Sunday, July 05, 2009

"Death Be Not Proud" – Celebrating Smt. Mangalam Muthuswamy, Yet Again

It is now a little over two years after my wonderful Veena teacher, Smt. Mangalam Muthuswamy, left for her journey to the Other World. She had left her earthly abode on June 9, 2007. While all of us students deeply mourned her loss, I was in for a complete surprise, just a few months after her passing.

It is two years now and there has not been even a moment I do not think of her – about how loving she was, what kind of dedication she had and so on and so forth. What stuns me is that the same love, energy and dedication remain unaffected by her passing.

Many of you reading this article may this quite strange, but this is a true account of what I have experienced after (in fact, in spite of) her so-called death. These experiences, while bringing me closer to my beloved Guru than I ever was, have also changed my whole perception of life and death.

My first brush with the arcane came when I was asked to perform on the Veena during Ganesh Chaturthi that very year. Since it was my first time without Mami (as we all students addressed her), I was a little apprehensive of how I was going to handle the show. I had chosen to play one completely new and unfamiliar composition, “Ganesha Kumara Pahimam” in the Raga Jhinjoti. Though quite simple on the face of it, there were a few lighter gamakas I found it difficult to handle. Just as I was wondering how to deal with it, I clearly heard Mami talking to me!

Mami told me exactly how to play the gamaka, so that it could be rendered to perfection. I must admit I got really scared and nearly jumped out of my skin! But after I had calmed down a little, I tried the gamaka the way Mami mentioned, and lo! It came out with precision, and with the least bit of effort on my part.

Now, two years down the line, it has become commonplace for me to hear Mami’s voice each time I pray to her. Mami manifests like a voice ringing in my head. This voice is very clear and leaves me with no doubt that it was she who tried to “get in touch”. She often talks to me and guides me on how to reproduce certain nuances on the Veena, how to better my teaching technique and so on. Not only that, she even “visits” to warn me of impending dangers, much ahead of time, so that I am able to steer clear of them.

I wonder at the sheer ardour of such Mahatmas to fulfil their mission, even if it meant literally coming back from death. Many people have indeed reported of similar experiences, but this time, I have had the ahobhagya to actually experience my Guru’s grace on a day-to-day basis.

The above experiences bring to my mind, John Donne’s poem, “Death Be Not Proud”.

Donne says,

“DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so”


The poem concludes with the lines,

“One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”


How true it is that death is not the end of anything – it is merely the beginning of a new phase of life....

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13 Comments:

Blogger Padma said...

Awesome..Nothing more I can say :)

1/03/2010 02:27:00 AM  
Blogger 好痛 said...

笑口常開~~天天開心.........................

1/31/2010 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger 吃太飽 said...

Since it is the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.............................................

2/25/2010 01:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actions speak louder than words. ........................................

3/16/2010 04:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.............................................

3/28/2010 03:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one knows the weight of anothers burden. ......................................................

4/16/2010 02:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easier to get than to keep it...................................................

4/23/2010 06:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

幸福是人人都要,又怎麼可能都歸你所有?要知道這世界幸福本來就不多........................................

4/30/2010 01:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

好文推一個..................................................

5/05/2010 03:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

辛苦了!祝你愈來愈好!........................................

5/10/2010 01:59:00 AM  
Blogger 嵇ImogeneL_Spielman said...

may the blessing be always with you!! ...............................

5/19/2010 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger 欣怡 said...

你的部落格很棒,我期待更新喔.............................................

5/28/2010 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

來逛逛blog~~跟您打聲招呼........................................

6/03/2010 09:56:00 PM  

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