Sunday, May 11, 2008

sArasa daLa nayanA- khamAs


Ages..Its been Ages since I wrote anything here :(. This has by far been the longest hiatus ever :(. There were primarily 3 reasons for me not posting anything for the past 1 month. First, my computer crashed thanks to that "wonderful" operating system called "Vista". I had some major issues removing vista and "downgrading" to XP. Second, work has got so hectic that I no longer even remember the projects I am working on..there are atleast 20 projects running at the same time and I am rarely able to find time for even listening to music ;(. And finally, because of the above two reasons, I have not been able to mentally connect with music for the past 1 month :(. I have not been able to enjoy music sessions and all these issues kind of added up and reduced my interest and inclination towards carnatic music ;(. But this also made me realize how meaningless life becomes without music and now I am back with a refreshingly new passion :). And this month, I am going to make up for the month of may and post as many krithis as I can.

The last week has been awesome..thanks to some wonderful music sessions with Hari, SK and Lavanya. Our session gumbal has exploded in numbers and we have around 50 members I suppose. The weekend sessions are buzzing with amazingly talented musicians from all over the world and it has been an absolute pleasure to listen to all these wonderful people. Thanks a lot makkaLE. For the last two days, the tanukIrti bug has bitten me. I have been totally captivated by the rAgA's beauty and thalaivar's "cidambara naTarAjamUrtim". Moving on to the krithi, khamAs was actually one of those earliest rAgams I could recognize as a kid :). And this krithi was definitely one of the very first I heard. I tend to always associate this rAgam with my dear friend Ramaa Ramesh. Her numerous renditions of mAthE malayadhvaja in this rAgam have enriched my understanding of it :).


From what I have noticed, when dIkshithar really falls in love with a kshEtram, he composes two krithis at the same temple in the same rAga. That seems to be the case here..dIkshithar has composed both sArasa daLa nayanA and santAna gOpalakrishNam upAsmahE in khamAs at the same mannArguDi kshEtram. This rAjagOpAlaswAmi temple seems to have been showered with some amazing dIkshithar krithis with shrI rAjagOpAla in sAvEri capping it all off as the numero uno. Now, starting with the pallavi,

Pallavi:
sArasa daLa nayanA sankaTa haraNa harE gOvinda mAm pAhi

Meaning:
dIkshithar seeks the refuge of the Lord in the opening lines of this krithi and starts off by addressing the Lord as "Oh gOvinda!! The one with eyes ("nAyana") like lotus petals ("sArasa daLa") and the remover ("haraNa") of all obstacles ("sankaTa"). Please protect me ("mAm pAhi")."

dIkshithar starts the krithi off with a swarAksharam. The opening phrase of "S; dndsdP; P nd M Gm; dnp DNS" at "sArasa daLa nayanA" followed by the MGM phrase at "sankaTa" completely captures the beauty of khamAs and pretty much sums up the entire scale of the rAga. This krithi is more of a nAmasmaraNam according to me. He brings in all those beautiful names of God like hari, gOvinda, mukunda, mAdhava etc. The pallavi is extremely simple and easy to understand. Moving on to the anupallavi,

Anupallavi:
nIrajAsanAdi pUjitAnga shrI ramAntaranga shubAnga
murahara abhayaprada mukunda yAdavakulabhUshaNa mAdhava

Meaning:
dIkshithar describes rAjagOpAlaswAmi as "the one worshipped ("pUjitAnga") by Lord Brahma ("nirajAsana"-seated on the lotus) and others. The one who resides in the heart ("antaranga") of Goddess Lakshmi ("ramA") and the one whose form is auspicious ("shubAnga"). The one who vanquished ("hara") the demon named mura and the one who provides ("prada") protection and refuge ("abhaya"). The one who liberates ("mukunda"), the pride jewel ("bhUshaNa") of the yAdhava clan and he is mAdhava, the Lord of knowledge."

The anupallavi is where the rAgam blossoms completely. The beauty of tripuTa tALam comes to the forefront. dIkshithar shows his brilliance once again with swarAksharams at nIrajA"sanAdi" employing the "SND" phrase. Look at the antyAkshara prAsam in the first line of the anupallavi. I love the "DPmp Dnd; PNDP" phrase at "pUjitAnga". To finish the anupallavi on a high note, dIkshithar uses some kutti yet amazing prayOgams like "SSGR" at "murahara" and "DNSR-N" at "prada mukunda". Grammatically and spiritually speaking, as you can clearly see, this krithi is pretty simple. dIkshithar is not trying to play with words or show his yogic brilliance here. Moving on to the charaNam,

CharaNam:
mAghamAsotsava prabhAva mAnita guruguha vandita bhava
gOkula janapAla gOpikAmanOhara gOvardanadhara

Meaning:
dIkshithar sings "The one who is honoured ("prabhAva") during the festivities ("utsava") held in the month ("mAsa") of mAgha (March-April). The one who is worshipped ("vandita") by the esteemed and respected ("maanita") Lord guruguha. The one who protects ("pAla") the cowherd clan ("gOkula jana"). The beloved ("manOhara") of the gOpika damsels and the one who held ("dhara") the gOvardhana mountains in His hand."

What an amazing charaNam. dIkshithar kills 3 birds with one stone in the first word of the charaNam. First, he incorporates one of the most beautiful rAga mudrAs ever at mA"ghamAs"otsava. Second, he brings in one of the most beautiful swarAksharams ever at "maghamA"sotsava. And finally by talking about the utsavam held during the magha mAsa, dIkshithar has pretty much given a good identity of the kSEtram. The tiruvizha held at the rAjagOpalaswAmi temple is a grand event for which huge number of people gather from all the villages around mannArguDi. Symbolizing Lord krishna's liking for the butter, the "vennai-thAzhi" and the "thiruthEr" festivals are extremely famous. What a genius..look at that rAgamudra..cha ;(.

dIkshithar continues with his swarAkshara arAjagams in the charaNam by using the "MND" phrase at "mAnita". If the anupallavi was filled with antyAkshara prAsam, in the charaNam, dIkshithar shows that he is equally adept with adyAkshara prAsam with all the words of the first line of charaNam starting with "mA" and all the words in the second line starting with "ga". The madhyama kAla sAhityam gives the krithi its completeness and brings to end, one of the most soothing khamAs's ever.

In my next post, I will take up the beautiful sAma masterpiece, annapUrnE. As I end this post, I am listening to a majestic lathAngi sung by Sanjay sir. Check out these two videos on youtube- lathAngis sung by Sanjay sir and SRJ maama. Absolute treats :). I will surely post the next krithi tomorrow itself in my attempt to make up for this 1 month gap :(. Till then, signing off..shrI guruguhasya dAsOham.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

SaiP,
Very nice !
I guess you've got one more regular reader of your blog :)
So that should be additional motivation for you to keep posting....naah just kidding. You know how my interest is in these things ;) but it is surely waxing!

Beautiful krithi. I must ask you to expound (I guess you must have done this about 100 times by now, but still :) ) certain technicalities one by one.

Well, I'd like to ask two here :)
1) kshetram....what is it ?
2) prayogam (such as SSGR).

I guess these things enable one to appreciate the musical aspect of the krithis apart from the linguistic richness (i.e sanskrit!)

Thanks for this post. Truly manahara ;)
Ajit.

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Dr. Bhaskar,

Thanks a lot for reading the post and commenting immediately on it :).

Regarding the two questions you have:

1. kshetram..in Sanskrit kshetram means place. So here, kshetram is the location at which this krithi was composed. And you would have heard things like this kovil is puNya kshEtram (holy place)..etc.

2. prayOgam literally translates to "usage". So, here it refers to the usage of swarams..how the swarams are used and what patterns are followed. SSGR stands for Sa, Sa, Ga Ri..so appidi. :)

I will surely keep posting regularly innime..will post the next krithi today evening :).

-Sai.

Aparna said...

You remember my comment for your previous post? What a long wait it turned out to be! ;) But it was really worth the wait :) Didn't know that so much was there in mAghamAsOtsava!

Hope you get lots of time to listen to music and write posts :)

Musical Scientist said...

Hey Aparna..really sorry pa..adhu ennavo romba periya break aayduthu :(. I will surely post a lot regularly innime :).
And yes..mAghamAsOtsava is an amazingly beautiful construction by thalaivar :).

Padma said...

Hey sai it was definately worth the wait...I should say one of my favourites in Khamas...I love the swarakshara usages by MD in this krithi....Bang on...I wonder if you would go to hibernation once again...But your rasikas are just waiting to read what you have here :P Kidding..I understand how diff it is to blog when you are also working...

Musical Scientist said...

Hi Padma,
Thanks a lot for your comments :). I am very glad to note that you liked the post. Ya, the swarAksharams are amazing in this krithi. I will surely try to post the next krithi very soon :). Thanks once again for your wonderful comments :)

Mayth!! said...

Certainly worth the long wait :D
What amazes me is that reading and re-reading your posts gives me the same (or easily even more) pleasure listening to the actual paatu. :)

Evlo azhaga the rAga mudra has been subtely introduced :O ... just struck me after reading the post despite listening to this song so many times. :| Cha...thalaivar, thalaivar wonly :')

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Mayth,

thanks a lot for those chweeet comments as always :). Very happy to note that you liked the post a lot :).

That charaNam start is sli givaaap dhaan ;(. Hopefully I can squeeze in some time today evening and post the next krithi :).

Anonymous said...

Sai, thanks for the explanations.

SaiP and Aparna:

I found these, thanks to Google:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_Giri

http://www.greattemples.com/ramagiri.php

Apparently mAgha mAsam is sacred here.

I am not sure if dIkshitar had any telugu connections but I was wondering what could be the origin of the word mAghamAsamOtsava in the krithi.

Ajit.

Musical Scientist said...

Dr. Bhaskar,

Thanks a lot for those links. mAgha mAsam is considered a sacred month for Lord Krishna and most of the krishna temples have utsavams in this month.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Hi, I'm Dr.Bhaskar's wife, and I'm not into Carnatic music, and I'm feeling sad about that after reading your blog :)

My husband reads your blog like nothing else ;) I found this site today, and remembered you. Am sure you already know about this. Just in case: http://www.sangeetasudha.org/

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Nandini,

Thanks a lot for your wonderful comments. I don't know much about this beautiful art, but I know for a fact that if you have the drive and the interest to listen to carnatic music, you will slowly get consumed by its beauty. I myself wasted 22 years of my life without carnatic music and only for the past 2 years have I drowned myself by surrendering to its beauty. So, if you are feeling really sad that you are not into CM, please convert that into the drive to listen and learn more. :) and thats all it takes :). With the right inception, you will fall in love with it. I will talk to you and Dr.Bhaskar very soon and suggest some starting point (not that I know much, but still).

Thanks a lot for passing on that wonderful link to me. I have used it before and it is a very good website :). Please share your thoughts when you get time. Thank you!!

SARVESWARAN said...

ME TOO IS A DIKSHITAR FANATIC AND READING UR BLOG GIVES ME IMENSE PLEASURE AND IT URGE ME TO DO MORE RESEARCH ON DIKSHITAR'S KRITHI AS WHAT U R DOING NOW.WANT TO COMMENT ON U IN THREE WORDS ---- " NEE MAHA GNANASTHAN"NOTHING MORE TO SAY AND PLEASE TRY TO POST AS MUCH KRITHIS AS POSSIBLE AND DONT GIVE TOO MUCH GAP AWAITING FOR THE NEXT ONE.

SARVESWARAN said...

ME TOO IS A DIKSHITAR FANATIC AND READING UR BLOG GIVES ME IMENSE PLEASURE AND IT URGE ME TO DO MORE RESEARCH ON DIKSHITAR'S KRITHI AS WHAT U R DOING NOW.WANT TO COMMENT ON U IN THREE WORDS ---- " NEE MAHA GNANASTHAN"NOTHING MORE TO SAY AND PLEASE TRY TO POST AS MUCH KRITHIS AS POSSIBLE AND DONT GIVE TOO MUCH GAP AWAITING FOR THE NEXT ONE.

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Sarveswaran sir,

Thanks a lot for your kind words. I really do not know much about carnatic music for you to call me a gnAnasthan and all. I am glad that you are really liking my blog posts. I will surely try to post more krithis. Thanks once again for your encouraging words sir.

V Govindan said...

Thanks for your write up. I have a doubt about the mAgha mAsa. mAgha is equivalent of mAsi (Feb 15 to Mar 15) in Tamil and phAlguna is equivalent to panguni (Mar 15 to Apr 15).
According to kOvil website, there is Dolotsavam in mAsi (mAgha).
But you have referred about 'tiruttEr' which is normally during brahmOtsavam only - ie., in panguni (phAlguna).

Therefore, in my humble, Dikshitar's reference to mAgha mAsOtsva would be about 'dolotsava'.
Can you please check.
Regards,
V Govindan

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Govindan sir,

Thanks a lot for reading through my post and your valuable comments. And yes, I too double checked and you are right..it is the dolotsava. I stand corrected :).

-Sai