Melt me not - with Love
A Thematic Dance recital uniting Love and Devotion to the Lord

by Dr.S.Venkatesan


Among various emotions a human being experiences, love has a unique status. The word “LOVE” describes the physical & mental attraction between two human beings. This unique bonding includes the emotional closeness between parents and their child, between siblings, between God and a devotee, between a Guru and his Shishya and even between a pet and the owner. The word LOVE is very often mixed up with hunger and longing. Hungry for physical intimacy, hungry for spiritual union, hungry for motherly love etc. are but a few phrases commonly used to describe love.

This is really Love expressed as Bhakthi or devotion. Bhakthi has also been expressed in numerous ways by poets all over the world. Per Kamban’s Ramayanam, when Rama glanced at Seetha standing at the balcony, love took a new meaning. “ Annalum Nokkinaan – Avalum Nokkinal” ( The great Master looked and she also glanced). Their glances were romantic and seem to be the continuation of an eternal bond. However their glances laid the foundation for Ravana’s death. In Tamil literature Love and Bhakthi have always been intertwined. From ancient Sangam literature to those “middle ages “songs sung by Azhwars, Nayanmars and other devotees and those sung by poets of more recent times have used the word Love with various connotations.

Per Vaishnava interpretation, Sriman Narayana is the only male aspect, i.e Purusha- or the Nayaka, while all other human beings are but Nayakis irrespective of their gender. Thirumangai Azhwar imagines himself as a distraught young maiden who expresses her unhappiness of not being together with the Lord, in a collection of verses called Ciriya Thirumadal. These verses are great to read and convey the total mental agony of the lady for love- yes in this case devotion. Many other Azhwars have also emphasized Nayaka Nayaki portrayal in numerous verses.

Periyazhwar on the other hand, imagines himself as Yashodha, Krishna’s mother and the Lord to be his child. Nayanmars or Saivite poets describe the emotional state of mind due to Love for the Lord as” “Kaadhalal Kasindhurigi kanneer malgi”( overcome by Love, tears flowing down the eyes and melting the soul). Aandal , the only female Azhwar, openly expresses her Bhakthi to the Lord as her longing to unite with Him in holy matrimony. She is not prepared to concede that a mere mortal as she was, could not marry the almighty Lord Narayana. Her steadfast Love, earns her the hand of Ranganatha. Up in north India , Bhaktha Meera expresses her Bhakthi to the Lord through her Bhajans. Annamayya from Andhra Desam, and Purandaradasa from Karnataka have also expressed their Bhakthi via Bhajans.

The great Tamil poet Mahakavi Bharathiyar expresses his Bhakthi to the Lord in a kaleidoscope of caricatures including a small child, a friend, the boss , the servant and even as a partner in life. In this dance drama we have tried to explore the multiple facets of Love and devotion as expressed by various poets. To be able to relate to the regions from which these poets came from, we have tried to include local dance styles and local languages for the lyrics. Sit back, relax and enjoy our presentation on Bhakthi rasa expressed as Kadhal or Love.


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