Prince Rama Varma

Carnatic Musicians
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#126 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 05 Apr 2016, 01:39

A song by Ogirala Veera Raghava Sharma, taught at Mumbai.
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#127 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 12 Apr 2016, 08:24

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#128 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 16 Apr 2016, 17:28

An article on Maharaja Swathi Thirunal whose 203rd birth anniversary it is today. ... rticle.php
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#129 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 19 Apr 2016, 09:25

Varmaji presenting Swathi Thirunal Maharaja at the Kuthiramalika Palace
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#130 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 27 Apr 2016, 00:37

32 years since Sri M.D.Ramanathan left us..... ... BMQh4Vw-Ld
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#131 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 02 May 2016, 00:10

A lecture on Dr.Balamuralikrishna's compositions ... sitions%2F
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#132 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 09 May 2016, 19:18

An article in Mathrubhoomi Newspaper ... -1.1045451

English translation from Varmaji's fan page in Facebook

Music, Divine

“Smarathinu maam sadayam”… the strains of Behag come lilting in as one enters Kuthiramalika. The Puthenmalika of Ananthapuri is in deep slumber till it awakens for the music-soaked evenings of January. Then, one wonders if the place is pervaded by the soul of Swati Tirunal himself – the royal musician who embraced the scepter and Tanpura with equal ease and scaled new heights in Indian classical music, opening up its glory to the world.

“Today is his birthday”, says musician Ashwathi Tirunal Rama Varma - the worthy descendant of the Maharaja, and the able organizer of the Swathi Sangeethotsavam. Rama Varma, the son of Pooyam Tiruanl Gowri Parvathi Bai and Chemprol Raja Raja Varma of the Travancore royal family, is renowned in the field of Carnatic music in India and abroad.

It was this royal musician who broke the shackles of conservatism and created a revolution of sorts by getting the eminent musician Vidushi Parassala Ponnammal to sing in the Navarathri Mandapam – a venue forbidden for women until then. He also took the Swathi Music festival to unprecedented dimensions, attracting music aficionados from all over the world who flock in to get an authentic taste of “Indian music”. The soft-spoken Raghu, as he is fondly called by his near and dear ones, waxes eloquent when the subject is related to music, generously opening up his treasure trove of knowledge on musicians ranging from Saigal, Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar to M.D. Ramanathan, K.S. Narayanaswami, R. Venkatraman and Dr. M. Balakuralikrishna. He challenged the royal reservations against a member of their family preforming in public, and went to Amsterdam to teach Indian classical music. The years he spent in Amsterdam, Paris and London infused in him a deep sensitivity to Eastern and Western music. Even now, visitors come from across the seas in search of their Guru and friend; their beloved Prince.

Rama Varma has conducted music workshops in places ranging from the remote village of Perla in Northern Kerala and cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam and new Delhi to global locations like Singapore and France. He is a rare exception among musicians who see music merely as a source of income. In fact, those who benefited from his much-loved Perla workshops included auto-rickshaw drivers as well as exponents of classical music! A characteristic of Rama Varma’s concerts is the way he lucidly explains the meaning and background of the kritis he presents. Varma believes that this will help even a layperson to appreciate and love classical music without being intimidated by it. His fluency in several languages helps him to reach out to international audiences. Indeed, the fact that his videos on Youtube have attracted over 50 lakh views stands testimony to the universal appeal of his music.

The world awaits further musical treats from Prince Rama Varma, who has not only delved into the world of Carnatic music but also traversed the entire realm of music across continents, and generously, relentlessly shares his knowledge and experience with the world.
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#133 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 15 May 2016, 14:25

Excerpts from a teaching session at Bangalore on May 9th

Rama Rama

Old video with students singing along

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#134 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 28 May 2016, 11:07

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#135 250th Birth Anniversary Tribute to Sri Tyagaraja

Post by sweetsong » 01 Jun 2016, 14:24

Here is a small tribute to Sri Tyagaraja on his 250th Birth Anniversary by Varmaji
that came out in the Bangalore based magazine SAAMAGAANA.The First Melody.
Those who might be interested in subscribing to the magazine are welcome to
check out or write to them at [email protected]

Most of us are born; we eat, drink, use up resources, add to the population and die.

without leaving behind anything that would be of any use to anyone in the future.

A few chosen ones are fortunate enough to leave behind something that is precious

and beautiful, that would continue to bring joy to others, long after they are dead

and gone.

Among These blessed few, there is a Smaller group of select individuals whose

legacy is So immense that it would take several lifetimes just to try and Evaluate what they have

left behind for posterity! One of the names that would feature right on top of this list

would be a man who was born in Thiruvaiyaru in South India on the 4th of May, 1767

and changed the course of South Indian Classical Music for ever :-

Kakarla Sri Thyagabrahmam.....popularly known as Sri Thyagaraja.

There are two kinds of history......contemporary history like Obama becoming the first

black U.S.President, tennis records being rewritten by Roger Federer and so on;

and there is ancient history, like the construction of the Pyramids of Egypt, the

Vijayanagaram Empire and so on. Being born 250 years ago, one would expect

Thyagaraja to be a part of ancient history. But he is in fact more dynamic and

vibrant a presence in the daily lives of so many music lovers all over the world, than

millions of people who are still alive now. Presidents and sports stars may come and go,

but Sri Thyagaraja and others of his ilk remain.

People like Sri Thyagaraja from this part of the world and J.S.Bach from the West,

viewed music as a way to express their devotion to the Divine. But it is their Musical

genius that ensures them a permanent place, as far as posterity is concerned.

There is a book called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell where he studies the lives of

several people who have made their mark in the history of mankind..Steve Jobs

who founded Apple, for example. Though many of them seem to be "self made"

individuals, it is revealed during closer study, that most of these people became

what they became, due to a combination of a whole set of factors, apart from

their obvious brilliance. This seems to be the case with the immense popularity that

Sri Thyagaraja enjoys even now, 250 years after his birth.

To list a few....

He had a long and healthy life.

He was one of the richest among all the great composers, when it came to Shishya

Sampath or "wealth of disciples"....disciples who went around teaching his

compositions to Their disciples and so on, with the result that almost Any student,

teacher or practitioner of Carnatic music anywhere in the world, would most likely

have "eaten the salt" of Sri Thyagaraja, one way or the other.

Being obsessed with his beloved Rama and with music, he had relatively few distractions

and could focus completely on music.

Though he was hugely influenced by other great souls who came before him, like

Bhadrachala Ramadasa for example (whose name he mentions in several of his

compositions) he came up with his own distinct style.

He was an innovator par excellence who Invented the Anupallavi in the "Pallavi,

Anupallavi, Charanam" format of songs that is widely followed even now.

He created more than 60 new ragas.

Though he lived in Tamil Nadu, he composed in the two languages that he was

comfortable with; Telugu and Sanskrit.

His compositions (many of which are composed in the simple Adi Thaalam with 8 beats)

seem to be tailor made more for easy accessibility by the listeners than as pieces to

show off his own abilities.

He could compose many songs in the same raga (like Thodi or Shankarabharanam

for example) and highlight a different facet of the raga in each song.

He has made quite a few compositions where he talks about music itself, like

Swara Raga Sudharasayutha, Shobhillu Saptha Swara, Sogasuga Mridanga Thaalamu

and so on.

He more or less invented or at least took to great heights, the concept of "sangathis"

(musical phrases or ornamentation) in the same line of a song, which progressively

build up a beautiful edifice of the raga in the song itself, even without resorting to


Though rooted in the so called Carnatic idiom, he was, like most of the great souls

before and after him, totally open to the charms of both Hindustani as well as Western

music. (We find the beautiful influence of Hindustani music in songs like Mokshamu

Galada and Maanamu Leda and of Western music in songs like Raminsuvarevarura,

Shara Shara Samaraika Dheera, Vara Leela Gaana Lola and so on.)

Things would get rather dry if I were to go on listing points like this. So let me write

a little bit more now, before winding up.

The biggest crisis faced not just by Sri Thyagaraja but by classical music itself as a whole,

would be the almost Total lack of respect paid to the lyrics of the masterpieces given to us

by the great masters, In any system of music, there is the expression "Music and Lyrics"

or "Sangeetham api Saahithyam." But in South Indian Classical music, the lyrics don't

seem to matter one bit to singers, their accompanists, the concert organizers, the listeners

or the critics. Being by far the most represented composer in concerts, Sri Thyagaraja's

songs also end up being the most mercilessly butchered too, sadly.

If I start quoting even the random examples that come to mind instantly, this little article

would exceed it's word limit by far.

So let me just list a couple of examples here.

Niga nigamanusuuuu + sangathi 1 + sangathi 2 + sangathi 3

Niga nigamanusuka pola


Yoo Mo Moo

This is what is made of an exquisitely beautiful and evocative line like

Niganigamanuchu Kapola Yugamuche, Merayu Momu, which means

"radiant cheeks and shining face".....which joins the Pallavi of

Nee sogasu jooda tharama ? which means "Can anyone else have this kind of

beauty as you?"

In the magnificent song in Kamboji "O Ranga Shaayee" he offers his beloved God

examples of Other Gods having come, when called by Their devotees...and pleads

"O Ranga Shaayee, when I call out O, to you, can't you respond and come?"

One of the examples of other devotees and other Gods mentioned here, is the

instance when Lord Shiva (described as Kailasaadhipa here) came to the rescue of

one of His devotees. But when most people sing this song, Kailasaadhipudu gets

split into two and simply the word "Kailasa" is sung again and again at the end of the

first line, where it has absolutely no meaning at all.

When I started music lessons during the early 1980s, there was simply no way for a

school boy living in Kerala, to search out the meanings of songs in Any language,

leave alone just Telugu.

These days, the advent of the internet has been the best thing possible for serious

students, practitioners and listeners of music, because apart from a profusion of audio

recordings of the great masters, there is also a profusion of websites that give the lyrics

and meanings of so many songs in so many languages.

Here are a few.

One can only pray to the spirit of Sri Thyagaraja Himself that a time would come, sooner

than later, when musicians, music students, music gurus and music lovers would choose

to educate themselves as far as the lyrics go, and make the entire experience of our

wonderful music, infinitely more wholesome and fulfilling for all concerned.

It would undoubtedly bring us closer to the extraordinary hearts, minds and spirits

of the great souls or Mahanubhaavaas in music where Sri Thyagaraja remains

one of the All time Greats.

Rama Varma

April 2016

Some Tyagaraja songs ... 0XvzDSZnlp ... JCs_-9ALcI
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#136 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 10 Jun 2016, 02:17

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#137 2 day event at Sharjah

Post by sweetsong » 22 Jun 2016, 03:18

Ekata Cultural Society to organize a

Class at Sharjah by Varma ji on June 24th morning and

concert on June 25th evening.

For details, please contact the organizers at

0509498825 or 0507860023.

Email - [email protected]
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#138 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by vilomachapu » 22 Jun 2016, 18:21

One of the names that would feature right on top of this list would be a man who was born in Thiruvaiyaru in South India on the 4th of May, 1767
Some people like these have been spreading this myth that Thyagaraja was born in Tiruvaiyyaru and not in Tiruvarur. Mainly these people belong to the Balamurali school. B.M.Sundaram it was who started spreading this myth based on the spurious manirangu song attributed to Thyagaraja which was being sung by Balamurali. This canard must not be believed by genuine lovers of Carnatic music.
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#139 Krishna Nee Begane Baro

Post by sweetsong » 22 Jun 2016, 23:41


Lyrics and meaning
taaLam: caapu
Composer: Vyaasaraaya
Language: KannaDa


krishna nee bEganE baarO


bEganE baarO mukhavannu tOrO
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)

caraNam 1

kaalaalandhugE gejje nIlada baavuli
nIlavarNane naaTya vaaduta baarO
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)

caraNam 2

Udiyalli udigejje beraLalli ungura
koraLalli haakida vaijayantiya maalE
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)

caraNam 3

kaashi peethambara kaiyalli koLalu
pUsida shreegandha mayyOLagamma!
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)

caraNam 4

taayige baayalli jagavannu torida
jagadhOddhaaraka namma uDupi shree krishna
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)

pallavi: krishna nee bEganE baarO - Krishna ! Come hither soon !

anupallavi: bEganE baarO mukavannu tOrO - Come hither soon! Show (me) your face!

caraNam 1: kaalaalandhigE gejje niladhabaavuli - Beautiful anklets adorn your feet! Sapphire bracelets (on your arms)!
nilavarNane naaTya maaduta baarO - "(Oh!)Blue coloured one.. (Please) come hither dancing !

caraNam 2: Odiyalli odigejje beraLalli ongura - Waistbands with bells adorn your waist! Ring(s) on your finger(s) !
koraLalli haakita vajayantimaalE - "The (divine)Vaijayanthi necklace garlands your neck !

caraNam 3: kaasi peeTambara kaiyalli koLalu - (Sacred)Saffron cloth from Kashi (covers you) ! (a) flute in your hand(s)!
pushita shreegandha mayallOLagamma! - Oh dear! Your body is anointed with sandal paste !

caraNam 4: taayige baayalli jagavannu torita - The one who showed his mother the universe in his mouth
jagadhOdhaaraka namma uDupi shree krishna - (that)Benefactor of the world (Is) our Udupi Shri Krishna !
Contributed by Jayaram Suryanarayana.

Other information: "Bhava darpana" by S. Jayaram Uparna.

Saint Vyasaraya reaches his devotional pinnacle in this song. There is hardly anyone who is not moved when he hears this song being rendered correctly. Here the Saint calls out to Krishna and implores him to come to him . He launches into a devotional trance where he sees Krishna at a distance. Krishna's immaculate dressing and exquisite beauty makes the Saint detail them in this evergreen song. The amalgamation of genuine Bhakti with touchingly simple composition, sets one thinking whether is Krishna who is decorated with the ornaments, or the other way around.

There is a more profound philosophical meaning to this song. The anklets are worn in India with a belief that the bells attached to them would create a sound which beckon good fortune and drive away demons. When the Saint describes Krishna, he allocates a first place to this ornament, thus requesting Krishna to ward off all the demons of ignorance in our heart and bestow all his divine mercy on us.

The next in line is the armlet. The armlet (popularly called as Baajuband in the northern parts of India), is an ornament in the upper portion of the arm. The Armlet is an ornament that restricts the free movement of the hand, it has a tight grasp and is a constant reminder of its presence. Ideologically, this ornament is considered to be a symbol of restraint and control, of what is called as 'SaMyama'. Hence, the Saint calls out to the Lord to grant the benign qualities of restraint and control, to his devotees. Not only does the Saint ask Krishna to come, but He also implores the Lord to come dancing ..... a symbol of pure, unadulterated joy.

WaistBands are worn mostly by the affluent, aristocratic families in India, and the mention of these here has profound significance. The Waistbands worn on children, apart from their other mundane practical purposes, is supposed to disenchant and protect the young one. Since Krishna's beauty is above all, it is as if the Saint is imploring the Lord to not forget to wear the waistband, so that the evil eye cast by his devotees on him (when they see His lotus like face), does not affect him...!

Rings have always been associated with the show of dedication all over the world ( be it the royal insignia, the Seal or even the wedding ring). The Saint implores Krishna to bless him with dedicated unflinching devotion, so that he may never stray from the path of Love towards the Supreme.

The Vyjayanthi Mala, a divine necklace born during the churning of the KsheeraSagara (Milk Ocean), is a sacred and potent ornament. It is said to bestow unrestricted victory to anyone who wears it (hence the name Vaijayanti -- Vijayee Kurvanti iti Vaijayanti ). The Saint describes the Lord wearing this ornament, so that the Love for the Lord (Bhakti) in the devotees heart always emerges victorious over the other emotions that ravage the human heart.

Kaashi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, and for the Hindus, it is the sacred city of death. Every devout Hindu aspires to breath his last in this city for it is believed that one who does so attains salvation without doubt. Kashi, also called as Benares, is very famous for the rich golden silk cloth that is made there. The Saint remembers the City through its famous silk, imploring the Lord to bestow him with the ultimate goal of any living entity .. the remembrance of Krishna while passing away.

The Flute is a unique musical instrument. Utterly mellifluous and demystifyingly simplistic and practical, the flute is Krishna's favorite instrument. The flute not only soothes the humans listening to it, but even the beasts have been known to slow down, calm and be subdued at the sound of the Flute. Metaphorically speaking, Krishna's flute is remembered here to defeat the beasts in us and to congregate the saintly ( the cow has always been associated with a saintly nature, and Krishna's flute always calls the cows together).

After all the ornaments and instruments, the Saint directs his attention to the most revered of all beautifying agents - Sandal Paste. The Sandal tree is a unique tree. It gives itself up, and though it undergoes pain and torture when it is rubbed together vigorously, it endures it all and perfumes even the hand that caused it the suffering. The Sandal has always been a symbol of sacrifice and total submission. Devotees of the highest grade have been compared to the Sandalwood. Hence, by mentioning the aromatic Sandal paste here, the Saint cautions one towards the ideal of complete submission to and absolute dependency on, Krishna.

Lest the devotee take Krishna's love in jest, the Saint reminds him of the famous episode from Krishna's childhood when he shows the entire universe in his lotus like mouth to his startled mother. By this Krishna shows to the devotee that he is the be all and end all of everything. He is the originator, benefactor and ultimate destroyer of everything. The Devotee is cautioned that he should never take Bhakti lightly, for that may sound the death knell of his existence...and the pure devotee is spirited away into remembrance of the splendid world of Krishna Leela. A befitting end to a glorious song. Shri KrishNArpaNam astu. Some corrections from Harish.
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#140 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 29 Jun 2016, 12:51

Varmaji to sing with Sri S.R.Vinu, Sri B.Harikumar and Dr.S.Karthick,

at Adambakkam Sapthaswaralaya Trust,

Sri Karpaga Vinayagar Sri Pandurangan Temple Auditorium,

9th Street,

Shanthi Nagar,


Chennai 600088

at 6:30pm on Sunday, July 3rd.
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#141 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 19 Jul 2016, 16:18

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#142 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 21 Jul 2016, 13:17

Akhilandeshwari from Aadi Maasam music festival,

inaugural concert at Udiyannur Devi Temple in

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#143 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 02 Aug 2016, 22:27

Karnataka Fine Arts Council, (KFAC) constituted by 10 leading music sabhas of Bangalore, including Nadasurabhi, is pleased to launch its first music course by a renowned guru, in its ongoing effort to spread and support Indian Classical Music and Dance.
Details are as follows:
Guru: Sri. Rama Varma
Venue and Course Management, Ananya, 91/2, 4th Main, Malleshwaram,
Course Content: A Selection from the Compositions of Maharaja Swathi Tirunal , M.D.Ramanathan, Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna, Annamacharya, Purandaradasa, Bhadrachala Ramadasa, Kaiwara Amara Nareyana and others as the course develops.
Dates and timing:
10th, 11th and 12th September 2016.
From 5 PM
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours / day
Course fee per participant is Rs.2,000 payable in cash to Dr.Raghavendra, Ananya, Bengaluru or NEFT bank transfer in advance. Registration will be confirmed only on receipt of payment. There can be no refund of fees after registration.
For payment to KFAC by NEFT:
Account Name : Karnataka Fine Arts Council
Account type : Savings
Account no : 0403101205196
IFSC code : CNRB0000403
Bank : Canara Bank
Branch : Basavanagudi, Bangalore
Candidates , once fees is paid by cash or transferred by NEFT, may kindly send the following information by email to [email protected] or phone +91 9980991110
Name of Candidate, Age, Address, Phone no., Mobile no., Email address and how they came to know about the course.
No. of students: 25 only on first come first served basis.
Last date for registrations : 1st September 2016 or as soon as the seats are filled up, whichever is earlier.
Minimum Student Qualification: Must have learnt up to keerthanai level.
Venue of Course:
Ananya Sabhangana, 91/2, 4th Main, Malleshwaram, Bengaluru-3

Dr. Raghavendra, Ananya, 91/2 , 4th Main, Malleswaram, Bengaluru.3.
In case of any clarification, please contact through email
[email protected]
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#145 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 14 Aug 2016, 10:52

Birthday video for Varmaji - August 13th. ...
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#146 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by Rsachi » 14 Aug 2016, 12:11

Happy Birthday to Sri Varma-ji and my sincere wishes to him for many years of giving and enjoying the best of music!
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#147 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 17 Aug 2016, 12:29

Concert by Prince Rama Varma,

Sri S.R.Vinu

Sri B.Harikumar


Sri S.Krishnaswamy

for Rasika Ranjana Sabha (R.R.Sabha) Trichy,

at 6:30 PM on Friday, August 19, at 6:30pm

at Hotel Sangam, Trichy.
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#148 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 22 Aug 2016, 16:39

Concert by Prince Rama Varma

Sri S.R.Vinu


and Sri P.L.Sudheer for Sri Krishna Jayanthi

at the Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Thuckalay

at 6:45 pm on Sunday, August 27th.

(Sree Parthasarathy Temple,

Main Road,


The contact person there is

Shri Narayanan Potti +91 9786936911
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#149 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 23 Aug 2016, 11:16

SATURDAY, August 27th, not Sunday. Sorry.
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#150 Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 24 Aug 2016, 15:11

On Sri Krishna Jayanthi,

a concert of Krishna songs ... dZvOrPPwPK

and a playlist of beautiful Krishna Bhajans ... dPQAR8zBT3
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