JAYANTI CELEBRATIONS OF THE TRINITY

JAYANTI CELEBRATIONS OF THE TRINITY
The Tyagaraja aradhana at Tiruvaiyaru on Bahula Panchami day which usually occurs in December/January, is almost like a musical mela. Scores of musicians and rasikas from all over the world congregate at the bard’s samadhi on the banks of the river Kaveri and pay homage to him over four days. The same cannot be said about his birthday which falls in early May. Nevertheless, Sri Thiagaraja Vidwath Samajam, Chennai organises special abhishekam and pooja on Tyagaraja’s jayanti along with the rendering of the Pancharatna kritis at his samadhi in Tiruvaiyaru. Sangita Kalanidhi T.K. Govinda Rao took the initiative to organise this celebration, and vidwans used to offer akhanda ganam on that day; but that does not happen any longer, though some concerts are held on the occasion. The jayanti does not attract as much crowd as the aradhana, but devoted musicians and rasikas do assemble to pay homage to the saint composer.

Tiruvarur is the birthplace of the music trinity—Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar, Syama Sastry—and their houses are maintained as memorials where their special days are celebrated. On Tyagaraja jayanti, the day usually begins with Bombay Jayashri and her disciples assembling to offer pooja and musical homage. This year, on 11 May, she led a congregation of about 40 students from 5 am and rendered the Pancharatna kritis, the divyanama and utsava sampradaya kritis. She was accompanied by L. Ramakrishnan (violin), Manoj Siva (mridangam), B.S. Purushotham (khanjira) and Jayalakshmi Sekhar (veena). The family members of auditor Balasubramaniam, on the advice of the Kanchi Paramacharya, have also been organising similar programmes for many years. All these provide a filip to the Mummoortigal Vizha celebrating the birthdays of the Carnatic music trinity which fall fairly close to one another—Muthuswami Dikshitar on 24 March, Syama Sastry on 26 April and Tyagaraja on 4 May. Though these are the official birth dates, the occasion is celebrated on different days each year in accordance with the Tamil almanac… read more