The Art Form in Maharashtra

The origin of the creation of Harikatha as a separate art form is not very clear. The cultural tradition of Harikatha as a separate art form could be seen in Karnāṭaka, Tamiḷnāḍu and Āndhra Dēśa but probably influenced by the form in Mahārāshṭra during the reign of Śivāji Maharāj. Śivāji’s Guru, Samarth Rāma Dās used to narrate harikatha-s. He was a devotee, who spread the message that importance has to be given not to material possessions but to ardent devotion of the Almighty and in his book, *‘Dāśabōdha’*, he elevated the place of Harikatha saying Harikatha artiste can attain *‘Mōkṣa’* easily. He was the lover of Harikatha who differentiated *Harikatha* from *Purāṇa* and created a significant place to it. In the same period lived Mōrōpantu Vāmana Panḍit, Tukāram and many other prominent Harikatha artistes in Mahārashṭra. The exponents of Harikatha art form are Mahāraṣṭrians but they called this art form

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