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Appreciating Indian Classical Music & Dance
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Concert of Madurai TNSeshagopalan on 28.12.2009 at Raamabhakthajana sabha , KKNagar.

Sangeetha upasana on Vaikunta Ekadasi

It was a concert with a difference. For the rasikas who could not go to the temple of Srirangam on this day of Vaikunta Ekadasi, the Lord Himself came through the music of TNS today as though to prove His words, madhbhakthaa yathra gaayanthi thathra thishTaami naaradha. Not only that. The rasikas could enjoy the music, the bhakthi and also the eloquence of the Harikatha siromani as the short but effective speech of TNS in the end was a harikatha in a capsule. I will come to that later.

TNS was accompanied by VVRavi on the violin and Trichur Narendran on mridhangam who were carried away by the devotional fervour and gave an excellent support.

TNS started with the Thygaraja krthi, ‘raagarathnamaalikache,’ in reethigoula, in which Thyagaraja says that Lord Hari is pleased only with the necklace made of ragas and the nama sankeerthana of bhagavathas is the only way for salvation. TNS aptly took the line ‘bhaagavthothamulu koodi,’ for neraval svara and the svara rightly depicted the assemblage of the bhagavathas as one could visualize the bhagavatha sreshtas coming one by one in the form of svaras to do the nama sankeerthana, because the rest of the concert was a sangeetha upasana which TNS himself affirmed later.

The next was a rich and colourful panthuvarali, abounding in the characteristic sancharas of TNS resembling the flight up and down of Garuda, who perhaps was present, to enjoy the keerthana of the Lord. The krthi was saarasaaksha of Swati thirunal, the neraval was at ‘bhamini samudhaya jaganmohana padhmanaabha kamalaadhara nivara,’ in which Lord Padmanabha could be seen as enchanting the world, jaganmohana. The rasikas were taken to Trivandrum and treated with the darsan of Padmanabha who was reclining peacefully not at all disturbed by the bhaaminees! And, how many kinds of them! The svara prasthara showed the samudhaya , crowd of the bhaaminees, each one in a different form and action and the scene was converted into one of rasakreeda as described in Srimadbhagavatha with gopis in different actions and postures. It was too beautiful to put in words.

As though not satisfied, TNS took us to the milky ocean itself by the krthi ksheerasagara sayana in devagandhari, as though determined to show the Lord in all his sayanakOlam. On reaching the Thirupparkadal what else the devotee do but lose himself in meditation! It was depicted by the krthi of Purandara ‘na niina dhyaana,’ in kanada and the delineation of the krthi by TNS was capable of plunging everyone into deep reverie of the Lord, the melting kanada full of bhava which was something divine. In the end the words ‘ranga, ranga,’ would have brought tears even to the one of the most hardened heart.

The natural consequence of the Puranadara calling out ‘ranga,’ had to be a transportation to Srirangam. In the role of Thyagaraja TNS was calling everyone to come and see Ranganatha by the krthi ‘raajuvedala choothaamu raa re,’ in thodi and the sangathis in anupallavi and charanam in which TNS sang the svaras for the line sevamulanu, were exotic and the svara was designed to end as ‘paa dha sevamulanu,’ and the rasikas would have acquired the paadha seva.

Then the Lord Ranga was presented in His full form in ‘ranganayakam,’ in nayaki. All had a leisurely darsan in detail of the Ranganayaki sametha Ranganayaka. Not a trace of regret would have remained in anyone’s mind on not being able to witness the darsan in Srirangam in person. The phrases ‘angajathaatham’ and ‘ramaa anatharangam,’ were expressed with imagination to present the exact meaning to the mind.

The next was the Thiruppavai of the day without which the Vaikunta Ekadasi could not be complete and the thaniyans preceding the pasuram were presented in his usual unique style and the raga was atana. TNS sang the svara at ‘paLLikkidatthiyO,’ which sounded like chiding the girl who was still sleeping.

This was not all. There was a RTP also in shanmukhapriya, a rapture of raga which portrayed the ecstasy of the devotee with all the experience he has had so far. The pallavi was ‘nalam tharum sollai naan kandukondEn naaraayaNaa ennum naamam.’ The rasikas would have felt that they have had the initiation of the ashatakshara manthra by now. The svara was in ragamalika in ragas bahudhari, kalyana vasantham, valaji and kapi , the latter two were taken up by Krishna who gave the vocal support and who stole the show.

Trichur Narendran played an excellent thani after which TNS started ksheerasagaravihaaraa , a uthsva sanprdhaya krthi of Thyagraja which was leisurely and aesthetic as though doing harathi to the Lord.

The devotee now was ready to surrender and it was denoted by the sloka from Mahabharatha, in which Droupadhi appeals to Krishna to save her honour in the court of Kouravas when she was disrobed. After singing the sloka replete with bhava, Just before finishing it TNS gave a short but profound speech which could be cited as a harikatha in capsule form. What he said was as follows:

Today being vaikunta Ekadasi, to go to the temple on this day is tantamount to going for the whole year. The slokas sung were from Mahabharatha in the context of Draupadi maana samrakshana. She first try to appeal to those around and finding no refuge called out to the Lord. But He did not arrive as long as she tried to protect herself with her hands. Only when she gave up the struggle and raised both arms in absolute surrender the Lord came to her rescue. It is like a man drowning in a river trying to save himself by swimming but not succeeding while a man who cannot swim raises both his hands and cries out to the Lord for mercy and then some log will come to his rescue by the divine will. This absolute surrender, prapatthi is the doctrine of vaishnavism. In this age we are not capable of pursuing devotion as we should and hence the only way out is to sing his glory. Hence in this day of VaikuntaEkadasi this concert is presented as a sangeetha upasana and the rasikas are also partakers in it as it is because of them he is singing. Thus namasankeerthana. The most effective means of salvation in kaliyuga can be done by singing as well as by listening, which is actually doing it in mind.

TNS carried the rasikas along with him in namsankeerthana or sangeetha upasana by the compositon of Kabeer ‘haribolo, hari bolo hari bolo bhayee.’ It was a wonder how the rasikas could resist singing along when he ended the piece with ‘hari bolo hari bolo.’

A wonderful Vaikunta Ekadasi which needed no visit to the temple as the Lord Himself came where we were.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:57 pm 
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The very first song in that CD is Jaya Jaya Janaki.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:07 pm 
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It's an interesting topic!
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:48 pm 
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I'm new and I'm interested in this topic. Thank you!
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