Thrissur: One of the most pressing needs of the people these days is to ensure a peaceful death, according to the offerings being made at the Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple.
Whether approaching one’s own death or facing the death of a loved one, many offer Swargarohanam Krishnanattam at the temple.
Swargarohanam, which literally means ascent to heaven, is linked with the legend of Lord Vishnu leaving for his heavenly abode after the avatar of Krishna.
Krishnanattam is a performing art that combines both piety and art.
It is based on a Sanskrit work ‘Krishnageethi’ written by Manavedan Raja, a Zamorin king of Kozhikode, 350 years ago. The work includes eight phases of the life of Lord Krishna.
The devotees can select any story part to play as per their preference or the full story for nine days if they can afford it. Devotees believe that by offering ‘Avataram’ story, a child will be born to childless couples.
By offering ‘Kaliamardanam’ play, skin problems caused by snake bite and other skin diseases are also cured by the Lord. ‘Rasa Krida’ is offered for the well-being of unmarried girls and for getting a suitable spouse.
Also disputes between married couples will be solved. ‘Kamsavadham’ is for removing one’s enemies, ‘Swayamvaram’ for getting a suitable marriage alliance, ‘Banayudham’ for any auspicious event, getting the blessings of Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva and success in legal matters, ‘Vividavadham’ for removing poverty and success in agriculture and ‘Swargarohanam’ for the peace of a departed soul, salvation and for a peaceful death.
According to Sukumaran Asan, senior member of the Krishnanattam troupe in Guruvayur Devaswom, ‘Swayamvaram’ and ‘Avataram’ were the most wanted plays for the offering so far. But now it has been replaced by ‘Swargarohanam.’ Last year, the most played story was ‘Swargarohanam’ as the demand for a peaceful death overtakes all other needs in our society, he says. Earlier, only one ‘Swargarohanam’ play was allowed in a year.’
About two decades ago, devaswom officials permitted ‘Swargarohanam’ on demand with one condition. Those who arrange ‘Swargarohanam’ play has to offer ‘Avataram’ also as the Lord needs rebirth for the other roles.
“In Guruvayur temple, June is the vacation for ‘Krishnanattam.’ July and August are for rehearsal. Tuesday is weekly holiday. On all other days, ‘Krishnanattam’ is performed. And last year, we played around 40 ‘Swargarohanam’ stories,” says Sukumaran Asan....