It is the legendary singer’s version of the hymn that is played at the temple just prior to the closing of the temple doors at night.

At Ayyappas door in Sabarimala Yesudas sings Harivaraasanam the song he immortalised
news Devotion Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 18:28

On Thursday, famous Indian Carnatic musician and legendary playback singer Dr. KJ Yesudas rendered the song ‘Harivaraasanam’ in person to rock Lord Ayyappa to sleep at the Sopaanam at Sabarimala in Kerala.

The singer was visiting the shrine on the last day of the Onam and Kanni celebrations at the famed pilgrim centre. As per the request of the Devaswom Board, Yesudas led his fellow pilgrims in song, as he rocked the presiding deity to sleep at the end of the temple rituals.

The lyrics of this Sanskrit Hindu devotional song called ‘Hariharasudhastakam’ was composed in 1950 by Kumbakudi Kulathur Iyer. Known as the ‘Urakka Pattu’ (lullaby), the hymn has been rendered by many singers over the years.

But the most popular version is the one rendered by Yesudas himself and set to the tune composed by the late music director G Devarajan. 

Its soaring popularity can be gauged by the fact that it is this version that is played for devotees below the Sannidhanam (Sanctum Sanctorum) just prior to the closing of the temple doors at night for the past many years.

Legend goes that in the 1960s or 70s, an ardent Ayyappa devotee VR Gopala Menon used to recite Harivaraasanam with utmost devotion, as he chose to reside at the Sannidhanam even when the temple was closed.

On hearing about Menon’s demise, the then Mel Santhi (chief priest) Thirumeni Eashwaran Nampoothiri sang the song in his memory, just as he was about to shut the temple doors for the day.

That marked the beginning of a ‘nostalgic’ tradition that has remained in place till date. While the priest sings the song (in a different tune) to Ayyappan, devotees listen to Yesudas’ version.

Though Yesudas has vistied Sabarimala in the past, this is the first time he sang before the deity.

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