The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the renowned Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, is getting ready to re-record a popular devotional song, played every night to put the principal deity to sleep, with changes.
Harivarasanam, a Sanskritised Malayalam song written in 'astakam' (eight stanza metre), is recited at the hillock shrine located in Pathanamthitta district, routinely as an "urakku paattu" (lullaby) for the deity.
The TDB wants to bring out the song afresh by adding a word that exists in its original text and missing in the popular musical version, and by correcting a pronunciation error.
Though there are many versions of Harivarasanam, the one rendered by legendary Carnatic vocalist and playback singer KJ Yesudas and composed in popular musical format by iconic composer late G Devarajan, is being played for decades at the temple after final poojas.
The newly appointed TDB president A Padmakumar said the word 'swami' was there in every line of the original devotional song, believed to have been penned in 1920s, and it might have been omitted for the easiness of rendition when it was brought out in the musical format.
"We want the song to be sung as in the original text. Besides this, the line that goes 'ari vimardhanam' should be spelt separately which is rendered as a single world in the present version," PTI quoted Padmakumar as saying.
Yesudas, who himself is an ardent devotee of Lord Ayyappa and a regular visitor of the shrine, had admitted some time back that the words 'ari (enemy) and 'vimardhanam' (destroy) should have been spelt separately.
Yesudas had originally sung Harivarasanam for the 1975 Malayalam film Swami Ayyappan and recorded the song afresh years later, which has since been played at the shrine.
"I have already discussed the matter with Yesudas. He is in the United States at present and is expected to come to Kerala later this month to attend a private function. I hope that we can fix the final date of re-recording at that time," Padmakumar said.
Marking the beginning of the pilgrimage season, the Sabarimala Lord temple opened on November 15 for the three-month annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival. The 41-day festivities will conclude on December 26 after the Mandala pooja.
(With agency inputs)