The Nature of Rasikas
It will be appropriate to explain the purpose behind reminiscing several musicians and rasikas. The purpose is simply the lament that connoisseurship has decreased in today’s world. Everywhere and in all walks of life, the business mindset reflected by the materialistic nature of people has increased. The number of people asking the question “What do you get by listening to music?” is increasing. High-rise buildings have value. Silk clothes have value. Motor cars have value.
One of the stories of Sri Ramakrishna
Whenever I remember Bindu Rao, a story that Bhagavān Ramakrishna Paramahamsa often narrated comes to my mind.
A scholar approached a king with request to help. The king asked him, “What is your area of scholarship?”
The scholar replied, “I expound the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata.”
“Is that so? That is good to know! I’m curious to listen to the Bhāgavata-purāṇa. But I’m not at leisure today. If you’re here next Saturday, I will be able to sit and listen.”
I've mentioned earlier that Venkatanaranappa was unassuming, disciplined, honest, dispassionate, and hard-working. There were, however, a couple of qualities that were unusual for a person of his stature, namely friendliness and humorous nature. Though he was conservative and religious in certain matters, tenderness that is innate to humans was not a rare quality in him. He desired to have the constant company of friends, comedy filled with wit, and regular association with other humans.
Beginning of Bhārata-vācana
This group of literary and musical connoisseurs made it a routine to take turns and meet in one of the houses every day after work, once they freshened up. H Nagesh Rao was a tenant at Mirmira Rama Rao’s house on Arcot Srinivasacharya Road. I’ve been a part of this group meeting many times. Venkatakrishnappa would usually sing something. Someone else would chant a Śloka. Bindu Rao would recite the Bhārata. I still wasn’t acquainted with Bindu Rao back then.
After Sir K Seshadri Iyer, Rayalu Arokiaswamy Thumboo Chetty of Tiruchirapalli (Trichinopoly) became the Diwan of Mysore. His tenure as Diwan was for a mere seven-month-period.
Rājadharmapravīṇa T R A Thumboo Chetty was a Christian of the Roman Catholic denomination. He was a person well-known for his integrity and non-deceitful nature. I have heard many people praise his benevolence and upright character.
Does the ancient Hindu religion have the life-essence to survive, giving answers to the questions posed by the new world?
Does that hallowed and sacred culture have the spine and bones to stand upright, head held high, in the face of Western knowledge and astounding feats [of modern science]?
Does Veda-Vedānta possess that elevated spirit of inherent goodness to remain afloat in the torrent of scientific powers, striking with belligerence, wave upon wave?
One day, at about three in the afternoon, Bindu Rao visited my house. I asked him, “When did you arrive?”
He said, “I left Chitradurga this morning and came here at around eleven, freshened up and had lunch at my younger brother’s place, then I came to see you. I’m now ninety-two years old. I felt like sharing that with you!”
Me: “How did you come here? In a vehicle?”
BR: (pointing towards his legs) “What’s the need for a vehicle when I have these?”