160th Sri Tyagaraja Aradhana at Srirangapattana

January 9, 2007

My friend Usha had the good fortune of attending this years’ Sri Tyagaraja Aradhana at Srirangapattana, which was held yesterday (Jan.8th). Read the engrossing narrative about the event in her own words….

Tyagaraja Brindavana was constructed in Srirangapattana 50 years ago, behind the Sri Kodandarama temple. This 15th century temple, according to inscriptions, was donated to the Naadaswara players, by the kings of Vijayanagara empire.

A statue of Tyagaraja in a sitting posture has been installed in front of the Brindavana. The “Mrittika” (sacred earth) of the Tyagaraja “Moola Samadhi” in Tiruvaiyaru is placed in the samadhi. Thus it is the only ‘Mrittikka Brindavana’ of saint Tyagaraja in Karnataka. Since the aradhana is held in Srirangapattana, the place is also known as ‘Mari Tiruvaiyaru’.

It was Mukhaveena Vidwan AV Narayanappa (1912-1994) who was responsible for the construction of the Brindavana and starting “Aradhana Celebrations” here. Saint Tyagaraja (1767-1847) is the most popular musician among the Carnatic music Trinity.

The 160th annual Tyagaraja aradhana celebrations were held in Srirangapattana on 8th January, 2007. Musicians from all over the state gathered here on the morning of the first day (panchami) of the festival and went round the streets of the town, singing divyanama keerthanas. I could  get to the sabha only by 10.30 am since I started from Bangalore in the early morning. I missed out attending this colourful traditional procession. A senior musician in the traditional Tyagaraja outfit, lead the ‘Unchavrithi’ and accept ‘Bhiksha’ from the devotees.

We were welcomed by the volunteers and office members of Kodanda Rama Trust as soon as we reached the temple premises. We were directed towards the dining room where we were served delicious Uppittu, Kesaribhath and hot tea for breakfast. I was dumbstruck by the  hospitality of the organizers. Although all of us were strangers to them, they treated us with a lot of affection. I guess India is the only place on earth where we get so much ‘Upachaara’ even if we are strangers. Vande Mataram.

Then while we were having tea we were informed that Gosti Gaana is about to begin and we rushed to the assembly hall. Gosti Gaana is the most important event of the aradhana. The ‘Pancharathna Krithis’ of the saint was rendered in the ensemble. Conductor of the Gosti Gaana Sri Vid.Kumaraswamy was introduced  by the compere. Shruthi (pitch/ scale) was set to the Gosti. The compere requested everyone to silently observe and listen to the Shruthi and Thaala that Sri Kumaraswamy set for the Gosti. The compere also announced the rules and frame the Gosti was set to …and lo it began, the divine trance! Pillari Geethegalu of Sri Purandara Dasa  (Lambodara Lakumikara, Kereya neeranu Kerege chelli etc.) were rendered. While the idol of Tyagaraja was being offered abhisheka, melodious voices offered Jagadananda Karaka in raaga Naata. It was a beautiful rendering and all were immersed in the ocean of music as the  ghantanadha and the mangalarathi offered to the swami brought us back. Next, Dudukugala in raaga Goula, Sadhinchane in raaga Aarabhi, Kanakana Ruchira in raga Varali and Endaro Mahanu Bhavulu in raaga Sri were rendered wonderfully one after the other while offering of Hoovina alankara and mangalarathi to Sri Tyagaraja.

I was delighted to attend this traditional way of thanking the sadguru for  blessing us with his divine music. This practice is unique to our culture. Musicians young and old, veteran and upcoming celebrities and the new entrants, without bothering about their age or status, sang in unison. I saw a child aged about eight singing the pancharatna krithis with devotion. It is an unforgettable experience for me. Every year, nearly hundreds of voices sing together! After the Gosti gaana  individuals  rendered beautiful rare compostions of Sri Tyagaraja as Guruvandana and two blind artists, a child artist also sang melodiously on the occasion.

I was very happy to see my meshtru who taught me in my childhood and took his blessings. His affectionate pat took me to the seventh heaven. The priest was kind enough to allow me to take a picture of Sri Tyagaraja swami after the alankara. I visited the books and the CD/ Cassette stalls and bought a few collections. I saw few of the great musicians’ photos on the walls of the Sabha. I am sure they would be pleased listening to the music today. I silently thanked them for their contribution to music .

Later, we were directed to go and have lunch by the same hospitable team of volunteers who saw to it that each had sumptuous meal.

I would like to mention here the message conveyed by the organizers of the Aradhana ‘Kodanda Rama Trust. Every year the Tyagaraja aradhana mahotsava is being held here on the morning of the first day (panchami). They need monetary as well as physical help. They requested for more people to participate, especially youngsters. They want all music lovers and music students to attend the aradhana in a sizeable number and keep this  cultural practice going. Everyone is welcome to encourage the organizers make it a better fest next year and help them popularize the movement . They need technical help like better sound equipments and in event arrangement coordination. The irony is that most of these aradhana  assemblies are more  focusing  on the media attention and coverages which should stop. Participants should gather with the objective of rendering music and seek the blessings of Sadguru Tyagaraja.  

All Good things has to come to an end. We left Srirangapattana, bidding good bye and thanking the hosts for the wonderful arrangements.

Also read:
Sri Tyagaraja Aradhana

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21 Responses to “160th Sri Tyagaraja Aradhana at Srirangapattana”

  1. M O H A N Says:

    Bellur – thanks for hosting this here.

    Usha – You SHOULD start a blog. I could visulize literally the commentary you have written. Just great and keep it up.

    thanks,
    mohan!

  2. usha Says:

    Thx Mohan

    Commentry has been my strength, i can be a reporter but not writing. I think writing is an art, which i am still unfit for :) so we need editors like bellur for help ;) in presenting it

  3. usha Says:

    Thx bellur, that was a quick compilation and post :) next year we should all go, they will be happy to see us………

  4. Vani Says:

    Usha,

    all of us next year allige hogoNa. It has been my dream to sing at Tiruvaiyyaru. Till that comes true, would like to make do at Srirangapatna….

    Report is very good. Thanks for the “Ankhon Dekha Haal”

  5. Srik Says:

    I guess, we must go there as volunteers, arranging the chairs and doing all the ground work. What says people…?

    However, Usha, excellent commentry. Keep such coming :)

  6. M O H A N Says:

    OK
    as a stand in arrangement why dont you feed belur regularly with the raw materieral and he can sell the finished goods to us

    Isnt that a win-win situation for reporter and reader?

    Please let me know, i also want to join in to this aradhane.

  7. Vani Says:

    great idea, Mohan…Usha, food for thought.

  8. usha Says:

    Thats a good arrangement thx mohan :) i can supply raw material to Bellur and Vani to host it :)

  9. rk Says:

    mohan,
    pleasure is mine!

    usha,
    yes, it will be nice if we can all make it to srirtangapattana on pushya-bahula panchami every year.

    vani,
    yes, kaanige kattida haagitthu.

    srik,
    yes, hodre bekadashtu kelsa kaanatthe. we can even cook…

    mohan,
    excellent idea. everyone is welcome to submit articles. you are welcome to join us for tyagaraja aradhane.

    vani,
    howdhu. great idea. i invite readers to mail the articles to:
    ramblingwithbellur@rediffmail.com

    usha,
    thanks for your cooperation.

  10. praneshachar Says:

    Bellur and Usha
    It was a great post a bhagavantha nimmanthavara santhati belesali. illi i blognalli participate maduvavara santhati beleyali
    nimma i sponateneous response nodi nanu bhavapurnanade.
    adeno helthralla inthahavaru iruvdarindale male bele agta irodu antha nija!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    narration was superb it was like “kannige kattida hage ittu”
    vani mattu bellur helida hage
    agali yellara aseente mundina varsh aradhnaege MB voluteeers tanu mana dhanadinda alli seve sallisona
    a bhagawantha idannu madisali
    beligge beliggeye ondu saviyada suddi/report odi bahala
    kushi agide
    good morning to all of you yellara dina ullasamayavagirali

  11. praneshachar Says:

    shubhodaya yellarigau shubhodaya
    beligge beliggeye sundaravad varadi odi dhanyanadeno NAnu
    nijavagalu srirangapattanda thygarajara aradhane report marveloousoooooooooo……
    bare a dinada report alla adu
    idi mruthika vrindavanda ithihasa mattu devasthanada ithihasa
    usha & bellur hats off to you both
    simply superb great wonderful what not?

  12. Shruthi Says:

    Excellent narration! Usha and Bellur, thanks for this effort… really enjoyed reading it. I second the motion – lets all go there next year! :)

  13. Shruthi Says:

    When I was studying in Tamilnadu, I had been to Tiruvayyaru, not during the Aradhane… we had exams at that time… but we had gone sometime in September, summane, just like that. My mother also wanted to go to Tiruvayyaru once…. and so we had gone together…. It was beautiful.. very calm, serene. the temple, the river, and the surroundings…. it felt very good to visit the place. I do not feel any longer that “Ayyo Tiruvayyar Aradhane ge hoge illvalla” antha…. just visiting that place was enough!

    Now, of course, this Aradhane so close by is very attractive… and I am sure it will be as good, maybe better than that one (where, as the organizers rightly said, there is too much focus on media and publicity).

  14. rk Says:

    praneshachar,
    nimma comments odhodhe ondhu khushi, sir. ananthanantha vandanegalu. full credit to usha for attending the aradhane and reporting it wonderfully.

    shruthi,
    thanks. nice to read your experience at thiruvaiyaru.
    next year neevu barodadre, ‘shruthi’ pettige tharode beda yarunu. ;)

  15. M O H A N Says:

    LOL
    SHRUTHI pettige!!!

    Anyway manual shruthi pettige’s are banished and replaced with electronic ones!!!

  16. Sheshu Says:

    Very good information. Bangalooralle iddu, ee vichara gotthe iralilla. Thanks a lot. Next year definitely i am there as volunteer.
    Thanks Bellur & Usha.


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  19. Pushpa Says:

    Hello All,

    I am new to this blog and have been following several blog trails since I strated reading this blog.

    Usha, Please let me know if I can attend the Aradhane being hosted at ur place. And also the article written on “Tyagaraja Aradhane” is very good. I have grown up watching the Tiruvayyar aradhane every year.

    It’s nice knowing you all. Thanks.

    Regards,

    Pushpa.


  20. [...] and foremost I had to visit a full fledged Aradhane to get first hand experience. Aradhana Mahotsava at Srirangapatna helped me gain this knowledge, but that was of a huge scale where 100 + performers rendered [...]

  21. Nagesh Says:

    Hi All,
    I’m Nagesh from mumbai,but native is andhra,its really good to know about tyagarja concerns at this place.
    Can any one of idea having is any such concernts during the jan month happens in mumbai ? please i would like to attend such programs and events or kacheris. i m the fan of Tyagaraja and M.S.

    Thanks & Regards,


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