Nada Mantapa

An imposing semicircular blue-white coloured structure which is centrally located, attracts anyones eye forthwith in Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Avadhoota Peetham, Mysore. This is a musical auditorium and is aptly named "Nada Mantapa" (Hall Of Musical Tones).
Nada Mantapa is a testimony to Poojya Sri Swamiji's dedication, attachment and love for Music. The Nada Mantapa auditorium is in the shape of a palm tree leaf (frond).
The auditorium has a "Hand Fan Shape" and the entrance is from the east. Facing the scenic view of sacred Chamundi hills. Nada Mantapa has occupied the central space of the Ashram and is landlocked. Ornate "Tanpuras" ( string Musical instrument used as drone) are settled on the frontage of the building both outside and within. They are 22 in numbers indicating twentytwo shrutis. There are 72 pillars supporting this structure representative of 72 melakarta ragas in our classical system. The presiding deities for the important Seven Musical Notes (Saptaswara Devatas) are situated in the left corner of the auditorium and are considered to be unique to this auditorium. According to His Holiness Sri Swamiji, performing in the presence of Saptaswara Devatas is highly elevating and carries with it a lot of Blessings.

Origin of Nada Mantapa
How did this fan type structure come in to his preview? During a conversation with devotees from Chennai, His Holiness Sri Swamiji narrated an episode from Ramayan, as teaching through parables is his favourite method. Lord Rama is seeking Seetha in the forest, assisted by a retinue of monkeys such as Sugriva and Hanuman. It was resting time as his tired body relaxed under a tree. Not easing any moment to serve his sacred master, Hanuman caught hold of a palm tree branch and made a "fan" out of a large leaf and continued his service of fanning the lord. The fanning not only gave soothing air to Lord Rama who praised Anjaneya thus: "Your hands are such that they are capable of lifting mountains and at the same time make fans with such a musical perfection. Hanuman, you are truly guided by artistic sense." When this vision passed before the mind of His Holiness, he made sure that such a structure should be built in the Ashram. Sri Swamiji felt that He was only playing an instrumental role in the ultimate scheme of Lord Dattatreya.
This structure is placed in an Assigned Space Symmetry and Harmonic Receptivity. The entry to the Nada Mantapa is just like entering a temple and in Sri Swamiji's expression, entering the world of "Nada". This auditorium can easily seat four thousand persons. Paintings of great sages and saints adorn the inner walls of the Nada Mantapa. The hall has enhanced charm by the growth of medicinal plants around it. This divine Music Auditorium was inagurated by His Holiness Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji on 31st of May, 1998.

Unique Features of the Nada Mantapa

  1. The world's first and only Sapta Swara Devata Mantapam: This Mantapa has deities of the GodHeads representing the seven musical notes. Sa-Agni, Ri-Brahma, Ga-Saraswati, Ma-Parameshwara, Pa-Maha Vishnu, Da-Maha Ganapati and Ni-Surya Narayana.
  2. Twenty-two gigantic Tamburas have been sculpted and positioned gracefully against the 22 pillars of the auditorium. These 22 Tamburas represent the 22 Shrutis mentioned in the Sangeeta Shastra.
  3. The entrance of the auditorium has the sculpted deities of godheads connected with music - Chaitanya Maha Prabhu, Narada Muni, Garuda, Vishwaksena, Anjaneya, Tumburu, Hayagreeva, Nandi, Bhringi and Ganapati. The porch is colourfully decorated in Tamilnadu style.
  4. The auditorium is equipped with state of the art sound (Bose Corporation of USA),lighting and theatrical systems.
  5. The staggered seating system will hold more than 3500 people in this sacred auditorium, making it one of the largest performing theatres in India.The vast stage measures upto 2150 sq.ft. The seats are laid out in a radial pattern such that they fall within an angle of 140 degrees from the position of the performer.
  6. The walls are decorated with huge portraits of eminent music composers of the past. A special lighting system will illuminate the portrait of the particular composer whenever his composition is sung or played. For example, when the composition, Samaja Varagamana - of Saint Tyagaraja is played or sung, the lights in front of the portrait of Tyagaraja will automatically light up.

Devotee's Experiences

Swami Sahaja Datta Pada, Mysore
"Swamiji, you give so many things to your devotees, how come you never give me anything?"
He looked at me and said in the most compassionate voice, "I don't give you anything, for I have kept you in my heart"

Swamy Vishnudatta Padarenu, Russia
Sri Swamiji addressed me by my name, Varada Raja, greeted me, allowed me to do Namaskaram, and then began speaking with me as though He had known me for several years....

Mysore Patrike Venkatramu
"I bless all those who come to me irrespective of their caste or religion. If a Christian comes to me I tell him to believe in Jesus and continue to have faith in his own religion. Likewise, if a Muslim comes to me I stress upon the importance of being a good Muslim and follow his own faith..."

S Dwarkanath, Mysore
"Your friend Satyanarayana has become a Swamiji, I went and paid my respects, you also go and do the same", I did not pay any attention to this talk so she hit me on the head....

C S Venkatesh, Bangalore
"Wherever you work, as a clerk or an engineer, be honest and sincere and pray to God and your Guru. You will come out good in life".....

Krishan Kumar, Mysore
Then He took me to His room and showed me a map of India, showing certain places saying that He wanted to go there. "Will you take me? Will you take me?"....

Sheetal Persad
"Don't worry; Sri Swamiji will take care." I realized at that moment that he was answering my thoughts. He knows everything for He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is my master.....