Of rare tales

To apprise children of the sacred stories of Madurai’s mythology and reinstate in their impressionable minds the significance of religious stories, the local chapter of INTACH has announced a unique programme for school students on Thiruvilaiyaadal Puranam.

Thiruvilaiyaadal translated as the ‘divine game’ consists of 64 episodes describing Lord Siva’s profound love and affection towards his devotees.

It is believed that in Madurai of yore Lord Siva donned different roles to alleviate the despair and grief of his devotees.

The special discourse is aimed at middle school students who are not meant to be just passive listeners. It is not an event where they will simply listen and leave. They are supposed to absorb the stories, go home and write an essay or paint the canto allotted to them.

The best painting and the best essay will be awarded a prize while all entries will be compiled into a book.

Curtains went up on the first of its kind contest on Wednesday with 200-odd students from the Mahatma group of schools showing up for the Thiruvilaiaadal Thriveni Sangam.

Says INTACH Convener Arvind Sankar, “We have compared our event with the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathy in Allahabad because Thiruvilaiyaadal is also a comparative study of stories as narrated in three different religious texts -- The Thiruvilaiyadal puranam, ‘The Shivaleelarnavam’ and ‘The Halasaya mahathmiyam’ .

Some of the stories in the Thiruvilaiyaadal go back in time to the period of second Tamil Sangam. Many of the 64 stories have been mentioned by Thirugnyanasambandhar and Thirunavukkarasar. The latest version was created by Parajothi Munivar during 17th Century.

More than 25 schools in batches of five each are expected to participate in this first-ever exercise spread over five days. Religious raconteur Kausalya Sivakumar from Chennai is the key resource person.

She has researched into various religious works of great scholars like Appayya Dikshithar.,Shri Nigamantha desikar ,Neelakanda Dikshithar and is known to have discoursed on rare topics such as the Aananda Sagara sthavam,Chandrakalasthuthi,Bhoo sthuthi ,Ragava Yadaveeyam etc.

Till Sunday, she will handle about a dozen stories each day.

Studded with shlokas and songs and their meanings, she will narrate the pranks of Siva and is expected to hold her young audience spellbound.

Students are expected to take copious notes on the discourse and recall the one they are told to at the end of the day in the form of an essay or a painting.

Schools including Mahatma, Lakshmi Vidya Sangam, Jain Vidyalaya, S.E.V, Cathy, Guhan, Rajan, Aurobindo Mira, Queen Mira, Adhyapana, Akshara and Shrividyalayam have so far confirmed participation in this rare opportunity.

The discourse will be held at Hotel Fortune Pandiyan till November 4 from 9.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. daily.

For details call 9994499974

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 8:01:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/leisure/of-rare-tales/article4054392.ece

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