Sri Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya
Over the centuries, many great saints and savants have lived and left their imprint on Bharatvarsha. Of these, Saint Thyagaraja, Shyama Sastri and Muthuswamy Dikshitar are the pre-eminent father figures in the realm of Carnatic Music. They are the hallowed trio: the ‘Music Trinity’ who together constituted the inspiring fountainhead of Carnatic Music.
Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1775-1835) was a composer of rare and profound scholarship and musical erudition. The kaleidoscope of his multi-splendoured compositions in Sanskrit, sparkle with rich musical ideas and profound philosophical and metaphysical insights. In the family lineage and shishya tradition of this great composer came his illustrious grand-nephew: grandson of his brother Baluswami Dikshitar. This grand-nephew, who was also his namesake came to be known famously as Ambi Dikshitar and was instrumental in propagating and popularising the compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitar. Ambi Dikshitar succeeded his father as the Court Musician of the Ettayapuram rulers. His daughter introduced him to a youth of 16 years – Ananthakrishna Iyer, who would later go on to become one of his senior-most disciples and the founder of Sri Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya, Kolkata.
Ananthakrishna Iyer (1899-1959), under the able guidance of his Guru, worked tirelessly towards continued propagation of the Master’s works. After the demise of Ambi Dikshitar in the year 1936, Ananthakrishna Iyer continued his Guru’s mission with passion and zeal. Around 1934, he along with his brother Sundaram Iyer, established the ‘Karnataka Vainika Gana Vidyalaya’ in Royapettah with branches in Mylapore and Mambalam. Here, Ananthakrishna Iyer taught Veena and Vocal music to students till 1937, when on the strong persuasion of a close friend, he moved to Kolkata.
Thus, Sri Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya, Kolkata derives its afflatus and strength of musical inspiration from the lineage of tutelage, starting from the great composer, philosopher and teacher Muthuswamy Dikshitar. The school was founded by Ananthakrishna Iyer on 23rd November 1943. It became a premier institution teaching vocal music, veena and violin to the music-loving fraternity of this culturally endowed city. The inspiring and noble mission undertaken by Ananthakrishna Iyer, was carried forward by his son: Veena Vidwan A.Anantharama Iyer (1927-1998) and daughter: Vidushi A.Champakavalli (1934-2006). Today, the Vidyalaya is ably headed by Anantharama Iyer’s daughter A.Srividya in Kolkata with branches in Bengaluru headed by A.Sadasivam and Revathi Sadasivam, in Mumbai headed by Sarada Murali and in New Jersey headed by A.Ananthakrishnan.
Over the years, the Vidyalaya has earned a great reputation for its painstaking promotion of excellence among the students- both vocal and instruments. The mission of propagating Carnatic Music and specially Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s compositions initiated by its great founder Ananthakrishna Iyer, continues unabated as students from 6 years to 60 years and beyond, learn the compositions of the great Masters. Vande Guru Paramparam!