CD A garland of hymns by the Sringeri Acharyas. V. BALASUBRAMANIAN
A di Sankara established the first of the four pitams at Sringeri several centuries ago. He and his successors have sung innumerable slokas and hymns in praise of Goddess Sarada, presiding deity of the pitam.
The Chityala family, in the United States, has produced and dedicated a CD comprising selections from these works. Among the devotional CDs that flood the market, this disc stands out for its production value.
Eschewing high decibel drums, weird noises of the keyboard, eerie sounds from electric guitars, and meaningless fusion, violin vidwan R.K. Shriramkumar has composed music in a pure classical mode, which is the highlight of this CD. His violin, Manoj Siva's mridangam, and Anirud Athreya's ganjira blend so well that nowhere are they obtrusive. Bombay Jayashri has sung all the hymns, handling the Sanskrit lyrics of the highest order with aplomb. Blissful rendering with impeccable pronunciation are the hallmarks of this disc.
Biju James who has recorded, mixed and mastered the CD has to be commended for his tasteful approach. Sri Chandrasekara Bharati's Sarada gitam in ragas Paraju, Khamboji and Hamir Kalyani, ‘Sri Sarada Varnamalasthavah' in ragas Dwijavanthi, Behag, Jonpuri and Durga, Adi Sankara's ‘Sri Sarada Bhujanga Pratyaksham' in ragamalika, and Sri Sachchidananda Sivabhinava Narsimha Bharati's ‘Sri Kamalajadayitstakam' in ragamalika are included in this collection.
Sri Bharati Tirtha, the current pontiff of Sringeri pitam, has given the title, ‘Sri Sarada Stuti Manjari' to the CD and his hymn ‘Sri Sarada Svarna Ratha Samarpana Padyavalih' in Hatakambari also forms part of the pack. Shriramkumar's training in classical music has helped him in selecting the right tala for each of the hymns with varying meters.
A booklet accompanying the disc gives both the Sanskrit and English transliteration of he verses.
Priced at Rs. 100, the CDs are available at all the Sringeri Branches. Buyers can also write to firstname.lastname@example.org.