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Glory of Rama Nama and Bhakta Hanuman

Glory of Rama Nama and Bhakta Hanuman

Enjoy this beautiful recording of a musical discourse celebrating the Glory of Rama Nama and honoring Bhakta Hanuman recorded at Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple on May 22, 2021. Performed by Sangeeta Vidushi Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan. Accompanied by Vid. Kum. Sravya Rallapalli (vocal support), Kum. Rangashree Varadarajan (violin), Vidwan. Ramesh Srinivasan (Mrudangam).

PART 1 - Glory of Rama Nama

Rama Nama is hailed as the powerful mantra capable of removing suffering, giving peace and joy to the mind and providing the means of salvation. Lord Shiva tells Parvathi that chanting Rama Nama gives the benefits of chanting the thousand names of the Lord in the concluding section of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama. It is the king of all mantras.

Mother Sita experienced this joy and peace when hanuman rendered the story of Sri Ramachandra. Listening to the story brought hope for her.

Rama Nama is the only mantra that is called the “Taraka Mantra”. It is the mantra that helps one to cross the cycles of birth and death.

RamantE yOginO anantE nityAnandE chidAtmani ||

Ancient sages have glorified the Rama Nama. Sages knew that the word Rama is Parabrahma, the Supreme Reality itself and It is the very essence of all the vedas.

Rama Nama is infinite, immeasurable, eternal, and forever blissful on which the yogis devote themselves and meditate continuously.

“Kalou nAstyEva nAstyEva nAstyEva gatir anyathA” (Skanda Puraana 5.51)

” In this age of Kali, there is no other means, no other means, no other means except Rama Nama for jivas to attain liberation” says Sage Sanatkumara to Sage Narada.

PART 2 - Bhakta Hanuman

Hanuman is revered and loved by everyone. His noble life is an inspiring service of the Lord coupled with utmost humility. He is considered to be the favorite devotee of Lord Rama. When one has supreme and true love for the Lord, Lord too embraces such a devotee in a thousand ways. Hanuman is the best example of parama prema or total surrender with selfless devotion to the Lord.

In the epic Ramayana, we see that hanuman always has the name of the Lord on his lips and His image enshrined in his heart. It is this single-pointed devotion to the Lord that enabled him to overcome insurmountable obstacles and perform unimaginable feats.

Hanuman is the personification of immeasurable and incomparable physical strength coupled with great splendor (tejas). He possesses the rare quality of using his strength not to scare ordinary or weak people, but to destroy those who afflict saintly persons. In addition to his physical prowess, he is an embodiment of knowledge, foremost among the wise, and a repository of noble qualities.

Sri Hanuman is not only an exemplary devotee dedicating his entire being in the Lord’s service, but he also leads others to his Master so that, they too, may become devotees and be blessed by the Lord. He is the Guru who connects the devotee to the Lord.

Sangeetha Kala Vibooshini, Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan, is the founder and director of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts (SRLKM), established in 1983. Smt. Varadarajan is a dedicated and multifaceted teacher with an extensive background in music and musical education. Her own training started in Carnatic vocal music from her mother, Smt. Ramamani Iyengar, and continued under the expert tutelage of her maternal aunts, Ganasaraswati, Karnataka Kalashri, Smt. G.V. Raganayakamma and G.V. Neela.

Smt. Varadarajan is a teacher, composer, poet, dancer, and director. She holds a proficiency degree in Carnatic vocal music with distinction of receiving first rank along with a gold medal for the state of Karnataka, senior degrees in Bharathanatyam, veena, and Sanskrit, as well as a diploma in Drama and Theatre. Smt. Varadarajan has composed over two hundred songs in five languages, set numerous poetic works to music, and has released a series of books titled " Lessons in Vocal Music", designed for any student of music. In addition, she spearheaded the presentation of Carnatic music as a novel operatic story-telling experience, immersing the listener in a visual and musical feast - a performance style now replicated by many artists around the world (funded in part by the Santa Clara County Arts Council).

Smt. Varadarajan is the recipient of many notable titles and awards. To name just a few, such honors include Sangeetha Vidushi, "Acharya Shri" from Jaya TV, Maximum Media and Bairavi Fine Arts, “Sri Guru” from India Parent, “Haridasa Ganakala Kushale” from R.K.P. Balaga USA, and the coveted "Best Teacher" award from Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana in 2012, which recognizes an educator who has contributed immensely to the propagation, teaching, and development of the Indian arts in North America. In addition, she is the recipient of the "Artists Fellowship” award from the California Arts Council, and was nominated for the “Woman of Achievement” award for her contributions to the field of music. She has been a master artist for three years, training senior student apprentices to showcase their talent, in partnership with the Alliance of California Traditional Arts (ACTA).

To add to an already illustrious background in the arts, Smt. Varadarajan is also a microbiologist and botanist with master's degrees in both fields, and has several publications to her name.

Over the past 36 years, SRLKM has grown to be a foremost respected school of vocal training, music theory, and music performance. The mission of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts is to enrich lives by imparting a thorough knowledge of Carnatic (South Indian Classical) Music to all students regardless of background. From its inception in 1983, SRLKM has provided the highest quality of music education through theory, practice, and enrichment workshops within intimate class settings. Students are offered one-on-one attention from the teacher at regular intervals as well as performance opportunities year-round. The school strives to create individuals who are aware, inquisitive, knowledgeable, and appreciative of Carnatic music. The multi-dimensional, holistic teaching of this ancient art form goes beyond mere singing to developing aware, caring, and disciplined citizens of the world.