Thyagaraja Aradhana in Prasanthi Nilayam…

South India’s famous musical fiesta, Thyagaraja Aradhana, found a new meaning and renewed fulfilment today when an ensemble of 75 musicians joined together offering Thyagaraja Pancharatna Krithis rendition at the Divine Lotus Feet of Kaliyuga Avatar Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

This evening’s programme was organised as part of a two day Parthi Yatra by the Sathya Sai Seva Organisations – Tamil Nadu.

St Thyagaraja was one of the foremost exponent of Carnatic Music, born in Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu, lived during the period 1767-1847. After mysteriously initiated by Sage Narada who came in the guise of a saint, young Thyagaraja later earned expert training under to tutelage of Govinda Dikshitar.

Organised by Padmabhushan Trichur V Ramachandran, well known Carnatic vocalist, this evening’s programme had some of the familiar names from the world of music, namely, Padmabhushan PS Narayana Swami, OS Thyagarajan, Dr Ganesh, Bombay Sisters – C Saroja and C Lalitha, Anuradha Krishnamurthy on vocal, Dr VV Ravi, Dr Lalitha, Chittoor Venkatesan and Dr Mala Chandrasekhar on flute along with a host of musicians on various other instruments.

Pancharathna Krithis are the chosen five golden gems out of the hundreds composed by the mystic-saint-composer. These five gems are set to five major Raagas called Ghana Raagas. They are Jagadaanandakaaraka…, Dudukugala…, Saadhinchene…, Kanakanaruchira… and Endaro Mahanubhaavulu…

The programme commenced with an instrumental piece led by flautist Chittoor Venkatesan followed by Shri Ganapatini Sevimparare, invoking Lord Ganapathi that was followed by Gurulekha in Raagam Gowrimanohari.

The five gems as called, began with Jagadananda Karaka set to Raag Nattai in Adi Talam. This was a musical treatise on the epic Ramayana, eulogising Lord Rama as The One Who bestows bliss to the entire creation.

Next number Dudukugala in Raag Gowla set to Adi Talam is a song of confession of evil deeds seeking redemption at Lord Rama’s Lotus Feet.

Saadinchene in Raaga Aarabhi set to Adi Talam paints a human picture of the mystic composer who comes out with a playful list of complaints against Lord Krishna, complaining that despite doing everything right, he is yet to be blessed by His Divine Darshan.

The penultimate number Kanakanaruchira in Raag Vaaraali set to Adi Talam is a composition on the redeeming boon of the supreme beauty of Lord’s Darshan.

Endaro Mahanubhaavulu in Raag Sri set to Adi Talam is an offering of salutations to the great devotees over the ages.

Led by accomplished professional artistes, the evening programme turned out to be a musical delight where golden memoirs of Saint Thyagaraja singing for his chosen Lord Sri Ramachandra was revived at the Ultimate Abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai. When music flowed in its finest precision, it was not simple music, but music symbolising supreme devotion as fashioned by Saint Thyagaraja a couple of centuries ago.

Every year, on the auspicious Bahula Panchami day the blessed Samadhi of the  Saint at Thiruvaiyaru witnesses this musical delight, where well-known musicians pay homage to the musical legend.

It is no secret that Bhagawan had special love for Carnatic music, Who Himself would sing Carnatic in the golden days and over the years Prasanthi Nilayam has witnessed many celebrated artistes from the field of music offering musical tribute at His Lotus Feet, seeking ultimate blessings.

All the artistes were felicitated by senior trustees at the end of the programme. Bhajans by students continued and Mangala Arathi was offered at 1830 hrs.

Earlier, the Aradhana was preceded by an introductory talk delving into the greater significance of singing in Bhagawan’s Divine Presence. An interesting episode from the life of famous vocalist Nagaratmamal was highlighted in the introductory talk illustrating the mysterious ways of the Divine. Saint Thyagaraja appeared to her in dream asking Nagaratmmal to have the Darshan of the Lord at the Venkatagiri Palace, telling her that Lord Rama has incarnated on Earth as Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai. Subsequently she was blessed to sing in Bhagawan’s presence for a continuous two hours after which the singer was blessed with a trance of Divine union.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II