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Experiencing the divine bliss at Thiruvaiyaru

G.Srinivasan
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Divinity flows:By the side of the Cauvery at Thiruvaiyaru.—File photo
Divinity flows:By the side of the Cauvery at Thiruvaiyaru.—File photo

Dhorakuna Ituvanti Seva?… wonders saint composer Thyagaraja on the darshan of Lord Rama to his devotees. Through this he asks “Can anywhere else devotees get such a seva?” The same can be said of Sadguru Thyagaraja Aradhana at Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur district on the banks of River Cauvery. It is a seva sans comparison when musicians in hundreds sing in chorus the Pancharathna kritis of Sri Thyagaraja and pay homage to him every year on the Pushya Bagula Panchami, the day when the composer attained samadhi. Such is the uniqueness of the aradhana that famous musicians cutting across caste, creed, colour, religion and geographical barriers descend on Thiruvaiyaru to pay homage to the saint.

In his kriti, (Dhorakuna Ituvanti Seva) Thyagaraja says saints such as Naradha sing the praise of Lord Rama, Ambareeshan and others perform Nama Sankeerthanam, devaloga women dance even as Lord Brahma and Indra sing the hereditary traits of Lord Rama. He is seen on Seshasayanam.

“Such kind of darshan, can anyone, get anywhere?” he wonders aloud. The kriti describes Lord Rama as the One who is shining like a blue diamond. The nails on his legs are shining brighter than the Sun at noon. Wearing pearl garlands, Rama’s cheeks resemble a mirror. Lord Rama is enjoying the swing in the divine company of Sri Seetha who is gazing her noble husband with immense proud and awe. “Such kind of darshan people can not get anywhere” revels Thyagaraja adding that he himself is by the side of the swing.

While Thyagaraja, impressed by the glittering darshan of Lord Rama, wondered hether anyone can get such a divine darshan in his Kriti, people in this era are getting to see the equally hallowed aradhana at Thiruvaiyaru. The samadhi of the saint in sylvan settings on the banks of Cauvery provides the right ambience for the aradhana. With Cauvery flowing by the side, the blessed village comes alive during the aradhana as musicians, the renowned and the lesser known, immerse themselves in the river of bhkati, elevating the diligent listeners.

Thyagaraja kritis were sung continuously by young and old musicians. It is like a pilgrimage for them to come to Thiruvaiyaru every year and sing the Kritis of the saint.

“Entharo Mahanubavu, Anthariki Vandanamu” set to “Adhi” thalam forms the final piece of the pancharatna kritis which musicians render during their homage at the aradhana.

Here, the saint offers his worship to all the saints in this world, all the great people who kept the image of Lord Rama in their hearts and experienced that ecstasy.

They controlled the monkey-like oscillations of mind and directed their hearts towards God. Taking to Bhakthi Marga they sing Your (Lord Rama’s) praise. They offered their hearts to your lotus feet.

The saint offers his worship to Bhagavathars, seers, Chandra Suryas, Dikbalagas, Sri Naradhar, Lord Anjaneyar, Lord Siva with crescent on His head, Sukar, Brahman, shreshtas and all great people in the world. They keep singing your “Namam”. They have a sound knowledge of Srimad Bhagavatham, Ramayanam, Bhagavat Gita, Sastras and Puranas.

All of them have a fan (Thyagaraja), he says in the kriti and offers them all his worship. When the kriti is rendered in chorus by musicians at the aradhana, it is a salute to all the saints and great people of India, considered the karma bhoomi and punya bhoomi.

Listening to this kriti in chorus blesses one with a divine experience which can not be felt anywhere else. The other pancharathna kritis “Jagadanandakaraha”, “Thuduku kula”, “Sadinjine O Manasa,” and “Kana Kana Rusi” equally elevating.