Interpreting Ramadasu Keerthanalu

Interpreting Ramadasu Keerthanalu
Highlights

Interpreting Ramadasu Keerthanalu. In a rare jugalbandi of philosophy and music, Chaganti Koteswara Rao and Malladi Brothers enriched and enthralled audience with beautiful discourse and rendition of Bhadrachala Ramadasu Keethanalu.

In a rare jugalbandi of philosophy and music, Chaganti Koteswara Rao and Malladi Brothers enriched and enthralled audience with beautiful discourse and rendition of Bhadrachala Ramadasu Keethanalu.

The venue, ‘Vivekananda Auditorium’ in the premises of Ramakrishna Matt, was packed with enthusiastic audience; some even had to stand, to catch the discourse of Chaganti Koteswara Rao. The popularity of Koteswara Rao is immense and his religious discourses draws audience, like bees to a bee hive. On the second day of three day festival presented by “Naada Prabha”, a cultural trust noted for its contribution towards promotion of classical arts, Chaganti Koteswara Rao’s discourse was on ‘Bhadrachala Ramadasu Keerthanalu’ with a demonstration by the noted Malladi Brothers.

It was a beautiful blend of music and religious philosophy. The ultimate submission of the soul, termed as “Saranagathi”, and the angst one experiences while in dire circumstances and appeals to god, here, the one and the only Lord Rama. Bhadrachala Ramadasu, a 17th century devotee of Rama and a composer of Carnatic music (Vaageeyakara), poured out his heart through his compositions, while in the jail for many years. These songs ended in a state of total and unconditional surrender to the will of the Almighty. He also wrote Dasarathi Shatakamu, a collection of nearly 100 poems dedicated to the son of Dasaratha, Lord Rama.

While Malladi Suri Babu recited each poem from the Dasaradhi Satakam, adding his rich musical prowess to the loaded lyrics, his sons Sree Ram Prasad and Ravi Kumar took over from there. The angst with which they sang some of the sad compositions like “Ae theeruga nanu daya joochedavo ilavamsothama Rama” touched the hearts of the audience. “Raamabhadra raara….Ramachandra raa raa”, was another delightful song, where Ramadasu himself becomes the doting mother Kausalya, and describes the beauties of the divine child, Rama. “Ramajogi mandu konare …..” a panacea for all ills of this human life is packed in this lively and meaningful song. “Paluke bangaara maayenaa”, another most loved composition was sung with so much conviction followed by equally enlightening notes by Chaganti. “Nanu brovamani cheppave” had vivid descriptions of the relationship between an ideal couple and how Seethamma was appealed to, to convince her husband when he was in a good mood, to save Ramadasu. Chaganti’s vivid descriptions and analysis for each song had the audience under his spell.

The programme concluded with a mangalam “Ramachandraya janaka raja ja manoharaaya” , sung by the trio and joined with much gusto by the audience. This had an encore much to the delight of all.

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