During the weekend I attended a lecture-demonstration on GNB’s style of music by Charumati Ramachandran. She mentioned a funny anecdote when a young GNB started with a rAga AlApane at a concert in Tanjavoor when some of the vidwans in the concert hall walked out appalled at the vocalist who ‘did not even sing Madyamavati phrases correctly’.

But still captivated by his voice, they could not help themselves hanging around outside the hall to hear the vocalist start off a hitherto unknown (for them) composition starting with the words – rAgasudhArasa .

If you were thinking about the composition of Tyagaraja, in rAga Andolika ( sometimes called Mayura Dhwani), you are right on the dot. At that time, it was still not very well known even among musicians. It is one of what is generally termed as a “apUrva rAga kriti” of Tyagaraja.

Tyagaraja was the first to compose in this rAga – as he did in several scores of other melodies unheard of till his time.

Here is a clip from a movie adaptation of this song, sung by K J Yesudas (1992 Malayalam movie – “Sargam”):

Here is the sAhitya for the composition – thanks to http://lyrical-thyagaraja.blogspot.com/

rāga sudhā rasa pānamu jēsi rañjillavē
ō manasā

yāga yōga tyāga bhōga phalamosaṅgē (rāga)

sadāśiva mayamagu nādōṅkāra swara
vidulu jīvanmuktulani tyāgarāju teliyu (rāga)

Here is my attempt in translating it into Kannada:

ರಾಗ ಸುಧಾರಸವನ್ನೇ ಸವಿಯುತ
ನಲಿಯುತಲಿರು ಓ ಮನವೇ! ||ರಾಗ ಸುಧಾರಸ||

ಯಾಗ ಯೋಗ ತ್ಯಾಗ ಭೋಗಗಳ ಫಲವೀವ || ರಾಗ ಸುಧಾರಸ ||

ಸದಾಶಿವ ನೆಲೆಯಾಗಿರುವ ನಾದ ಓಂಕಾರ ಸ್ವರ
ಅರಿತವರಿಗೆ ಬಿಡುಗಡೆಯುಂಟೆಂದು ತ್ಯಾಗರಾಜ ತಿಳಿದ ||ರಾಗ ಸುಧಾರಸ||

Tyagaraja was born on 4th May, 1767 – 243 years ago today. He composed more than 700 songs and in a large number of compositions, he refers to music.

To Tyagaraja, music was not only a means of reaching his beloved deity- but he describes Rama as taking different musical forms in the composition ‘nAdasudhArasambilanu’ in Arabhi!

In another composition in rAga chittaranjani ‘nAda tanum anisham Shankaram’ he bows to Shiva, whom Tyagaraja calls as a another form of Omkara nAda:

I’ll end this post with a clip of a kriti in rAga jaganmohini, where Tyagaraja speaks about the charming seven notes and how they captivate his mind.

Finally, here are a few of my earlier posts about Tyagaraja:

Meru Samana Dheera

A Day in Tiruvaiyyaru

Kalyani -Top Ten

Tyagaraja, on Sangeethapriya

Tyagaraja Aradhane -2009

Rangana Halliya Rama

Chandra Jyothi

Daya Juchutakidi Velara

Remember Tyagaraja, Once Again

Long live the charming seven notes, and the love for those notes in our minds!