Steeped in bhakti
The audience revelled in devotion – expressed in many forms.
Moving:(From left): Suchithra, Ilampirai Manimaran and Ganesh.
The ninth edition of the Bhakti Thiruvizha, organised by Star Vijay TV, at Sarojini Natraj Auditorium, Kikani School, Coimbatore, featured some of the most famous names in upanyasam, namasankirtanam and Harikatha. The stage was decorated with the life-like idols of Radha and Krishna on the one side and that of Nataraja on the other. Swami Dayananda Saraswathi of the Arsha Vidya Peetam, Coimbatore, inaugurated the five-day event.
During his speech, with an undercurrent of humour, Dayananda spoke about the need to curtail the ego. “As long as there is ‘ego' or ‘ahankara,' there is no salvation,” he said.
Anantha Padmanabhachariar's upanyasam on ‘Thayiril Pirantha Thalam' was centred around the enchanting episodes from Lord Krishna's life. The listeners were bowled over by his picturesque portraits, liberal quotes from Sanskrit and Tamil and absorbing anecdotes. “For getting a mouthful of butter, Krishna danced around Yasodha as she was churning the curds (hence the title!),” he said. The oft-heard episodes came alive as he narrated them in his majestic voice that could convey emotions with ease.
Kalyani Margabandhu's troupe presented namasankirtanam. As Sumathi, who hosted the show, rightly pointed out, she was like a strict headmistress bringing discipline among the audience. She made them remove their slippers and sing along.
Later, Sindhuja presented a well-researched harikatha on ‘Arul Tharum Ayyappan.' Her confident approach, pleasant voice and clear diction made a favourable mark on the audience.
The second day's function was inaugurated by Mathi Oli Saraswathi. Suchithra, the grand daughter of the famous Harikatha exponent of yesteryear Kamala Murthi, narrated the rarely heard ‘Srimathi Kalyanam,' from ‘Adbhutha Ramayanam' and ‘Tulasi Ramayanam.' Her well-trained rich voice is an asset is her style of delivery.
Ilampirai Manimaran's ‘Kesavan Ketta Yaachakam' was a masterpiece in which the famed orator excelled herself. She focussed on three episodes where Krishna begs others in order to help the Pandavas. The first when he becomes the messenger and begs Duryodhana to give Pandavas their rightful share. The second, he asks Draupadi for food just to rescue Pandavas from Sage Durvasa's fury. The third when he begs Karna to part with all of his generous deeds. Ilampirai's graphic description of each of these episodes was moving.
The namasankirthanam by veterinarian Ganesh was equally fulfilling as he sang enjoyable namavalis and simple songs and the audience joined him voluntarily. Compere Sumathi's share of poems and anecdotes enhanced the experience.
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