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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.
Sri Krishnappa was born in 1866 to the couple Sri Vishwanathiah and Smt. Saraswathi Bai at village Nandalike of southern Karnataka. His father was a drama artiste who worked for the troupe that specialized in mythological musicals. His father was known for his performance in the role of Sita. The troupe use to performe in pligrimage centres of southern Karnataka. On one occasion Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, then Maharaja of Mysore, was impressed with the troupe’s performance, and had invited the troupe to come to Mysore.
At Mysore the drama troupe was lodged in a palace guest house (Bidrara in kananada). All the members of the troupe from the guest house were therefore referred to as “Bidaradavaru”. Thus prefix Bidaram was attached to Krishnappa's name.
As Vishwanathiah was aging and the family had to sustain with the little they got, Saraswathi Bai prompted her son to go about in the city singing the Dasara Padagalu and collect alms.
Sri Krishnappa was a great devotee of Anjaneya[Hanuman], would sit in front of the famous Anjaneya Temple at the northern gate of the Mysore Palace [Kote Sri Anjaneya Swami Temple] and would sing the Dasara Padagalu. The devotees who visited the Anjaneya temple would drop some coins. There were many who were attracted by the divinity in the voice of Krishnappa. Of them two people came forward to nourish the rich and cultured voice of Krishnappa were Dr. Najunda Rao and Sri Thimmayya. Sri Thimmayya had introduced Sri Krishnappa to Karur Ramaswamy for receiving professional training in carnatic music. Later Bidarm Krishnappa received training from Shri Giribhatta Thimmayya, Karigiri Rao, Vidwan Veena Sheshanna of Mysore palace. These formal trainings and his devotion to music had made him an excellent musician.
The drama troupe was taken over by the palace administration and at the first performance at the palace after the accreditation; the troupe gave Krishnappa the role of the sutradhara or narrator. The ruler Chamarajendra Wodeyar X was impressed by the reverberating voice of Krishnappa. Many honours were heaped on him. Patronage under the succeeding ruler Krishnarajendra Wodeyar IV was also magnificent and Krishnappa was conferred the title, 'Gana Visharada' in 1903 and was showered with gold in 1908.
Sri Krishnappa the great devotee of Lord Anjaneya and Sri Rama had been nourishing an important goal of his life. He wanted to build a temple for Sri Rama where the great musicians from all over the country can come and perform. Sri Rama Mandir will be the nodel place where the growth of carnatic music would be the main activity. As a disciplined person who had attached lot of value for the tradition, his view about carnatic music is that it is not just "art for art sake", but indeed, it is "art for God's sake". It is no wonder that “building of Sri Rama Mandira” was his life’s ambition. He donated all his earning towards this cause of building a Rama mandira. He was a strict teacher who gave freely of his repertorire to many learners. Sri T.Chowdiah was one of his disciples and who later became a great violinist.
He was introduced to Madras by his disciple Nagarathnamma and his fame continued to flow throughout South. He was an active member of experts’ committee of the Music Academy founded in 1928. He was instrumental in initiating Nagarathanamma to constructing the temple over Tyagaraja's Samadhi in Tiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu.
The Sitarama Mandiram at Narayana Shastry Road, Mysore, built by this great devotee has a main hall where the musical performances are given. There are four rooms in the four corners. On the western side there is a beautiful oil painting of Sri Rama Pattabhishekam, which serves as the main deity. One can see the paintings/ photos of many of the Carnatic music giants who had contributed their might towards the music.
It is no wonder that the Sitarama Mandiram remains a monument to his passion and perseverance.
|| Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram ||
|| Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram ||
Ed [April 2011]