BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, March 10, 2019: Ananthaadi Rayara Matha, Atlanta (RAMA) celebrated Purandara Daasara Aaradhane on February 9, 2019 at the Ivy League School in Cumming. The program included performances from local talent and Nandini Rao Gujar, a popular visiting artist from India who was accompanied by Atlanta artists Madhusudhan Rao on the mridangam, Shivprasad Kotagal on the tabla and Pranav Swaroop playing the violin.
A separate concert of Gujar was held February 10 at Duluth High School as a fundraiser for RAMA.
Saint Purandara Dasa, a disciple of the celebrated Madhwa philosopher, Saint Vyasatirtha was a composer, singer and one of the chief founding proponents of the South Indian classical music. Aaradhane is a religious-devotional observation, held annually, to remember and honor the departure of saintly people from this world. Purandara Dasara Aaradhane is held on a new moon day, generally in February-March. Musicians and art aficionados in the state of Karnataka and many art and religious centers around the world observe this occasion in religious and musical fervor. His compositions are sung by established and upcoming artists on this day.
As a part of their tribute to Purandara daasaru, devotees performed Madhukara Vrutti (Uncha Vrutti), where haridaasas go from door to door asking for alms, singing the glories of God and dancing without any inhibitions. Literally translating to job of a honeybee, Madhukara Vrutti is a tradition that haridaasas adopt, like a honeybee that collects madhu (honey) from different flowers, the daasas put together people in loksangraha to enlighten people, also known as Yaayivaara.
Madhukara Vrutti involved devotees singing and dancing with the violin, Mridangam accompaniments, ending with devotees offering bhikshe (offerings) such as rice, dals, pulses, chickpeas, jaggery, dry coconut, fruits, ghee, dry fruits, cash and check to a devotee who had dressed up as Purandara daasaru. Bhiksha was then offered to Lord Narayana as a HarivaaNa sewa.
Gujar and accompanying artists enthralled the audience with mellifluous renditions of Purandara Dasa compositions including Guru purandara daasare Nimma charaNa kamalava nambide , Karedaru barabaarade, Gajavadana beduve, Yantaha cheluvage, Indina dinave Shubhadinavu and many more. The event concluded with traditional south Indian food.
Brindavana Naada Taranga, the concert by Gujar and the same team of accompanying artists held next day featured songs in different languages including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Marathi, including musical gems Maate Malayadwaja-Kamach, Muttayya Bhagavatar composition in Adi taalam, Maha Ganapathim, a Muttuswami Deekshitar composition in a Nata-Adi, Indu Enage Govinda, Raghavendra Swami composition in Bhairavi-Mishrachapu, Brahmamokate by Annamacharya in Bhowli-Adi and Bolava Vittala Brindavana, a Tukaram composition in Saranga-Adi.
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