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In an earlier post in this space, I had shared some well known samasya pooranam examples from samskrta and some more examples from Kannada poetry. Later, I had also shared some of my own solutions for samasya pooranam questions posted on Padyapaana. Since there were a few more such verses since the last post, I thought rounding them up here.
The next samasyapooranam is about the five arrows of the Love God, Manmatha. It is said that Manmatha carries a bow made of sugarcane, and has five arrows made of flowers. But the problem given here says that Manmatha carries 10 arrows, and not five.
ಮನಸಿಜನ ಬಳಿ ಹತ್ತು ಬಾಣಗಳಿರುವುದೇ ನಿಜವೈ!
Samasya pooranam involves lot of word play. So it is quite possible to turn one thing into another! I used a fact from Saint Tyagarja’s life to complete this verse. Composer Tyagaraja was an ardent devotee of Rama, but married twice in his life unlike Rama. If such a devotee should marry again after his first wife passed away, it should indeed be because the lord of Love should have had another set of arrows, thus making it ten in total!
ವಿನಯದಲಿ ಜಾನಕಿಯ ಪತಿಯನೆ
ಕನವರಿಕೆಯಲು ಭಕ್ತಿವೈರಾಗ್ಯದಲಿ ನೆನೆದಾತ;
ಕೊನೆಯುಸಿರೆಳೆಯೆ ಮಡದಿ ಪಾರ್ವತಿ
ಮನಸಿಜನ ಬಳಿ ಹತ್ತುಬಾಣಗಳಿರುವುದೇ ನಿಜವೈ!
It is quite possible to write multiple solutions to the same problem in Samasya Poornam. So here is one more solution to the same problem,where I changed the last line a bit keeping the same meaning.
The Love God Manmatha is said to visit Earth during the spring season , but as we know the spring occurs in different times in the northern and southern hemispheres, he then should have two sets of five arrows- and the following verse is written about these ten arrows of Manmatha.
ಚಿತ್ತಚೋರ ವಸಂತ ಕಾಲದ
ಲತ್ತ ಹೂಡುವನೈದು ಹೂವಿನ ಶರವ ಮುದದಿಂದ
ಮತ್ತೆ ಪೋಗುವ ದಕ್ಷಿಣದ ಕಡೆ
ಗತ್ತ ಪ್ರೀತಿಯ ಸೊದೆಯ ಹಂಚಲು!
ಹತ್ತುಬಾಣಗಳಿಹುದೆ ಸೈ ಮನ್ಮಥನ ಚೀಲದಲಿ !
After having spent arrows made of lotus, ashoka, mango, blue lily and jasmine flowers during the spring in the northern hemisphere, if Manmatha has to go to the southern hemisphere he must indeed have a second set of these love arrows!
Another problem given on Padyapaana was to complete a verse that ends in the phrase ಮಳೆಯು ಮುದವಾಯ್ತು. By the time I saw the problem, there were already a bunch of solutions. So I had to look for a different type of shower, a meteor shower in this case:
ಚಳಿಯ ತಡೆಯಲು ತೊಟ್ಟು ಟೊಪ್ಪಿಯಿ-
ರುಳಿನ ಮೂರನೆ ಜಾವಕೆನ್ನುತ ಕಾದು ಕುಳಿತಾಯ್ತು
ಇಳೆಯ ಹಾದಿಯ ಬಾಲಚಿಕ್ಕೆಯ
ಹೊಳೆಯುತಾಗಸ ತುಂಬಿ ಲಿಯೊನಿಡ್ಸ್ ಮಳೆಯು ಮುದವಾಯ್ತು!
Leonids meteor shower is seen during mid November every year, and the solution describes how waiting for the meteor shower in a chilly winter night was fruitful with a fabulous display of the meteors in the sky.
I will end with another samasya pooranam, set in Bhamini shatpadi. This was a question given to the audience in an Ashtavadhana in Puttur a few years ago. The line given was
ಹರುಷದಿಂದರ್ಜುನನು ಸಾರಥಿಯಾದ ಕೃಷ್ಣನಿಗೆ
We all know that Krishna was the charioteer for Arjuna during the Mahabharata war. However this line is stating otherwise – ” Happily, Arjuna became the charioteer for Krishna”. Quite interesting indeed.
I ended up writing more than 30 solutions to this question – some of them relating to the final battle of Karna and Arjuna are posted in this link, but will post a couple of lighthearted ones here:
ತುರಿದು ಕಾಯನು ಘಮಘಮೆನ್ನುತ
ಹುರಿದ ರವೆಯುಪ್ಪಿಟ್ಟು ಮಾಡುವೆ
ತರುವ ಸಮಯವು ಬಾಲಕೃಷ್ಣನ ಶಾಲೆಯಿಂದೆನಲು
ಹೊರಟನರ್ಜುನ ಪುಟ್ಟ ಮಗನನು
ಕರೆದು ಮಾರುತಿಯೊಳಗೆ ಕೂರಿಸಿ
ಹರುಷದಿ೦ದರ್ಜುನನು ಸಾರಥಿಯಾದ ಕೃಷ್ಣನಿಗೆ॥
ವಿರಸ ಬೇಡೆಲೆ ಮಾನಿನೀ ನಾ-
ಕರೆಯಬೇಡವೆ ಮಾಲಿಗೇ ಶಾಪಿಂಗ ನಾ ಮಾಣೆ ।
ಹೊರಡಬೇಕಿದೆ ಮಗನು ಟ್ಯೂಷನ್
ತರಗತಿಗೆ ತುಸು ಹೊತ್ತಿನಲೆನುತ
ಹರುಷದಿ೦ದರ್ಜುನನು ಸಾರಥಿಯಾದ ಕೃಷ್ಣನಿಗೆ॥
In the above contemporary solutions, Arjuna is the dad of a lad named Krishna, and drives the boy in his car. In the second one, he is also trying to avoid going shopping in the pretext of taking the child to a class. :)
Image courtesy: Manmatha Vijaya, on the ceiling of Virupaksha temple, Hampi; taken from http://iiacd.org/murals-south-india/#/hampi-virupaksha-temple-ceiling-paintings-interactive-plan
Today is the ninth day of Navaratri, Mahanavami – 2015.
Mahanavami was a grand festival during Vijaya Nagara times. Even today you’ll see remnants of Mahanavami dibba, where the festivities would take place.
The traditions of Vijayanagara continued in the Tanjavur and Mysore kingdoms.
So did music and arts. We can’t forget the contributions of people who had origins in the Vijayanagara court to the development of what we call Karnataka sangeeta today.
It’s a common occurrence that ragas go out of vogue and new ragas become popular. Similarly new types of musical compositions also come into the scene. Thus we several new classes of musical compositions starting in the 17th-18th centuries and one such is the Swarajati.
Many a times performed on the stage by dancers as well, a Swarajati is a composition that is primarily made of swaras, and which may or may not have lyrics to go with it. Many swarajatis are taught in the early training for music while some swarajatis (such as those of Shyama Shastri) are very elaborate compositions, in line with the Ghanaraga pancharatna kritis of Tyagaraja.
On this day, I am very glad to present one of my compositions -, a swarajati, in the raga Ramakriya. (This is a traditional, slightly older form of what we call as Kamavardhini/Pantuvarali).
You can listen to the complete swarajati here:
The lyrics are by Ashtavadhani Sri Mahesh Bhat and the vocalist is Vidushi Ragini Sanat.
Happy Vijaya dashami to all visitors of “ಅಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ”.
Today is 9/29/2014 – The sixth day of Navaratri. The first five days of the festival, I wrote a about a composition praising the Goddess whom we worship during Navaratri , and also wrote some notes about the composer of that composition. Today also, I am going to do just that.
The influence of Tyagaraja and his lineage of students to current day’s Karnataka sangeeta is immense. During his lifetime, Tyagaraja taught a good number of disciples. Often there are differences in how some kritis are handled in the traditions of Umayalpuram, Thillaisthanam and Walajapet traditions ( termed so because of the major disciples who hailed from these places.
There was also a disciple by name Rama Iyer from the town of Lalgudi. This town , downstream on the Kaveri river, on which Tiruvaiyyaru where Tyagaraja lived stands has a temple dedicated to Saptarshishwara & his consort Srimathi ( a form of Shiva and Parvati). Tyagaraja visited this town and stayed with his disciple for a few days, and at that time he composed a set of five beautifyk compositions about these deities, which have come to be known as Lalgudi Pancharatna Kritis.
Lalgudi Rama Iyer trained his son Radhakrishnan to be a violinist. In an earlier post, you’ve read how the violin was adapted to play Karnataka sangeeta by Baluswamy Dikshita, the younger brother of Muttuswamy Dikshita. And two generations later, Radhakrishnan’s grandson Jayaraman became one of the greatest violinists the world has ever seen.
Lalgudi G Jayaraman, or LGJ or just plain Lalgudi, as he is called by his millions of fans, passed away in 2013. But his music, in the form of numerous recordings and compositions remain with us. LGJ has composed a number of excellent compositions, many of which have become very popular.
A Tillana is a composition that is primarily composed for dance – so generally only the charana does have any words. This Tillana in Raga Mand, that I chose to share today has the sahitya lines about Goddess Gowri. The raga is a 20th century import from Hindustani, and is considered a minor raga. There are only a few compositions exist in this raga, but it is a very pleasant and bright raga!
Listen to the beautiful Tillana in raga Mand, composed by LGJ and played on the mandolin by U Srinivas:
Today is 9/28/2014, the fifth day of Navaratri. In the first four days of the festival, I had written about some music compositions about dEvi, whom we celebrate during this festival season. In the post yesterday, I mentioned how Mysore and Thiruvanathapuram stood out among the last princely states in their support of classical music. Thus today, I thought of sharing a well known composition of a composer who was associated with both these places.
Harikesanallur Muttaiah Bhagavatar is one of the very well known composers of the 20th century. He was a Harikatha Vidwan, as well as played on instruments such as Chitraveena. He lived in Mysore as the Asthana Vidwan of the Odeyar court for a few years. Later on, he lived in Thiruvananthapuram for a while where he gave second life to some of Swathi Tirunal’s compositions. Some of Swathi Tirunal‘s compositions which had lost their original musical form were re-tuned by Muttaiah Bhagavatar.
Sometime in 1927, when he was performing at the Mysore palace for the first time, the concert did not go too well because Bhagavatar had a bad throat that day. He was honored as per palace traditions and sent off. However, few days later Muttaiah Bhagavatar payed a visit to the Chamundeshwari temple atop the hill, and was singing to himself when king Krishnaraja Odeyar visited the temple. Very impressed with his singing, the King requested Muttaiah Bhagavatar to be the Asthana Vidwan.
During the time Bhagavatar lived in Mysore, Krishnaraja Odeyar requested Muttaiah Bhagavatar to compose 108 compositions on Goddess Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of Mysore. A scholar Devottama Joisa wrote the sahitya for which Muttaiah Bhagavatar gave the musical form. The composition I have chosen is one from this series. Sudhamayi Sudhanidhi – It is set in a raga called Amrtavarshini.
This raga Amrtavarshini, in popular thought is said to be the creation of Muttuswami Dikshita. But textual traditions prove otherwise, because we have references not only to a name, but even the musical structure several decades before him. It is possible that Muttuswamy Dikshita was the first major composer to use this raga. There is a disputed composition of Tyagaraja in this raga as well. Muttaiah Bhagavatar’s Sudhamayi Sudhanidhi remains one of the very popular compositions in this raga even today.
Now, here is a lovely rendition of Sudhamayi in Raga Amrtavarshini, played on the Veena by artist Rajesh Vaidhya:
Today, 9/25/2014 is the second day of Navaratri. In the post I wrote yesterday for the first day of Navaratri, I was talking about how the term Veena was a generic term to any string instrument. But now, the term refers to the species of the instrument which is sometimes called “Saraswati Veena“.
In older texts we find references to Veenas with fixed and movable frets. The north Indian Sitar, is indeed a “Veena” with movable frets. Also, the position of how the Sitar is held is typically how Veenas were played in the past. That is the reason why you see most of the sculptures of Saraswati, who is often shown as holding a Veena in the same position.
In the painting of Saraswati by Raja Ravivarma, what you see is a Saraswati Veena, which came into vogue during the early 17th century. This Veena was the handiwork of Govinda Dikshita, who was a minister at the Tanjavur court. He named the Veena after the King who ruled Tanjavur at that time (Raghunatha Veena), but the name has morphed into Saraswati Veena later on.
Today, the composition I am writing about is of the vainika-gayaka composer – Muttuswamy Dikshita.
Muttuswamy Dikshita was a strict follower of the school of Govinda Dikshita (unrelated to him though!) and composed in all ragas that were described by Venkatamakhi ( Govinda Dikshita’s son) and Muddu Venkatamakhi ( Grand nephew of Venkatamakhi) in their texts such as Chaturdandi Prakashika and Ragalakshana. In this process, he resurrected some of the previously well-known ragas that were becoming somewhat rarely performed during his time, and also created compositions for some of the new ragas that were considered “new” at his time. Ragas waxing and waning in popularity is a known phenomenon in Indian music.
But the raga of the composition I am sharing has great antiquity, and still going strong – Varaali. It has been mentioned music text more than a millenia old. Purandara Dasa also lists it as one of the popular ragas of his time. It is considered a “ghana” raga – a raga which shines with tAna playing. And take it from me – No other instrument can match a well played tAna!
Now listen to about half an hour of bliss! Maamava Meenakshi, praising the deity Meenakshi at the Madurai temple. The composition is in Raga Varali, mishra chapu tALa. The composition is played by well known Vainika from Andrhra, Veena Srinivas (www,veenasrinivas.com), and is preceded by a wonderful Alapane and tAna.
Enjoy this musical feast on the second day of Navaratri!