Vijay Siva presented a rare and memorable commentary-filled concert for Jaya TV. He was supported by R.K.Shriramkumar on the violin and Manoj Siva on the Mridangam. The theme of the concert was "Ayul, Aishwaryam, Arokyam". The subject was covered with a great deal of humor and deep insights from saint composers of carnatic music. Although lofty thoughts and concepts were presented, at no time did one feel preached or talked down to in the same spirit as the original compositions. Pure and serene devotional music in tandem with the sharp insights made for a memorable evening.
The songs list:
1. Mayuranatham, Dhanyasi, Dikshitar
2. Karu Baru, Mukhari, Thyagaraja
3. Kambodi, Ma janaki, Thyagaraja
4. Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma, Sri, Purandara
5. Saveri, Durusuga, Shyama Sastry
6. Chakravaham, Etula brova, Thyagaraja
7. Puradaradasar kriti
8. Vetta veli thannil, Kudhambai Sidhar
9. Ma kelara vicharamu, Ravichandrika, Thyagaaja
Some of the insights provided:
1. Ayul, Arogyam and Aishwaryam are only means to an end and are given to us by God so that we may serve God and ultimately be granted Sayujyam (or Moksham). This is reflected in the kriti Mayuranatham.
When Brahma grants us Ayul, his calculation is based on so many breaths rather than months and years. Vijay Siva's penchant for mental arithmetic came to the fore here. He said we should measure people's Ayul based on how they use these alloted number of breaths rather than how long they really live. So a person who remains calm and composed and is able to extend his or her life by optimum use of breathing should be called Deerghayushman and one who fritters away breaths by giving in to rage and passion should be considered as a short-timer irrespective of the number of years they lived.
2. In Karu Baru, Thyagaraja says that that all the people in Ayodhya were blessed with Ayul and Vidhya. Vijay commented that this was because Vidhya leads to Vinayam (Vidura neethi?) and Vinayam results in Ayul. A pre-requisite for Deergha ayul is humility.
3. The next topic was Aishwaryam. Vijay said that in order to be showered with Aishwarya, doing one thing is sufficient and that is to cherish one's wife. This does not mean that you have to do archana to her. He remarked mischievously that frequently it is the other way around. In Ma Janaki, Thyagaraja says that Sri Rama became a Maharaja for solely one reason - because he showered Sita with his love. According to the puranas only 2 people have been bestowed with the title "Maharaja". The first is the original Manu and the second is Kubera. Sita mentions (don't remember reference) that in all the years after her wedding, she never had a chance to go back and visit her parents' but did not miss it because of the love Rama heaped on her.
... To be continued