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Srirangam Postings : Part 13.2: Saint ThyagarajA's pancharahtnams

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Apr 27 1998 - 19:15:02 PDT

Dear Sri RanganAtha BhakthAs :

I will cover the meanings and annotated observations
on the Sriranga pancharathna Krithis in this posting 
before going for the final stretch of this kaimkaryam 
this week prior to concluding it on May 1 , AchArya 
RaamAnuja Jayanthi day . May Lord RanganathA confer His
blesings on us to to raise successfuly the funds neeeded 
to complete His Temple construction at Pomona , New York .
Please give generously for this temple for all bhakthAs
of Sri RanganAthA so that ALL of His bahkthAs can
 come together and worship Him as at Srirangam .

The First Pancharathnam :Thodi Raaga DevathA performing SaraNAgathi
The breeze from Cauveri banks was gently fanning 
Sri RanganAthA seated on His golden horse as he was 
being carried over the streets of Srirangam on that 
chitthirai day . Saint ThyagarAjA got a glimpse of  
the approaching Lord from his vantage point of 
86 South Chittirai Veedhi next to VadampOkki Street .
The naadhasvaram  and the other MangaLa vaadhyams 
played . KattiyakkArars were shouting Sri RanganAthan's
progress through the streets. KarpUrAratthi was taking place 
as the Lord received upachArams from each household .
Saint ThyagarAja caught the beauty of the Lord illuminated 
by the theevattis of the night lighting the way of the Lord.
The joyous saint  drank deeply the anubhavam of that beauty . 

Thodi raaga dEvathai entered into him and emerged 
as " Raaju vedale jutAmu rArE " krithi .The sAhithya
Vaakhyams are : 

Pallavi : raaju vedalE juthAu rArE ; KasthUriranga

Anupallavi : tEjinEka samastha rAju lUDigamu jEya
             tEjarillu navarathnapu divya bhUshaNamu liDiranga

CharaNam : KaavEri theeramanu paavanamagu Rangapurini 
           SrIvelayau CHITRA VEEDHILO  vEkanga rAga
           sEvanu gani surulu virulachE prEmanu pujimchaga
           bhAvimchu ThyagarAju Baadaga VAIBHOGARANGA ( Raaju VedalE)

( Meaning and Comments ) : Saint ThyaarAja as a BhagavathA
invites here other BhagavathAs and BhakthAs to enjoy 
the beautiful darsanam of the Lord and the sight of 
the Lord's progressing procession on Chitthirai veethi
on horse back . He says : " Come one and All ! let us
enjoy this auspicious sight ! Sri RangarAjA is bedecked with
shining divya AabharaNams and is attended by the princes
on horse back . He is travelling on Chitthira veedhi of His 
rAjadhAni made holy further by the flow of river KaavEri  
that washes His sacred feet . This Srirangam has been made 
fit by the Lord as the abode for His divine consort ,
Sri RanganAyaki , who is verily MahA Lakshmi . DevAs 
are enjoying this blessed scene and are showering pushpa
vrushti on their Lord . Come one ! Come All! Please
woship the KasthUri Rangan as He celebrates His VaibhOgam
during this chaitthrOtsavam .Come All ! Worship the Lord 
with devotion as ThyagarAja sings in this procession ( Veethi
valam ) of the Lord in His sacred city 's streets .

I recall with nostalgia , Sangeetha KalAnidhi Sri Ariyakkui
RaamAnuja Iyengar render this krithi with such bhAvam 
many times .I might even have his rendering in my audio 
archives. The Bombay sisters have recorded all of  
the Sriranga Panchrathnams with anugraha vachanmas
( Savsthi vaachakams) from the Parama Padha Vaasi , 
His Holiness the 44th Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt during 
the occasion of his Raaja Gopura nirmANa kaimkaryam 
at Srirangam . 
he Second Pancharathnam :DevagAndhAri Raaga Devathai's saraNAgathi

Saint ThyagarAjA had composed earlier a majestic
krithi entitled " Ksheera Saagara SayanA " in 
DevagAndhAri Raagam . As he stood in front of the house 
at Chitthirai veethi on that evening enjoying the Lord's beauty,
he wanted so very much to get closer to the Lord and
have a better sEvai . The crowd around him was making it
difficult to come closer . He was sad to see the opportunity
slip by . Suddenly , the procession stopped and the bearers
of the Lord's Vaahanam could not move . There was a great
concern about dhrushi dhOsham and the koil sippanthis 
ordered the deva daasis and raaja daasis to perform 
the appropriate dances at the junction of the streets of 
west and south chitthira veethi to propitaite the Lord.
Even after that propitaitory act , the bearers of 
the Lord's vaahanam did not gain their strength to 
carry the Lord further . The ArchakA became possessed by 
the Lord and he spoke the Lord's words commanding 
the adhikhAris to bring His parama bhakthA  closer
to Him for a better darsanam and koil MariyAdhai . 

Saint ThyagarAja was brouhgt closer and the DevaghAndhAri
raaga devathai entered him through the krithi " vinarAdhA naa 
manavi " . This raagam competed with the other raaga devathAs 
to offer its saraNAgathi to the Ksheera Saagara Sayanan 
now resting on His serpent bed on the banks of KaavEri river.
The saahithya vaakhyams are as follows :

Pallavi : VinarAdhA naa manavi

anupallavi : KanakAnga ! KaavEdi Ranga ! SrI Kaantha !
             KaanthalElla kaamimchi pilachithE 

CharaNam 1: tEjinEka bhAga tEruvunarAga
            rAjasathulu jUchi rammani pilachithE 

CharaNam 2: BhaagadhEya! VaibhOgaranga ! Sri ThyagarAjanutha
            TaruNulu pilachithE 

( Meaning and comments ) : Oh Svarna RangA ! Oh , the golden-
hued One resting at the banks of KaavEri ! Oh Lord of MahA Lakshmi !
Why wont You listen to my prayerful appeal ? When the ladies 
including the royal party so affectionately sing and dance 
for Your pleasure and call You , when You come out in 
procession on horse back on the streets of Your rAjadhAni ,
why wont You respond to them ? You indeed are their Sotthu
( treasure ) . 

After the Saint sang this krithi in the majestic DevaghAndhAri
raagam , a dheepArAdhanam was done and the Lord was pleased
and blessed the vaahanam bearers to regain their strength
to carry on with their Kaimkaryam . Thus was born the second
Pancharathnam .

I have heard Sangeetha KalAnidhi Semmangudi render this moving
appeal of a krithi by the bard in one of his special
recording released by oriental records few years ago .

The third pancharathanm : KaambhOji Raagam offering its saraNAgathi

The mahAthmyam of the Saint of ThruvaayAru favored by
Sri RanganAthA led to the invitation by the temple officials 
to the bard for an EkAntha Sevai of the Moolavar adorning
Mutthamgi that evening . The bard was thrilled and arrived
at the garbahgraham , where many AchAryAs , adiyArs and AzhwArs 
stood ( Aranganin ThirumuRRam )over the preceding centuries and 
drank deeply the beauty of Sri RangasAyee . The auspicious
KaambhOji raaga Devathai performed its SaraNAgathi with many 
sangathis of the Pallavi of the krithi " Oh RangasAyee ! ) : 

Pallavi: Oh RangasAyee ! pilachithE -Oh yanuchu raa raadhA ?

Anupallavi : Saarangadharudu jUci KailaasAdhipudu gAlEdhA ?

CharaNam : BhUlOkha Vaikuntam idhiyani neelOna neevE yuppOnghi
           SrIlOludai yuntE maachinthadheerE dhEnnaDO ?
           mElOrvalEni janulalO nE
           migula nOgili divyarUpamunu 
           mudhyAla sarula yuramunu ghAna vacchithi ;
           ThyagarAja hrudhbhUshaNa ! ( Oh RangasAyee )

(Meaning and Comments ) : Oh RangasAyee ! When I implore You to
come to me and beg You to bless me , why should you not come ?
Has not Lord SivA become the Lord of KailAsam with Your grace ?
If You forget other things ( Bhaktha RakshaNam , PaarArthyam
reminded by ANDAL in Her ThiruppAvai , where She commands 
the Lord to wake up and go about His duties and not to
slimber away in the comforting arms of Nappinnai )and give
Yourself up to the enjoyment ( Bhogam ) in the company of
Sri RanganAyaki here at Srirangam , Your Vaikuntam on 
this earth , What will happen to me ? When will there be an
end to my sufferings resulting from living in the middle of 
envy-ridden people , who can not stomach other people 
making spiritual progress . 

Oh Merciful Lord ! I stand before You beseeching Your
blessings as You present Yourself in Your beautiful 
pearl-studded coat ( Mutthangi Sevai ) as You  engage in 
Your Yoga NidhrA .Oh the Divine One decorating my 
heart space as a precious jewel ! Oh My chinthAmaNi rathnam !
Please respond to me ! Please do not tarry anymore !
Oh SeshasAyee of Srirangam ! Oh SaarangapANi ! Oh Kanaka RangA ! 
Oh VaibhOga RangA ! Oh KasthUri RangA ! Please heed my 
prayerful appeal for your blessings .  

The progressively emotion-laden  Sangathis of this
pallavi are a delight to experience as sung by 
Sangeetha KalAnidhi Srimathi M.S.Subbulaksmi .The sishyAs 
assembled in Thiru Arangan's muRRam took faithful note of them
all and passed on to us so that we can share the bard's great 
anubhavam at the Garbhagraham of SriranganAthA .

The saint's moving prayer reminds one of the lines from'
Swami Desikan's Sri Sookthis :

chinthArathnam Sulabhamiha na: Siddhi MokshAnurUpam 
      --Sri Bhagavadh DhyAna sOpAnam(BDS) : slOkam 1

DheenA nAtha: vysana samanam Dhaivatham DhaivathAnAm

madhyam baahOr maNi vara ruchA ranjitham Ranga dhAmna:
                                    ---BDS : SLOKAM 6

                                    ---- BDS : SLOKAM 8

Saint ThyagarAjA belongs to the category of rasikAs 
described by Swami Desikan ( Ranga AasthAnE rasika
mahithan ) .The kshEthram is Ranga AasthAnam ( Sri Rangam ) .
There , the Lord delights all those rasikaas , who 
are blessed with His darsana soubhAgyam . There is no
exception about this. Sri RanganAthA delights every one's
mind with His beauty and soulabhyam ( Ranjitha AsEsha 
chitthE rasika mahithE ) .Such a rasikA was Saint from
ThiruvaiyAru , who gave us the KaambhOji krithi out of
his anubhava janitha paramAnandham .

The Fourth pancha rathnam : Invitaiton to the Ladies 
In our PerumAL sannidhis , the ladies stand on one side 
and the males on the other side. When dignitaries arrive
at the Lord's sannidhi , rest of the people ( both male 
and female )are some what pushed aside . Some thing 
like this might have happened at Sri RanganAthan's 
Thiru muRRam , when Saint ThyagarAjA was being 
accorded with honors and special attention during 
the EkAntha sEvai . Saint ThyagarAja , the most 
compassionate one ,invited every one and especially 
Ladies-- who get less attention in the traditional
societies--and invited them to enjoy the soubhAgyam of 
the sevai of the Lord of Srirangam . This krithi is set 
in Raagam Aarabhi . The saahithya Vaakhyams are:

Pallavi:::  chuthAmu rArE sudhatulAra ! Rangapathini

Anupallavi: SeethApathi pUjyudata srunghAra sEkarudata
CharaNam 1: Sarigamchu saaluvata chowkDla pOgulaDa
            paruvampu prAyamaDa ParamAthmuData , Rangani

CharaNam 2: Mukha nirjitha chandhruData muddhumADa lADunata
            sukha mOsanghi BrOchunaDa sundarAnaDuta Rangani

CharaNam 3: Aagama sanchAruData-yakhila jagathpAluData
            ThyagarAja sannuthuData taruNulAra Rangapathini 

(Meaning ) : Oh Ladies ! Come along and join in to see Rangapathi !
Aadhi Kavi VaalmIki says that Sri RanganAthA was worshipped by
Sri RaamachandrA . He is indeed the treasure house of all charms.
He is wearing today a shawl that is priceless. He adorns beautiful
ear ornaments. He displays His saamudrikhA LakshaNams befitting
One of prime age ( paruava vAlibhan/ILankumaran ). Above all these 
aspects of His matchless beauty , He is indeed the Parama-
Purushan celebrated and saluted by the VedAs and Upanishads as 
the SarvAdhAran , JagadhAnandhakan and Jagath Rakshakan .
His most beautiful face defies the full moon in its beauty ; 
His words are spoken with such maadhuryam , which makes His speech
liltingly sweet . He confers the bliss of happiness ( Aanandham )
on His devotees. He is the most lovable personality with whom
one readily falls in deep love. He permeates all aagamAs and 
the VedAs .Oh Ladies ! Please come forward and enjoy the beauty
of this Lord of Srirangam .

Fifth pancharathnam : An appeal for the Mercy of Saaranghadharan

Saint ThyagarAjA was overcome with feelings of his 
utter helplessness and appealed for the Lord's mercy.
That appeal emerged in the form of a heart-rending
krithi set in the BhaashAnga Rakthi Raagam ,
SaarangA . In another SaarangA raaga Krithi ,
he had asked Sri Ramachandra to understand his 
helpless state and asked Him to shower mercy on 
him : " Yemi thova palkumA yiganu nE nenthu pOdhu 
Sri RaamA "( Oh RaamA my dear One ! Where am I to go ?
What am I to do ? What steps should I take ? 
Please tell me what to do . Please have karuNA 
and cast your benovlent glances on me ! ). In a similar
mood , Saint TyagarAja stood before the Parama
KaaruNeekan , Sri RanganaathA and prayed for the boon
of becoming the object of the Lord's DayA . The saahithya
Vaakhyams are as follows :

Pallavi : KaruNa juDumayya ! Maayayya ! KaavEDi rangayya 

Anupallavi: parama purusha ! vinu maa-paali pEnnidhAnamA !
            Varaha nalugurilO-vara mOsagi karamiDi

CharaNam : chAraDEsi kanulachE jElangubhaya 
           naacchArulatOnu marisadhbhakthaluthO
           ALwArulathO neevu vara naivEdhyamula 
           naaragimchu vELala HarithyAgarAjuni karamiDi 

( Meaning ) : Oh Parama PurushA ! Oh Lord RanganAthA
residing on the banks of KaavEri ! Oh Grantor of choice
boons , Oh VardhA ! Look at me with dayA and listen to 
me; Hold me by the hand , bless me with boons and your
benovolent grace at the time when You are enjoying 
the company of Sri Devi and Bhudevi as well as Your
Bhaktha SironmaNis and THE AAZHWAARS at Your BhOga Mantapam .
At that pleasant time , when You are partaking your 
naivEdhyam , Please hold my hand and have mercy on me ! 

Srirangam is revered as BhOga mantapam in our tradition ;
Thirumalai is known as Pushpa Mantapam and KaanchIpuram
as the Thyaga mantapam .Saint ThyagarAjA was eager to 
appeal to the Lord of BhOga mantapam , just as AchArya
RaamAnuja chose the time , when the Lord was enjoying 
the company of Sri RanganAyaki on the panguni Uttaram
day and offered his SaraNAgathi and received the great
boon by choosing that favorable moment of union of 
the Lord with His divine consort on EkAsanam . 

Thus concludes the Sriranga Pancha Rathna Krithis 
bequeathed to us by Saint ThyagarAjA in a spirit of
SaraNAgathi at the lotus feet of the Lord of Srirangam .
May we ALL be blessed by performing SaraNAgathi to
this Lord , who is going to have His home at Pomona , 
New York in few months .

In the remaining postings , I will cover selected paasurams 
of the AzhwArs saluted by Saint ThyagarAja in his Saaranga
Raaga Krithi . 


Srirangam saraNya DampathigaL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan