TDB to re-record 'Harivarasanam...'

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the Sabarimala temple, is getting ready to re-record, with changes, a devotional song played every night to put Lord Ayyappa to sleep.

‘Harivarasanam…’, a Sanskritised Malayalam song written in the ‘astakam’ or an eight-stanza metre, is recited at the shrine in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala as a ‘lullaby’.

The TDB wants to bring out the song afresh by adding a word that exists in its original text and missing in the popular version, and by correcting a pronunciation error.

Though there are many versions of it, the one rendered by K.J Yesudas and composed in the popular musical format by late G. Devarajan is being played for decades at the temple.

The newly appointed TDB president A. Padmakumar said the word ‘swamy’ was there in every line of the original song, believed to have been written in the 1920s, and it might have been omitted for the ease of rendition in the musical format.

‘Swamy’ is a term used as honorific addressing a male deity in Hindu belief.

“We want the song to be sung as in the original text. Furthermore, the famous line that goes ‘Ari Vimardhanam’ should be spelt separately and it is rendered as a single word in the present version,” Padmakumar said.

Yesudas, himself an ardent devotee of Lord Ayyappa and a regular visitor of the shrine, had admitted some time ago that the words ‘ari’ (enemy) and ‘vimardhanam’ (destroy) should have been spelt separately.

He had originally sung the song for the 1975 Malayalam film, ‘Swamy Ayyappan’ and recorded it afresh later, which has since been played at the shrine.