Day to rejoice rama’s birth

April 5 marks the birth of Sri Rama, celebrated as Ramnavmi across India. Valmiki describes the birth of Kausalya’s son as Tatahscha Dwadashe Mase Chaitre Navamike Thitou (born on the ninth day of Chaitra month) under the star sign Aditi in the zodiacal house of Karkata; an astrological connect over centuries that sees Hindus across the planet celebrating the birth of Sri Rama.

Published: 01st April 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2017 10:23 PM   |  A+A-

Sita-rama Kalyanam

April 5 marks the birth of Sri Rama, celebrated as Ramnavmi across India. Valmiki describes the birth of Kausalya’s son as Tatahscha Dwadashe Mase Chaitre Navamike Thitou (born on the ninth day of Chaitra month) under the star sign Aditi in the zodiacal house of Karkata; an astrological connect over centuries that sees Hindus across the planet celebrating the birth of Sri Rama.


In the town of Bhadrachalam in Telangana, preparations are in full swing to celebrate the day as Sita-Rama Kalyanam, even as newspapers carry pictures of the preparation of the Mutyala Talambralu for the divine wedding.


Talambralu, an important ceremony in a Telugu wedding, is performed after mangalasutra ceremony, with the bride and groom showering each other with talambralu (rice mixed with saffron and turmeric), praying for happiness and contentment.

And Bhadrachalam too gets ready for the Divine Talambralu. The temple of Bhadrachalam and Sri Rama also inspired Kancherla Gopanna (1620-1680); and therein lies a magnificent tale. 


Gopanna was appointed tehsildar (revenue collector) to Nawab Abul Hasan Shah (Taneshah) of Golconda Qutub Shahis. Seeing the dilapidated state of idols at Bhadrachalam, Gopanna, now called Ramadas, decided to build a temple for Rama using the revenue earned from villages. 


Horrified at the depletion of his treasury, Tanehshah banished Ramadas into the Golconda dungeons for 12 years, with many unspeakable tortures inflicted. Ramadas’s bhakti only becomes stronger by the day, as he chided, implored and beseeched Rama through music and verse, for deliverance. 


Ramadas implored Rama saying, “Ee theruga nannu daya juchedavo, and Paluke Bangaramayena Kodandapani (Will you not show me some compassion? Have words become so precious that you won’t even talk?).”

When he saw no hope of leaving the dungeons, he pleads with Sita to put in a word on his behalf, and even chides the lord in a quintessential Ninda Stuti– “Do you think this temple came cheap?” He asks, “Ikshvaku kula tilaka, I did all this for you.”


One day, lo and behold. The six lakh gold mohurs debt was repaid to Taneshah by two strange men—Ramoji and Laxmoji, and debt repayment receipt given by the Taneshah finds its way to the jail where Ramadas was incarcerated.


Duly humbled at the divine visitation and mortified at having failed to recognise the greatness of Ramadas, Taneshah hurried to release this great devotee of Rama, making over a large deposit for the continued glory and maintenance of the temple, including the tradition of the state offering pearls for the Talambralu on Ramnavmi.


A tradition that has continued uninterrupted, and followed by every government in the state; a story of the co-existence of India’s many layers, when Itihasa, story, religion, faith, and culture came together to celebrate Sri Rama.


And of course music. Simple in delivery and melody, but deeply profound, Ramadas kirtanas suffuse the listener with melody and devotion.

Growing up in South India, many of us can sing along many a Ramadas kirtana, having heard the doyens such as M Balamuralikrishna, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, M S Subbulakshmi and others. If Jaya Janaki Ramana and Takkuvemi Manaku were eulogistic, then Sri Rama Ne Nama–Entha Ruchi Ra is sheer poetry. So, save the date for Sita-Rama Kalyanam at Bhadrachalam!


Jayant is a bureaucrat and classical dancer, choreographer and dance scholarananda.jayant@gmail.com

Stay up to date on all the latest Magazine news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp