M.V. Simhachala Sastry impressed with his racy Harikatha rendition.

Though Harikatha remains a fast-fading art form, a quality performance ensures a big draw. And an appealing ‘Harikatha Sankara Vijayam’ by Tirupathi-based M.V. Simhachala Sastry bore it out in good measure on the premises of TTD Kalayana Mandapam, Visakhapatnam. Featured on the occasion of His Holiness Sringeri Sankaracharya Bharathi Theertha Maha Swamy’s five-day visit to the city, it was a biographical account of life and works of Adi Sankaracharya.

Punctuated with bubbly one-liners and parables of ethical and moral import, the narrative remained taut in treatment all through. Apart from the narration of his life journey, episodes such as his changing the course of river Purna to enable his aged mother to fetch its water, his learning under the tutelage of Govindapada on the banks of Narmada, his erudite debates with Mandana Misra, establishment of seats of spirituality in different places of county and finally his nirvana in Himalayan region were related with flourish and poignancy. Classical ragas like Mohana, Kalyani, Kapi, Sivaranjani employed in rendition of verses in the course of narration further heightened its emotional appeal. Pithapuram Narasimharao on violin and P. Suresh on mridangam lent good support.