Nataraja Pathu – Tamil hymns on Nataraja | Sridevi Nrithyalaya (English svbs)

This hymn is a dialogue that the devotee engages in with the Lord. Where all is fair in this inexplicable relationship of the Lord and the devotee, the latter sometimes cries, sometimes chides, at times introspects and at other times, even commands, seeking answers to the questionable transciences and striving to become one with the Lord who is ever in Trance.

In the first stanza, the devotee addresses Nataraja as the omniscient one and intellectually internalises His formless omnipresence. The second stanza is an interesting contradiction as well as a reiteration to the first, where the devotee describes His form and His dance, and also affirms that the movement of the Universe, is but His dance. In the third stanza, the devotee begins the inward journey, introspecting and questioning the Lord about the ephemeral happenings in the world. The next stanza is proof of the devotee’s progress in the journey, for it is a clear account of all that s/he doesn’t desire or seek. The following fifth stanza witnesses a devotee who takes liberty to mock the Lord of His indifference. In the sixth stanza, the devotee goes one step closer to the Lord and holds Him responsible for all the misdeeds of the former. In the process of this journey, the following stanza sees maturity in the devotee who seems to have realised the pain of the endless cycle of births and deaths. To be relieved of the incessant circle of life, in the eighth stanza, the devotee pleads the Lord to forgive her/him for all the wrong doings, however grave or silly it may be. The ninth stanza is the voice of a devotee who gradually gathers strength and develops a detachment towards relationships, wealth, fame and power. The Lord chooses the devotee and He alone lays down the path for the devotee unto Him. In that very path, there could be phases of introspection, doubtfulness, realisation, conviction and certainly, hopelessness. The last stanza is an open cry to the Lord from a devotee who feels hopeless, helpless and cheated by the Lord’s indifference. Having known that He is the one who pervades the Universe as the five elements, the devotee now truly realises and experiences His omnipresence, which is metaphorically depicted as the five forms of the Lord (in His Panchabhootha Kshetras) as Ekambreshwara (Earth), Jambukeshwara (Water), Arunchaleswara (Fire), Srikālahasthiswara (Wind) and Nataraja (Ether). Now, what other way does the devotee have, but to surrender? It is when the devotee completely surrenders, that the Lord appears.

We have interpreted this hymn as an inward journey of the Self: a journey unto Him.

Sanjena Ramesh
Rajadarshini Saravanan
Kameshweri Ganesan
Mridula Sivakumar
Mrinalini Sivakumar
Bhairavi Venkatesan
Harinie Jeevitha
Nishkala Ranjeev
Sai Smriti Suresh
Meghna Unnikrishnan
Lakshita Madhan
Krithika Krishna

Nattuvangam – Dr. Sheela unnikrishnan
Music & Vocal – Sri Srikanth Gopalakrishnan
Mridangam – Dr. Guru Bharadwaaj
Veenai – Kumari Anjani Srinivas

Lights – Sri Murugan, Kumar Stage
Videography – Dop Sri Lakshmananjai
Assistants – Sri Kaadhar & Kumari Karishma
Music recorded @ Aarabhi Studios

Special thanks to
Sri Ravindranath Linga and family
Dr. Kuldeep M Pai

Our heartfelt thanks to Dr. S. Raguraman for guiding us with the meaning of the hymns.

English translation
Bhairavi Venkatesan
Harinie Jeevitha

Meghna Unnikrishnan

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