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Friday, June 10, 2022

‘Harivarasanam’ - 100 years !!

The holy Sabarimala draws millions of people – Lord Ayyappa,  the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn at Pandalam as the son of the King of Pandalam, known by the name of Manikandan, who found him as a radiant faced infant on the banks of the river Pampa, wearing a bead (‘mani’) around his neck.


சபரிமலையில் ஐயப்ப ஸ்வாமியை உறங்க வைக்கும் ’ஹரிவராசனம் விஸ்வமோஹனம்’ எனும் உறக்கப்பாட்டு. இது, அத்தாழபூஜை எனும் அர்த்தசாம பூஜை முடிந்த பின் சபரிமலை திருத்தலத்தின் நடை சார்த்தும் பாடலாக ஒலிக்கும்.  

Lord Iyappa is the Lord of masses -  the cult of Sabarimala broke the ‘divide’ created internally within the Hinduism and also created by ‘’divide and rule’’ model of invaders. During the Sabarimala season, you can see millions of people wearing coloured dhotis, wearing the mala and sandal paste on their foreheads. They observe strict ‘’brahmacharya’’,strictly follow food restrictions, live a dharmic path. These *Iyappa samis*  mingle freely with each other without any discrimination based on caste, age, social status etc etc.. address each other ‘Sami’.  Faith has been deeply rooted in  society's political and moral behaviour.  Any challenge to that  faith, offends followers and believers,  seriously threatens the very fabric of religious beliefs.  

Decades ago, in 1975 saw the movie ‘Swami Ayyappan’ directed by P Subramaniam and released in Malayalam and Tamil starring Gemini Ganesan, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Master Raghu / Karan, K Balaji and others.  It was an award winning film with songs becoming super hits – and supreme among them was ‘Harivarasanam’ by K Jesudoss.  Do you know who was the music director for this film ? 

Before you read further, here is the original of the song :  

हरिवरासनं विश्वमोहनम् !  हरिदधीश्वरमाराध्यपादुकम् ।

अरिविमर्दनं नित्यनर्तनम्!  हरिहरात्मजं देवमाश्रये ॥ १॥


Repository of Hari’s boons, Enchanter of the universe,

Essence of Hari’s grace, He whose holy feet is worshipped,

He who kills enemies by good thought, He who daily dances the cosmic dance,

Son of Hari and Hara, I take refuge in thee, Oh Lord

My refuge is in you Ayyappa, 


Harivarasanam (श्रीहरिहरात्मजाष्टकम् ) is a sanskrit lullaby (ashtakam) sung for Lord Ayyappan at Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha Temple, in Kerala.  The song became popular through the first stanza in the ‘Keerthanam’ known as "Hariharatmajashtakam" (ഹരിഹരാത്മജാഷ്ട്ടകം)  -  'Harivarasanam' has  eight stanzas, and hence  called 'Ashtakam'.


One version is that the   song was written by Konnakathu Janaki Amma in circa 1907 to 1920, as an offering for Lord Ayyappa. She had submitted it to her father, Ananthakrishna Iyer, who was then the Sabarimala Melshanthi (Chief Priest) The original version of the song is only sung inside of temple during the daily temple closing ceremony and the popular version of the song which is different from the original one is also played through megaphones and speakers in the temple complex for the devotees.  

Though there are many versions of ‘Harivarasanam,’ the one rendered by carnatic vocalist and playback singer K. J. Yesudas and composed in the Madhyamavati raga by composer late G. Devarajan, is played for decades at the temple after final poojas. 

“Harivarasanam” original lyrics are in Sanskrit and also included in his the Harivarasanam Viswamohanam collected by Kambakudi Kulathur Ayyar in 1963. The first singers of Harivarasanam are from the bhajan singers of Purakkattu Anandeswaram Siva Temple. Later devotees known as Kalladakkoottam sang this song everywhere in Kerala and it started to become popular throughout the state. 

Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajam is all set to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the devotional song ‘Harivarasanam’. The Committee has stated that celebrations will take place in many places.  At Chennai on June 11,  at Srivari wedding hall in Chennai, Honble Governor of the State, Shri RN Ravi will release the logo and inaugurate the function. Former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan will carry out the topic presentation.     

The rendering in film Swami Ayyappan of 1975 was of Yesudas to the music of G Devarajan.  Paravoor Govindan Devarajan (1927-2006), popularly known as G. Devarajan scored music for more than three hundred Malayalam films, many dramas, and twenty Tamil and four Kannada movies. His collaborations with Vayalar Ramavarma produced the golden era of Malayalam film music and many of his compositions remain ever green classics in Malayalam.   

ஹரிவ ராஸனம் விஸ்வ மோஹனம்! ஹரிததீஸ்வரம் ஆ ராத்ய பாதுகம்

அரிவிமர்தனம் நித்ய நர்த்தனம் ! ஹரிஹராத்மஜம் தேவ மாச்ரயே

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th June 2022. 


  1. Nice..சிறந்த செய்திகள் தெரிவிக்க பட்டுள்ளன. நிறைந்த மகிழ்ச்சி. 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  2. Harivarasanam written by Konnakathu Janaki Amma in 1923. At 2017 Harivarasanam Charitable Trust formed the memory of beloved Janaki Amma. This trust Chairman P.Mohankumar is grand son of Konnakathu Janaki Amma.