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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 Jayaraman

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:

Happy listening!


Since today is the first full moon of the year, and since it also happens to be the brightest and largest moon of the year, I thought ‘Chandra Jyothi’ which means ‘moon light’ makes an apt title for this post.

If you did not notice yet, all full moons are not made equal, and some are bigger than others. And the full moon on January 29,2010 happens to be the biggest, brightest full moon of the year.

But why is today the biggest full moon of the year? We know the Moon’s path around the earth is an ellipse. So, the Moon is closer to us at some parts of this path than in other parts. The point where the Moon is closest to the Earth is called the perigee. If a full moon occurs when the Moon is at, or near the perigee in it’s monthly travel, then that full moon would be brighter than those when the full moon occurs when the Moon is at other points on its orbit.

To add to this effect, recall Earth moves around the Sun in an elliptical path too. That makes Earth closest to the Sun (and hence the Moon closest to the Sun) in early January every year.  So if a full moon closer to perigee occurs around this time of the year, you get an extra bright moon, like today.

Since today is the day with the brightest ‘chandra jyOthi’ (moon light), it is no surprise I was reminded of couple of compositions of Tyagaraja in the raga Chandra Jyothi as I was writing this post!

Tyagaraja, the innovator he was, tried out a lot of new melodies that did not exist before his time, and Chandrajyothi is also a raga in which he is the first known composer. He has couple of compositions – and incidentally one starting with the words  ‘Shashi vadana bhakta janaavana’  (Shashi is one of the words that mean ‘Moon’ in Samskrta). His  other composition in raga Chandra jyothi , which is probably heard more often in concerts  is  Bagayenayya. Listen to this composition on flute by V K Raman.

All this discussion about the Moon, almost made me forget that I got the Superior Scribbler award from another ‘Moon’ – Shashi Kulkarni of  ‘rasAyana‘. Yippee!!

And I am really glad to pass this to five other Superior Scribbler fellow bloggers.

So here goes my list:

Sallaapa: A wonderful weblog in Kannada by Sunaath, mostly about literary works in Kannada

MountainTop: I am a fan of Vidya’s posts on music, samskrta and alternate history

Mouna Gaala: Kannada blog by Sushruta Dodderi, who specializes in ಲಲಿತ ಪ್ರಬಂಧ

Subhashita Manjari: Regular posts of Samskrta subhashitas – often I use those posted here for my translations to Kannada!

NadhaSudharasa: A very musical blog by Musical Scientist, and Shreekrishna – who,  I must admit,  are even more  Guruguhaphiles than I am! Not recommended for those un-initiated in Karnataka Sangeetha 😉


Sewa International Presents

A Violin Concert by Anuradha Sridhar

accompanied by Shriram Brahmanandam on the Mrdanga.

Date: Friday, 20th November @7:30 pm   Venue: Quainlan Community Center, Cupertino, CA

For tickets, you can leave a comment here, or purchase online at:

Take this opportunity to reach out the flood victims, and enjoy the wonderful music.

All proceeds will be used for the benefit of affected people.

Karnataka Flood Relief Concert




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A Collection of  Samskrta Subhashitas, translated to Kannada

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My Book Hamsanada, on Google Play

My Book Hamsanada, on Google Play

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