TNS Harikatha on Valmiki Ramayanam

Vidwan T.N. Seshagopalan (TNS) presented a five day harikatha on Valmiki Ramayanam at Hamsadhwani last month. I must say that it was a wonderful experience watching the genius at work! The speciality of the harikatha was that it was scholarly and not bookish like some discourses tend to be. Instead of just presenting the shlokas and their meanings, TNS shared his scholarly interpretations laced with humor in the desired proportion, quoting at will from a variety of sources including but not limited to the Kamba Ramayanam, compositions of Sri Thyagaraja, Sri Arunachala Kavi and Sri Uthukadu Venkata Kavi, Vishnu Sahasranamam, Vedanta Desikar’s “pAdukA sahasram”, Divyaprabandham and abhangs. The amount of hard work he must have put in is unfathomable. I simply envy his memory power. To be able to quote appropriate passages from just about anywhere without physically refering to any of the texts and to be able to keep most rasikas engaged every single minute standing on stage every day for 3 hours or more (without even consuming a drop of water on most days) is not a joke. As a fellow rasika pointed out, what is even more surprising is that TNS gave his first harikatha performance just about 3-4 years back and already seems to be a master of the trade!

Kudos to Hamsadhwani for having organized this harikatha.

16 thoughts on “TNS Harikatha on Valmiki Ramayanam

  1. Dear Ram,

    Thanks for the write up.

    I cannot but simply agree with you that he is a great artist of highest order and as Sanjay Sir clarly put it once that we all are fortunate to have witnessed to this great artist who seems to have mastered everything that he does.As the other day saw him play a Veena recording in Asianet which was simply superb.

    Hats off to him, his art, his music which gives us all inspiration as well encouragement to acheive new heights.


  2. Even I am now tempted to attend a Harikatha! The very presence of TNS leaves a scholarly stamp on the stage

  3. Is there any chance there is a mp3 recording of the same for those of us who could not witness and hear the harikatha? Or was it recorded and any chance it is available in future? I am really interested to hear it.

  4. Hello,
    If iam correct Shri TN Seshagopalan started harikatha long ago and concert was in the fore for some years and again back to harikatha! I heard in Krishna Gana Saba in 2006, it was good but, at the same time people should not forget to commend stalwarts like Shri Kalyanapuram Aaravamudhachariar and Smt.Kamala Murthy and yesteryear legends Thiruvayaru Annaswamy Bhagavathar, Embar Vijayaraghavachariar and many others who were expert in harikathas.
    One is attracted to harikatha only when the perforfomer relates and quotes from all the epics written by Kambar, Valmiki, Tulasidas, Arunachalakavi, Vyasar, Villiputhurar, Arunagirinathar, Pattinathar and last but not the least from Thevaram, Tiruvachagam, Pasuram, Divyapprabandam and so on.


    PS: This is the first time I post my view in this medium. Therefore, please pardon me if any mistakes.

  5. Dear Sri Madhavan,

    Thanks for your post. I think TNS himself mentioned on the last day of the harikatha that he started doing harikatha only 3-4 years back.

    Your point on the contribution of stalwarts in preserving/propagating this art form is well taken.


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