Rare Pictures of Sri Veena Baba of Badrinath


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Below are a few rare pictures of Shri Veena Baba (1916-1990), one of the greatest Nadayogis and musician saints of modern times. He lived for most of his life in the holy pilgrimage center of Badrinath, situated high up in the Himalayas.

He would pass his days playing his veena and singing to Bhagavan Vishnu. He hardly ever spoke to anybody. He was a maestro of Rudra Veena (which he is holding in his hands) and some of his extremely rare musical recordings were made as part of a UNESCO project, which you can hear in the video below.

Listen to Sri Veena Baba playing his Veena, a recording from a UNESCO collection:

Devotee Radheshwari Singh Offers the Following Recollections:

Swami Dattatreya Rama Rao Parvatikarji (1916-1990), is seen here playing his ‘Brahma Veena’, as he called it, at the Badrinath Temple.

He said it was the only one left in existence and that he had to help in the making of it himself, getting several strings added to the lower side (like a harp). It had a truly mystical sound. Swamiji would be here during the entire season that the presiding deity resided in Badri Nath Dham. Because of an introduction letter from Babaji, I was able to stay as a guest with a family of Swamiji’s dear disciples, who succeeded in persuading me to stay on one month instead of three days!

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He would daily sit in the temple compound and would teach me the swaras, and when others would come we would all sing kirtana lead by him. “Sriman Narayan, Narayan”. Interesting was his morning practice of first having bath in Tapt Kund, a natural hot mineral spring, and then immediately having an ice cold bath in the grace-filled river of Alakananda. And after this he would do yogasanas in the sunshine beside the river, ending them with Shishasana, headstand, and that alone for at least 15 mins.

Although Swamiji spent all his Spring and Summer days in Sri Badrinath Dham, we were surprised to see that his own ‘Ishtadev’, form of worship was Sri Narsinghji Bhagavan! That amazing image could be held in one hand, and he was seated on a throne with the child Prahladji on one knee and Sri Laxmi Devi on the other.

Whenever I sat with Swamiji inside the temple area we would sing and he would tell us amazing stories of the grace of Sri Badri Narayana, and His devotees. Only once did I see him in Sri Vrindavan, when there was the special music festival there in Niddhi Van of Swami Hari Dasji Samaro.

Several times He has been on TV, the ‘Door Darshan featured him playing his unique ‘Brahma Veena’ and singing beautiful bhajans.

He is one of the very beautiful saints of India whose grace and blessings I will always treasure.

A Short Biography of Sri Veena Maharaj

Shri Dattatreya Rama Rao Parvatikar was prominent Hindu saint and a sanyasi of India. He was keenly interested in Indian classical music and was a maestro of rudra veena. He invented Dattatreya Veena and was fondly called also as “veena baba”. Some of his musical recordings are part of a UNESCO project.

He was born as the second son of professor Rama Rao Parvatikar and Vatsala Bai on 1916 at Guledgudda, near Badami.

Swamy Dattatreya Parvatikar lived in the premises of Badrinath Temple of The Himalayas and hardly spoke to anybody. He was a nada yogi and was an expert in sitar, vichitra veena, rudra veena and swarmandal. Due to his expertise on veena recital, he was fondly called as veena baaba by his spiritual followers.

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Swami Dattatreya Rama Rao Parvatikarji (1916-1990), is seen hereplaying his ‘Brahm Vina’, as he calls it, at the Badrinath Temple. He said it was the only one left in existence and that he had to help in the making of it himself, getting several strings added to the lower side (like a harp). It had a truly mystical sound. Swamiji would be here during the entire season that the presiding deity resides in Badri Nath Dham.

Interesting was his morning practice of first having bath in Tapt Kund, a natural mineral hot spring, and then immediately having an ice cold bath in the grace-filled river of Alakananda. And after this he would do yogasanas in the sunshine beside the river, ending them with Shirshasana, headstand, that alone for at least 15 mins.

veena-02

Whenever I set with Swamiji inside the temple we would sing and he would tell us amazing stories of the grace of Sri Badri Narayana, and His devotees. Only once did I see him in Sri Vrindavan, when there was the special music festival there in Niddhi Van, The Swami Hari Dasji Samaro. Several times He has been on TV, the ‘Door Darshan featured him playing his unique ‘Brahm Vina’ and singing beautiful bhajans.

Swami Parvatikar, an exponent of nada yoga, tried to spread spirituality through music. He has given numerous musical performances all over India.

He invented Dattatreya Veena by mixing sitar, vichitra veena and swarmandal to rudra veena. Alain Daniélou has made recordings of his performances between 1950 and 1955. They are now part of a UNESCO project – UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music of the World. As a tribute to Alain Daniélou, UNESCO re-issued the album on 1997 as Anthology of Indian Classical Music – A Tribute to Alain Daniélou.

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Swami D. R. Parvatikar Maharaj started The Nada Yoga School in 1950. It is situated in Rishikesh.

In 1975, Veena Maharaj Nadayogi Sri Dattatreya Parvatikar founded the Sree Raghavendra Swamy Mission at Bangalore. In memory of the Nadayogi Sri Parvatikar, a music concert is held every year at Gayana Samaja Bangalore.

7 comments on "Rare Pictures of Sri Veena Baba of Badrinath"

  1. sreenivasa says:

    Rare musical instrument should not have a natural decay, Great musicians, sabhas should come forward to carry the mantle left behind him. In his name, philonthropists should start a Musical Institution and needed research to be conducted for the benefit of generation to take up. Like a squirril in Ramayana, I can contribute my might

  2. VIJAYALAKSHMI says:

    GREAT . THANKS A LOT TO SHARE SUCH RARE HISTORY OF MAHATMAS LIKE bABA. VERY HAPPY TO LISTEN VEENA

  3. NARAYANASWAMY R says:

    REALLY MIND SOOTHING/HEART-RENDERING VEENA RECITAL FROM A GREAT MAHATMA . LUCKY TO HAVE THE INFORMATION LIKE THIS.

  4. Srinivasrao Holi. says:

    I never heard about this swamy and his musical instrument.now I came know there were swamijis who were exponent in our traditional music.thanks

  5. Tapan Kumar Nayak says:

    It is really melodious and divine too. I liked it very much.

  6. Gita shyamal says:

    Very informative . Thank you for sharing.

  7. Krishnan says:

    Fantastic Thanks for sharing no words to mince

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