socially reformative ideas, which are well conveyed to the populace today. In fact the Indian life is filled with devotional music at all strata and levels. The "meditational music for healing" of Sri Swamiji has grown out of fecund earth and in its turn has flowed back to the soil. A raga is an unspoilt sound of nature, a melodic scheme governed by certain traditional rules, but providing great freedom for improvisation. These rules define and determine the notes of a scale that should be used and Sri Swamiji is adept in it. Sri Swamiji is able give a particular "color" and aura to the scheme by the order of raga, prominent and necessary melodic idioms. Under less stringent limitations, Sri Swamiji is free to create where his genius lies and makes it pleasing. A raga is called by the learned as that kind of sound composition which is adorned with musical notes in some particular stationary, ascending or descending order, which have an effect of coloring the hearts of listeners.
The extent of ornamentation, the lyrical qualities, and emphasis on rhythm is part of Sri Swamiji's strategy in meditational music. He incorporates well designed melodic phrases of his own self compositions, and sometimes faster phrases. He is very conscious of microtonal pitch differences (sruti), melodic schemes (ragas) and its subtleties and talam are some of the cherished artistic contribution of Sri Swamiji's meditational music to the world culture. He is also inherently endowed with healing energies by Mother Nature also. With all its vast variety, the best music in India has been very closely linked with spiritual practices and mystical experiences. Sri Swamiji’s mystical life and soulful rendering is a constant companion for his millions of devotees and friends on this planet. People experience healing energies emanating from the musical tones and raga schemes in live concerts. Meditational music is again become a respectable art in the hand of this saint, Dr. Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji.