Harikatha in simple terms means “Story of Lord” and itis also a form of regional discourses in which the storyteller used to narrate the incidents based on the life of a saint or a story from an Indian epic. The person telling the story through songs, music and using his facial gestures is called as Haridasa.
Harikatha is an ancient art form, and it is composed of storytelling, music, drama and dance which are most popular in South India. In ancient times, Harikatha was considered as a great spiritual entertainment, which helped the people to relax themselves from their physical and mental strains. Various benefits can be obtained by listening to the Harikatha such as removing the suicidal thoughts in our mind, prevention of fighting with others and filling up of full of spiritual thoughts in our mind.
The main aim of Hari Katha is to invoke the “HARI BHAKTI” in the minds of people and sow the seeds of bhakti in their minds. By hearing the Harikatha, the gateways of liberation would be opened to the listeners.
In Hindu mythology, the first Harikatha singer was sage Narada who had told the Harikatha to Mata Kayadu during the first Krita Yuga, when the great divine child Bhakta Prahlada was in the womb of his mother Kayadu. Many famous Haridasas such as Vyasaraja, Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa, used to recite Harikatha to the people and also in the court of the great king Krishnadevaraya.
Harikatha are still told in cities and villages, and still now lot of enthusiasts used to patiently listen to the spiritual discourses.People who recite the Harikatha would get more punya, since telling about the greatness of the almighty and spreading the bhakti among the people are considered as a noble act.
Let us cultivate the habit of listening to the religious discourses and reading the spiritual books in order to attain the glory of the god.