Bhakti poetry as drama: Delhiites in for a treat

New Delhi: The national capital is set to host a four-day festival of Bhakti poetry in a musical-dramatic presentation, focusing on the lives of three legendary Bhakti poets -- Surdas, Tulsidas and Kabirdas, an official release said Friday.

Sun Bhai Sadho (Listen, brother, to the saint), as the festival is called, is presented by the Department of Art, Culture and Languages and Hindi Academy, and will be inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Shekhar Sen, renowned as a singer, music composer and lyricist, will bring the medieval poet-sages to life on stage.

"The `bhakti` period that produced legends like Kabirdas, Tulsidas and Surdas was also a golden period for Indian literature as the devotional poetry that emerged from these saints is memorable and everlasting," said Harisuman Bisht, secretary, Hindi Academy, in a statement Friday.

"It is our attempt to not only highlight their contribution but also remind people how these saints promoted complete devotion to God that included the idea of an all-loving approach to mankind as well. Keeping our saints alive is key to keeping our composite and harmonious culture alive," he said.

While Tulsidas was a 15th century poet-saint, reformer and philosopher who lived and sang in complete devotion to Lord Rama, Surdas was a blind saint, poet and musician, who wrote beautiful devotional songs to Lord Krishna.

Kabirdas, who also lived in the 15th century, promoted the notion of a formless divine force, and taught the love of all mankind, without distinction of caste or class.

The festival will be held at the FICCI Auditorium, Tansen Marg, from 6:30 pm, each of the four days.