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RANGASWAMY_at_plh.af.mil
Date: Thu Dec 19 1996 - 12:14:37 PST

Dear Members of the Bhakti List,

Sri Sadagopan's excellent summary of Goda Devi's tribute to Rama and 
Krishnavatarams immediately brings to mind Sadguru Thyagaraja's anubhavam 
of these two Avatarams in his Arabhi Pancharatna Krithi "SAdinchane".

The CharaNam of this Krithi contains the essence of Thyagaraja's outpourings.
In this Krithi Sadguru Thyagaraja refers to Lord Krishna as the son of 
Devaki and Vasudeva in the line "Devaki VasudevulaNe" and then points out
that Carnatic music originates from him (Rangeshudu Sadganga Janakudu 
Sangita Sampradayakudu). Thyagarajaswami then alludes to 
Lord Krishna's Leelas with the Gopis of Brindavan in the line
"Gopi Janamanorathamusangalegane GeleyuchesEvAdu". Immersed in his 
appreciation of Lord Krishna, Thyagaraja suddenly changes gears and 
declares "HarE Ramachandra Raghukulesha Mrudusubhasha Sheshasayana ParanAri 
Sodaraja...." where he pays homage to the majesty of Lord Rama, the 
descendent of Raghu, one whose speech is sweet and cultured, who is reclining 
on the serpent bed, who treats women other than his wife (ParanAri) like his 
sisters. 

One must place Sadguru Thyagaraja's anubhavam of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna 
in the context of being a Parama Bhakta of Raghava Simha. Given this 
background, it is easy to see that Sadguru Thyagaraja associates everything 
majestic with Lord Rama. Accordingly, Lord Rama epitomizes Sthairya, 
Dhairya, Shourya, Parakrama, KaruNya, Madhurya, Gambhirya, Audarya, Satya 
Kama, Satya Sankalpa, Krutajnya and Vatsalya. Therefore, in the eyes of 
Thyagaraja Lord Rama is incomparable. It is in this light that one must 
interpret his mocking question to Lord Krishna "You who teased the Gopis of 
Brindavan and stole their hearts and minds, how can you be the Paramatma 
that Lord Rama was?" Further testimony in support of this line of reasoning 
can be found in the following Krithis:

In the Krithi Namoralanuvini (in the Raga 
Arabhi) Sadguru Thyagaraja asks of his Abhimana Daivam Lord Rama 
"SabalO Manamu POvu Samayamuna Asathi Yemichhemo" (What property did 
Draupadi give you for you to rush to her rescue when she was being 
disrobed in the Saba?). Although, it was Lord Krishna that came to her 
rescue, Apadandhava to Thyagaraja is forever Lord Rama. 

In Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam, Thyagaraja renders the Krithi "Daya Rani Daya 
Rani" in the Raga Mohanam. In it he praises the Sarva Rakshakatvam aspect 
of his Abhimana Daivam Lord Rama (who appeared in the form of Narasimha 
protect Prahlada). Interestingly, this work is devoid of any reference 
to the Ugra aspect associated with Lord Narasimha

In the process of dwelling on the Arabhi Pancharatna krithi, it occured to me 
that Thyagaraja on purpose chose ragas with oscillatory behavior of the 
"Rishaba swaram" in composing his Pancharatna Krithis in the Ragas Natai, 
Gowlai, Arabhi, Varali and Sri. In particular, the Rishabam in Natai starts 
at its natural position and dips down to its nadir in Gowlai and again 
oscillates between a crest and trough in Arabi and Varali respectively, 
before attaining its natural position in Sri Ragam. It is another coincidence 
that the Rishaba swaram attains its natural position in Natai and Sri Ragams 
which are Mangala Ragams. Sri Sadagopan came up with a brilliant explanation 
of this oscillatory behavior. I request him to post his insights on the 
Bhakti list for the benefit of other members who may be interested.

Sri Sita Lakshmana Hanumath Sametha Sri Ramachandra ParabrahmaNe Namaha,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy