Mumbai: The JKYog Worldwide headquarters, Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (RKT Fine Arts, Center for Cultural and Spiritual Excellence), underscores the most important element in celebrating Shree Krishna through music and dance on Janmashtami – Bhakti or devotion to God.
JKYog Founder, Swami Mukundananda, is a senior disciple of Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj. He preaches the true knowledge of Yog as per the Vedas. Millions worldwide have been transformed by his simple and deep lectures. He says, “Service is the expression of love. When we understand that and develop this service attitude to God, everything will fall in place.“
Indian classical music and dance forms are an expression of this Bhakti or total involvement in God, with an intention to please Him. Indian music theory originated in the Samaveda, one of the four Vedas (authoritative texts on spiritual knowledge). Hindustani and Carnatic classical music traditions evolved from here. In the 1400s, there was a massive Bhakti movement in India, spearheaded by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who popularized “Sankirtan” as the most effective way to achieve God-realization.
Indrani Mukherjee is an Indian Classical Vocalist, an exponent of Khayal (Kirana – Rampur style) and Thumri (Purab Ang). Her great artistic repertoire and exceptional aesthetic sensibility leaves an indelible impression in the minds of her audiences and critics alike Mukherjee, an “A” Grade in AIR, ICCR Empaneled Hindustani Vocal Artist, outstanding category in Festival of India in Abroad, has performed at major concerts and festivals in India and worldwide, and is performing at the Janmashtami Mahotsav.
Internationally renowned Odissi exponent, Vidushi Debamitra Sengupta (ICCR empaneled artiste, disciple of Padmavibhushan Late Guru Shri Kelu Charan Mahapatra), is also performing at the JKYog Global Janmashtami Mahotsav. She has brought to life through Odissi, the dying art form of Padabali Kirtans from Bengal highlighting the Raas-Leela – an esoteric pastime of Shree Krishna that symbolizes the highest spiritual truth of selfless divine love.
Vidwan Sikkil C. Gurucharan, is a youth ambassador for Carnatic music, featured in India Today’s 35 under 35 game changers. He is a recipient of the Fulbright Nehru Excellence Award and a 51st Grammy Awards nominee for the collaborative effort – Contemporary Jazz Album “Miles from India” he mention, Creating a good experience for the audience is important to me. During this pandemic, I miss the live audience experience, where you get continual feedback during concerts. I am happy that organizations like JKYog and others are providing opportunities for virtual live concerts. Particularly, I am excited about rendering the Ashtapadis of Jayadeva and the Tarangams of Sri Narayana Teertha on Janmashtami Mahotsav, in service to Lord Krishna for the benefit of devotees worldwide.
Dr. Vijaykumar Krishnan (Carnatic musician, music teacher/researcher, winner of Kasturi Ranga Iyengar Memorial award, Music Academy Madras), has accompanied great singers such as Dr. Balamurali Krishna, Shri Neyveli Santhanagopalan etc. He states, “I personally connect with God through music and it gives me joy. However, when on stage, I feel that music is a joint experience of prayer involving both the performer and the audience, where the audience silently, yet palpably, reciprocates the performer’s interpretation of the song. Music therefore is an act of service, one cannot perform just for oneself.”
Dr. Deepti Omchery Bhalla (Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee/ICCR empaneled artiste – outstanding category) explains, ”Sangeet as a concept in Kerala is a holistic experience consisting of instruments, music, and dance. Music is the most important component of dance consisting of words, Ragas, and Talas (rhythms) that evoke Bhava. Bhava is an extremely important aspect of dance – particularly the Sattvika Bhava, originating from Sattva Guna, a divine quality, which arises out of an internal devotional state of being in the performer.
As a center for spiritual and cultural excellence, the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas, aims to bring back through performances by top notch artistes, the true purpose of Indian classical music and dance – to elevate the soul towards selfless love for God and thereby all of humanity.