“God many a time expresses Himself in many inexplicable forms and exposes His presence in many mysterious ways.. Everything in this world is part of Nature’s cosmic scheme and every worldly act, whether good or bad, has a divine purpose behind it” – Kanchi Paramacharya
At a dark time, when my merciless life and a few ruthless people were throwing challenges at me to prove myself, I sat down to write this story, sometime during the month of August, 2012, not to prove myself to the world but just to keep my pain to myself and also to hide my tears from my beloved family of a beautiful wife and two cute daughters.
However, to my utter surprise, Lord Venkateswara – whom I had forever removed from my life – sat beside me, all through while I was writing this path breaking story, and had helped me, without my asking, in proving my worth to the world as a writer.
This heart touching story, which I have published on the 5th of September, 2012 with the title, “An Incident That Earned M.S Subbulakshmi The Bharat Ratna” had not only transformed my life but had also earned me hundreds of thousands of illustrious followers from all over the world.
This one story had also given me tons of confidence to continue my writing which in course of time had led to the birth of my www.tirumalesa.com that is again changing hundreds of thousands of lives all over the world today.
But, can one man plan and accomplish this gigantic task on his own without a Divine Hand constantly pushing him from behind.. I don’t think so, because, I have constantly felt that Invisible Hand always behind me not only while writing this rare story but also every story that I have written thereafter.
Therefore, everything that I have so far written or would be writing hereafter in future, I would solemnly be dedicating to the Holy Lotus Feet Of My Beloved Lord Venkateswara. “Samastam Govinda Charanaarpanam”
Now, Please Continue Reading This Story
“Dear Sri Prasad.. Blessings.. Am really unhappy to inform you about the serious financial crisis the noble couple of Smt.M.S. Subbulakshmi and Sri.Sadasivam are currently involved in.. They are in need of an immediate attention.. Advise you to please plan something quickly for them and help them come out of this crisis at the earliest.. Good luck”.
Sometime in the beginning of 1979
PVRK Prasad, the Executive Officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (T T D) board had received two such urgent telegram messages from His Holiness the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati and from His Holiness, Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba Of Puttaparthi.
Messages like that from holy giants can unnerve any giant personality and the poor PVRK Prasad was no exception.. However, what disturbed Prasad more at that moment was not the status of the senders but the content of their message.
“What happened to the noble family of music queen M.S.Subbulakshmi and why is that they have landed in such a situation that demanded the intervention of divine personalities.. ?? ”
Prasad went into a serious thinking mode.. However, what is more curious here to know is, “why is that the divine personalities are advising PVRK Prasad to help M.S.Subbulakshmi..??
The great music queen M.S.Subbulakshmi has millions of fans all over the world and they will not keep quite if they come to know their favorite singer is going through such an acute financial crisis.. However, the music queen shall not accept any unsolicited favor from anyone and its now for the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (T T D) board to plan something for her and see that she’s also adequately compensated for that.
TTD had successfully done that earlier and something similar should be done now and that’s also what the holy giants want Prasad to do.. However again, its not as easy as it sounds and there’s no better man than PVRK Prasad to understand that.
But What Exactly Had Happened To M.S.Subbulakshmi And Sadasivam..??
Through whatever sources available to him, PVRK Prasad had conducted an immediate inquiry in Madras, where the noble couple lives, and found that, “M.S.Subbulakshmi and Sadasivam have sold off their Kalki estates in Madras and have moved into a small rented house in Valluvar Kottam, a desolate place those days, in the suburbs of old Madras.
Sadasivam was running a newspaper, by name Kalki, in Madras and that had unfortunately ran into huge losses forcing the noble couple to resort to such an extreme measure of selling off their huge assets to repay their loans”.
This unpleasant information had really saddened P V R K Prasad, a great fan of M.S. Subbulakshmi.. Wiping off his tears, he stood right in front of the large portrait of Lord Venkateswara, that’s there in front of him in his E O chambers on the Tirumala hills, and made a humble submission.
”Swamy, so far in her life, singing your bhajans all over the world, this great lady M.S. Subbulakshmi has served you with utmost devotion.. And organizing everything for her on time, her husband Sadasivam was always there with her at every point of time in her singing career.
M.S Amma gave concerts all over the world and although she could have demanded any amount of money that she wanted to, from the concert organizers, she was always happy with whatever she was offered.. She donated almost all her earnings from those concerts to charity and now at this last stage of her life is this what you are offering her Swamy..??.. Don’t you think this is unfair…??..
Secondly Swamy, they are also couple of high self esteem and do not seek favors from anyone not even from YOU.. Then how do you expect them to lead a normal life hereafter.. ??.. Am really feeling sorry for them now and just unable know what to do.. Swamy Sri Venkateswara, it is for You to help me now in doing something immediately for this great music queen”.
Without wasting any more time
PVRK Prasad called for an emergency meeting of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams board and asked for some quick measures from all its experts to provide whatsoever relief possible to M.S. Subbulakshmi immediately.. However, almost all the members of the TTD board have told Prasad,
“Sir, we are sorry to hear about the pathetic state of Smt. M.S.Subbulakshmi and Sri. Sadasivam, today.. However sir, it is our duty to remind you that Smt. Subbulakshmi is already the Asthana Vidwan of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams board and is as such enjoying some honorarium and privileges from us..
Although we are all very eager to help her out in this hour of crisis sir, we are afraid there’s nothing much that we can do for her at this moment.. Even otherwise the T T D board is answerable to the ministry of endowments and is not empowered to take certain decisions on its own”.
Using every word carefully and sounding extremely official and diplomatic in their statement that was what the typical diplomats of the state government had told Prasad that day.
What a tricky situation for the TTD board that sincerely wants to offer some quick relief to a great music queen like M.S. Subbulakshmi, who at that moment, deserves a prompt and more appropriate attention.. However, quite miraculously and almost immediately, that appropriate
Attention Had Come From None Other Than The Holy Lord Sri Venkateswara Himself
And this divine incident, that occurred on the Tirumala hills the same evening, is a standing testimony to His interference in the life of the great music queen M.S.Subbulakshmi.. PERIOD
On that same evening, a much disturbed PVRK Prasad went to offer his last prayers of the day to Lord Sri Venkateswara, the presiding deity of the holy Tirumala temple.
After offering his prayers, Prasad was slowly walking out of the main temple and exactly at that point of time a very small incident occurred there.. Quite miraculously, this small incident later went on to herald a golden era in the history of Indian classical music.
What Was That Incident And How Did It Occur
As Prasad was walking out of the main Tirumala temple, he found a small group of poor singers sitting right in front of the maha dwaram of the temple.. They were all, with great devotion in their voice, singing bhajans in praise of the holy Lord Sri Venkateswara.
As though halted by an invisible hand, Prasad stood there in all calmness, for a few moments and listened to those folk singers.. To say the least, Prasad was spellbound by the amazing talent of those folk singers more so by their rustic style of singing.
After a few more moments of silent listening, Prasad had smiled and smiled with a great sense of relief and with a more amazing feeling of satisfaction.. Watching Prasad smile the holy Lord smiled and watching the holy Lord smile, the whole of Tirumala smiled and watching the whole of Tirumala smile, the five elements of Nature too have smiled.
Later, all those historic smiles have scripted together an epoch making chapter in the history of Indian classical music that had not only provided immense relief to the great music queen, M.S Subbulakshmi but had also launched her into immortality with a well deserved highest civilian award of India called, the ‘Bharat Ratna’.
The very next morning, a much more relaxed PVRK Prasad had left for Kanchi and met His Holiness the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kama Kothi Peetham, at His holy abode.. Now.. Please bear with me.. Before proceeding further into the story, its important for you to know a few things,
About The Great Music Queen M.S.Subbulakshmi
Born in the holy temple city of Madurai, Tamilnadu, on the 16th of September 1916, Srimati Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi, more popularly known as M.S.Subbulakshmi, was a singer extraordinaire and a composer beyond compare.
Her mother Shanmukavadiver Ammal was a Veena player and her grandmother Akkammal was a Violinist.. Extremely devotional in her nature, M.S.Subbulakshmi composed various bhajans and krithis in praise of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
In an illustrious career that had spread over seven decades of dedicated singing, M.S. Subbulakshmi had performed at every prominent place, across the globe, leaving each and every listener spellbound with her exceptional style of singing, rendering, tone and quality.
Although Subbulakshmi’s list of fans include many eminent personalities from all over the world, the most prominent among them, however, was Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first and the most distinguished prime minister of India.
It was from Nehru that M.S. Subbulakshmi had received the best compliment of her life when the illustrious prime minister – after listening to her singing the famous bhajan “Vaishnav Janato Tene Kahiye” penned by the legendary fifteenth century Gujarati poet, Narsing Mehta – had said, “Who am I, a mere prime minister before you, the queen of music”.
M.S.Subbulakshmi And Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam
Although M.S.Subbulakshmi had recorded her first song in Tamil language in 1926, she had, however, spent most of her later part of life, acting in Tamil and Hindi films with the notable among them being her portrayal of the character of famous Indian bhajan singer Meera, in the film “Meera”(1947).
Surprisingly, her first major accomplishment as an established singer was the album of Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam which she had recorded for the Gramphone Company Of India in 1963.
Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam is a series of hymns written, in poetic form, by Prativada Bhayankara Sri Anantacharya in 1430 A.D.. This work of poetic art was meant for singing praises of holy Lord Sri Venkateswara while waking Him up early in the morning, in Tirumala temple, every day.
In all, Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam consists of four major parts namely Suprabhatam, Sri Venkateswara Stothram, Sri Srinivasa Prapatti and the holy Mangalaasasanam.
All the Vedic scholars, Jeeyangars, brahmins, archakas and purohits of the holy Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam stand at the main entrance of the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Sri Venkateswara temple in Tirumala at 3 a m every day and recite Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam, in chorus, to wake up the holy Lord.
Called Suprabhata Seva, this is a sacred ritual in practice, in the holy Tirumala temple, ever since Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam was written.. With this one album, music queen M.S.Subbulakshmi had become an iconic personality in the world of devotional music and ever since had remained the uncrowned queen of the music world.
Today, there’s hardly any Hindu house in South India that doesn’t play this album and hardly any Hindu personality who doesn’t recite it fully.. The Gramphone Company Of India later went on to become HMV – Saregama and according to their business sources, Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam is still their largest selling music album, today.
Long ago, M.S.Subbulakshmi had given standing instructions to HMV to donate all her royalty earnings from this album to the Veda Patasala run by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams board.
M.S.Subbulakshmi And Some Of Her Prominent Performances
A special concert organized in 1944 to raise funds for the Kasturba Memorial Fund, founded by Mahatma Gandhi.. C.Rajagopalachari, the last governor general of India, personally requested M.S.Subbulakshmi to do this concert for the Mahatma and after this concert, it is believed, the Mahatma had become a big fan of M.S.Subbulakshmi.
A concert in 1955 to raise funds for the Kamala Nehru Memorial Hospital, Allahabad.
A concert at Edinburgh, Scotland in the Festival Of Arts, 1963.
M.S. Subbulakshmi also had given a special concert at the United Nations on the 23rd of October, 1966.. This historical concert was attended by many eminent and scholarly personalities from all over the world.. A day prior to this concert, it is believed, M.S. Subbulakshmi had lost her voice and could only regain it after offering her prayers to Maha Periyava, His Holiness the Paramacharya of Kanchi.
At the end of this concert, the music queen had received a tremendous applause from everyone present there.. Originally, this concert was supposed to be held in 1965 but it was cancelled a little later due to the Ino-Pak war..
M.S.Subbulakshmi also did a scintillating coast to coast tour in the United States Of America, in 1977, to raise funds for the popular Lord Sri Venkateswara temple in Pittsburgh and also for a Hindu temple in New York.
Thrilled by her stunning performances, audiences, no matter what religion they all belonged to, have given her a standing ovation at every concert.. In the same year M.S. Subbulakshmi had also given a special performance at one of the world’s oldest and the most prestigious concert venues, the Carnegie Hall in New York.
Bouquets And Only Bouquets
Music queen M.S.Subbulakshmi was called the “Nightingale Of India” by Mrs.Sarojini Devi Naiudu.
The one and only Lata Mangeshkar would call M S Subbulakshmi, a “Tapaswini”.
The Legendary Hindustani classical vocalist Bade Ghulam Ali Khan of the Patiala gharana termed the music queen, “Suswara Lakshmi”.
Another noted Hindustani classical music singer Kishori Amonkar, a renowned performer in the classical genre “Khyal”, calls M.S. Subbulakshmi “The Eighth Note” or “Aathvan Sur”.
Now.. Let us come back to the present story.
Crucial Meeting With His Holiness The Paramacharya Of Kanchi
After he was granted private audience by His Holiness the Paramacharya of Kanchi, PVRK Prasad explained Him in detail about his plan of action to offer assistance to music queen M.S. Subbulakshmi (M.S. Amma as she is fondly called by the people of Tamil Nadu, her home state).
After prostrating before the holy Paramacharya, this was what Prasad had said, “Swamy, after receiving the telegram message, about M.S.Amma, from Your Holiness, I should say I was deeply disturbed.. I have immediately called for an emergency meeting of the TTD executive board and asked for suggestions but nothing concrete came out.
With a disturbed mind, the same evening, I have visited Lord Sri Venkateswara and sought His guidance and blessings in helping M.S.Amma.. As I was coming out of the holy sanctum sanctorum of the Temple, I saw a group of poor folk singers sitting right in front of the maha dwaram of the Tirumala temple, singing Annamacharya keerthanas, in praise of the holy Lord..
Not only was I spell bound by their devotional style of singing but was also immensely relieved from the extremely stress filled state that I was thus far locked in.. And it was exactly at that moment a great idea to help M.S.Amma was born in my mind… It was then that I have decided to visit your Holiness and explain my plan of action in detail”.
As though He knows what Prasad was trying to convey, the Paramacharya smiled and asked Prasad to continue.
P V R K Prasad continued
“Centuries ago, Saint Annamacharya had written and composed many precious keerthanas (raaga based devotional songs specially composed for praising the divine qualities of Gods and Goddesses) on Lord Sri Venkateswara but only a few of them have seen the light of the day.
However Your Holiness, there are many more gems, from Saint Annamacharya, that are still groping in darkness and need to be brought out immediately now and publicized further.. Earlier TTD had done some work in this direction but there’s a lot that still needs to be done”.
The Master Plan And The Birth Of A Path Breaking Music Album
Prasad continued, “according to my plan of action, Your Holiness, TTD will now identify a few unknown keerthanas of Annamacharya and I, on behalf of the TTD board, will personally visit M.S.Amma and request her to sing those keerthanas for TTD… So far in her career, Amma had only recorded Saint Thyagaraja’s keerthanas but had so far never attempted to sing any Annamacharya keerthanas”
This way, am sure, Amma will certainly be impressed with my proposal and would agree to record those Annamacharya keerthanas for TTD.. Later, TTD shall sell these same records to millions of devotees who come to Tirumala hills from all over the world, every year.
This project will not only generate a lot of revenue for TTD but will also help M.S.Amma a big way by earning her the royalty generated from these sales.. After that, I firmly believe Your Holiness, Amma’s family will never have another such situation to look around for their survival”.
Pleased with what Prasad had said, the ever smiling Kanchi Paramacharya, had stated..
“Dear Prasad, God many a time expresses Himself in many inexplicable forms and exposes His presence in many mysterious ways.. May be Lord Sri Venkateswara Himself had appeared before you in the form of those poor singers you say you have seen in front of the Temple.. May be that group itself was an optical illusion created by the Lord for you..
May be those singers are Gandharvas in human form and sang those Annamacharya keerthanas only for you to give you an idea about what needs to be done for M.S.Amma.. May be you are the only one who had seen them singing.. May be all those singers have disappeared after you smiled and left that holy place.. Who knows..???”.
Unable to understand what the Paramacharya was trying to convey, a frozen PVRK Prasad had remained speechless, during those classic moments, as His Holiness continued.
Does The Paramachaya Know About Prasad’s Thoughts And Actions..??
“My dear Prasad, everything in this world is part of Nature’s cosmic scheme and every worldly act, whether good or bad has a divine purpose behind it.. Do you think God will keep quiet when someone like M S Amma, who served Him for decades, is suffering from pain..??.. Never.
Since He cannot present Himself before her, He uses tools like you and Me in getting His things done.. God knows His job pretty well, Prasad, so don’t be ignorant and blame Him for anything”.
Still unable to believe what he had just experienced, a visibly shaken PVRK Prasad had quickly prostrated himself before the divine feet of His Holiness the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, who is revered by many in this world as an “AVATAR” (reincarnation) of Lord Siva.
Blessing PVRK Prasad, the smiling Paramacharya had said, “Your idea is brilliant Prasad.. M.S. Amma has millions of fans all over the world and they would all come running to help her in this hour of crisis.. However, M.S and Sadasivam are a very reserved couple with an unimaginable degree of self esteem and honor.
So far they lived life on their own terms and shall never accept any unsolicited favor from anyone not even from God.. Therefore, be careful Prasad.. They should not think you have gone there on a mission to offer them financial assistance.. And if they smell it, its gone.. They shall reject your offer outright.. This is a very sensitive matter Prasad and I know you can handle it carefully.. Good luck..”.. The Paramacharya concluded, blessing Prasad.
Later, things moved in quick succession and it didn’t take much time for Prasad to get all the necessary approvals for the proposed Annamacharya music album project from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board.
Ramesan, the then chairman of the TTD board was very much pleased with his Executive Officer’s idea, as he felt it will not only empower the TTD Board to help a legendary divine singer like M.S.Subbulakshmi in time but would also provide a great deal of publicity to many of those hidden keerthanas of holy Saint Annamacharya.
Finally, on one fine morning
Carrying a neatly packed portrait of Lord Sri Venkateswara, PVRK Prasad along with his chairman Ramesan and a couple of other TTD officials went to the small rented house of M.S.Subbulakshmi in Valluvar Kottam, Madras.
First, M.S.Subbulakshmi’s husband Sadasivam came out.. Ramesan handed over the portrait to him and Sadasivam very happily received it with a warm “thank you very much”.. Then. PVRK Prasad had explained Sadasivam in detail about the reason behind their visit to their house.
“Maastaaru, you know pretty well that TTD does quite a lot of promotional activities to promote rich Indian culture, heritage and traditional values… Now we also want to actively promote many Annamacharya keerthanas that are so far not known to the world.
Our plan is to bring out a five volume LP records (Long Play microgroove record used for recording sound in analog format for gramophone records in olden days) containing some rare Annamacharya keerthanas.. Each volume may have up to ten keerthanas and in all there would be about fifty keerthanas in the whole album”.. Prasad paused.
Initially, Sadasivam felt very happy with the offer from TTD but had rejected it outright when he came to know that the keerthanas are written in Telugu language.. He said..
“Our sincere thanks to TTD for coming up with this offer.. However Mr.Prasad, as you all know, M.S likes to have command over the language she sings in.. Though in Telugu, she had still recorded many Thyagaraja keerthanas earlier, because she was practicing them right from her childhood.
To do the same now at this age will be a very difficult task for her since she had never practiced Annamacharya keerthanas in her life.. She needs at least one week time to practice one Telugu keerthana and you say there are about fifty keerthanas for which she would be needing almost an year.. At this age of sixty three years, its not fair to trouble her so much Mr.Prasad, so, it doesn’t work and TTD needs to forgive us for the same”.
There was severe sweat on Prasad’s face that moment.. As the entire problem had come back to square one, he started feeling jittery and nervous.. With all the helplessness in this world he just gave a very blank look at the portrait of Lord Sri Venkateswara, that’s there in front of him.. And..
It was exactly at that glorious moment..
The Great Music Queen Walked In
PVRK Prasad and other TTD officials quickly got up in her honor and greeted her with folded hands… Requesting them to feel comfortable, she then looked at the portrait of Lord Sri Venkateswara that was kept on a small table in front of her.. What happened later was a scene to be seen to be believed.
With an extremely unimaginable degree of high devotion, the music queen had quickly picked up the portrait with both her hands; closed her eyes for almost a minute; offered her silent prayers to her beloved Lord Sri Venkateswara and then with tears running down her cheeks, gently placed her head at His holy feet and said in a low tone,
“Perumaale, ennai aasirvadhikka ithana dhooram neengale vandhuttela .. ??” (Tamil) (Oh my Lord Venkateswara did you come this far to bless me)”.
“What a voice..??.. What a devotion..??.. And what a total surrender to her Lord Perumal..??.. How did she get it and where did she get it from..??.. But why is that hidden pain in the great singer’s voice..??.. What happened..??.. Is it all due to the poor conditions the queen of music is forced to live in for some time..??.. Hey Bhagwan, what a painful time for this great devotee..??”.
PVRK Prasad who had grown up listening to M.S. Subbulakshmi’s devotional songs could not stand the pathetic scene of his favorite music queen, who in her times of glory had walked many Red carpets around the world, now standing in front of him in a simple cotton saree.
Prasad was finding it extremely difficult to control his emotions but a tear drop still emerged at the right corner of his left eye, which he silently erased before someone else had noticed it.. In the meantime, Sadasivam explained everything in detail to M.S.Subbulakshmi, in Tamil, about the Annamacharya music album proposal from TTD.. She immediately said..
”Prasad, this is a God sent opportunity for me and am ready to face any hardships to accomplish this task.. I have got a chance to offer my services to Perumal, that too at this last phase of my life and come what may, I shall not let this opportunity go”.
With her firm statement, M.S Subbulakshmi had brought smiles on everybody’s face there.. After a lot of deliberations, it was then decided not to burden the music queen with too much of practice and confine Annamachaya keerthanas only to the first three LP records and then fill the rest of the two records with great Sanskrit literary works of other divine personalities.
Thus, according to their revised plan of action, the Annamacharya music album shall contain three LP records with rare Annamacharya keerhanas like Brahma kadigina paadamu, Naanaati bratuku naatakamu, Jo Achyutananda Jo jo Mukunda, Sri Mannarayana among others.
The other two LP records shall contain Ganesha Pancharatnam, Madhurashtakam, Gita Govindam, Nama Ramayanam, Hanuman Chalisa, Lakshmi ashtotram, Sri Venkateswara Karavalamba Sthotram, Govindashtakam, Kanakadhara Sthavam, Durga Pancharatnam, Ranganadha Gadyam, Dwadasa Sthotram and Sivashtakam.
After all the discussions related to the music album project were complete, then came the most crucial phase of finalizing remuneration to the music queen, which PVRK Prasad was feeling very nervous about.. Since that was the main motive behind their gathering there, Prasad still mustered some courage to initiate the dialogue by saying,
“Amma, we are all very happy that you have agreed to take up this assignment.. May your Perumal’s blessings be with your family forever.. Now with your kind permission Ammaa, I would also like to discuss about the remunerationnnnnnn..”..
Prasad had not yet completed his sentence; the music queen quickly interrupted him saying,
”What remuneration..??.. No remuneration.. Its a service to my Perumal and am extremely honored to get this offer.. Don’t bring money in between.. I will not take a single rupee for this work.. That’s all.. And I don’t want to discuss any further about it”.
A fully sweat filled Prasad worriedly looked at every one of his colleagues faces .. They were all looking at him, with a visible request in their eyes, to carry their burden too.. Prasad knows pretty well that
”These are the most crucial and sensitive moments the holy Paramacharya had cautioned me about”
Later, folding both his hands and silently offering his prayers to his Lord Sri Venkateswara, Prasad had started saying in a very humble tone..
“Amma, I fully agree you are offering your services to your Perumal.. I have a very great respect for your feelings and also for your devotion towards your Perumal… And I further agree am just a nobody to come in between you and your Perumal.. However Amma, I have a very humble submission to make to you and hope you appreciate and understand me for that.. Please allow me to say a few words”.
M.S.Subbulakshmi had silently nodded her head..
Prasad continued, ”Amma, TTD is not going to donate this album free of cost to every devotee visiting the Tirumala temple.. In fact TTD is planning to promote this album in a commercial way by selling it across all its counters in India and abroad.
This in turn will generate a lot of revenue for TTD and we are only requesting you to take a little amount of money from this as you are legally entitled to receive it.. The holy body of TTD is not in a position to take the services of a great devotee like you, free of cost, and later be blamed for that”.
As everyone was listening to him, Prasad continued..
“Amma, as the Executive Officer of TTD board am also a humble servant of Lord Venkateswara and will always be answerable to Him for every work that is taken up in His organization.. I also feel that this album is the design of your Perumal Himself and that’s why we are all here today otherwise why would we meet you now”.
Finally, offering his respects to the great music queen M.S.Subbulakshmi with folded hands, PVRK Prasad had said,
“Amma, am like your son and said what I wanted to say.. Please forgive me if you find anything wrong in what I have conveyed.. I now leave the entire decision to you and your Perumal”.
The absolute honesty in Prasad’s emotion filled voice had impressed everyone there, including the noble couple of M.S.Subbulakshmi and Sadasivam.. For a few minutes, there was an echoing silence there with blank faces staring at each other.
Finally, breaking the ice, the music queen had smiled and agreed with what Prasad had said.. Prasad looked thankfully at the portrait of Lord Sri Venkateswara, that is there in front of him.. After discussing a few more points, the historical meeting had concluded, that day, on a big positive note, leaving everyone there with utmost satisfaction.. Finally, PVRK Prasad had shot the million dollar question..
“What should be the title of this Annamacharya music album..??”.
Pat came the reply from the music queen..
Later HMV recording company entered into an agreement with TTD board to market the proposed music album “Balaji Pancharatnamala” and agreed to bear with all its recording expenses.
As part of their understanding, TTD had immediately deposited rupees four lakhs in the name of M.S.Subbulakshmi, two lakhs in the name of Sadasivam and one lakh in the name of their daughter, Radha Viswanathan as they would also be taking part in the music album project.
This amount would be kept in a fixed deposit and the accrued monthly interest will be going to them as long as they so desire.. Noted Carnatic music Maestro Sri.Nedunuri Krishna Murthy had composed the keerthanas and music for this album.
After successfully completing its recording in 1980, this devotional music album “Balaji Pancharatnamala” was simultaneously released all over India.. While the first LP was released by the then Honorable President of India Sri.Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, the second was released by the then Prime Minister Smt.Indira Gandhi.
Rest of the three albums were released by the chief ministers and governors in their respective states.. The fifth album was released by the Peetadhipathis of various holy Peethams spread all over India.
In the very first year of its release, the “Balaji Pancharatnamala” album had received a tremendous response from music lovers all over the world, generating a record amount of revenue in sales, recovering the entire money invested on it within a short period of time.
This album also went on to break all the previous records in Indian music industry making M.S. Subbulakshmi a household name in India..
In 1998, the government of India had honored this extraordinary music queen with the nation’s highest civilian award, the “Bharat Ratna” for revolutionizing devotional classical music in India and also for earning recognition to Indian classical music the world over.
Unfortunately, Sadasivam was not there to witness this once in a life time event as he had passed away just a year before that, in 1997.. Most of the literary masterpieces by great sages would have remained unknown to the world today if they were not given that magical touch by the mellifluous golden voice of music queen, M.S.Subbulakshmi.
Finally on the 10th of December, 2004, leaving behind a legacy of devotional classicism and leaving every music fan in an emotional sea of tears and melancholy, the great music queen M.S. Subbulakshmi had left this human world and traveled to the holy abode of her beloved Lord Perumal and remained there, rested in peace, at His divine Lotus feet.. PEACE
“Puttutayu nijamu, povutayu nijamu.. Natta nadi mee pani natakamu.. Yetta neduta galadi prapanchamu.. Katta kadapatidhi kaivalyamu.. Naanaati bratuku naatakamu.. Naatakamu.. Naatakamu..” – Saint Annamacharya
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