Music

Cauvery bank resonates with Tarangam

Sheik Mehaboob Subhani and Kaleeshabi Mahboob performing Photo: B. Velankanni Raj  

It was twin celebration for the Sri Narayana Tirtha Swamigal Aradhana Celebration Committee when a three-day event was organised at the Brindavan of the saint poet on March 6, 7 and 8. The aradhana of the composer, who wrote Sri Krishna Leela Tarangini, the longest dance-drama in Sanskrit, and the golden jubilee of the Committee was combined. This was the 268 aradhana.

The Committee was formed at the suggestion of the late Dr V. Raghavan, in 1964 to conduct the celebrations.

In those days musicians used to render songs of different composers ending the recital with a couple of Tarangams. In 1988, when M.S. Subbulakshmi came to perform, spouse Sadasivam wondered if only Tyagaraja compositions at Tiruvaiyaru, why not Tarangams only at Thirupoonthuruthi. Why not indeed?

Worked with zeal

Thirupoonthuruthi Venkatesan, the Committee secretary, worked with missionary zeal to propagate Tarangam singing and soon the Brindavanam resonated with Tirtha’s hymns. And songs are not repeated as artists participate in Akhandam.

Virtually as a one-man army, Venkatesan has left no stone unturned to spread the glory of Tirtha’s melodious verses to which Sri Krishna is said to have danced behind the curtains.

Legend has it that on hearing the anklets, the composer in utter disbelief shed tears.

The Sri Narayana Tirtha Swami Trust established a Tarangam school at Thanjavur and so far about 500 children have learnt the hymns. Competitions in Thanjavur and Chennai are annual affairs.

Besides Veda Parayanam, the musical homage featured performances of front ranking artists including T.M. Krishna, M. Chandrasekaran and Sheikh Mehboob Subhani couple, and budding artists and students. A devotional spirit prevailed talent and skills taking the back seat.

This year three symposiums were held. The first was 'Spirituality and Health.' Dr A.V. Srinivasan, Dr S. Parthasarathy, Dr. Anitha Parthasarathy and Dr. Karthik took part.

While summing up the discussions, Dr V. Varadarajan said that he had found by his long experience, mind could be trained to have full control over the body and its functions.

Another discussion found panellists comparing Krishnaleela Tarangini with the works of other Krishna Bhaktas. N. Srinivasan mentioned that Narayana Tirtha stayed at Melattur for some time. Influenced by the Bhagavata Mela, he composed Parijatapaharanam. Similarities in the use of words and phrases between Tyagaraja and Tirtha were underlined by A. Ramji.

Leela Sukar who lived 450 years before them finds a place in Bhajana Sampradaya too, it was said. Dr T.N. Ramachandran drew parallels between Azhwars and Narayana Tirtha. The life sketches of Jayadeva and Tirtha might be different but their outpourings had similar strains. Dr. R. Kausalya explained though the story lines of Jayadeva and Narayana Tirtha are different we could see many similarities in the narrations and Bhava.

Prof. Krishna Rao, Sathyanarayana and Justice Krishnayya discussed Narayana Tirtha Upanishad.


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 8:12:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/cauvery-bank-resonates-with-tarangam/article5780519.ece

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