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Draupadi Sharanagathi: A Harikatha By Smt. Vishaka Hari

Durga Krishnan


A Harikatha by Smt. Vishaka Hari

Harikatha, literally means "Story of Lord", also known as Harikatha Kaalakshepam in India, is a form of Hindu traditional discourse in which the storyteller explores a traditional theme, usually a story from an Indian epic or character using music, slokas or verses and other texts. This popular art form is celebrated in Hindu Temples across India and also in other venues such as sabhas.

Many of us grew up in India attending Harikatha programs by well known personalities and experts. Sri Sengalipuram Anantharama Dikshidar was one such expert who was famous for his Valmiki Ramayana Harikatha programs while Sri T.S. Balakrishna Sastrigal who promoted Ramayana stories using Saint Thyagaraja's compositions under the title Thyagaraja Ramayanam and Sri Kirupananda Variyar had a huge following for his Kambaramayana Harikatha programs. But the person who revolutionized this Harikatha format in the modern era is Smt. Vishaka Hari.

Vishaka Hari is an expert vocalist who learned Carnatic music under the legendary Carnatic violinist, Padma Bhushan Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman. Her spiritual guru and father-in-law is Sri Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal (Sri Sri Anna). She learned the art of Harikatha from her husband, Sri Hariji, an experienced Harikatha exponent who delivers discourses in Tamil, English and Hindi. She is also an All India Gold medalist in Charted Account. Her deep knowledge in music, melodious voice along with the deep understanding of the Hindu epics and scriptures make her programs very unique and special. She has been giving Harikatha programs covering many subjects such as various topics based on Srimad Ramayanam, Srimad Bhagavatham and Skanda puranam. She also performs from Srisrianna's works such as: Sri Vaishnava Samhitha; Sri Brindavana Mahatmyam; Divya Desa Vaibhavam; Harikatha Amritha Lahari; Sri Bhaktha purisha Stavam; Sati vijayam, Shatakams and Keerthanas. 

The Boston audience have had the good fortune and opportunity to listen to her in person at the Chinmaya Mission twice in the last several years. She has performed Sundara Kantam, Krishna Leela and Baktha Meera in the past at the Chinmaya Mission and now is scheduled to perform Draupadi Sharanagathi on June 16th at 3 pm. This program will be in English for the benefit of the children who are growing up in this country. She has also kindly agreed to answer questions from the audience at the end of the program in a Q & A format to clear any doubts they might have. There are still tickets available for this program and they can be purchased at www.lokvani.com or emailing Durga Krishnan at dkrishnan1015@gmail.com.


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