Photos and text by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe” ~ Lao
|"Magala Isai" at the beginning of the festival|
|Saraswathy, Goddess of Wisdom sits above the venue|
Five Keerthanams are known as the “Panchrathna Keethnanam”. The “Pancha Rathna Krithis” are sung during the Aradhana. They areJagadananda of Natai
Ragam, Dudukugala of Gowla
Ragam, Sadinchanae of Arabhi
Ragam, Kanakana Ruchira of Varali
Ragam andEndharo Mahanu
Bhavulu of Sri Ragam.
Kritis of Thyagaraja are in
praise of his beloved deity, God Rama and are extremely skillful and beautiful
musical compositions. They are all set in Adi Thalam and each ragam represents the mood of the song and
the meaning of its lyrics. They are actually set in the style of a Ragam, Thanam, Pallavi (RTP) with the charanams (stanzas) substituting for the kalpana swaras(improvisatory
passages) in the pallavi section of the Ragam, Thalam, Pallavi.
Carnatic Music Festival to celebrate the genius of Sri Thyagarajah
was recently held at the Saraswathy Hall in Bambalapitty, which was organized
by the Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo in association with the Hindu Society,
and Express Newspapers Ceylon Limited. Thyagaraja Aradhana is a rare event to
witness, and be a part of it, where many musicians and dancers gathered and
performed together. Musicians, vocalists, instrumentalists and percussionists
came from all over the country to celebrate.
In this year’s festival, in addition to the musicians,
dancers gorgeously performed, while the singers beautifully sang the five
Thyagaraja Aradhana celebrations
were held recently in Thiruvaiyaru.
Musicians from all over the state gathered, and sat before the Saint’s Samadhi on the banks of river Kaveri, sang “Pancharatna Kritis”, and
paid homage to him.
Saint Thyagaraja was born on 4th May 1767 in Thiruvarur
in Thanjavur district. He was born to a Telugu Brahmin family as the third son
of Ramabrahmam and Seethamma. His father’s was a story teller. His family moved
to Thiruvaiyaru soon after Saint Thyagaraja was born. Saint Thyagaraja got
married to Parvaty in 1784, when he was 17 years. His wife Parvathy died in
1789, when he was 23 year. He married her sister Kamala in 1790, and got a
daughter. Saint Thyagaraja named his daughter Seethalakshmi. It is believed
that on 6th January 1847 would be the day when he was expected to embrace
Mukthi. He attained Samadhi on “Pushya
Bagula Panchami” in
Saint Thygaraja was an eminent composer in classical
music, poet, and a philosopher. He was an extraordinary personality born to
teach humanity through music, and Rama Bhakthi. He saw Rama as a chief, as a
saviour of mankind, and as a Lord of whole universe. Saint Thyagaraja praised
him, cajoled him, taunted him, served him, and cried for him. Saint Thyagaraja
lived with God Rama every moment. The name Thyagaraja means “Prince of Renunciation”.
He studied Sanskrit and astrology. He was very well
versed in his mother tongue Telugu. Saint Thyagaraja has composed several
Kritis. He made use of 200 ragas to compose different Kritis.
The “Divyanama Sankeerthanas” and “Utsava
Samprathaya Kritis” composed
by him are melodies. He composed 1,800 Kritis.
He has created operas namely “Prahlada
Bhakthi Vijayam”, “Nowka
Chittram” and “SitaRama Vijayam”. He wrote
most of the Kritis in Telugu, and the rest in Sanskrit.
|Kids corner at the festival|
Dance corner at the festival
Saraswathy Subramaiam from the Eastern University of Sri Lanka with a modern violin
Music lovers from all walks of life
Tribute to Sri Thyagaraja Swamigal
An eldery music lover enjoys the festival, while sitting on the mat
Crowd pulling musicians adding colour to the festival
Dance depicting one of the "Pancharatna Keerthanams
Bridging the borders at the festival
Comparing the notes while singing
Paying tribute together with dance and music
Full house festival
Vocalists at the festival
Annual festival attracts many music lovers to gather under one roof to celebrate
|Carnatic musicians consider Thyagaraja as their inspiration, source and touchstone of their creativity|
Dancers beautifully describing a "Keerthanam"
Music lovers too joined in singlng along the five "Keerthanams"
The choral rendtion of the five songs is an integral feature of the festival