Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Thiruvasagam - A great experience

There is a saying in Tamil, "Thiruvsagathukku urugar oru vasagathukkum urugar!", translated as "If someone's heart is not softening for Thiruvasagam He will not be softened for anything else!". My father too had bragged enough about his childhood Thiruavasagam associations! [My grandfather used to hit him with the wet-rope, if he would forget to chant Thiruvasagam or would make mistakes while doing so!]. I have memorized the Sivapuranam part of the same. I agree, it is great, soul-filling. Infact Manikkavasagar comes close to Darwin while rendering various forms one's soul might take which is exactly the evolution theory. But I could n't give compliance to the "softening" Tamil saying. I used to feel it was yet another exaggeration by a big fanatic of Saivism. I always used to feel there are other hymns in tamil which are equivalent to Thiruvasagam in quality of spirit like Abirami Andadi or Thiruppavai. I never understood why people say, one is supposed to give himself while listening to Thiruvasagam.

And then I happened to listen to Illayaraja's oratorio on Thirvasagam. It shattered all my premonitions! I could really feel something gets melted in my heart while hearing the lines, "Namachivaya vazhga" which precedes "Masatra jothiye", the final seven minutes part of 20 minutes oratorio. This is not only for Illayaraja but for Manikkaavasagar too. The choir and the violin elevate the lines of Vasagar to some other plane. Now I understand, it is really required to listen to these sacred literature in a way, it has to be presented. Especially the lines, "Neyathe ninra nimalan adi potri" is backed up by the choirs of both English and tamil which is heavily again backed up by the 120 piece violin orchestra!

I try to discern the intellects of great people, which leads to a logical conclusion and justification for their level of thinking. For example, I could understand one Mr.Thi.Ja's association with Kumbakonam/Mayavaram and a formal introduction to Tamil gave him the sense of aesthetics to produce a marvel like Mohamul. Same with Sujatha for his Srirangam association, the 4th rank in IES, with his early association to magazines like Kanaiyazhi to make him stand where he is now. But till now something of these discernible thoughts never take me to who-illayaraja-is. His intellect in music always baffles me. I never saw one Illayaraja run out of ideas, or being bound to limitations. The moment I feel, "Yes. There he is", a new genre of music is produced by him to make me feel small. This Thiruvasagam is one such kind.

Yesterday morning I was reading an article about the "Sanga Ilakkiyam" by Sujatha which was very timely to make me appreciate the poetic beauty of Thiruvasagam. He very well explained how the poems of Sanga ilakkiyam are far superior to New age "pudhukkavidhai", in the way it is structured with yappilakkanam. If you can understand the various integrated elements of these poems, it will give you a high like you will have when you understand a Thiyagaraja's kirthana with its swaras and ragas!

For example see the structure and poetical beauty of the last song of this album:
"Putril vaazh aravum anjen, poyyar tham meyyum anjen,
Katrai vaar sadai em annal, kannuthal patha nanni,
Matroru theyvam thannai undena ninainthem pemmar,
Katrila avaraik kandal, amma naam anjum mare!"

See the ethugai-monai and the poetic beauty of this hymn. If someone tries to write such a poem today what kind of word-below-word-ending-in-a-"!", it would have been? Thiruvasagam as an album provoked some thoughts like this in me.

Tamil nadu should get in every century, someone like Illayaraja to take the Kirtanas and Sanga ilakkiyams to every generation (which is next to impossible) and someone like Sujatha who has both mass appeal and literary sense to explain the beauty and importance-in-understanding the tamil literature (which is quite possible). Please listen to Thiruvasagam for Illayaraja, if not for Manikkavasagar. Once you get a hang of it, try to understand the meaning too. It is no exaggeration, if I say that these days when I drive I murmur some songs from this album, which keeps me cool in the traffic smug and personal worries!

Comments:
Here are some links that I believe will be interested
 
Here are some links that I believe will be interested
 
Great site lots of usefull infomation here.
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Hmm I love the idea behind this website, very unique.
»
 
I enjoyed your posting on Thiruvasagam. Your comments about the rare genius in Ilayaraja are right on the money. It is unbelievable such a composition could be made which combines symphony orchestra, a folksy tune plus authentic sanga ilakkiyam.
 
Illayaraja's Thiruvasagam sadly is the most pedestrian way of being introduced to the book. Both Sujatha and Illayaraja are popular filmy personalities with little weightage and knowledge. Let one be soaked by the sanctified wisdom of Pope and other great Tamil pundits to appreciate the grandeour;
Not Illyaraja and others of much lesser scholarship
 
Illayaraja's Thiruvasagam sadly is the most pedestrian way of being introduced to the book. Both Sujatha and Illayaraja are popular filmy personalities with little weightage and knowledge. Let one be soaked by the sanctified wisdom of Pope and other great Tamil pundits to appreciate the grandeour;
Not Illyaraja and others of much lesser scholarship
 
Thiruvasagam is for all and everyone have their own knowledge...
 
Putril vazh aravaum anjen....

I dont understand any meaning but the Guys voice gave me goosebumps which ive never had..

Godly voice..
 
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