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1999 Sri Raama Navami :Sadhguru SwamigaL's Salutations -Part V: Hari KambhOji Janya Raaga Krithis

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Mar 21 1999 - 16:28:43 PST

Dear BhakthAs : 

We will cover the Hari KambhOji Janya Raaga krithis 
in the next postings . Saint ThyagarAja"s talents as 
a composer and his Stature as parama BhagavathA are blended
together inextricably here . With very slight variations in Savrams ,
he was able to touch the heart muscle of the Janya Raagams and
let us join with him to enjoy these naadha naivEdhyams for
his Ishta Dhaivam , Sri Raamachandran .

His mastery of the manipulatiuon of the Rishabha svaram
in Pancharathna Krithis has been well documented by Sri
Nagesvara Rao and John Barlow this way . I have referred 
earlier to it in my postings on the five pancharathna krithis:

" The five RagAs of pancharathnam are in a state of
equalibrium . The balance among them pivot around 
the changing character of the note Ri ( Rishabha svaram ).
The Rishabham of NatA is high (sharp) pointing and striving 
upwards , while the low (flat) Rishabham of GouLA falls
back to the tonic (1st degree of Sa/Shadjamam).

Aarabhi blaances the ascension and depression with its 
median Rishabham ( natural Ri). The Rishabham  
of VarALi lies in the shadow of the more powerful
GhAndhAram . It is a point highly touched upon in 
the fall from the flat GhandhAram .In the Sri Raagam ,
the Rishabha savra sthAnam rises again to its natural 
position and presents itself in its simplest , purest 
form , an unvaried tone freed now from the curves and 
implied directionality , which it carried in the previous 
four raagAs .This tonal purity is the melodic correlate 
of silence ; as the silence resolves the rhythmic movement,
so the natural , unornamented Rishabha Svaram resolves in
stillness the striving of the tonal movement ". 

That is the genius of Saint ThyagarAjA , who had learnt
about the mysteries of SvarAs from Sage NaaradhA . The Saint
is also an incarnation of Sage ValmIki , the Adhi kavi . 
Hence ,the Raama Bhakthi of the Saint is but natural . 

We will now start brief summaries of the krithis .
Due to the need to keep these annotated commentaries
short , I would be skipping a lot except to highlight 
very select passages from the Janya Raaga krithis .

Janya Krithis 1 and 2 : AandhALi/AandhOLikA & Gunjari
Both are dealing with appeals to Sri RaamA for His 
abhimAnam and ask why He is hard hearted . AandhOLi
means a swing .The saint's mind is like a swing rocking
wildly over the sorrow arising from the poor attention
Sri RaamachandrA was paying to him .He chose AandhOlikA ,
the nishAdhAnthya UpAnga Raagam to express his dejected
state of mind .

In pallavi , as the devout Bhaktha , the Saint asked :
" abhimAnamu lEdhEmi nee vabhinaya vachanamu lAdEthEmi?". 
Why has Your abhimAnam(aadharavu )become rare ? why
wont You speak to me with affection? Why this rejection?
I am not used to Your neglect . Please do understand 
my state of mind and bless me.I believe in You being
my Master ( Raaju neevani namminAnu); I know the story
of your rakshaNam of GajEndra( Gaja Raajunna vithamu 
vinnAnu);I have never sought Your blessings to benefit from
Manmathan's boons( Rathi Raaja dhAsula vEtalEnu); Do n't You
remember that I carry my name as Your daasan/Bhruthyan ?

In the second Krithi set in Raagam , Gunjari , the Saint
begs for the abhimAnam of the Lord : 

Pallavi: abhimAnamennadu galkurA , 
         anAthuDaina naadhupai neeku 

Anupallavi: aparAdahamulanni mannimpumayaa ! AbhirAma-
            PattabhirAma naa yenthu ( abhimAnamennaDu)

CharaNam : kanna talliyu, kanna taNDriyu , 
           anniyu nevEyani nammalEdhA ,
           ninnu vinA gathi naakevarulErE , 
           nannu bhrOvu ThyagarAja vinutha (abhimAnamennaDu)

(Meaning ): AbhirAma GuNAkara DhAsarathE ! When will
Your grace fall on me as I continue on without any 
protection ? I feel like an orphan. Please forgive me
of all the trespasses and aparAdhams. I consider You 
as my Father and Mother.I do not have any refuge except
You . Please protect me from my samsAric afflictions .

3. Krithi in AtANA Raagam : yE paapamu jEsithirA Raama ?
This dEsIya BhAshAnga raagam with two kinds of GhAndhAram
and multiple nishAdha sanchArams were selected by the Saint
to house this moving krithi , when he was in a deep state of
NirvEdahm.This DhainyOkthi krithi has seven charaNams and 
brims with rigtful indignation over the Lord's parAmukham
( indifference ). 

Samplings of the saahithyam paasages depicting the sad-angry
mood of the Bhakthan are: " What sin have I committed for experiencing
this disgrace of not receiving even a little attention from You ?
I keep on praying for the darsanam of Your sacred feet and
You pretend as though You are not hearing me. I have reposed 
my total faith in You and You alone...Am I a condemned person ?
Is there no one to plead my case before You ?How long am I 
to bear this unbearbale sorrow ? Have I ever abused You ?
Am I not relying on You ? Are You to show all Your deceitful
ways (kapata naatakam ) to me ? Should one, who trusts
You to suffer from sins still ? Does it reflect well on 
the glory of Surya vamsam of Yours ? Should  You ,who is
a avyAja KaruNA moorthy behave with such indiffernece 
towards me ? You are the honey bee in my heart lotus .
Wont You show me Your enchanting face ? 

Krithi 4: BahudhAri Raagam( amarsha rOsha rOshOkthi mood)
This krithi is set in an UpAnga Rakthi Raagam . Oh Embodiment
of Mercy ! Is it really such a burden for You to protect
a single Jeevan like me ? In the past as vatapathra Saayee , 
You protected all the worlds in Your tiny stomach . As Kurma-
avathAran , You bore the burden of holding the mighty mandaraa
mountain on Your back . You lifted the giant Govardhana Giri 
to protect the worried GopAs and Gopis . Why is it so 
difficult for You to protect me now ?

Krithi 5: KhAmbhOji Raaga krithi-Oh RangasAyee
The context of this Sriranga pancharathna krithi 
enjoying the Mutthangi Sevai of Sri Ranganaathan
in His garbha gruham and the meaning of this krithi
has been discussed in one of my earlier postings 
on Srirangam .It was one of the 18 postings relating
to Sri RanganAtha Temple construction at PomOnA , NY .
Here , this Bhaktha SirOnmaNi teases the lord with
the question : " Oh Ranga PrabhO! If You forget other
duties of Yours and give Yourself upto enjoying solely
the company of Sri RanganAyaki at the BhUlOkha Vaikuntam
of Srirangam , when will there be an end to all
of my worries and sorrows ? 

KaambhOji is one of those Janya Raagams , which 
is more famous than its parent meLa raagam . Saint
ThyagarAja has composed many moving krtihis in
KaambhOji raagam .Examples of such krithis set
in KaambhOji are : " Yevari maata " made famous by
sangItha kalAnidhi Ariyakkudi RaamAnuja Iyengar ,yElarA
Sri KrishNa , mari mari ninnE muRalida , maa Jaanaki and
Raghuvara PrEmEya celebrated by the Naathasvaram mastero ,
SangItha kalAnidhi , Sri T.N.Raajarathnam PiLLai .

Krithi 6: NaagasvarALi Raaga krithi--SripathE! 
In this krithi brimming with MahA VisvAsam ,
the Saint declares that the meditation on 
Lord RamachandrA's sacred feet is his very
life and sustenance( SripathE ! neepadha-chinthana
Jeevanamu ). I am a forlorn being (nE paradEsi).
Please remove my sorrow with compassion ( naa ghAsi-
BhApavE chanuvuna dayajEsi ). RaajAdhi Raaja ! 
ravi-kOti tEja! Sripathi! daya jEsi . 

SangItha kalAnidhi Sri K.V.NarAyana Swami's
soulful rendering of this krithi is a delight
to listen to .

Krithi 7: Balahamsa Raagam: Raama yEva Dhaivatham
This upAngha Raagam was very dear to sadhguru SwamigaL.
He composed 8 krithis in this Raagam . Each one is a gem .
The krithi , " Raama yEka Dhaivatham " is one of the fourty
Uthsava sampradhAya krithis .With chipLa Kattais in one hand
to keep time and with tampurA in the other hand for
sruthi and with Gajjai on his ankles for dancing , this
Raama chaithanyA declared his total loyalty to Sri Raamabhadran.
The ananya Bhakthi of the Saint is fully captured here.
He celebrates his ananyagathithvam with the declaration :
" RaamA alone is my God. He is the destroyer of
the mental distress of His devotees ".This sahithyam
is full of gem-like naamArchanai to the Lord :
Vimala hrudhaya subha paladhan; Bhaktha chittha 
Taapa haran ; NaagarAja Vara sayanan ; bhAvuka 
dhAna chathuran .

Krithi 8: nenarunchinAnu ; anniDiki nidhAnuDuni nEnu;needhupai
This krithi is a gem of expression of the Saint's sthira Bhakthi
to Sri Raamachandran .Memories of Listening to the legendary
Veenai DhanammAL playing it on her samall Veenai , Kaarukuricchi 
ArunAchalam playing it on Naathasvaram , Semmangudi and MLV
singing this moving piece with midukku at the Madras Music academy 
go thru my mind .Last year , when we carried the DivyAbharaNams
of ANDAL on our heads around the Raaja Veethis of Sri VilliputthUr , 
this MaaLavi Raaga Krithi was rendered by the Koil Naathasvara
VidhvAn . It was a thrilling experience .

Here the saint states : " Oh Lord !I have fixed my mind
on Your divya svarUpam and sacred feet , since You are 
the sole upholder of every thing in this universe.
Thou art like a wind that drives away the cloud of 
accumulated sins .In this wicked kali yugam , I can not
stoop to engage in nara sthuthi and become deceitful .
Instead , I have fixed my entire mind on You .

Poygai AzhwAr's Paasuram comes to mind in this context:
He says aloud: " I will always seek only Your feet ; I will
sing only Your glories ; I will wear only Your sacred 
feet as alankhAram on my head , if I have to wear 
anything ; for one blessed with such bhAgyam ,
what does it matter to me if I reside in bhU lokam
or svarga lOkam or narakam ? The sukhams and dukkams
arising from these experiences wont touch me at all ".

That is also the  state of mind of Saint ThyagarAjA .
Bhagavan will always be there , wherever His BhakthAs are.
It is in this context that Saint ThyagarajA declares :
maakEkarA VichAramu" in  a spirit of Rakshishyathi VisvAsa:
Elsewhere , the Saint says:

nee chitthamu naa Bhaagyamayaa
yojinchi KaaryamulEdanuchu
noka paari SaraNanu KoNtinayaa 

(Meaning): I am Yoursand Your will is my fortune.
Why Should I be brooding meaninglessly , when I have ,
once for all taken refuge in You ?".

The SaraNAgathAs take comfort in the Lord's assurance:

ananyAschintayanthO Maam yE JanA; paryupAsathE
tEshAm nithyAbhiyukthAnAm Yoga kshEmam vahAmyaham 

The burden of RakshaNam is His once we have performed
Bara SamarpaNam .

Sri Raamachandra ParabrahmaNE Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan