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Sundara Manmatha Koti Prakaasha,Hare Sri Krishna
When i am about to die, the only forms that should appear b4 me should be that of the Lord (Krishna) with the beautiful flute kept on his lips , with the peacock plumes slantingly placed on his head and with the body as blue as bluestone
Swami Desikan in GopAla Vimshathi

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Sangita Gnanamu Bhakthivina

Dear Friends was quite a long hiatus from blogosphere indeed.....

First up, I would like to offer my salutations to the lotus feets of the Sri Tyagayya, the great Vaggeyakara and the sanctum sanctorum in the magnificient temple of "raama bhakthi" . It should be a well known fact to most of us that he is one of the trinities of Carnatic Music. Some of you folks might have known that his music and compositions can be compared to that of "Draaksha Rasa" (taste of grapes), very quickly enabling the listener to get the the taste of the nectarine music. Is that all? May be there is something more.Atthaiyum paarthudalaam. (Let us explore further) and also please be aware of the fact that these are simply the reflections of an amature enthusiast based upon the very liitle i have known and experienced. Kindly let me know the mis-interpretations and other fallacies.

Let me start from ground zero. Music(sangeetham) is something that creates an aural melody. Of course there are so many kinds of music that are melodic. Depending upon individual taste, people acknowledge and enjoy listening to their favorite melodies. Now, how is carnatic music different ? The word carnatic means "hauntigly pleasing to the ears".How is the melody created? Of course, it is because of those wonderful raagas born out of naada(divine sound). Being born out of Naada Brahman, these sounds evoke the ever present divinity in the audible zone of the singer. At this juncture, I should make it clear that care should be taken by the singer to render the krithi in accordance with the prescribed manner.The outcome would defintiely depend upon the efforts and the skill level of the vocalist. Of course, a smooth ,clear and a melodic voice is an added advantage and is perhaps a prerequisite. Without any doubt, it is the RASA (taste) induced by the raaga that creates the melody. Each raaga has got its own lakshana and corresponding rasA. The great vaggeyakaras like tyagayya, dikshithar ,syama sastri et al were masters in the usage of appropriate raasa to express their emotive state to whom ?? to GODS. They didn't create numerous krithis just for their aural pleasure. They never composed songs of mundane passion. Their krithis were all soaked in the pot filled with nectarine bhakthi. If you take out this important BHAKTHI RASA out of their music (which is of course impossible,yet some people are managing to do that OR purposely filter it out:), then the resulting form of music would definitely be like decorating a jada(dead matter) with flowers. Hence , it is pretty clear now that , carnatic music is just not for aural pleasure but for upliftment of the soul lost in the samsaaric ocean and offering it as a neivedhyam (offering) to Shri rama or Shanmuga, shiva or ambAL(Shakthi). Take Tyagayya as an example. He sings in extreme joy "Raama neepai tanaku premaa podu, Sita Rama" (O sita Rama, my mind is always obsessed with you) in the melting Bilahari Raga. Like this, in so many other krithis ,He has very neatly and appropriately made use of naada in constructing and rendering simple yet insightful and wonderful krithis with BHAKTHI. Since , he was able to appreciate the greatness of naada, he himself has composed many krithis on the divine nature of naada and how appropriate use of the naada can take one to infinite bliss This allows us to assume and observe that he had the naada and the raagas springing out of it in a royal status. He worshipped them. He is the one who said in "Sangita Gnanamu Bhakthi Vina" that mere knowledge of music without devotion can never lead to the right path. He only accepted as his discliples those who are disciplined and those who would preserve his invaluable treasure for the future generations.Thanks to them. Hence, it doesn't really matter much if someone is an expert practising carnatic music or an amateur or a carnatic music enthusiast who adores this form of music if none of them take it from the bhakthi point of view. It would eventually end up like tasting a sweet piece of Tirunelveli halwa that won't satiate ones hunger and if you try to eat more of it hoping that eventually your hunger will be fixed, at some point of time you would end up getting saturated, (thegattidum). Athukapparam , konjam "karaama ethavathu saapda thonum"(After that,he will feel like eating some thing crisp and hot). I think that this is the main reason for some carnatic musicians with great skills and voice failing to make use of the great gift they have got. Dear friends, having said about sri tyagayya ,bhakthi and carnatic music, I'd like many of you guys to continue with me in enjoying a very beatiful krithi of tyagayya
Let me start with some prefatory cooked up thoughts. It should be a well known fact to most of you folks that if there is something that Tyaggayya craved for, it could only be that of the darshan of his hero, Sita Rama. But his brother was a total contrast. It is also known that Tyagayya had a tough time dealing with his greedy brother who craved for everything but Sitarama. Hence, it is understandable that a person like tyagayya would have preferred to remain silent rather than disputing according to the very popular Tamil saying , Dushtanai KandAL Dhoora Vilagu :). .....Finding his own brother disregarding and ill-treating him, he would have become really upset. Without any doubt, he would have resorted to his Lord. He might have then bursted out with a krithi expressing his sorrowful state and pleading his lord to speak to him.

"Aaada modi Galade " in the wonderful Charukesi raga could well have been such a krithi. For tyagayya, just having a darshan of his hero is brahmaanandam. Why then would he ask him to speak? He says to his lord , " I have sought you as my sole support and shelter and stuck to you steadfastly". These words clearly indicate the need for somebody to console him with kind words and who can that person be? It could only be his SitaRama. Later , in the same krithi, he consoles himself by quoting that when the great Raama bhaktha , Anjaneya wanted to talk to him , His Lord commanded lakshmana to speak to him. How can then he expect his Lord to speak to the frail Tyagaraja. Why do you think he makes such a comparison? Would Sita rama talk only to strong ones like Hanuman and not to frail people like tyagayya? Nope. I think sri tyagayya compares the flawless character(swabhaavam) of Anjaneya with his. hmm...why else would he do such a comparsion ?? What can we say about our characters then? >Do feed back your thoughts. ..

, you can find the lyrics and the translation of the krithi

As usual , let me conclude this post with an audio. Let it please your ears and more importantly let it please your souls.

Here you can find Shri Madurai Mani Iyer rendering Sri Tyagayyas 'Aadamodi Galade'. Note: At this point , I would like to inform those that are new to Shri MMI's paddhathi (Style) that it is not quite easy to enjoy his music as you do someone like yesudas. It takes time.But sooner or later, if you really happen to like carnatic music, you will end up adoring his sangita jnana. For me , he is a true maestro:)



Comments on "Sangita Gnanamu Bhakthivina"


Blogger Ganesh said ... (2:42 PM) : 

Krishna again a nice one, I will read it again at leisure and comment on it,


Blogger krishna said ... (11:28 PM) : 

Dear Ganesh

Mikka Nandri..

Do comment back your thots...


Blogger Ganesh said ... (9:59 AM) : 

ok here goes
well thought out post on Sri Thyagabrahmam
Mahanubhava like himself are always in constant communion with God, so to him music just happens its spontaneous
And thats why he had sung "sangeetha gnanamu-bhakti-vina- sanmargamu galade "

I also firmly believe music happens when it comes from deepest reach of our hearts


Blogger krishna said ... (2:26 PM) : 

Dear Ganesh,,

Yes, U are absolutely right. We should also try to use the same maarga as he used (at least if not in as much fervor as he had). The bottom line is

aathmaarthama bhakthiyoda paadanum
Ketkum rasikargalum athey bhakthi oda ketkanum:)


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