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Re: ARAYER SEVAI and KAISIKI NATAKAM

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Thu Apr 22 1999 - 18:06:44 PDT

Dear Srimathi Anita Rathnam :

First of all thanks very much for your initiative 
on the rigorous study of the performance rituals
of the aRayar sEvai at the divya desams , where the aRayars 
are struggling hard to stay alive . Your dedicated 
efforts to  map the links between the aRayar sEvai 
and Bharatha Naatyam in the overlapping
areas of temple rituals , religious observances ,
fine arts and faith are a great joy to learn about .
 
I recognize that it is a stupendous task
that needs to be undertaken by experts , who undertand 
the nomenclature of Bharatha Naatyam and are practioners 
of this divine art dedicated to serving the Lord 
in an unbroken tradition going back to Nathamuni . 
I am delighted further to hear that the Eelam Tamilians
and the scholars of dance in UK are responding well 
to lecdems on this esoteric topic .Unfortunately , Our own people 
are not too familiar with aRayar sEvai and its
rigors and rich traditions .last October , during
the samarpaNam of AabharaNams for ANDAL at 
SrivilliputthUr ,I had opportiunity to have
a good discussion with the senior aRayar of 
SrivilliputthUr and the Junior aRayar .I was
saddened to hear about the deep economic difficulties
that they were facing .

We can and should do some thing to help them so
that these families steeped in tradition can help
future generations appreciate and understand the 
unbroken traditions that these families have played 
for one thousand years . Please let us know your assessment
of the need to help them at SrivilliputthUr and 
AzhwAr Thirunagari . It is possible that you are 
related to the TVS family hailing from Thirukkurungudi
with whom our family has a long term relationship .
You probably are going to take care of the aRayars
of Thrukkurungudi . Let us therefore come up with
a plan to help the two families at SrivilliputthUr and 
AzhwAr Thirunagari , who serve the divya dampathis 
inspite of all the hardships .    

Those who come forward to help can benefit from 
your studies greatly ( Videos , audios and descriptive
texts on thes ancient temple rituals ).

Professor VasudhA NaarAyaNan of University of Florida
has done some earlier studies on aRayar sEvais 
and she might be intersted to join in this project
of helping to preserve this ancient art form and
help . The natives of Srirangam, SrivilliputthUr 
and AzhwAr Thirunagari and the AchAryAs 
of Ahobila Mutt, VaanamAmalai mutt and 
Andavan aasramams could also be requested to help 
in this project .

>KAISIKI NATAKAM: This is the only remaining temple threatre ritual
>which has direct connections with the 1st century text called th NATYA
>SASTRA revered by all Indian performers of classical dance. The form
>exists only in the temple town of Thirukurungudi and is in the process
>of total extinction. A five year research and revival process in
>underway details will be available on our website www.arangham.com in
>the next two weeks under the category RITUAL AND REVIVIAL.

I look forward to browsing this URL to learn more
about this rare ritual of kaisiki Naatakam . 
>
>So much needs to be done for both forms. I strongly feel that the
>government takes far too long to act and requires endless reams of
>paperwork and xeroxs sent to New Delhi.

We can forget about the Government's slow grinding
wheels and let us put our shoulder together to help
in meaningful ways that recognize and thank these
illustrious families struggling to keep these traditions
alive .
>
>I do not want to feel alone in this battle. I feel that this is OUR
>tradition and hope that I can hear from some of you with suggestions.

These are my suggestions and I feel confidentthat
members of the Bhakthi list would generously come 
to help in supporting this noble effort as they
have done in the past .
>
Best Wishes and looking forward to your response
on the concrete steps to be taken based on your
assessment of the situation and links to aRayar
families on ground ,

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari SadagOpan