How Yesudas’ 'Harivarasanam' began to be played at Sabarimala

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It is believed that Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala temple goes to sleep listening to the devotional song 'Harivarasanam' in the magical voice of ace singer KJ Yesudas. It will be played on the loudspeakers when the door of the shrine is closed for the night. Millions of devotees cry out of devotion and happiness when they hear 'Harivarasanam' in Yesudas' soothing voice.

However, a group of people at Sannidhanam also sings 'Harivarasanam' every night. It is the priests here who regularly sing the Malayalam devotional lullaby 'Harivarasanam' for Ayyappa when the door of the shrine is closed at around 11 pm and they start to leave one by one. It is believed that Ayyappa falls asleep listening to this song sung by the priests. This ritual existed centuries before 'Harivarasanam' in Yesudas’ voice was played at Sabarimala.

When it was decided to record 'Harivarasanam', there were suggestions, whether, instead of singing the song, it could be played on loudspeakers in the sopanam (temple premises). It was then decided that the version of the song sung by Yesudas in the 1975 movie 'Swami Ayyappan' would be played at Sabarimala temple every night after the athazha pooja, the final rite of the day. Not just devotees, but music lovers too enjoy the lyrics sung by the legendary vocalist. 

The lyrics of this Sanskrit Hindu devotional song called ‘Hariharasudhastakam’ was composed in 1950 by Kumbakudi Kulathur Iyer and composed by the late music director G Devarajan. 

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