Moodabidri: Senior Bhagavata Balipa Narayan Bhagavath (86), who is known as Bhishma of Yaksharanga, passed away on Thursday evening at Nooi Swagriha in Marur under Moodbidire municipality.
Famous for his bronze voice in Yakshagana Bhagavathike for the last few decades, he had thousands of fans. 86 Year-old Bhagavath passed away this evening due to a brief illness. Out of four sons, one son Prasad Bhagavath passed away last year. He is survived by three sons, an extended family, and huge fans.
Bhagavath Balipa Narayan originally hails from Padre village in Kasaragod district. A famous and senior devotee of Tenkuthitta. Kateelu Durgaparameshwari, he has served as a participant in the Yakshagana Mela for many years. He also composed many works of Yakshagana songs.
Balipa Narayan was born on March 13, 1938 at Padre village in Kasaragod to Balipa Madhav Bhat and Saraswati. He studied till 7th standard. He learned Bhagavatik from his grandfather D. Balipa Narayan Bhagavata and joined the stage in his 13th year.
Balipa Narayana Bhagavata was involved in Yakshagana Kala Seva for 60 years. He first started Padre Jatadhari Mela. The memorization of more than 50 episodes of Yakshagana is a commendable feat. He has composed 30 published and 15 unpublished Yakshagana episodes. The Bhagavath sang in black three and white five tones, Tenku Tittu called the Bhishma of the Yaksha Ranga.
Yaksha devotees have built Balipa Amrita Bhavan for his long service of Yakshagana. Balipa Narayana Bhagavata composed a Mahaprasanga called Devi Mahatme, published by Kaje Subrahmanya Bhatt of Venur and his friends. This is an important work in the history of Yakshagana.
Following are the awards that he received during his lifetime. Karnataka Rajyotsava Award of 2010, Samaga Award 2012, Karnataka Folklore and Yakshagana Academy “Jnana Award” 2003, Karnataka Folk Council Doddamane Lingegowda Award 2002, 71st All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelan `Karnataka Sri’ Award, 2003
Graduate Yakshagana Mandali Mumbai `Agari Award’ 2002, Sheni Award, 2002, Kavi Muddana Award, 2003, Kudlu Subraya Syanubhoga Award, 2003, Bangalore State Level Award by State Bank of Mysore 2003, Karnataka Sangha Award in Dubai, 2003, Partisubba Award, Alva’s Nudisiri award.