Pavithra Srinivasan is a passionate Bharatanatyam dancer. She is keen to bring out the essence of the Bhagavad Gita through Bharatanatyam - chapterwise. Pavithra wants to ensure that the entire Gita is made available to everyone globally and she wants this exercise to be her mission in life. She has completed one chapter and had recently presented the same at the behest of Sri Krishna Sweets in Coimbatore.
The committed dancer was at ease while discussing the Bhagavad Gita and Bharatanatyam at the residence of Shripriya Shyam on Avinashi road at Coimbatore. Shripriya has known Pavithra for sometime now. “She has been a dancer for the last few decades. Her injuries made her take a break for sometime. This committed dancer was wheelchair bound and was on crutches for sometime due to a few fractures. She has spent a lot of time with his holiness, Swami Dayananda Saraswati. He had given the name Arsha Kala Bharati to the institution founded by Pavithra”, stated Shripriya Shyam.
Pavithra had taken about a year to do the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The covid lockdown had delayed her work. It had cost her more than four lakhs to do the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita in Bharatanatyam. The talented dancer has a number of productions to her credit.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati had guided Pavithra and she had spent a lot of time in Saylorsburg(Pennsylvania) in the United States. Pavithra has been mentored by a number of teachers including the well known Padma Bushan awardees - The Dhananjayans.
“Pujya Swamiji had named my organization and he wrote the name with his pen. I have a lot of pleasant memories, kind words, and blessings from him. Spending time at his Ashram was a blessing. The beautiful Dakshinamoorthy temple, cottages, and the lecture hall continued to linger in my mind. He used to tell me that I'm a very together person and that I am my name. I would press his feet and it would feel like a lotus. Swamiji was extremely compassionate and my greatest blessing in life is the Satsanga that I had with him. I was fortunate to perform the Sundara Kandam for the first time in front of him. He called me Hanumani. His words were like nectar to me. Swamiji was keen to see that I would be happy at all times”, smiled Pavithra while sipping a cup of coffee at Sridevi durgam, on Subbaiyan Avenue of Avinashi road (the residence of Priya Shyam).
The dancer spoke about the wisdom that came with age. She emphatically stated that experience and knowledge cannot be replaced by youthfulness and glamor. Pavithra added that beauty and wisdom mature with the passage of time. She remembers Rajalakhmi Parharsarathy of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan (PSBB) as a vibrant lady Rajalakshmi had given Pavithra important roles in all the school programmes and was made a recipient of the Yuva Kala Bharathi Award for the first time, due to the attention of Rajalakshmi (wife of Partasarathy).
Pavithra was at ease while talking about the conches that were part of the Mahabharata. “The PanchaJanya, belonged to Sri Kirishna, while Devadatta and Poundra belonged to Arjuna and Bhima respectively. The Bhagavad Gita is but a dialogue between Nara(Human) and Narayana(Almighty). Dancers like us do the Naika and Nayika bhavams quite regularly. Bharatanatyam is a pillar of our culture and so is the Bhagavad Gita.
I have tried to combine and present the two pillars in the interest of our civilization. Well, one may ask why the Bhagavad Gita. It is simply because the Gita happens to be an Upanishad about the self. It is a wonderful manual for a great way of living. The Bhagavad Gita would help us to be intelligent and happy in life”, smiled Pavithra while being served Obbattu and Coffee. The talented dancer Pavithra claims that Bharatanatyam is her only strong point and the Satsang of Mahatmas particularly Swami Dayananda Saraswati. SDS had given value to her life.She is unable to think of a life without the company of saints. Pavithra was happy to state that her performances in orphanages and retirement homes have drawn her to the divine in a faster manner. “
“We need to listen to the issues, fears, and sufferings of others. This will make us compassionate. The Bhagavad Gita talks about the same. Everyone deserves happiness in life. It is our duty to see that the other person is happy. This is the best way to elevate oneself. Therefore we must understand that being compassionate is not a favor we do to the society but for it helps to elevate ourselves. A number of saints helped me to make me feel one amongst them. My thoughts began to find a meaning. It is important that they read our scriptures for they teach us more about our traditional value system. Staying in the Ashram of Swami Dayananda made me understand that Bramhavidya is the only thing for me”, added Pavithra.
The Bhagavad Gita has been a solo production and top musicians have been part of the team - they are Vidwan Hariprasad, Vidwan Vedakrishnaram, Vidwan Shashidar, Vidwan Kalaiarasan and Vidwan Anantha Narayanan. Prosound studio at Chennai has been the facilitator, while Pavithra Srinivasan has done the Nattuvangam concept, narration and choreography.
Now, Pavithra is ready to do camps on The Bhagavad Gita for students. She wants these lecture demonstrations to be part of their experience though. The dancer is ready to do these lec dems on invitation. The participants are expected to have some knowledge of Bharatanatyam in order to participate in her programs.
Pavithra signed off after stating the following, “The Bhagavad Gita is a great message. Exploring it and assimilating the wisdom found in this sacred text through Bharatanatyam would be fantastic. I am keen to put my all into the Bhagavad Gita - Bharatanatyam matrix. The entire 18 chapters can be done in just five years provided I am able to take it up on a full time basis. This would need resources and people are welcome to support this endeavor. Interested and enthusiastic ambassadors of Indian culture may contact me at - [email protected]”
The Verandah Club wishes Pavithra godspeed in her endeavors connected with Bharatanatyam and the Bhagavad Gita.
Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of the Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.
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