On Foot From Kalady to Kashmir!
Ujjwal Honnaver Moodbidri’s lively report on Shri Shankara Pradarshanam – a tableau presented by the Prarthana Varga during the Shankara Jayanti celebrations at Shri Chitrapur Math, Bengaluru ( September 2017 )
Initially, the air was abuzz with news and whispers of some unconfirmed news! A little later, in the first week of April, it was finally confirmed that Bengaluru Sabha was in for a special treat on the occasion of Shankara Jayanti.
Yes, Parama Pujya Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji was going to be in Bengaluru on that auspicious day.
With the news spreading joy and excitement, and thanks to technology, our phones began bursting with ideas being exchanged on what special programme Prarthana Varga could stage before the laity and His Holiness.
An announcement was made using email, WhatsApp, sms informing parents about a small and simple idea of having a tableau before Swamiji. With more discussions came more ideas. Slowly and steadily we could see the idea taking akaar– a wonderful shape. With His Grace as aadhar - was born – SHRI SHANKARA PRADARSHANAM.
Saturday and Sunday meetings at 3 pm became a norm for all the Malleswaram teachers and with each passing day, everyone could feel the energy levels slowly and steadily increasing.
On Friday 28th April, a beautiful lotus-shaped invite was presented to Parama Pujya Swamiji by the teachers and children extending a warm welcome to view – SHRI SHANKARA PRADARSHANAM - on Shankar Jayanti itself – which fell on Sunday, 30th April!
30th April, 2017 began early for the 40-plus children, parents and teachers who were all at the Math by 8:30 am. Rooms were filled with smiles, electric excitement and subtle chitter-chatter. Views and suggestions flew around as the children were being dressed up. Parents and teachers went around applying tilak and vibhuti on the foreheads of the little artistes. Our characters were coming alive!
A sea of miniature orange angavastram-s could be seen running across the hall. Yuvadhara and parents also provided additional assistance to set the space around the display area, making the task so much simpler for the teachers. Children were busy seeking approval from their teachers and appreciation from their Amma-s and Pappa-s for their ethnic costumes. Distributing colourful masks, head gears, danda-s, rudrakshamala-s and other props kept everyone around on their toes.
The children stood around in the 11 groups that they were divided into, according to the scene they were portraying from the “Birth of Shankara” to “Acharya ascending the Sarvajnya Peetha” at Kashmir.
Laughter and excitement filled the air. Every child, parent and adult was looking into the finer points of each scene to check if anything important was amiss. Placards in the hands of the teachers had a word or two in Sanskrit and English for the benefit of the audience. A look around the gathering endorsed that the children truly looked divine!
With the clicking sounds of our Guru’s khadava-s, accompanied by jaijaikaar-s and sounds of the children being hushed, small smiles began to appear on the faces of all gathered. Shhhh! Parama Pujya Swamiji’s paduka-s were coming closer - His Holiness had arrived!
Being a tableau, the still scenes were speaking for themselves! Yet, as His Holiness asked the children about each scene, the complete scene came even more alive for all the excited onlookers.
Small incidents like little Shaurya Kallianpur, who was depicting the newborn Bal Shankar (and coincidentally) was lying fast asleep in the cradle and Parama Pujya Swamiji’s Divine rendering of Totakashtakamstotra, enhanced the Pradarshanam immeasurably. As His Holiness moved from one group to another, the teachers and children felt truly blessed to have been given a chance to be part of such a glorious moment.
Swamiji’s Blessings and remark that if Acharya Shankara Himself had been present, He would have been so happy to see this tableau, filled our hearts with joy! Our tiny and humble attempt to showcase the great saint Adi Shankaracharya’s life in a glimpse had become saarthak!
Eleven scenes with 40-plus children and 11 teachers had attempted to recreate the entire story of Adi Shankaracharya at Shri Chitrapur Math, Bengaluru for our 11th Mathadipathi on Vaishakha Shukla Panchami this year…
Guruseva Sadaa Kuru!
O Guru! You are resplendent like the Sun!
You also make our life fun!
We are at Your Lotus Feet
You shelter us from tremendous heat
You can calm the wildest of the wild
To make them mildest of the mild
You are as pure as fire
With you we never tire!
You give us a lot of preeti
You give us strength to follow neeti
You have Divine Hands
Their touch can make fertile the most barren lands
In front of you the harshest weather
Flies away, as light as a feather
When You, our Guru speaks the Word
Each one of us feels light as a bird
Our motto is – Guruseva Sadaa Kuru
With the Best Name on our lips –
Our Swamiji! Our Guru!
Offered with bhakti-bhavana at the Lotus Feet of our Beloved Guru Parama Pujya Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji by the senior students of the Prarthana Varga of JAYNAGAR, BENGALURU
Children from Bengaluru's Prarthana Varga Lord Shiva as Chandala
who took part in the tableau- Shri Shankara
Prasannostu Guru sadaa