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AUDIO RELIC OF A HOLY PRIEST - GURU YOHEND - John Bosco Thottakkara, CMI.
|Part I - Syro Malabar Church
|AUDIO RELIC OF A HOLY PRIEST - GURU YOHEND - John Bosco Thottakkara, CMI.
|Place of Recording
|Date of Release
|Video Segment (s)
Guru Yohend (1920-2005)
Fr. Kurian Puthanpurackal in Conversation with Rev. Fr. John Bosco Thottakkara - Guru Yohend - CMI on the Performance traditions of 'PuthenPana' in 1993 at the CMI Monastery, Chethippuzha.
This is an audio relic of a holy man. Fr. John Bosco Thottakkara, CMI, who liked to be known as Guru Yohend. Guru Yohend was a CMI priest, a scholar of the Syriac language and Aramaic tradition in India, and a zealous Syro-Malabar Catholic. He envisioned a uniquely Indian Syro Malabar Catholic Church with jurisdiction across the country.
We do not know the sentiments behind his choice of an Indian name: Guru Yohend. We may surmise that the second part of his name is an adaptation of two Aramaic words: Yohannan (John) and Hendwaya (Indian).
In the video, we hear a conversation between Guru Yohend and Fr. Kurian Puthenpurackal, CMI, a singer and composer of Christian devotional songs and the director of Nadopasana at Thodupuazha in Kerala, India.
The topic of conversation is the performance tradition of Puthen Paana among the Syro Malabar Catholics in Kerala. In 1993, I requested Fr. Kurian to help me to gather additional information on the Puthen Paana tradition for my master’s thesis in Ethnomusicology. It is in this context that Fr. Kurian engaged in a conversation with Guru Yohend .
Incidentally, Guru Yohend imparts us an exciting piece of information regarding Good Friday observance in some of the Syro Malabar churches in the 1940s; the poetic works by Constanzo Beschi in the Tamil language used to be a part of Good Friday observance in Kerala. Beschi was an Italian Jesuit missionary in Madurai in South India. He wrote epic poems in the Tamil language. Ritualized singing of Beschi’s devotional poems became a part of the Good Friday observance. It means the Syriac Christians in Kerala were comfortable praying in three languages, Syriac, Malayalam, and Tamil, as late as the 1940s.
This recording is a precious addition to our Digital Library of Christianity in India. It is also a gift to many Syro Malabar Catholics who consider Guru Yohend a saint. O Guru Yohend, please Pray for us.
Joseph J. Palackal
06 February, 2023.