Local Houston musician Tyagaraja performs the Hindu mantra “Maha Mrityunjaya” for a video for MD Anderson Cancer Center, with an article written for MDA by Deborah Thomas.
All Obstacles Removed … the Journey Continues
By: Deborah Thomas
Aidan Immroth lost his battle to brain cancer in November of this year, but at the end of his brief 13 years on this earth, Aidan accomplished something really huge — actually as big as an elephant — a painting using a live elephant as the canvas that is! Part of the Pediatric Education and Creative Arts Program at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, Aidan had a vision to paint a real elephant and it became reality through the help of Ian Cion, MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital’s Artist in Residence.
Aidan chose the elephant as his artistic focus “because elephants are really cool and they’re known to be lucky.” Aidan also got his inspiration from a tapestry in his family’s home of the Hindu elephant-deity, Ganesh: Lord of Success. Ganesh is thought to arouse faith in having obstacles removed from one’s path, and all obstacles were surely moved when Aidan and his family had the rare opportunity of joining together to fulfill Aidan’s dream of painting an elephant.
The song accompanying Aidan’s journey in this video is a Hindu mantra called “Maha Mrityunjaya” performed by local Houston artist Tyagaraja. This mantra is a request to the Hindu Lord Shiva to overcome death, but not of a physical nature but rather to conquer spiritual death and have never-ending life.
There is a legend that Lord Shiva appeared to one of his devotees that was destined to die at age 16. The deity stopped the aging process so death would never come to this young man. Aidan also will continue to live on in the hearts of his family and friends and through his great accomplishment of painting the magnificent elephant Krissy.
More information about Tyagaraja may be found at www.tyagaraja.com.