Suguna Varadachari's choice of kritis explored the spiritual world of Tyagaraja.
The Ramayana, hailed as a great ‘Saranagati Kavya,' has sunk so deep in the minds of Tyagaraja that in many songs he has specifically cited Rama's immediate acceptance of the pleas of Sugriva and Vibheeshana and also that of Prahlada, a devotee nonpareil. His self-scrutiny was how he was disqualified for Rama not showing the same alacrity as to the three.
This particular rasanubhava of his kritis was the core of the introductory remarks of Suguna Varadachari in her concert at the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha. She sang the relevant pieces with preliminary reference as to how Tyagaraja has expressed his anguish. This part of the programme was very instructive to enjoy the saraamsa of the sahitya clinging to sangita.
Suguna Varadachari's interpretation of the songs chosen helped listeners comprehend the spiritual world of Tyagaraja.
Sparkled with ingenuity
Of particular importance was the Vanaspati kriti, ‘Parihasakam Maata.' In the charanam Tyagaraja cites how Draupadi sought Dwaraka Nilaya (Krishna), Vibheeshana (Rama) and Prahlada (Nrisimha). Suguna Varadachari intelligently remarked how Tyagaraja has covered the Krishna, Rama and Nrisimha avataras to emphasise the ‘Saranagati' tathvam and implicitly asking Sri Rama whether his words alone have become a matter of ridicule in the eyes of his contemporaries.
In the same strain was the Thodi piece ‘Munnu Ravana.' In the Ramayana, Dasaratha asks his subjects why they were ecstatic to hear his plan to coronate Rama and they, in response, list out the great qualities they have identified in Rama. Sri Tyagaraja has summed up the response of Dasaratha's subjects in the kirtana, ‘Lakshanamu Gala Ramuniki' (Suddha Saveri) in which the saint has referred in capsule form the 32 noble qualities of Rama.
The programme by Suguna Varadachari was striking and if her exposition and explanatory comments induce the listeners to go deep into the contents of Tyagaraja's songs, the efforts of Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in arranging the rasanubhava concerts can be said to have met with some success.
Suguna Varadachari was accompanied by Shertalai Sivakumar (violin), B. Ganapathiraman (mridangam) and Tiruchi Murali (ghatam).