Since today is the first full moon of the year, and since it also happens to be the brightest and largest moon of the year, I thought ‘Chandra Jyothi’ which means ‘moon light’ makes an apt title for this post.
If you did not notice yet, all full moons are not made equal, and some are bigger than others. And the full moon on January 29,2010 happens to be the biggest, brightest full moon of the year.
But why is today the biggest full moon of the year? We know the Moon’s path around the earth is an ellipse. So, the Moon is closer to us at some parts of this path than in other parts. The point where the Moon is closest to the Earth is called the perigee. If a full moon occurs when the Moon is at, or near the perigee in it’s monthly travel, then that full moon would be brighter than those when the full moon occurs when the Moon is at other points on its orbit.
To add to this effect, recall Earth moves around the Sun in an elliptical path too. That makes Earth closest to the Sun (and hence the Moon closest to the Sun) in early January every year. So if a full moon closer to perigee occurs around this time of the year, you get an extra bright moon, like today.
Since today is the day with the brightest ‘chandra jyOthi’ (moon light), it is no surprise I was reminded of couple of compositions of Tyagaraja in the raga Chandra Jyothi as I was writing this post!
Tyagaraja, the innovator he was, tried out a lot of new melodies that did not exist before his time, and Chandrajyothi is also a raga in which he is the first known composer. He has couple of compositions – and incidentally one starting with the words ‘Shashi vadana bhakta janaavana’ (Shashi is one of the words that mean ‘Moon’ in Samskrta). His other composition in raga Chandra jyothi , which is probably heard more often in concerts is Bagayenayya. Listen to this composition on flute by V K Raman.
All this discussion about the Moon, almost made me forget that I got the Superior Scribbler award from another ‘Moon’ – Shashi Kulkarni of ‘rasAyana‘. Yippee!!
And I am really glad to pass this to five other Superior Scribbler fellow bloggers.
So here goes my list:
Sallaapa: A wonderful weblog in Kannada by Sunaath, mostly about literary works in Kannada
MountainTop: I am a fan of Vidya’s posts on music, samskrta and alternate history
Mouna Gaala: Kannada blog by Sushruta Dodderi, who specializes in ಲಲಿತ ಪ್ರಬಂಧ
Subhashita Manjari: Regular posts of Samskrta subhashitas – often I use those posted here for my translations to Kannada!
NadhaSudharasa: A very musical blog by Musical Scientist, and Shreekrishna – who, I must admit, are even more Guruguhaphiles than I am! Not recommended for those un-initiated in Karnataka Sangeetha