Sonali Ambasankar has been a committed student of Swamini Brahmaprajnananda Saraswati. She has learnt Vedic Chanting and Stotram Chanting from Swamini Brahmaprajnananda Saraswati. She is a trained Hindustani Classical Vocalist (studied for close to 11 years) and continues to learn the advanced nuances of music from her music teacher and some music composers in Mumbai. She has learnt Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s krittis from Darshana Sowmya (Dayananda Sisters). She is currently teaching Music and Sanskrit Stotram Chanting to students offline and online across different countries. In addition, she does live and recorded musical offerings in the form of devotional bhajans and kirtans.
Her most musically inspirational moment of truth was when she visited a temple in Alandi, Pune. The head pujari (priest) was singing in praise of the deity while doing alankara to the vigraha, deity. There was nothing else more sweet to listen to, than that musical offering. The words didn’t matter, the technicalities didn’t matter. Whether he was doing the exact rendering of the song didn’t matter. All that mattered was the surrender in the voice, the bhāva in the way the song was sung, the sweetness of the voice, sung right from the heart, the entire gabhara of the temple filled with nothing but the svara-s, the bhāva of the pujari’s voice and the silence in between the words, all leading to the experience of oneness, harmony, shanti and laya to tears of happiness. That has been the most heart touching, inspirational, mesmerising and enlightening musical moment for her. ‘This is what my music is for’ she says. Since then she has endeavoured to sing in this manner, not adhering to the typical manner of singing bhajans and kirtans. She focusses on her music being full of bhāva, and being a meditative experience, without being loud, blaring and noisy. Her voice is an honest, straight from the heart, bhāva filled voice, listening to which one can relax and dive into a surrendering peaceful musical meditation. She especially loves to sing in front of any deity.
As regards her other professional qualifications, she has a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a special focus on Marketing Research and Insights. Because of her experience in the consumer insights field and her understanding of Vedanta, she has a good psychological understanding of situations and people and focuses on dealing with everyone with empathy and sensitivity. She has worked for close to 10 years in the corporate sector within and outside India. Post that she decided to take a break to pursue her Vedanta studies, music and be a hands-on mother to her 2 sons.
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