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T.Viswa – A Tribute

T.Viswa – Tribute

A tribute to Shri.T.Viswanathan – Hari Arthanari

On Sept. 10, 2002, the entire music community around the world mourned the loss of one of the beacons of South Indian Classical music (Karnatik music).Tanjore Viswanathan, fondly known as ‘Viswa’ died early Tuesday, Sep 10,last year. Viswa was a faculty of the Music Department at the University. It is almost a year now but we still miss the greatness of the man and the music. There is a vacuum that can never be filled.

About Viswa:

Viswa was an institution. He was born in an illustrious music family on Aug. 13 1926. His grandmother was the legendary Veenai Dhannamal. His mother Jayammal, sister Balasaraswati, brother Ranganathan and cousins Brinda and Mukta were stalwarts in their own respect. After initial training from his mother he studied flute with Tiruppambaram Swaminatha Pillai. Viswa took the best of both worlds. He learned the flute techniques and compositions from Swaminatha Pillai and rendered them in the inimitable Dhannamal style. He used to accompany his guru Swaminatha Pillai in concerts at age 11. He gave his first solo concert at age 14. He later went to Annamalai University to continue his studies with Swaminatha Pillai. He learned some of the rare compositions of Muthuthandavar during his stay there. He also graduated with an M.A in Economics from the prestigious Madras University.

In the late 1950s Viswa went to teach music at the University of California Berkeley, where he learned other forms of music. He returned to Madras (India) and was the Head of the Music Department at Madras. Viswa joined the University in 1966 and taught here since then. He was also the Director of the Navaratri program, an age-old tradition at the University since 1976.

The music:

Viswa’s music is a unique concept in itself. To quote a critic ?Viswa has evolved a technique of flute playing that brings out the depth and grandeur of the Dhannamal style, at the same time preserving the vAdya dharmA, i.e., without sacrificing the essentials of the instrumental technique. Tonally rich and deep, technically correct, musically evocative and sublime ? these are the essential characteristics of Viswa?s music. Coupled with an immense repertoire of the choicest masterpieces of the Trinity and other great composers, and padams and javalis, the property of their family, we have here a master-musician who is as much creative as he remains rooted to tradition.?

Viswa’s innovative genius is often seen in his handling of ragas and the mind-boggling calculations in his swara kalpana.In rendering of the compositions and viruttams he varies the tone and the gamakas to suit the meaning. This is a hallmark of his music. Yet another unique aspect of his music is his ability to alternate between flute and singing. A switch so natural, this gives listeners the chance to get the words of the composition.

Viswa is the recipient of numerous awards including the Sangita Kalanidhi in 1988 and the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment of Arts in the United States in 1992. His performances, which epitomize technical perfection, rich imagination, signature of gamakas, slow tempo and rendition of rare masterpieces, have set new standards among the connoisseurs of Karnatik music. He was a musician?s musician. Some his favorite pieces include Vidiillarku (Kharaharapriya), Dakshinamoorthe (Shankarabaranam), Paiyada(Nadanamakriya), Ambaparadevate (Rudhrapriya), Kamalamba (Ghanta), Mayamma (Ahiri), Naninadyana (Kanada) etc. Of course Krishna Nee beganee is synonymous with his name.

The teacher:

Viswa was teacher par excellence. Unheard of in the industry, Viswa invented his own style of notating Karnatik Music. This is extremely difficult and complicated because of the gamakas in Karnatik music. Viswa?s in-depth knowledge of theory allowed him to notate every detail of the gamakas. This in turn made it easy for Westerners to learn South Indian music. It also helped to conserve the richness of the Dhannamal tradition.

Here is an example of a section. Trust me this is a simple one..

Viswa is one of the few performing musicians who is an expert in theory. He received his PhD in ethnomusicology. Further, his thesis on raga alapana is considered a totem pole in the field. Patience, imagination, sincerity, humor and energy were some of the hallmarks of his teaching career. He has created one of the largest archives of Karnatik music at the University comprising of concerts, classes, rare masterpieces etc. This would prove to be the hub of knowledge and data for generations to come. The person:
On a personal note, when I came to Wesleyan I had no formal training in Karnatak music and I was always hungry, as I had no clue how to cook. Someone told me that I can get some Indian food at the Navaratri festival. I went to Viswa sir?s concert and was floored by the music. After the concert I went to the him and said ?Can I learn music from you”. Just those words? no introduction.. nothing). He looked me, put his hands on my shoulder and said ?Saptiya? (did you eat). I looked at him (confused) and he continued ?poi sapidu and come for class Monday at 11am?. He doesn?t know my name yet. That is the simplicity of this great man. He has cooked food for me on several occasions and driven me home after a class. We can listen to his music to get back to those masterpieces of imagination and perfection , we can look at his notations to get back to his thoughts on the compositions, but we cannot get back Viswa the person. Always with a smile and enthusiasm, meeting him in the hallway for a minute can brighten your worst winter day. Not the mightiest of king?s men can bring back Viswa the person, and he will be deeply missed.

Photo Credit (Center for Arts, Wesleyan University) Acknowledgements:

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Tiruppamburam Swaminatha Pillai

Tiruppamburam Swaminatha Pillai – Ravi & Sridhar

The Isai Vellala community has been responsible for nurturing music and dance in the Tamil country for many centuries. Every male member of that community was required to learn the Nagaswaram and every female member, chinna mELam or sadir — Bharatanatyam as it is called now. They were attached to the temples and received grants from kings for furthering their art. Music and dance were part of the daily services in temples and the Isai Vellala community fulfilled their obligations towards the Lord admirably. In the process there sprang many artistes who were not just satisfied with doing their duty by the Lord but who pursued aesthetic beauty in art and raised not only themselves above the mundane but rasikas and the art itself

Broadmindedness and catholicity are at a premium even in these times when the world has become really small. In the art world, jealousy and secretiveness were quite common in those days. The caste system forbade the purists from sharing their art with the so-called lesser born. In such a milieu Muthuswami Dikshitar’s liberality was a fresh approach that played no small role in the renaissance of music. The great composer’s all-embracing nature was matched only by his own great stature as a composer. His catholicity was such that most of his disciples belonged to the Isai Vellala community and some even from the Parasaiva community. Shuddha Maddhalam Tambiyappan, the artist attached to the Tiruvarur Thyagaraja temple was a senior disciple of Muthuswami Dikshitar. Devadasis like Kamalam, Natyacharyas like the Tanjore Quartette and Nagaswara vidwans attached to various temples in Tanjavur district were all beneficiaries of Dikshitar’s munificence. Amidst these then great artists, there were a couple of disciples who belonged to the brahmin community too. One of them was Sathanur Panchanada Iyer. He was the junior most disciple of Muthuswami Dikshitar and started learning from the great composer during his last years. After Dikshitar’s vidEha mukti, Panchanada Iyer continued his music education under Shuddha Maddhalam Tambiyappan. Many junior disciples kept the Dikshitar flame alive by honing their skills and perfecting their Dikshitar repertoire through tutelage under senior disciples like Tambiyappan.

Panchanada Iyer has been referred to by the Tamil scholar U.V. Swaminatha Iyer as being one of the important musicians of the Tanjavur area during the 19th century. Panchanada Iyer is now remembered by the music world for his unique contribution in siring two disciples who in turn, spawned a whole new world where Dikshitar kritis occupied the pride of place and were noted for their authentic versions. Veena Dhanammal and Tiruppamburam Natarajasundaram Pillai, the Nagaswaram maestro were the two prime disciples of Sattanur Ayya, as Veena Dhanammal fondly referred to him. The violin maestro Tirukkodikaval Krishna Iyer was another disciple of Panchanada Iyer. Dhanammal used to refer to Sattanur Panchanada Iyer’s rAga bhAvam and used to say that she had never heard such rAga bhAvam from anyone else. How could it not be so, when even at a very impressionable age, Sattanur Ayya had the opportunity of sitting at the Maha Purusha’s feet and imbibing his classics directly from him? No wonder that both Dhanammal and Natarajasundaram Pillai considered Sattanur Panju Iyer as their most important guru. Once, after many years Natarajasundaram Pillai came to visit Dhanammal and suggested that they should sing together a few Dikshitar kritis that they had learnt from their Ayya. Both sang and found, that after all those years there was not a whit of difference in their versions. Both had retained the music to the minutest sangati. The pristine purity of the strong, solid legacy that Dikshitar had left to Sattanur Ayya was maintained in letter and in spirit by these veterans and also passed on to the succeeding generations.

Natarajasundaram Pillai was born in 1869 to Swaminathan who was basically a vocalist, though his ancestors were Nagaswaram vidvans. This family originally belonged to Mayavaram but Swaminathan shifted to Tiruppamburam, also in Tanjavur district, because many of his patrons were based in that village and nearby areas. Natarajasundaram Pillai and his brother Subramania Pillai were the first Nagaswara vidwans to play as a duo. Natarajasundaram Pillai published a book of Dikshitar kritis called dikShita kIrtanai prakAshikai.

Natarajasundaram Pillai had three sons of whom Swaminatha Pillai, who was born in 1898, was the eldest. All three sons were trained by their father to be Nagaswara vidwans. Swaminatha Pillai, after a few years of training on the Nagaswaram switched over to vocal music. After his voice broke, Swaminatha Pillai switched to the flute. He taught himself the fingering and embouchure (mouthing techniques) of the flute. His aim was to make the flute play gamakAs like the voice and in this too he had none to teach him. He therefore learnt it himself and succeeded to a great extent.

Swaminatha Pillai did not strike a different path as far as the spirit of the music itself was concerned. Swaminatha Pillai inherited his love for Dikshitar kritis from his father and achieved excellence in them. In those days Palladam Sanjeeva Rao was the most popular flautist. Later Mali was the reigning monarch of the instrument. In spite of this Tiruppamburam Swaminatha Pillai was much respected and admired. Mali himself has spoken very highly of Swaminatha Pillai and his style. Swaminatha Pillai mainly followed the Dikshitar style of viLambakAlA and gamakAs and succeeded in approximating his flute artistry to singing, thus bringing about a wholesome and refreshing approach to music itself.

waminatha Pillai played a lot of Dikshitar kritis in his concerts. The chaturdasha rAgamAlikA, srI vishvanAtham was introduced to the concert stage and popularised by him. The navarOj kriti hastivadanAya namasthubyam was also popularised by him. He also patiently studied the 108 rAga-tALAmAlikA of Ramaswami Dikshitar and taught it to deserving students. Such was his passion for rare, challenging works.

Swaminatha Pillai taught at the Central College of Music, Madras. There, during his tenure, he taught a number of Dikshitar kritis to students as well as to other teachers, thus helping in wide dissemination of the composer’s soulful works. Swaminatha Pillai also taught for sometime at the Annamalai University’s music department. He also taught a few earnest students in the gurukulA method. T. Viswanathan, a grandson of Dhanammal learnt the flute from him. T.V. Namaivayam, S. Narasimhalu and Sirgazhi Govindarajan learnt vocal music from Swaminatha Pillai.

Swaminatha Paillai passed away in February 1961. He will be remembered for having nurtured the legacy of Muthuswami Dikshitar and for bringing to light rare compositions of the great composer.


Shishya Parampara, Uncategorized

Tiruppamburam Natarajasundaram Pillai

Tiruppamburam Nataraja Sundaram Pillai
– Ravi & Sridhar

Tiruppamburam Natarajasundaram Pillai hailed from a family of musicians who migrated from Kalyancolapuram near Mayavaram to Tiruppamburam. He was born on 15th December 1869 as the son of a nagasvaram vidvan Swaminatha Pillai.

He and his brother Sivasubrahmaniam were put under the tutelage of Injikkudi Kumarappillai. After learning the instrument, their father wanted them to increase their keertana repertoires and located Umayalpuram Duraswamy Ayyar and Sattanur Panchanadha Iyer who were then considered the repositories of Tyagaraja and Dikshitar’s compositions, respectively.Swaminatha Pillai brought these two musicians to his town and made his sons learn under them. Natarajasundaram Pillai and Sivasubrahmanya Pillai started the tradition of nadaswaram rendering as a duet. It was said that Ramanaathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar and Sarabha Sastri were fond of their music. Sarabha Sastry is also said to have shown his harikatha nirupanams to Natarajasundaram Pillai to seek his opinions on them. The tavil vidvans who accompanied them include Srivanchiyam Govinda Pillai, Mannargudi Pallupakkiri Pillai, Ammapettai Pakkiri Pillai Vazhuvur Muttuviru Pillai etc. Among nagasvara vidwans, it was the more popular approach to learn musical compositions as svaras and ignore the role of sahitya as it was not applicable to an instrument. However the composition will shine only if the sahitya elements are incorporated with the necessary blowing techniques such as akaram and tuttukaram at the appropriate places. Natarajasundaram and his brother were said to have achieved fame in playing compositions on the nagasvaram keeping in mind the sahitya bhava, as well.

Veena Dhanammal also learnt her repertoire of Dikshitar Krtis from Sattanur Panchanada Iyer and is said to have spoken highly of the raga bhava that she found in Panchanada Iyer’s renditions. Once, after many years Natarajasundaram Pillai came to visit Dhanammal and suggested that they should sing together a few Dikshitar kritis that they had learnt from their Ayya. It is said that both sang and found, that after all those years there was not a whit of difference in their versions. Both had retained the music to the minutest sangati.

Natarajasundaram Pillai published a collection of Dikshitar compositions as he learnt from Sattanur Panchanada Iyer (who inturn learnt from Tiruvarur Shuddha Maddalam Tambiyappa Pillai) titled Dikshita Kirtana Prakashika. This edition was in Tamil and contained 50 notated compositions of Muttuswami Dikshitar. It serves today as an authentic cross-reference of the compositions of Dikshitar outside of the Subbarama Dikshitar lineage.

The famous flautist Tiruppamburam Svaminatha Pillai was his son. His other sons include Somasundaram Pillai who served as the principal of the Pazhani temple Nagasvaram school and Sivasubrahmanya Pillai , the lecturer of Annamalai University. He passed away in the year 16.11.1938.

Translated from the Tamil biography of Dr.B.M.Sundaram’s Mangala Isai Mannargal

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A.Anantarama Iyer – Profile

A.Anantaraman – Profile

A tribute to Kallidaikurichi A Anantaraman of the Guruguha gana vidyalaya, Kolkata – S.Bhashyam

Calcutta is the city that has been associated with great names like Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, Amir Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Nikhil Banerjee, Buddhadev Dasgupta, Begum Akhtar, Timir Baran, Radhika Mohan Moitra

It was also home to a frail and unassuming person who out of a small two-room tenement located at 19 Bipin Pal Road, near Deshapriya Park, tirelessly strove to impart to students the intricacies of Carnatic music. This person was, A. Anantharaman- ‘Ambi Sir’ to the Carnatic fraternity in Calcutta.

In all professions, there are the practitioners of whom only the great reach the pinnacles of fame. And, there are the teachers who groom these practitioners who, by the very nature of their calling, seldom get the acknowledgement that some of their proteges do. Ambi Sir, whose musical lineage can be traced back to the legendary Muthuswami Dikshitar, belonged to the latter category. His father A. Ananthakrishna Iyer learnt music directly from Ambi Dikshitar, son of Subbarama Dikshitar.

Anantharaman was born on 2 December 1927 at Sattupattu village in Kallidaikurichi taluk in the erstwhile Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, as the eldest son of Ananthakrishna Iyer who took to the musical path. (Ananthakrishna Iyer was subsequently joined by his brother Sundaram Iyer who later in life compiled the magnum opus Dikshitar Kritimanimala). Anantharaman’s early life was spent in Madras where his father initiated him into Carnatic music with special emphasis on Dikshitar kriti-s. In 1937 Ananthakrishna Iyer moved to Calcutta at the behest of a close family friend. Here, he built up a veritable school around him. What started off as an informal arrangement blossomed into a full-fledged music school, namely, the Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya in 1943.

In this ambience Anantharaman’s musical abilities were honed to perfection. He became an accomplished veena player, as well as a singer with a voice of rare timbre. Later, when Ananthakrishna Iyer found that there was a dearth of violin players in Calcutta he taught his son to play the violin as well.

After a few false starts in life as a salesman in some commercial firms, Anantharaman found his true vocation- teaching music to the South Indian community in Calcutta. After his father’s death in 1959 he became the Principal of the Vidyalaya where, along with his sister A. Champakavalli, he taught students Carnatic music- vocal, veena and violin.

The effect of the Dikshitar parampara was so strong in the teaching style at Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya- both during Ananthakrishna Iyer’s time as well as later under Anantharaman- that it can be stated without exaggeration that the latter half of this century has witnessed a Calcutta movement for propagating many rare and little heard Dikshitar compositions by both father and son. In fact, one of the Vidyalaya students, writing in Kalki, the Tamil weekly, in the nineteen fifties averred that more Dikshitar kriti-s were known in Calcutta than even in Madras!

VishvanAthena in Samantha, SvAaminathena in Brindavani, PratyangirA Bhagavatim in Nadanamakriya, BhArati maddhishana in Devamanohari, BrihannAyaki in Andhali, MAtangi maragatangi in Dautapanchamam and Madhavo mam patu (ragamalika) on the Dasavatara theme, are a few of the rare Dikshitar compositions which he taught his students.

Though his repertoire of Dikshitar kriti-s was large, Ambi Sir had also mastered Tyagaraja and Syama Sastry’s compositions and rendered them on appropriate occasions. The cognoscenti in Calcutta still remember the Tyagaraja kriti-s he sang movingly during the Tyagaraja aradhana-s. Rama bana (Saveri), Kaligiyuntey (Keeravani), and Ramuni maragavey (Kedaragaula) are some of the Tyagaraja gems that Ambi Sir has rendered.

Ambi Sir, who believed in quality not quantity, had a unique teaching style. He laid stress on building a strong foundation based on a repertoire of at least a dozen varna-s and rigorous practise of the sarali and janta varisai-s and alankara-s in various raga-s for voice culture.

He was adept at teaching vocal, veena and violin and he groomed students to levels of excellence in all these disciplines.

His veena playing had the true gayaki stamp on it and involved a blend of the Tanjavur and Mysore styles. Being an accomplished vocalist helped him to coax the nuances of gamaka and anuswara out of the veena and being a vainika helped him to achieve precision and balance in his vocal music, the two skills thus complementing each other. I have not heard anybody combine the usage of gamaka and flat notes to perfection as he did in his raga renderings. Sankarabharanam is a case in point. Too flat a rendering would make the raga light. Too much of an emphasis on gamaka-s would result in giving the raga shades of other allied raga-s like Navroj and Neelambari. But Ambi Sir’s renderings had the various elements in the right mixture.

Another feature of his teaching style was the importance he gave to theory. Even beginners had to know the names of swara-s, the various anga-s of tala-s, the names of the eight tala-s and so on. From these beginnings he gradually exposed them to the Melakarta scheme and to the concept of raga-s. Swara gnana tests were a common feature of his classes, as were exercises in raga identification.

As the students progressed to kriti renditions, he would encourage them to sing small raga alapana-s and expose them to the mathematics of swara singing. Ambi Sir was a stickler for tala adherence and no student who didn’t get the tala right would be allowed to progress further. He had an almost intuitive grasp of each student’s strengths and weaknesses and he encouraged each student to build on his strengths. This resulted in his students blossoming into artists with differing styles. Ambi Sir’s school was no carbon-copy producing factory, but an institution which encouraged originality in its students.

The shishyas :

No wonder therefore that many students who learnt under him went on to win prizes at prestigious contests at the Madras Music Academy, the Indian Fine Arts Society, the Shanmukhananda Sabha and in All India Radio’s annual music competitions. Quite a few of them including his sons and daughters, are graded artists of All India Radio. Notable among his disciples are his own children- son Ananthakrishnan who was a much sought after violin accompanist in Madras before he migrated to the USA in the early eighties- he has started accompanying again during the current festival season; his second son Sadasivam whose repertoire of pallavi-s is truely mind-boggling and his daughter Girija Vaidyanathan who has a mellifluous voice and is an A-grade artist in AIR-Visakhapatnam.

Among others, mention must be made of the husband-wife pair of veena players, Jairaj Iyer and Jayashree, noteworthy for a rare combination of aesthetics and virtuosic skills.

Calcutta’s Hindustani music ambience did rub off on Ambi Sir; he enjoyed listening to Hindustani music concerts; although he could handle quite a few Hindustani raga-s with dexterity, he never allowed this to affect his rendering of Carnatic music. But, his knowledge of both music systems made him a very popular teacher of Carnatic music at the Rabindra Bharati University in Calcutta.

Recognition by way of honours and titles came to Ambi Sir late in life. Chief among the honours he received were the felicitation given by the International Foundation of Carnatic Music (IFCM- an organisation started by N. Ravikiran) and the title of Isai Perangyar by the Tamil Manram and Bharati Tamil Sangam of Calcutta.

Ambi Sir was totally committed to his profession and did not believe in retirement. Even after he was laid low by a series of illnesses, he did not believe in calling it a day. He taught students with his usual intense involvement even on the evening before his sad demise.

Personal Reminiscences

My own personal reminiscence of Ambi Sir are about the early morning classes he used to conduct for veena students, when in the tranquil atmosphere he would present distilled versions of raga-s such as Yadukulakambhoji, Surati and Kedaragaula on the veena. His vocal classes were generally held in the evenings and being with him after a tension-filled day at the office gave a deep sense of tranquility. He had the uncanny ability to quickly get to the core of a raga.

– S.Bhashyam

Shishya Parampara, Uncategorized

A.Anantakrishna Iyer – Profile

A.Anantakrishna Iyer – A profile

Veena Vidwan Brahmasri A.Anantakrishna Iyer  – S.Bhashyam


Anantakrishna Iyer was born in a family of priests in the year 1899 in Tirunelveli district and was initiated into the profession of his forefathers at a very early age.Piqued at an insult meted out to him bya moneyed man whose he had gone to perform brahmanical rites he put down his stack of ceremonial grass(darbai kattu) and vowed never to return to the profession.He then chanced upon Ammalu ammal eldest daughter of Ambi Dikshitar.It was she who initiated him into carnatic music.This incident took place when AnantaKrishna Iyer was barely 16 years old.

Ammalu found that the lad showed promise and was a devoted and diligent student,She therefore took him to Ambi Dikshitar and beseeched him to take the boy as his disciple.This Ambi Dikshitar agreed to do on condition that he would stay with him till the last years of his life.Anantakrishna Iyer vowed to do so and thus was born a link which has been responsible for a virtual resurrection of Shri Muthuswami Dikshitar;s compositions in this century.

AnantakrishnaIyer lived with AmbiDikshitar in Ettayapuram and learnt various well-known and many other little known Dikshitar’s compositions at his feet.He also learnt to play on the veena from the great master and thus inherited the style of the school known for its strong gAyaki base and adherence to traditions, encompassing the subtle graces and glides which are required to present authentic and aesthetically satisfying versions of gamaka rich carnatic ragas.
AmbiDikshitar was the court musician at Ettayapuram Samasthanam.The desire to propagate his granduncle’s kritis must have been strong in him and he must have sensed that the opportune moment to do thishad arrived since AnantakrishnaIyer was shaping up  as a sincere and devout student.Together they felt that this cause would be better served by moving to Madras which had become the main centre for carnatic music.In early 1919 Anantakrishna Iyer came to Madras and after fixing up a suitable accomodation in Komaleswaran Pettai he arranged for resettling Ambi Dikshitar and his family there.Three years later all of them moved into a house in Big street, Triplicane and established a music school ‘Dikshitar SangIta kalAsAlai’ which was inaugurated on Vijayadasami day 1922 by Lady Mangammal Sadasiva Iyer.By then his brother A.Sundaram Iyer had also joined him.

Around 1927 , after establishing the school on an even keel, Ambi Dikshitar went to Ettayapuram at the behest of the Rajah and after a stay of 4 years returned to Anantakrishna Iyer’s home in Madras around 1931.It was during this revisit to the far South that Justice T L Venkatarama Iyer seems to have  heard Shri Ambi Dikshitar’s recitals of Dikshitar’s kritis at Koilpatty in 1931.

Returning to Madras he sought out the great man and started learning from him.He also rendered considerable financial assistance to the school to help them in their efforts at propagating Dikshitar’s kritis.

Ambi Dikshitar reached godhead on June3 1936 and the task of carrying on this work fell to Anantakrishna Iyer.Anantakrishna Iyer’s own words ” My guru was a shrividya upasaka; a man with self-respect; he cared little for fame and wealth” describes the quality and personality of Ambi Dikshitar.

Around 1934 Anantakrishna Iyer and his brother Sundaram Iyer established the ‘Karnataka vainika gana vidyalaya’ at No.10 Royappettah High Road Madras with branches in Mylapore and Mambalam.Here Anantakrishna Iyer taught veena and vocal music to many students till 1937 when on the strong persuasion of a close friend of his , shri G.V.Raman he went to Calcutta.

After a short sojourn in Kashi [ 1940 -1943 ] he returned to Calcutta and established the guruguha gana vidyalaya.
Anantakrishna Iyer also published several books containing Dikshitar kritis both while he was in Madras and also after moving to Calcutta.

1.Ganamanjusha – Madras 1934
2.Guruguha ganamrta varshini Part I – Dikshitar’s navavarana series and Part II navagraha series Madras 1936-1937 in collboration with Shri .Vedanta Bhagavatar [his brother-in-law] and with a foreword by Ambi Dikshitar.
3.Abhayamba navavaranam
4.shiva  navavaranam
5.Rama  navavaranam
6.Krishna  navavaranam
7.Bala bodhini – for beginners

The book on Abhayamba navavaranam carries a poem of 64 sanskrit verses composed by HH Sankaracharya swamiji of Govardhana mutt Puri.

Anantakrishna Iyer also composed  varnams and kirtanas with the mudra guruguha dasan.
1.Heh kali- kharaharapriya – rupakam
2.sitalambam – vasanta – chapu
3.pashupatishwaram- ragamalika – rupakam
4.valli deva senapathe – khamas – rupakam

Shri Anantakrishna Iyer attained the Lord’s feet on January 5 1959 and the mantle of responsibility fell on the shoulders of his son Shri.Anantarama Iyer and daughter Champakavalli..

Extracted from the article of Shri.S.Bhashyam with the permission of the author from  the souvenir of guruguha gana vidyalaya,Calcutta.