Sri V Neelakantan, an octogenarian is the son of Sri B N Venkatarama Iyer and Smt. Bragannayaki, natives of Brahmadesam, Tirunelveli. A Post graduate in Engineering and a gold-medalist of his batch, he retired holding a very senior position in the Engineering Dept of the Govt of Tamilnadu. He has been an ardent devotee of Brahmasri Gopalakrishna Bhagavataswamy (Appa) & Brahmasri Sanjeevi Bhagavataswamy (Anna). He obtained his initial training in Sampradaya bhajan from Sri Puttarjuna Bhagavatar, father of Sri K P Rangasubramania Bhagavatar (Ranganna). Sri Neelakantan used to enthusiastically participate along with ‘Ranganna’ Bhagavatar and Dave Bhagavatar in all Bhajans specially Unchavrithi Bhajans forming a renowned ‘Trio’ of Bhagavatars. Sri Neelakantan is a founder member of Panduranga Bhajan Mandali of Triplicane Chennai. Apart from Sampradaya, he is adept in rendering Abhangs too. He used to frequently visit Pandharpur to pay obeisance to Vittobha.
He was a regular at the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Jayanthi Utsavam at Pudukkottai. In recent years he has been attending all Utsavams at the Sri Sridhara Ayyaval Mutt, Thiruvisanallur and Sri Bodhendra Saraswathi Swamigal Adhishtanam, Govindapuram. Sri V Neelakantan through his eighty years of Life’s journey seem to send a unique message to bhaktas that one could with ease combine the duties of a responsible public servant with one’s own spiritual pursuits complementing each other. More importantly, infusing one’s own repertoire and methods of singing as one renders the traditional South Indian form of Sampradya Bhajan or Abhangs or Kirtans! For after all they are normally lyrical, expressing love for the Divine and gleanings from anecdotes and episodes from scriptures, the teachings of saints and descriptions of gods!