Minneapolis Madhurageetham Devotional Music Competition – Jan 2018

“Sangita jnAnamu bhakti vinA”; we all go to concerts and identify ragams with our friends. We go to Pattu Class and memorize the 72 Melakarthas. We put talam and nod our heads when our favorite Anna plays a Thani Avarthanam. What does all this mean though, if there is no bhakthi in it? Sri Tyaagaraaja composed this beautiful kriti in Dhanyasi, telling us that mere knowledge of music without devotion can never lead to the right path. What is the point of singing, when we have no bhakthi in our hearts?
To rejoice the 4th week of Marghazi 2017-2018, Minneapolis G.O.D. Satsang held our annual Tyaagarajaa Aradhana and Deiva Tamizh Isai on Saturday, January 6th 2018. To make the Deiva Tamizh Isai much more exciting, we held our first Maduragitam Contest to it. Men, women, and children of all ages competed to interpret the meaning of one of Swamiji’s kirtans and Namavalis that they chose and win the award. The three age categories were Vrindavan, (up to 9), Mathura, (from 10-18), and Dwaraka, which was the adult division. Our three judges in the contest were Rahul Raghavan, who flew in with his family from Chicago, Ramki Mama, and our beloved Poornima Ji! The judges not only looked for good gammakams and talam, but they wanted to make sure that the participants understood the meaning of the song, and could demonstrate that they did! We had loads of singers of all ages compete and sing and our judges gave wonderful feedback and asked great questions about the kirtan that the participants sang! The champions of the first place prizes were Aditi Bharath, in the Vrindavan category, Advaith Subramanian, in the Mathura category, and Pavithra Radhakrishnan in the Dwaraka category. All participants took a vast amount of time learning the ragam, talam, lyrics, meaning, and the bhava that Swamiji wrote the kritis in. By the blessings of Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, we were able to celebrate yet another Marghazi Utsavam and conduct another beautiful Satsang.

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