Today is the tenth, and the last day of Navaratri – Vijaya Dashami. We celebrate this festival to commemorate Rama defeating Ravana, and goddess hamundeshwari slaying demon Mahishasura.
Yesterday when I wrote about a composition of Mysore Vasudevachar, I also wrote about his illustrious deciple – Jayachamarajendra Odeyar, the last king of Mysore. Odeyar was another notable composer of the 20th century. Initially, he was trained in western classical music. He received the highest honors possible to be awarded for student at the Trinity college of Music in London. Later on, went on to learn the intricacies of Karnataka sangeetha from Vasudevachar for some years. Between 1945 to 1947, he composed 94 kritis (A few more have been unearthed recently, I heard). Apparently he played his compositions on the Piano first, and got feedback on them from Vasudevachar and other court musicians and shape his compositions. Click here to read some more about this “Gem among Kings”.
Another unique feature about his compositions is that he has composed only one kriti in one raga, thus using 94 ragas for the 94 kritis. He is probably the only composer who has done this. In this process, he has composed in very rare ragas resurrecting some ragas such as Poorna Lalita and Pratatpa Varali in which Tyagaraja had composed earlier.
Odeyar was a practitioner of Srividya worship, and he has used the signature as ‘Srividya’ in the compositions. He has also used his initiation name ‘chitprabhananda’ in some compositions. All his compositions are in Samskrta.
Chamundeshwari is the deity of Mysore from where Odeyars ruled. In a few hours, Goddess Chamundeshwari will be in a grand procession through the city. On this occasion, I think Jayachamarajendra Odeyar’s composition in Hindola raga – ‘Chintayami Jagadambam’ is the most appropriate composition to listen to, and to conclude this series “The Days of Navaratri”.
I consider myself fortunate to have written this series on this auspicious time of Devi Navaratri 2010 and to have been able to listen to some wonderful music in that process!
I wish this year’s Navaratri brings you the very best in your lives.