Like most students of Sanskrit, I have been blown away by Sri Adi Sankaracharya’s works. Coming from one of the most influential figures in the history of mankind – who achieved all he did, in a life of just 32 years – such a dream combination of intellectual prowess and poetic beauty, has often been overwhelming for me.
As one develops a bond with poetry – especially in its original language – an invisible chord ties one to the poet as well. While I can not claim to be deeply into the Acharya’s philosophy and metaphysics, I certainly see his poetic expression resonate in me – such has been my relationship with the great Guru.
What a sensational moment it was for me, when I got the opportunity to sing at the hallowed ‘Swarnath Mana’, a beautiful traditional Namboodiri house in Pazhamthottam (Punnorkodu, Ernakulam District of Kerala) – where a landmark incident of Acharya’s life is said to have happened, as per tradition.
This is the place where a poor Namboodiri lady unhesitatingly offered Acharya the only eatable in her humble house – an Amla fruit – when he came with a Sannyasi’s begging bowl. The Acharya was so moved, that he spontaneously composed a poetic prayer of such intensity and depth of emotional power, that the lady was blessed with a shower of golden (kanaka dhara) Amla fruits.
The concert at Swarnathu Mana, had such an ethereal ambience! I didn’t feel like I was in God’s own country – I felt like I was in Heaven! 🙂 Tuneful and sensitive co-artistes Sri Attukkal Balasubramanian and Sri Mavelikkara R V Rajesh, excellent sound system, a small chamber audience wanting an unusually heavy fare of classicism and keeping rapt attention for 3 1/2 hours – that’s how the concert was…
I presented the KanakadharaStava as a ragamalika with the ragas Hamirkalyani, Dhanyasi, Sahana, Saveri and Madhyamavathi. Here is a short excerpt – the full concert is in the link immediately below.