drama Theatre

Story of a siddhar

Scene from ‘Thirumoolar’

Scene from ‘Thirumoolar’  

Thamizharasan Theatres showcases the life of Saint Thirumoolar.

To stage the story of ‘Thirumoolar’ is no easy task. One of the 63 Nayanmars and the foremost among the 18 Siddhars, he is also the author of Thirumandiram’’, the10th of the 12 Saiva Thirumarais.

Thamizharasan Theatres did a commendable job without departing from the narration of Sekkizhar in ‘Periya Puranam’.

The story goes that Sundaranathan, a Siva yogi, learnt the Saiva Agamas from Nandi Devar at Mount Kailash.

He was blessed with eight yogic powers known as Ashtama Sidhis.

When he was travelling to meet Agasthiyar, he stopped on the banks of Kaveri near Sathanur village. Here, he saw a herd of cows moaning the death of cowherd Moolan, who had been bitten by a cobra. Out of compassion, he used his powers to enter Moolan’s body, leaving his own in a safe place.

After he herded the cows back to their respective homes and owners, he found himself in a complicated situation. Not only had his body disappeared but he also had to tell Moolan’s wife the truth.

At this point came enlightenment. He realised it was Divine will that he should expound the essence of the Vedas and Agamas in Tamil and that the cow incident happened for this purpose. And by delivering them in Tamil through Moolan, he was able to take it to the masses.

He retreated to a peepal tree in Thiruvavaduthurai and composed 3,000 verses that laid the foundation for Saiva Siddhantham.

Story and dialogue for the play were by Aru Azhagappanar. In the organisation of the scenes, the experienced hand of Arivanandam was in evidence.

The interpolation of the story of a magician’s evil designs being thwarted by Thirumoolar, perhaps to sustain audience interest, could have been toned down.

Dorai Balasundaram played Thirumoolar with sensitivity. Arivanandam as Agasthiyar showed his immaculate timing.

Others did justice to their roles, rendering the Thirumandiram verses with lucid explanations.

The inaugural show, under the auspices of Kartik Fine Arts, was held at Mylapore Fine Arts auditorium recently.

The two-and-a-half-hour long play needed some editing, and the long-winding dialogue should have also been pruned.

The team needs to be congratulated on skilfully handling a difficult theme.

Thirumoolar will be staged at Mylapore Fine Arts on Oct 9, 6.45 p.m.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:07:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/Story-of-a-siddhar/article15414535.ece

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