/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": June 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The one who enjoyed Sangita as well as understood the meaning of Gita



This time we feature a Harikatha by Smt. Vishakha Hari. She is a lady of many accomplishments, including a distinguished career as a chartered accountant, and is now focussing full-time on musical discourses in the best traditions of the Harikatha Kalakshepa. As we have already mentioned before, over the years, the home of Parvathi welcomed Harikatha exponents as well as musicians and other artistes.

In the 2012 Puttu Rao Memorial Music Festival, Mr. Srikantiah wanted to feature this famed artiste Smt. Vishakha Hari, and this turned out to be her first public performance in the city of palaces. The subject of Ramayana is also a speciality for her as well as a subject of perennial appeal to all rasikas. Therefore we have this lovely offering this time.

The musical fare included speaks volumes for her training under Vid. Lalgudi Jayaraman and her musical repertoire is matched by her narrative skills honed under her guru Sri Sri Anna (Paranur Sri Krishnapremi). The accompanists have also done a commendable job in adding to the musical impact. They have tucked in a neat RTP in Kharaharapriya, giving ample scope for their musical expression.

Now a few words about the hero in Sundarakanda: Hanuman. Hanuman is one of the most popular deities all over India and even South-east Asia. Devotees extol him for his divine qualities of valour, devotion, and wisdom. As Saint Thyagaraja says, Hanuman was twice blessed in a unique way: he understood the import of the Bhagavadgita, and also thoroughly enjoyed true music offered as a prayer to Lord Rama.

We feel inspired to quote an extract from Sri Ramayana Darshanam, the epic poem by Dr. K.V. Puttappa ( Rastrakavi Kuvempu). When Hanuman meets Sita and he narrates to her the situation in Kishkindha and stresses Rama’s anguished sense of urgency to come and rescue her, Sita exclaims:

“Oh Hanuman, I bow down to you with folded hands. My thanks to your mother, Oh son of Anjana! May your parents be blessed. May your tribe be acclaimed. Let your noble reputation shine everywhere, forever! By telling me how my lord yet pines singularly for me, you have given me ambrosia. But by telling me how grief-stricken he is, you have given me poison, so you’re both kind and cruel! Fate that drove Rama and Lakshmana to this distress is surely unkind, and yet is it not Fate’s kind act o have arranged this happy encounter between us? Oh best among simians, forget not to narrate in detail all that you have seen and heard, and how the Solar dynasty’s scion’s dear wife is subjected here to utter wretchedness everyday. It was only Ravana’s wife Mandodari’s kind intercession that got me a year’s respite from death. Ten months are gone, and only two are left. Tell Rama to come at once and save me within these two months. This is my plea to Rama, and gifted orator that you are, may your message be fruitful”.

Sundarakanda is the most recited and loved portion of the immortal epic of Rama. And in this Harikatha, we have a real treat. Let us enjoy it!


K. Puttu Rao Memorial Festival, Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore on 4. 9. 2012

Vid. Vishakha Hari – Harikatha on Sundara Kanda
Vid. Ananthakrishnan – Violin
Vid. Arjun Ganesh – Mridangam