Thiruppavai.org: Archiving the musical and devotional contributions of Smt. Padma Veeraraghavan
This site is dedicated to Vainika Vidhushi Innisai Maamani Divya Gana Praveena Vidwamsini, Smt Padma Veeraraghavan . A renowned musician, a composer of rare talent and of bhakti-laden sankeertanams, a self-less guru who spread her Jn~Anam among many shisyas, a devoted srivaishnava bhagawathOtthama, Smt. Padma attained Acharyan's Thiruvadi on Oct 10, 2010 at the age of 80. The sources of inspiration for her compositions are from the AzhwAr AruLiccheyalkaLs in general and AndAL's upadEsams in particular from Her two sacred Prabhandhams of Thiruppavai and NaacchiyAr Thirumozhi.
Dhivya ghAna PraveeNa Padma Veeraraghavan chose Sri BhUmi devi samEta Sri Oppiliappan as her ishta dhaivam and visualized Them in Their Naadha BrahmANanda roopam. She enjoyed Them as SrI Andal and RangamanAr. Many pilgrim centers acquire that name Paadal Petra Sthalam Smt. Padma has ensured with her prolific compositions on the deities of ThirruviNNagaram, that it truly deserves that name. Propelled by her devotion to her ishta dhaivam, she was deeply engaged in nadhOpAsana and performed naama kusumAnjali for Them day and night. She shared that blissful anubhavam of raaga and anuraaga with all her students. She understood very clearly the upadesam of satguru swamigal, that music without bhakti would lead one astray. "Sangeetha Jn~Anamu bhakti vina, sanmargamu galade manasa".
This web site, created under the leadership of Sri Oppiliappan Koil V. SaThakOpan from New York, USA, brother of Smt. Padma is dedicated as a tribute to her memory and as a place to archive the multitude of her compositions and house the many kaimakryams that she has done at Oppiliappan KOil, Thiruvaheendhra-puram, SrivilliputthUr and other dhivya dEsams.
Smt. Padma not only composed kruthis in the 72 melams but also dedicated each song to Sri Oppillappan-Bhumadevi. This cannot be found in any others who have composed in all 72 Mela kartas. Hence Smt. Padma’s 72 Mela karta kIrtanamala is the first and very unique set from a SrIvaishnava point of view. The 72 Melakartha Kruthis pages not only have the Melakarta structure but are also linked to the sahityam, notation and meanings of Smt. Padma’s unique compositions, one in each of the 72 Melakartha raagams in praise of the Divya Dhampathis of Oppiliappan Koil. Audio rendering of these kruthis, mainly sung by her students, will be added as they become available. A book Oppiliappan Malargal, a collection of the 72 Melakartha Kruthis was released in 2009.
In the section on Goda Stuthi, the 29 slokams of Goda Stuthi, composed by Swami Desikan in praise of SrI AndaL, has been set to music and soulfully rendered by Smt. Padma.
Smt. Padma composed over 200 devotional Kruthis, some keerthanams, varnams, thillanas. Only a few of those are in the Kruthis section. This is work in progress and the compositions with notations and audio rendering will be added as they become available.
Some of the songs like Nellamegam Pol (Hindolam), Nenjamellam nirainday Srinarasimha (Rajani), Tatiratom (Sivaranjani tillAna on Navanarasimhars), VaradavaramtA (Mohanam), Yennakkoruvaasai (Simhendramadyamam) and others prove the fact that she is a musical genius no less in stature than well know bhagavathas of yester years.
Smt. Padma spent every moment of her life serving AndAL and Sriman NaarAyaNan; not only was she engaged in performing Kaimkaryam to Them but she motivated all around her to take part in such kaimkaryams. Please visit the Kaimkaryam section to learn about them and see the wonderful anubhavam through the photographs assembled there.
Throughout her music career, Smt. Padma taught several hundred shishyas, the musically rendered Goda Stuthi. Some of her Shishyas have made a name for themselves in the Carnatic Classical music arena. The section on Shishyas and Abhimanis showcases some of her students.
Smt. Padma was not just a musical genius, but also choreographed for dances and encouraged children to perform was a talented artist who drew and painted pictures and designed the dresses and ratanagi kaimkaryams herself. The Picture Gallery has reproductions of her paintings and well as photos of her ratanaabhaaranams.
Smt. Padma was also very humane and had compassion towards fellow human beings. She would go to the School for the Blind and write exams for the visually handicapped students. She also helped at the senior citizens (old age) homes, whenever she had the opportunity. It takes a special kind of person to think beyond themselves and care for other less fortunate ones.
Sri Prakash Hariharan, a mandolin artist and Smt. Padma's shishya said, "Just being in her presence elevated you to give your best efforts and personally apart from my music education there have been a lot of spirituality and religon I have learnt from her."
Smt Padma often said, "Art should not be owned, or kept under closed walls. It flourishes only when it is spread across."
Click here to read more about Smt Padma's life and inspirational work
Photos and paintings acknowledged with thanks from the family.