Kudanthai Mali brought to stage the story of Mahan Narayana Guru

May15,2024


From Kudanthai Mali's play Mahan Narayana Guru.

From the play of Kudanthai Mali great narayan guru, , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Mali's stage recently presented the play great narayana guru (Written and directed by Kudanthai Mali at Narada Gana Sabha). Mali is known for his scripts with social messages. So, a play on social reformer Narayan Guru is right up his alley. The gardener gave all the visitors a pamphlet containing quotes about Narayana Guru. This revealed not only the Guru's geographical reach but also the influence he exerted on many eminent personalities, including Tagore and Gandhi.

The play begins with the birth of Narayanan in Nanu's family. The signs of greatness are evident even when Nanu is a child. He does not blindly accept the rules, just because they have been followed for centuries. And as he grows up, his reformist zeal grows stronger. Her mother thinks that marriage will help her settle down. But he walks out of the marriage and starts doing penance.

From Kudanthai Mali's play Mahan Narayana Guru.

From the play of Kudanthai Mali great narayan guru, , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

When lower castes are denied entry into temples, he installs a Linga for them to worship. He knows that education is a tool of empowerment, and his Gurukulam includes children from all castes. When he read a Sanskrit verse with the correct pronunciation, Rajagopalacharya, the Diwan of Cochin and later Travancore, became convinced that the Guru was on the right path.

Narayana Guru believed that not Hindu philosophy but the dead wood of tradition had to be discarded. Nor was he against any caste. In a scene of the play he pointed out that many of the reformers themselves were Brahmins. His encounter with Ramana Maharshi as portrayed in the play is the meeting of two enlightened souls. They do not exchange words, but communicate silently.

All the major events of Narayana Guru's life were captured by Mali, with voice-over briefly mentioning the events that could not be included in the play. gardener's great narayan guru It was more like a documentary than a drama, which was understandable. Although Narayana Guru's ideas were revolutionary, his methods were peaceful. So, obviously, no one could expect much action on stage.

Mali explained the Guru's teachings as best he could in the two-hour play. Except for KRS Kumar, who played the role of old Narayana Guru, other actors had small roles. Kicha had come up with some good tunes for the play. Padma Stage Kannan's props were minimal, but appropriate.

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