Music director Ilayaraja came out with an interesting information at a function to mark the 75th ‘avatara mahothsavam’ of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, here on Thursday.
Mr. Ilayaraja was one of the five eminent personalities honoured with an award in recognition of their services in different fields, as part of the celebration held at Shrimati Indira Gandhi College for Women in the city.
Mr. Ilayaraja said that it was the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakotti Peetam, who directed him to work on a symphony on ‘Tiruvasagam,’ a musical rendering of the Tamil epic.
“I have never divulged this information on any platform so far,” Mr. Ilayaraja said.
Even after concluding his acceptance address, Mr. Ilayaraja could not deny the enthusiastic plea from the audience, particularly a large number of college girls, who pleaded with him to sing a song.
Much to their delight, he rendered his popular number ‘Janani Janani’ from the movie ‘Thai Mookambigai.’
Mr. Ilayaraja divulged yet another information, which, again, he claimed had not disclosed so far. “I was running out of time while composing the tune for the song. I was under hectic pressure from the film producer, who had planned to perform the ‘puja’ for the film the next day with the song,” Mr. Ilayaraja said. Though he had composed a tune, it did not suit much the character in the film - Sri Adi Sankarar.
He said with a chance to have a glimpse of the portrait of Adi Sankarar, he was inspired to compose the tune. Fortunately, the tune was also synonymous with the famous “Bhaja Govindam.”
Mr. Ilayaraja said he was quite astonished when he got a piece of paper from ‘an unknown destination.’ The piece of paper carried the words ‘Bhaja Govindam.’
Mr. Ilayaraja in all humility said that he was still a stranger to the music world but repeatedly stressed he was being blessed by the divine power in the form of ‘Guru.’Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal conferred the title ‘Isai Gnana Mani.’
The other awardees included a pious-minded personality V. Shankar; a noted Vedic scholar S. Krishnamoorthy Ganapadigal; renowed literary giant and former Editor of ‘Amudasurabi,’ Vikraman; and K. Ramakrishnan, a doctor of Tiruchi and founder of ‘Shantivanam’ working for the cause of the mentally-ill.
The citation on Mr. Shankar referred to his outstanding pious service in Mumbai. He was honoured with the title “Guru Kainkarya Chakravarthi.”
The citation on Krishnamoorthy Ganapadigal said he had devoted his life for the propagation of Vedas. His contributions in Vedas, Veda Bashyam and Veda Sastras were monumental.
Dr. Vikraman was conferred the title “Pracheena Ithihasa Lekha Mani” and Dr. Ramakrishnan with “Samuha Seva Mani.”
Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, in his benedictory address, specifically referred to Mr. Ilayaraja’s contribution by mobilising donation through his concerts for the construction of the Rajagopuram of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam. “Mr. Ilayaraja executed the work on the advice of Sri Paramacharya,” he said.
He hailed the services renders by Dr. Vikraman and Dr. Ramakrishnan to the society.
Sri Jayendrar said that to be born as a human being was, by itself, the Almighty’s blessing and every individual should strive hard to reap the maximum benefits by leading a pious and noble life.
Sri Gurumaha Sannidhanam, the pontiff of Madurai Adheenam, in his address, urged the Central and State governments to include the religious texts as part of the school syllabi.