Navahavarna 2008 Brochure

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Sponsored by India Fine Arts Ranganjali and Maha Ganapathim Traditionally, a performance opens with a prayer to Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles. Dancers: Shruthi Nampoothiri, Radhika Rajlal, Praseeda Danda, Vaishnavi Danda, Swati Mallempatti, Neeti Swami, Krithi Swami, Sweetie Gaddigopula, Maneesha Gaddigopula, Pavia Muringathuparamthil Dancers: Neha Satapathy, Diksha Verma, Spoorthi Dasari, Amruta Shreedarane, Shaili Mehta, Surya Rangineni

Navasandhi Kautuvams (Nine Directions) Each Kautuvam glorifies the gods of the eight directions, with Brahma in the center. The songs praise the deity by describing him, his consort, his vahana (mount), his simhasan (seat of power), his weapon, and his favorite raga (melody), taala (rhythm), and mode of poetry. Indra: Lord of the east direction, the king of the devas. His consort is Indrani and he rides the white elephant Airawadam. His weapon is the thunderbolt. He owns the Kamadenu (cow of plenty), chintamani (invaluable jewel) and kalpaka vriksha (wish-granting tree), all symbols of wealth. Dancers : Neha Atyam, Reema Patel, Kavina Patel and Nirusha Yogarajan Agni: Lord of the south east, the fire god. His consort is Pakuvadevi. He accepts all offerings in the sacrificial fires. His mount is the ram. His favorite taala is mattapana. He loves percussion instruments. Dancers : Nisha Pillai, Aparna Datta, Abhilasha Gokulan, Anisha Datta Yama: Lord of the south, also known as Kaala – the master of Time and Death. He impartially renders justice to all. His weapon is the Dandam (mace). He rides the buffalo and his consort is Shyamala Devi. Dancers: Ankita Ghoshal, Archana Warrier, Karishma Asthana Nyruti: Lord of the south west. The commander-in-chief of the asura army, he rides a lion and wields the Kunda ayudam. His consort is Durga Devi. His favorite dance is Bhujanga thrasam and taala is malli. Dancers: Divya Rayapati, Nitya Rayapati and Manjula Bokka Varuna: Lord of the west. He is the god of rain and his weapon is pashayudam. He provides water to the whole world and without him no life can survive. He rides the crocodile and his consort is Kaalika devi. Dancers: Malvika Perinchery, Kasmira Madina, Manasa Dutta Vayu: Lord of north west. The wind god, he is indispensable to all living beings. His weapon is the creeper, his mount the Ram. His consort is Anjana Devi. His favorite Raaga is Makutaramagiri and his favorite dance is Kanthi nrityam. Dancers: Meera Gopal, Robena Ghosh, Pia Sur Kubera: Lord of the north. He is the god of wealth, lord of the yakshas. A great devotee of Shiva, he sits on a navaratna throne and rides a horse. His consort is Chitra Devi and he showers devotees with wealth. Dancers : Kripa George, Juhi Amodhwala, Nikita Prasad, Priya Arun Ishana: Lord of the north east. He is an amsam (representation) of Shiva. He rides a bull and his consort is Ishwari. All the rishis, devas, and munis along with the Sun and moon pray to him. The gandarvas play music and the apsaras ( heavenly nymphs) dance in his court. Dancers: Aarthi Warrier, Priya Mehta, Sneha Shotriya Brahma: Lord of the center. He is the creator of the Hindu trinity. He gives us day and night. He has three consorts: Savitri, Gayatri and Saraswati. He prefers megha raga (melody) and kamala nrityam (dance). Dancers: Ambika Venkat, Uma Vaidyanathan, Amulya Gobburu, Marilyn Matthew

Navagraha (Nine Planets) Long before science identified the nine planets of the solar system, ancient India had the concept of Navagrahas or the nine planets. Though the scientific names of the planets originated from Greek and Roman gods, there is a strange parallelism between the planets we now know of and the Navagrahas named by the ancients. Just as the planets revolve around the sun, Surya, the sun, was the primary start in ancient thought The sun was followed in importance by the moon – due to the ascendance in the night sky. Furthermore, similar to the days of the week in English, the days of the week in many Indian languages are also named for these celestial bodies: Sunday for the sun, Monday for the moon, Tuesday for Mars, Wednesday for Mercury, Thursday for Jupiter, Friday for Venus, and Saturday for Saturn. The other two grahas are shadow planets – Rahu and Ketu are respectively the ascending and descending nodes of the moon. Mythology says that the demon Rahu stole some of the divine nectar from Vishnu and drank it. Vishnu punished him by cutting him into two halves, but since Rahu drank the amrita he did not die. The body of the demon became Rahu and the head became Ketu. After performing penance to Vishnu, Rahu was granted the position of “graham.” The graha hood is only for one and a half hours everyday – hence we have Rahukala, an inauspicious time of the day. Surya (Sun): The Sun occupies the center position of the Navagraha grid, facing east. His rides his white horses across the firmament of the sky, and his rays provide the energy for all creation. This son of Sage Kashyapa is the enemy of darkness (ignorance). Sun: Ananya Mishra, Horses: Krishna Vaidyanathan, Sanjana Srinath, Hamsini Vaidyanathan, Divya Sreedharane Soma (Moon): The moon’s grace is required for health of mind and body. He is the deity of all herbs. His complexion is as white as yogurt, conch shells, or snow. He is the deity of soma rasa and the ornament on Shiva’s hair. His consort is Rohini. Moon: Bini Nampoothiri, Rohini: Ambika Venkat Mangala (Mars): The god of the planet Mars was born of the womb of Mother Earth. His brilliant effulgence is like that of lightning. He appears as a youth carrying a spear. His consort is Sakthidevi. Mars: Neha Atyam, Sakthidevi: Kavina Budha (Mercury): Budha is the giver of wisdom. He is of exquisite beauty and the son of the Moon God. His consort is appropriately Gnanadevi, the goddess of knowledge. Mercury : Divya Rayapati, Gnanadevi: Aarthi Warrier

Guru (Jupiter): He is the spiritual Guru of the Devas (gods) and Rishis. His qualities are wisdom, Vendata Gnana (knowledge of the essence of the Vedas), and purity of thought, word, and deed. He is also called Brihaspati. His consort is Tharadevi. Jupiter: Samyu Rao, Tharadevi: Reema Patel Sukra (Venus): He is the descendant of the Bhrigu Muni and hence also called Bhargavam. His complexion is white as a pond covered with ice. He is learned in all scriptures and is the teacher of the Asuras. Through the mritha Sanjeevani mantra he is even able to bring the dead back to life. His consort is Sukirthi, fame. Venus: Medha Raj, Sukirthi: Amulya Gobburu Sani (Saturn): This graham is worshipped on Saturdays to mitigate any ill effects of the other planets. His color is as dark as the neelanjana ointment, he is the son of the Sun and Chayadevi and the brother of Yama, the god of death. His consort is Neeladevi, the blue goddess. Saturn: Dharini Chandrasekhar, Neeladevi: Nisha Pillai Rahu and Ketu: Rahu and Ketu are believed to swallow the sun and moon for a while during solar and lunar eclipses. Rahu, born from the womb of Simhika, has great power to subdue the sun and moon. Ketu is multi-colored like the phalasha pushpam, and is the lord of all the stars. He presents a fierce and awe inspiring sight. Rahu: Prianka Ghoshal, Ketu: Ankita Ghoshal

Navarasa (Nine Emotions) In Bharata Natyam, all the emotions are displayed through Abhinaya, the art of expression. Through abhinaya, the dancer portrays the different rasas. The ancient texts describe nine fundamental emotions from which all complex emotions may be produced. Together they are called navarasa. This Navarasa presentation attempts to portray each rasa through incidents in the story of the Ramayana – the first of India’s two greatest epics. Hasya (Comic) and Bheebatsa (Disgust): The demon Thataka wreaks much havoc in the countryside. She tortures the peaceful villagers and laughs at their misery, commanding them to obey her. Rama, disgusted by her actions, puts an end to her life and has the last laugh on her. Adbhuta (Wonder): As Rama travels with his guru, Sage Vishwamitra, in the forest, his touch transforms a rock into a woman called Ahalya. She recounts to Rama her story and how he removed the curse that made her into a piece of rock. Rama is filled with wonder at the whole episode. Shringara (Love): Rama travels with his brother Lakshmana to the palace at Mithila. In the palace gardens he finds a ball that Sita was playing with. Upon returning the ball, Rama and Sita meet and fall in love. Bhayanaka (Fearful): Mareecha assumes the form of a golden deer to tempt Sita. When Rama gives chase to catch him, Mareecha experiences palpable fear. Raudra (Anger) : Rama leaves Sita in the forest under Lakshmana’s protection whilst he goes in search of the golden deer. When Lakshmana is also called away, Ravana comes in the guise of a sage and snatches Sita away in his chariot. Upon returning, Rama learns of Sita’s abduction and is overcome with anger. Karuna (Sadness): In the battlefield, Lakshmana is felled by Ravana. Rama is filled with grief at the prospect of losing Lakshmana. Veera (Nobility): Ravana is devastated by the death of his son Indrajit and brother Kumbhakarna in the violent war he has brought upon his kingdom. Rama is the embodiment of chivalry when he refuses to take advantage of Ravana’s misery and emotional exhaustion. He heroically sends him back asking him to return to the battleground the next day for a fair fight. Karuna (Compassion): Rama displays compassion toward Vibheeshana when his last family member, Ravana, is killed. Taking Ravana’s crown, he gives the land of Lanka to the noble Vibheeshana to rule. Shanta (Peace): Rama is finally at peace after his triumphant return home to Ayodhya and his coronation. Dancers: Malvika Perinchery, Kasmira Madina, Manasa Dutta, Nitya Rayapati, Manjula Bokka, Nirusha Yogarajan, Neha Satapathy, Diksha Verma, Spoorthi Dasari, Amruta Shreedarane, Shaili Mehta, Surya Rangineni, Archana Warrier, Aarthi Warrier, Prianka Ghoshal, Preethi Menon, Ambika Venkat, Uma Vaidyanathan as Bharata, and Divya Rayapati as Vishwamitra Rama: Samyu Rao, Ravana: Sandhya Velu, Sita: Reema Patel, Vibheeshana: Medha Raj, and Lakshmana: Neha Atyam

Navaratna (Nine Gems) The word Navarathna is an Sanskrit term meaning nine gems. Ancient Hindus drew connections between the planets and certains gem stones, believing them to have certain astrological powers. In the past, Navarathna gems were generally large and uncut to maximize their benefits and help to bring health, wealth and peace of mind to their wearer. Powerpoint Presentation

Navaratri (Nine Nights) Goddess Durga’s most famous representation is as Mahishasura Mardini: the Slayer of the demon Mahisha. Hindus commemorate this great battle each autumn during Navratri, the Festival of Nine Nights. Mahishasura Mardini: Mahishasura does severe penance and becomes immensely powerful. He terrorizes the heavens and Indra beseeches the Hindu Trinity for help. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva create a goddess, Durga, endowed with special powers and weapons to vanquish Mahishasura. A tremendous battle ensues between the forces of good and evil, and Mahishasura is finally slain by Devi’s trident. Mahishasura : Neha Atyam, Durga: Prianka Ghoshal, Indra: Preethi Menon, Brahma: Bini Nampoothiry Shiva: Medha Raj, Vishnu: Prerna Jain, Armies: Samyu Rao, Reema Patel, Ananya Mishra, and Arati Warrier with Sandhya Velu, Archana Warrier, Ankita Ghoshal, and Ambika Venkat Ayi Giri Nandini: The famous sloka exalting Devi, Mahishasura Mardini is rendered here in a more contemporary format. Dancers: Pooja Raman, Swetha Kotamraju, Deepika Mannem, Samyu Rao, Dharini Chandrasekhar, Sandhya Velu, Reema Patel, Ambika Venkataraman, Medha Raj Devi Mangalam: A dance in praise of Female Divinity in the forms of Saraswathi (Goddess of Learning) , Lakshmi (Goddess of Weath) and Durga (Goddess of Strength). Dancers: Neha Atyam, Prianka Ghoshal, Ananya Mishra, and Samyu Rao Dandya Raas: A folk dance performed by men and women alike with sticks in a circle , during the nine nights of Navaratri. Dancers: Priya Mehta, Juhi Amodhwala, Kripa George, Nikita Prasad, Robena Ghosh, Meera Gopal, Pia Sur, Amulya Gobburu, Marilyn Matthew, Uma Vaidyanathan, Sneha Shotriya, Karishma Asthana

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