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Today is the fifth day of the day dark half of the lunar month of Pushya. This is the day Tyagaraja passed away in the year 1847. Since I started blogging, I have been making a post on this day. Not to break this tradition here I am with two chaupadis (four-liners) in Kannada, that I wrote today:
ಐದುಹೊಳೆಯೂರಿನಲಿ ಇದ್ದನವ ಮಹನೀಯ
ಬಗೆಬಗೆಯ ರಾಗದಲಿ ನೂರಾರು ರಚನೆಗಳ
ಮಾಡಿ ಇತ್ತಿಹನೆಮಗೆ ಯೋಗಿ ರಾಜ!
ತ್ಯಾಗರಾಜ ವಿರಾಗಿಯೇಕಾದೆ ಹೇಳು ನೀ
ನಾಗಿರಲು ರಸಿಕ ಮನವಾಳ್ವ ರಾಜ;
ಭೋಗಗಳ ಬೇಡೆನುತ ನಿಲೆನಿಂತೆ ಹಾಡುತ್ತ
ರಾಗಗಳ ನೀ ನಿಜದಿ ರಾಗ ರಾಜ!
(ಐದುಹೊಳೆಯೂರು = Literally, “the town of five rivers” – Tiruvaiyyaru, where Tyagaraja lived)
Here are links to posts I wrote in previous years around this time:
Yesterday, I wrote about the first day of Navaratri. Today is the second day the ten day festival. Navaratri is a major festival in the state of Karnataka. The travelogues of French and Persian travelers describe the festivities during Vijayanagara times. The Mahanavami dibba at Hampe stands today as a silent testimony to those wonderful times. It was not a coincidence that this tradition of Navaratri festival was carried forward by the Odeyars of Mysore.
The Odeyars of Mysore were in the forefront of the princely states when it came to supporting artists. So, Mysore was one of the favored destinations of artists in those days. One such artist who came to Mysore was Harikesanallur Muttaiah Bhagavatar.
There is an interesting story about Muttaiah Bhagavatar being appointed as the Asthana Vidwan at Mysore palace. Usually, visiting artists got a time slot to perform in the court. Unfortunately for Muttaiah Bhagavatar, he had a bad throat on that day, and the concert did not go as well as it should have. Krishna Raja Odeyar wasn’t very impressed, but the artist was was duly honored as per palace traditions and sent off. No need to say this left Muttaiah Bhagavatar quite disappointed.
Few days later Muttaiah Bhagavatar payed a visit to the Chamundeshwari temple atop the hill, and was singing to himself when king Krishnaraja Odeyar walked in for a darshana of the Goddess. Impressed with Bhagavatar’s singing prowess, he requested him to be the Asthana Vidwan. This happened in 1927. Later Muttaiah Bhagavatar spent several years as the court musician.
During his tenure, the Krishnaraja Odeyar requested Muttaiah Bhagavatar to compose 108 compositions on Goddess Chamundeshwari. Another palace scholar Devottama Joisa composed the sAhitya, most of which were in Kannada language, and Muttaiah Bhagavatar gave them the form of musical compositions.
Today the composition I have chosen is one from this series. Bhuvaneshwariya nene mAnasave – is in Mohana Kalyani raga, set to Adi tALa. Although this raga name appears in texts before his time, it was Muttaiah Bhagavatar who was the first composer to compose in this rAga as we know it.The raaga is named Mohana Kalyani, as it resembles Mohana in ascending phrases, and Kalyani in descending phrases. Although the language of the song is Kannada, it is in a style that uses a lot of Samskrta words.
Listen to this composition sung by Smt Nagavalli Nagaraj.
In the 1980s, this song was also featured in a Kannada movie, ‘mareyada hADu’.
By the way, the second composition in the Navaratri Kritis of Swathi Tirunal, sung today at the Navaratri Mandapam in Thiruvanantapuram is “pAhi mAm Sri vAgIswari” in kalyAni rAga. You can listen to it by clicking here, sung by Trichur V Ramachandran.
Tomorrow, let’s meet with another special composition!
Ever since I listened to ‘nAcArAmbAm namAmyaham’ a few days ago, I wanted to write this post. But first, here is the composition I’m talking about from Srikanta Krti Sourabha . This composition is in praise of Nacharamma, the lady who Sanketis believe lead their migration from southern Tamil Nadu to southern Karnataka centuries ago. I am posting the sAhitya in dEvanAgari.
नाचारांबाम् नमाम्यहम् नरसिंह दॆव भक्तां शांताम् ॥ पल्लवि॥
आचार संप्रयाय दीपिकाम् अवलंबित जन मार्गदीपिकाम्
गंडीचीर प्रवर्तिकाम् तां खंडीकृत मत्सरयुत कुपंडिताम् ॥ अनुपल्लवि॥
सकला शास्त्र विद्या विशारदाम् संगीत नृत्य साहित्यामुदाम्
अकळंकाम् स्वयमॆव शारदाम् आनंदित श्रीकांत कृतिपदाम्
प्रकटीकृत ज्यॊतिष्मती फलाम् प्रबलीकृत संकॆति वरकुलाम्
विकलीकृत भक्ताघकश्मलाम् विविध वरदान चण पदकमलाम् ॥चरण॥
The composition is in samskrta, and the majestic flow of sAhitya, aptly uses of a majestic raga – erakala (yadukula) kAmbhOji to personify this woman who was nothing but extra-ordinary. I had written at length about her in a previous post.
Although I have known the story of Nacharamma for a long time, I did not know that an idol of her existed in a temple I have visited a number of times, until Dr Pranatarthiharan, a noted researcher in Sanketi studies, told me about her idol about her idol at Kowshika temple this earlier this year.
Aptly, the idol is right next to the idol of Narasimha. Even this composition, she is referred to as “narasimha dEva bhaktAm”.
Here are the idols of Narasimha, and his devotee Nacharamma in the Lakshmikeshava temple in Kowshika:
I did not know making a slide show with Picasa was that easy, until I created this one using pictures from our visit to Karnataka.
The pictures are from several places in southern Karnataka – Bengaluru, Srirangapattana, Ramanagara, Halebidu, Beluru, Kowshika, Sravana Belagola and Mavinakere – not listed in any specific order -
and show creations all the way from the 11th century, to the 21st century .
Here is a map of this part of Karnataka.