Cultural Activities S.Dharma/Sahitya

 

Sarva Dharma Sammelana

      Even though each religion has its own doctrines, creeds and rituals, all religions are united by the one belief that the Supreme Power guides the destinies of mankind.

     Under the benign guidance of Shri Heggade, Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala has always looked at all mankind as one family, irrespective of religion, caste, creed or tradition. Anybody coming to Dharmasthala is respected as a pilgrim In search of peace and happiness.

      

      Taking this belief to a higher level, Shri Manjayya Heggade, the earlier Dharmadhikari, hosted the first Sarva Dharma Sammelana in 1933. Continuing this tradition, Shri Veerendra Heggade annually hosts the Sarva Dharma Sammelana (Conference of all religions) and the Sahi tya Samme l ana (Literary Conference) to spread the principle of Sarva Dharma Samanvaya (Integration of religious practices).

     This annual gathering of religious heads of all religions, scholars, poets and other distinguished personalities helps in encouraging solidarity, unity and above al l universal brotherhood.

 

Ancient Manuscripts

   Ancient history, religious traditions, literature and even astrology have been chronicled in ancient manuscripts which were generally strips of parchment while the older versions were in copper sheets. Unfortunately these ancient manuscripts have not got the pride of place they should have.

    To locate, preserve and in some cases restore these priceless treasures, Shri Heggade formed the Shri Manjunatheshwara Cultural Research Foundation of Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala.

   There are over 5000 invaluable manuscripts in the collection most of them being in Sanskrit, Kannada and Tulu. Some are in Prakrit and Tamil. They cover subjects like Valmikis Ramayana, Bhaskarachary's Jyotisa Siddantha Shiromane, Bana's Nataka and a host of them on Upanishadhs and the Sastras. Tulu manuscripts include some on Yakshgana Prasangas. There is even a copy of the Holy Bible translated from the Latin Vulgate and edited with notes by the Rev. Geo Leo Haydock, published in the United States in 1609.

      The Foundation not just collects and preserves the manuscripts, but has brought together scholars and experts to decipher these manuscripts and translate them into modern languages so that these gems of ancient literature will once again find place in Indian literature.

      Extreme care and scientific methods are used to preserve these ancient manuscripts. Very soon the entire collection will be microfilmed for posterity to treasure.

 

Yakshagana

 

 



     Yakshagana is a colourful ballet - which features colorfully attired artistes typical to this beautiful folk dance - entertains the spectators all through the night. Since it narrates stories from the Hindu mythologies through songs, dance and dialogues, the artistes represent characters from the Hindu pantheon of gods.

     Most people know that Yakshagana is the folk dance unique to costal Karnataka,better known as Dakshina Kannada. However few would realize that these ballet artistes have put in years of rigorous training before they graduate to perform on stage. However modern trends and the desire to ape the West saw a waning interest in this beautiful, ancient form of folk lore. Neglected and restricted to small pockets of Yakshagana lovers in the rural hinterland, this colourful and highly entertaining art form was slowly being relegated to history.

     To stem this tide, Shri Heggade established the Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Yakshagana Kala Kendra. This Kala Kendra encourages youngsters to learn this ballet form by providing a six month training course every year.

     The Dharmasthala Yakshagana troupe is booked by devotees as an expression of their gratitude to Lord Manjunatha for the blessings bestowed on them by the Lord. And believe it or not, this troupe is booked for years in advance.