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,
sArasa daLa nayanA sankaTa haraNa harE gOvinda mAm pAhi
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,
nIrajAsanAdi pUjitAnga shrI ramAntaranga shubAnga
murahara abhayaprada mukunda yAdavakulabhUshaNa mAdhava
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,
mAghamAsotsava prabhAva mAnita guruguha vandita bhava
gOkula janapAla gOpikAmanOhara gOvardanadhara
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.