Today is January 6th – Tyagaraja attained Samadhi at Tiruvaiyyaru 163 years ago this day.
Sort of to keep the tradition, I translated a kriti of Tyagaraja on this special day. You can see my earlier translations in the following links:
The composition I chose for translation is a somewhat less-heard one, set in the raga called Sruti Ranjani. Tyagaraja was indeed a great innovator, and experimented with new melodies. He was the first composer to use hundreds of raagas, that were not known before his time. Sruthi Ranjani is one such raga. A different version of this composition in a very close rAga called Kantamani is also available. Often such different versions have sprung up in different lineages of students of Tyagaraja.
Here is the original sAhitya – Thanks to V Govindan’s wonderful Tyagaraja resource:
E dAri sancarinturA ika palkarA
SrI-d(A)di madhy(A)nta rahita
sItA samEta guN(A)kara nEn(E dAri)
anni tAn(a)nu mArgamuna canaga
nannu vIDanu bhAram(a)ni(y)ADedavu
nannu brOvu dAsa varadA(y)aNTE ( alternately, nannu brOvu rA sadA yanTE as sung in the link below)
dvaituD(a)nedavu tyAgarAja nuta (E dAri)
You can listen to the composition here.
Here is a translation in Kannada. As with my earlier translations, I have tried to keep the sing-ability of the composition :
ಆವ ದಾರಿಯ ಹಿಡಿಯಲೋ? ಒಮ್ಮೆ ನುಡಿಯೋ! ನಾ ||ನಾವ ದಾರಿಯ ಹಿಡಿಯಲೋ||
ಸಿರಿಯೀವ ! ಕೊನೆ-ನಡು-ಮೊದಲಿರದ
ಸೀತೆಯೊಡನಾಡಿ ಗುಣದ ಗಣಿ ನಾನಾ ||ವ ದಾರಿಯ ಹಿಡಿಯಲೋ ||
ನನ್ನಲೇ ಎಲ್ಲವೂ ಇಹುದು ಎನಲು
ಎನ್ನ ಸಲಹ ಬಾರೋ ಎಂದೆನ್ನಲು
ನಿನ್ನೇ ಬಿಟ್ಟೆ ಎನುವೆ!** ತ್ಯಾಗರಾಜನುತ || ಆವ ದಾರಿಯ ಹಿಡಿಯಲೋ ||
In this composition, Tyagaraja asks Lord Rama to show the best path to reach him. If he followed the Advaita doctrine that preaches oneness with the Almighty, then Rama might say Tyagaraja has not still come out of the state of self-pride. On the other hand, if he followed the Dvaita doctrine (dualistic), then Rama might say that Tyagaraja has separated from him. So, either way, Tyagaraja thinks he is in trouble, and asks Rama to show him the right path.