S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Puttaraj Gavai

Birthdays & Anniversaries

3.3.1914 - 17.9.2010
When Pandit Puttaraj Gavai, a Padma Bhushan recipient, and head of the Veereshwara Punyashrama at Gadag in Karnataka, attained samadhi on 17th September 2010, the whole state seemed to go into mourning. A blind musician with a spiritual stature that few saints command, Puttaraj Gavai, a teacher of music of the rarest kind, was the object of fervent respect and love from his many students. Gavai was also a writer and dramatist, who authored over 80 books, and a social worker, who touched the lives of many. He and his guru Swami Panchakshari Gavai are worshipped and revered as saints by many in Karnataka.

The story of Puttaraj Gavai is also the story of Swami Panchakshari Gavai, founder of the Veereshwara Punyashrama in Gadag, a small town and incidentally, the birthplace of Bhimsen Joshi. Panchakshari Gavai was well trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani music. By some twists and turns of fate, guided by a saintly disposition, he took upon himself the mission of imparting music education to young boys, many of them blind, from the villages in Karnataka. Most of these students came from families of grinding poverty. The guru not only gave the boys sangeeta-vidya but also two meals a day.

                                          To read full story, visit sruti.com and buy Sruti 317

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