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Moving devotionals from Dasa sahitya

B. RAMADEVI

Soaked in melody and piety, Vidya Bhushana's concert was classical and enjoyable.

Entertaining and thought-provoking `Dasa sahitya,' comprising songs and `ugaabogas' (viruttams) by devotees like Purandara dasa, Kanaka dasa, Vijaya dasa and Jagannatha dasa, holds a prominent place in Kannada literature. It is not only famous for its lyrical beauty but also for the devotion, wisdom and concern for the society, and good advice. Generally known as `dasara padagalu,' these compositions have made significant contribution towards the growth of Carnatic music and hence find a place in all concerts. Some musicians perform a full concert featuring only these padas.

Vidya Bhushana, a renowned musician from Karnataka, has set to music many of the lesser-known padas and deserves credit for popularising them.

He was in Salem recently to participate in the completion of the Mandalabhisheka for Mrithika Brindavan of Sri Raghavendra. He delighted the devotees with his classical alapanas, imaginative neravals and swaraprastharas as also with his deeply moving, meaningful `ugaabogas.'

He began with "Sathatha Gananaatha," the song that propitiates all the gods. "Baa Baa Ranga, Bhujanga Shayana," "Raksha Maam Rangesha" and "Ghatikaachaladhi Nintha Sri Hanumantha" received elaborate treatment with alapana, neraval and swaraprastharas. Keeravani and Karaharapriya were particularly lovely.

The `ugaabogas' like "Ninnantha Swamy Enaguntu Ninagilla," were soaked in melody and piety.

"Nambadiru Ee Deha Nithyavalla" and "Hey Manave! Ee Deha Gaali Deepa" made one realise the transient nature of the body and the need to surrender oneself to the Lord.

"Sathyavantharu Sanghaviralu Theerthavyaathakke" had a foot-tapping beat and "Rogha Harane Krupaa Saagaraa" on Sri Raghavendra was rendered with great emotion.

"Anjikinyathakayya" and "Sundara Mooruthi" celebrated the valour and immeasurable mercy of Anjaneya. He concluded his concert with the ever-favourite "Bhagyada Lakshmi Baarammaa."

Judging the expectations of the audience quickly, the veteran singer served a delectable fare that was classical at times and enjoyably simple at other times. M. S. Govindaswamy on the violin carved out the ragas beautifully and gave spirited support.

It was heartening to observe the unusual camaraderie and friendly rivalry in H. S. Surindar (mridangam) and Srisailam (ghatam) that made them present a powerful `tani' that drew thunderous applause.

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