21,000 people to sing Thevaram in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
22 Jan 2011

Rhyme and rhythm to unite hearts and minds

The land of the singing fish - Batticaloa in Sri Lanka is all set to usher in 2011 by hosting a event on January 22, 2011 where over 21, 000 people from all walks of life will come together on one platform to sing in unison some of the key verses from the richest Tamil devotional poetry – The Thevaram. Over 40,000 people are also expected to meditate for world peace, harmony and prosperity.

Inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar`s mission of a One World Family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam), this historical event aims to unite hearts and minds with rhyme and rhythm.

Speaking on the relation between music and spirituality, Gurudev says, “Spirituality and music together can uplift people, get them out of depression and help them start a new life with enthusiasm. For a stress-free life, you have to embrace both these facets (spirituality and music).”

Several musicians, singers, poets, dancers, dignitaries and religious leaders are also expected to attend the event. The event will also see participation from people from every section of society and several countries.

During his visit to Sri Lanka in January 2011, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will be performing the traditional and ancient process of Rudra Puja that has healed and uplifted human consciousness over centuries.

About the Thevaram

The Thevaram (in Tamil “Theva” means The Divine and “aram” denotes a beautiful garland) represents the first seven volumes of the Tirumurai, the twelve-volume collection of Tamil Saivite devotional poetry. All seven volumes are dedicated to the works of the three most prominent Tamil poets known as Nayanars - Sambanthar and Appar lived around the 7th century AD, while Sundarar lived in the 8th century AD. During the Pallava period these three poets travelled extensively delivering discourses and songs characterized by devotion to Lord Shiva.

In the 10th century AD, during the reign of Rajaraja Chola I, a collection of these songs was found abandoned in the Chidambaram temple, along with other religious literary works, and collated by Nambiyandar Nambi. All the hymns in the Thevaram (called pathikam in Tamil) are believed to be in sets of ten. “The hymns are set to music denoted by Panns and are part of the canons of the Tamil music,” shares Swami Sadyojatha, Director, Art of Living International Office.

Our previous events

The Art of Living hosted Antarnaad in 2009, a grand symphony of 2,750 Indian classical vocalists in Pune, India; its historic sitar concert titled, Brahmnaad in New Delhi in November 2008, which brought together over 1000 sitar exponents, in aid of the Bihar Relief and rehabilitation; and in 2006, 1200 Mohiniattam dancers performed together on one stage in Kerala.