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                                                || Srih ||

    It gives me immense happiness to write this prefatory note for Samskrtasangitam Music School's monthly newsletter, that is being released on its 15th anniversary celebrations.

    Samskrtasangitam, the manifold meaning that the name suggests--pure music, samskrtam (the language) and sangitam (music), sangitam through samskrtam, and vice versa--has been carefully chosen for the institution because of my passion for these two disciplines.

    Samskrtam is the mother of languages, or devavaani, as it is called, the language spoken by the gods and Rishis. The first sounds of the universe came out in the form of the Samskrtam alphabet during the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva. ( )


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  Sangitam originated from the five faces of the very same Lord: Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha, and Ishana, as described by Sri Tyagaraja Swami in his Chittaranjani kriti, "Nada-tanum-anisham" (sadyojatadi-pancha-vaktraja). How beautiful it is to combine Samskrtam and Sangitam, which originated from the same universal power! This was the thought behind instituting this school.


   The language Samskrtam is an ocean with a lot to offer in the form of Vedas, Smrtis, Puranas, Darshanas, Stotras, Kavyas, Koshas, Laghu Kathas, etc., while Sangitam offers us the navarasas, laya, raga, tala, manodharma, krti, kirtana, and much more. One can forget oneself while reading the descriptions of the beauty of Sri Rama in the Valmiki Ramayana, the vivid descriptions of nature, reality, and war scenes in the Mahabharata, and the enormous and endless stories in the eighteen Puranas,  ( the fantasies in Meghadutam, the dramatic expressions in Abhijnana Shakuntalam by Kalidasa, or the short stories of Katha-sarit-sagara—the list is endless.

    While in the above, the sahitya, the language, the usage, the idioms, the similes etc. lend color and beauty to our imagination, in Sangitam, it's the raga, the tala, the svara-sthana, the bhava of the musical phrase, the context of the sahitya in the composition etc that does the job. How interconnected they are! Our greatest composers used language as a medium to express their emotions. The sahitya which poured out of them in devotion to their Ishta-devata were rich in literary beauties like antyaprasa, dwitiyakshara-prasa, vrtta, chandas, madhyama-kala, svarakshara, etc. If we analyze their compositions, these prosodic beauties are intact. How is this possible if the composer was not adept in the language? Of course they had the choicest blessings of the Almighty (Ishvara), some of them like the greatest poet of all times Kalidasa, did not even have the basic qualifications until one fine day he was blessed by the divine mother goddess Kali.

    Others had very good training in Vedas, Samskrtam, Sastras, and multiple languages, the influence of which can be very well seen in their compositions. It is in Sanskrit literature that the art, the science, and the history of Indian music are embedded and a study of the texts in that language is essential for any serious student of Indian music.

    With this in mind, we try to bring forth to you tiny aspects of both Samskrtam and Sangitam in multiple forms in our newsletter. We are trying to include articles from the editor, articles from the readers, concert reviews, subhashitas (moral sayings), fun aspects like crosswords, games, humor, etc.

    It is sincerely hoped that this newsletter of Samskrtasangitam will be of interest to students, rasikas, and all its readers and will kindle their enthusiasm for furthering their study of the language Sanskrit and music.

Sandhya Anand



Samskrtasangitam School of Music

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