A week-long festival in memory of the Music Trinity is on at Tiruvarur.

‘Jananaat Kamalalaye’ refers to the blessing of instant salvation that the individual enjoys merely by the virtue of being born in ‘Tiruvarur,’ the Moolaadhaara kshetra, also known by other names such as Sripura, Bhoopura, Hatakeswara and Kamalaalaya. The birth of the renowned Trinity of Carnatic Music as contemporaries in this important town has made it more significant as a worshipful abode of our glorious musical heritage of which the compositions of the Trinity remain the mainstay.

The presiding deity of Tiruvarur, the mesmerising Lord Tyagesa, a yogic form of Siva, who dances the eternal Ajapaa dance, has been sung by these illustrious composers, especially, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Tyagaraja. This supreme lord who is described as the king of sacrifice (Tyagaraja) has been the perennial source of inspiration for the twin streams of devotion and art through the centuries.

Noble effort

To perpetuate the glorious musical heritage of the Trinity, constant efforts have been made and are being continued by establishing memorials as well as conducting music festivals during their Jayanthi celebrations. The late Dr. V. Raghavan, a prominent Tiruvarurite, who was engaged in these activities, mentions the efforts of M.S. Subbulakshmi, who through her concerts in the 1950s, dedicated the proceeds to this noble cause and earmarked them for the building on the Dikshitar site and the acquisition of Syama Sastri’s and Tyagaraja’s houses. And in the late 1950s, at the All India P.E.N (Poets, Essayists and Novelists), the organisers contributed a sum of Rs.10,000 towards the purchase of the saint’s house.

It brings nostalgic memories for this writer, who attended the inauguration of the Dikshitar Mani Mandapam along with M.S. Subbulakshmi, T. Sadasivam and Dr. Raghavan and even had the unique opportunity to sing the Anandhabhairavi Navavarana kriti on Sri Kamalamba on the occasion. The presence and participation of the donor for this project - Pillaali Govindasami Pillai, well-known businessman from Singapore, the local landlord-patron V.S. Tyagaraja Mudaliar, vidushi R. Vedavalli, as well as prominent local people made it a memorable event. A major concert by M.S. Subbulakshmi enriched the devotional fervour of the moment.

The annual Mummoorthigal Jayanthi Music festival, in which some of the eminent musicians and instrumentalists are participating, is on from April 30-May 6, at the Tyagaraja temple. At the inaugural function of this week-long event, Bombay Sisters were honoured with the ‘Kala Seva Ratna’ award, given by the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peeta Karnataka Sangita Mummoorthigal Seva Samiti, in the presence of guests. In the past several years, the festival has been ably managed by a committee, presided over by Madipakkam Swaminathan, yet another Tiruvarurite, and renowned mridangam exponent Tiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam, both of whom have the support of a strong team of artists and eminent art-coordinators.

Personalities in the field of art participate in the concluding function.

“Naada that emanates from the Mulaadhaara, is itself bliss and salvation. He who is equipped with the two-fold endowments of bhakti and raga gnana, is a liberated soul unlike those who attain moksha after seeking knowledge through innumerable births,” says the saint-singer on the Power of Music. Let all those who revel in the gems of compositions of the Trinity experience the supreme joy of musical bliss through this unique celebration of our immortal composers.