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Bharatanatyam -The Mokshadayini Vidya
- Raghu Nandan S, Bangalore

December 5, 2006

If there is one art which has an unstinted existence among generations of artistes and art connoisseurs, it is certainly Bharatanatyam.

Though its origin traces back to mythological and historical facts, it is one of those oldest art forms which has never had a demise and has grown through ages, undergone refinement continuously and consistently and has been always at the peak of its glory. Just like people compare a Subhashita to divine nectar (Amrita), Bharatanatyam can be rightly called the Mokshadayini Vidya. The beauty of this art form is, it has a mesmerizing effect on all people irrespective of caste and creed they belong to, region they are in, religion they believe in and follow. The art has extended its warmth to one and all.

If we consider the refinements in the art from, most of them have arisen depending upon the socio-religious status of the society. Refinements have been in composition of items, in lyrics, in style of performance, in the pace of performance...and the list goes on. All the refinements are positive for the growth of art because the reason and the root of refinement has always been materialization of prevalent culture.

The speciality of Bharatanatyam compared to other classical art forms is, its flexibility in portrayal of lyrics without sacrificing the divinity and moreover dignity of the art itself. That is, the ability to depict anything that is expected within its boundaries but in addition maintaining its decorum and self-esteem both in the Natyadharmi and Lokadharmi equally. The clear and elaborate expression of intricate movements right through the human body can be found in Bharatanatyam.

Personally, I believe, for a true Bharatanatyam artist or a true "Sah-Hrudayi" (connoisseur), there in no need of any art of prayers or any other means of devotion to God because the art in itself is a Mokshadayini Vidya - meaning "the path to salvation."

Raghu Nandan is a Bharatanatyam artiste based in Bangalore. He is the grandson of late senior guru H R Keshava Murthy.

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