ACHARYA ANITHA GUHAS BHARATHANJALIS SPLENDID PRESENTATION OF “Vijayathe Gopala Choodamani AT 40th CLEVELAND THYAGARAJA FESTIVAL
Lyrics and music – Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan and Sri PR Venkatasubramanian
Concept, Choreography and Nattuvangam – Smt Anitha Guha
Artistes – Four of Bharathanjali senior students and students of various Gurus in India and USA
The dance programme began with a NAVA AVATARAM invocation. The Glorius Avatars of Lord Vishnu from Srimad Bhagavatham were depicted, leading to 9th Avatar the Krishna Avatar in the Dhashama Skandam.
This story of Krishna Avatar began as a narrative by the Gopikas. The Gopikas were lamenting and suffering the pangs of separation from Krishna, who had left Brindavan and had gone to Mathura. At that point of time, Krishnas friend Uddhava comes as a messenger from Mathura.
What followed is a narrative of the Bala-Leelas of Krishna, as memories of the Gopikas. Uddhava listened to these Krishan Leelas narrated by the Gopikas. The Bhoothana Moksham, Krishnas childhood pranks, Chakatasura Vadham, Bakasura Vadham, Kalinga Nardhanam, the Govardhana Giri episode, the episode where Brahma hides Krishnas cows, and the Raasa Leela are the different episodes that were depicted. These were sung by the Gopikas who are mostly in praise of Krishna, and at times also sarcastic since they felt Krishna had abandoned them. The Bhramara-Geethai followed.
To this Uddhava narrated to the Gopikas the purpose of Krishnas birth. The episode of Kamsa with Devaki and Vasudeva leading to their imprisonment was narrated. Then Uddhava narrated to the Gopikas how Krishna and Balarama entered Mathura, blessed Sudhama and Trivikra, defeated the elephant Kuvalayapeeta, wrestled and defeated Mushtika Chanura, and vanquished Kamsa.
As Krishnas messenger, Uddhava made the Gopikas realise that they are indeed the most blessed ones in the world, with their thoughts, deeds and life dedicated to Krishna that would lead the Gopikas attain Moksha.
The second half of the narrative began after Rukmini Kalyanam. King Satrajit had been blessed with a gem Syamantaka Mani by Lord Surya. The gem is supposed to bring prosperity and health to the one who posses it. Krishna asks Satrajit the gem, to cure his grandfather Ugrasenan, however Satrajit refuses to give it to Krishna.
One day after this incident, Satrajits bother Prasena had worn this jewel, around his neck and had gone hunting into the forest. Unfortunately, he was attacked and killed by a lion, and the lion took the jewel. Incidentally, the lion was killed by Jambavan (from the Ramayana), and he took the jewel for his child to play with.
Not knowing the truth about his missing brother and the missing jewel, Satrajit blames and accuses Krishna. Krishna with Rukmini at Dwaraka, hears these rumours about him stealing the jewel &what subsequently happens was revealed.
After Krishna brings back the Syamantaka Mani, Satrajit offers his daughter Satyabhama in marriage to Krishna. Subsequently, Satyabhama and Krishna vanquish Narakasura. Krishna releases 16000 damsels held in prison by Narakasura and also marries all of them. Following this, sage Narada wonders how Krishna discharges his duties in each of his houses, and he comes to see his Griha Dharmam. He his wonderstruck and blessed to see Krishna’s many manifestations at the same time, discharging his Nitya Karmangal. Various Krishnas emerge as one and go to the Sabha.
Finally, after the destruction of the Yadhava dynasty, Lord Krishna reaches his Abode in Vaikunta & He is welcomed with joy by the Devas and Celestial beings. The dance & cultural art rasikas also joined in welcoming Lord Krishna to Vaikunta.