My Thoughts on the great LEGEND.............'DKP'

The mark of true greatness , according to the Bhagavad Gita is the capacity to play the roles allotted to us by God with detachment and surrender . It is my opinion , or more correctly , my experience that ‘DKP’ carried that mark of true greatness at every moment in her life.

Of course , when i think of her , i think of music , but many more beautiful qualities that every human being must ideally possess come to my mind whenever i think of her......

When i think of her , i think of humility

When i think of her , i think of knowledge

When i think of her , i think of spiritual depth

When i think of her , i think of immense devotion to the Lord

When i think of her , i think of affection for all

When i think of her , i think of kindness

When i think of her , i think of right conduct under all circumstances

To me , and many others , she was an example to follow- in conduct and the way of dealing with life’s given moments - as much as in music.

I remember the beautiful moments of oneness that is an automatic outcome when a Guru and a Shishya lose themselves in the rasanubhava of the musical experience during the teaching/learning sessions.

Her handling of music was , of course , divine and each time i would express this , she would always attribute it to the Grace of the Lord and the tangible manner in which it had been experienced by her. She would narrate the story of how Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi had placed honey on her tongue when , as a baby , she was taken to the Ramanasramam in Tiruvannamalai by her parents. She would talk about the anugraham of Maha Periyava , the saint of Kanchi on her. It was this complete surrender that allowed her greatness to rest lightly on her , without leading to buckling under the pressure of one’s own expectations as well as that of others. Stardom was part of her life , but she could look at it from afar and never allowed it to cloud her vision of differentiating the right from the wrong , the good from the bad and the divine from the worldly. This , in turn , made her music even more divine !

She would patiently correct mistakes and guide me through the nuances of raga , neraval and swara handling , and never failed to praise me when she felt i had done justice to its rendition . Her self discipline while singing a kutcheri was immense and on occasion, when i did get the opportunity to sing with her on stage , it left me with a feeling of complete awe ! With her support and guidance, I got into independent kutcheri singing as well , and with her blessings , i enjoyed the anubhava of that as well, along with all the several other roles that have been allotted to me in this life.

All through my journey of music with her , i recognised that

For her , music was - commitment

For her , music was - discipline

For her , music was - Bhakthi

For her , music was - the soul of all &

For her , music and God were not apart.

Each raga , rather , each swara was her soulmate whom she cherished and nurtured as her own self.I not only saw this in her , but realised that along with the knowledge of music, this was the tradition she was trying to impart to all her disciples including myself.

The affection she showered on me was touching and today every member of the family express the very same affection towards me .This genuine inclusion into their hearts reflects a kindness that is born of true greatness and a deeper spiritual strength that is part of the DKP tradition.

From the age of 8, when she won the prize for her rendition of the Bhairavi song Raksha Bettare , through her singing career from being a child artiste to a senior vidwan who was an authority on carnatic music , especially Muthuswami Dikshitar’s compositions , through her association with film music in an exemplarily principled manner so typical to her, what the world saw in DKP was a great musician ......

What i saw , was a saint....... in the form of a musical genius.

Ambika Kameswar and DKP Amma

By
Dr.Ambika Kameshwar