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A Musical tribute to Sri RamachandrA

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Mar 25 1999 - 20:13:40 PST

Dear BhakthAs :

Today is Sri Rama Navami. As the great poet Kamban
described ,   

"vEy Punarpoosamum viNNuLOrkaLum 
thooya kaRkatakamum yezhunthu thuLLavE

oru pahal ulaku yelAm udaratthuLL pothinthu
aru maRaikku uNarvu arum avanai anji
karu mukiR kozhundhu yezhil kaattum sOthiyai

(meaning ): In AyodhyA , the Punarvasu nakshthram
kown otherwise as vEy and the KaDaka Lagnam eulogized
by the DevAs for its sanctity jumped with joy over
the thought of the SoubhAgyam that was going to
come their way .

Then Queen KousalyA of auspicious attributes gave birth 
to SarvEsvaran ( who held all the universe inside His stomach,
who is not fully understood even by the great VedAs , who had 
the anjana mEni with the effulgence of the dark blue
rainy cloud) so that the inhabitants of this world 
can gain all the wealth in this world and the other .

Next  Bharathan was born as the son of Queen Kaikeyi
during Meena lagnam and Poosa Nakshathram . Queen Sumithrai
gave birth to Lakshmanan as the first of the twins soon after ;
at that time , Ayila Nakshathram and KaDaka lagnam were 
in unison .After LakshmaNan's birth , Queen Sumithrai 
gave birth to another male child known as Satrugnan 
at the point in time , when Maga Nakshathram and 
Simha Raasi were united .Rest is history that has been
sung by Adhi Kavi Valmiki Maharishi and his kali yuga 
avathAram , Saint ThyagaraajA . 

We will continue with the story of RaamAyaNA 
celebrated by Saint ThyagarAjA and the most madhura 
naamAs , which the Saint used to salute Sri Raamaa
as he went around the streets of ThiruvayyARu 
during his unchivritthi and the krithis that he placed 
at the feet of the Lord as NaamArchanams . 

We will highlight the Hari KaambhOji janya Raaga 
krithis breifly and include in this posting the
selected fragrant names that the Saint chose to
perform nithyAradhanam to Sri SithA LakshmaNa 
Bharatha Satrugna Hanumath SamEtha Sri Raamachandran .

08.Kedaaragoulaa ( karuNA jaladhi Daasarathi 
   kalyANa suguNa nidhi )
In this krithi , the Saint addresses the Lord 
as the Ocean of Compassion and sharply questions the Lord
for being indifferent to him .Our sadhguru asks
in despair : " ParAthpara ! Taaraka nAma !
You will not lose Your patrimony , if you decide to
show Your DayA to me .My mind is getting agitated 
over Your indiffernce .I can not bear it .Please
show mercy ".
09.KarnAtaka BehAg (nEnandhu vEdakudurA Sri Hari)

This krithi is in a mood of naicyaanusandhAnam.
He asks the Lord : " Sri Hari ! Where can I search for You 
now that You have hidden Yourself from me ? I have been
a sinner and have been performing wicked deeds 
and have pretended to be a great BhakthA . I am
suffering now . Where can I find You ?".
10.Kokhiladhvani ( koniyAte naayeta Daya velagu)

This krithi is in the mood of anger and rightful
indignation.Our sadhguru asks the Lord to explain
why He is bargaining with him as if he has not been 
totally devoted to eulogising the Lord and singing 
about Him ceaselessly . He reminds the Lord that 
it is not  just , since the Lord is aware that ThyagarAjA
has not sought any religion or paths other than 
Him and Him ( Sri Raaman ) alone . 

11.PrathApa VarALi ( VinanAsakoni)

This krithi records our Sadhguru's longing to
be near the Lord and hear the madhura sambhAshaNai 
between the Lord and SitA pirAtti .The bard says:
Oh Lord ! When You and Your dear consort were
playing indoor games such as chathurangam ,
both of You were engaged in sweet conversations 
with mutual understanding of each other's
mind as Yeka sEshi dampathis. AnjanEyA and BharathA
were fortunate to hear that conversation .
I would also like to feast my ears with that
loving conversation . Please bless me also
to hear it .

12.ChenchukAmbhOji( VararAga layaj~nulu )

Here the bard and BhakthA confides to the Lord
that self-satisfied people brag and deceive
the world by pretending that they are experts 
in RaagA , layam , SvarasthAnams and subtle 
mUrchanAs without knowing that Naadham , which emanates 
from the body is the divine form of the most
sacred PraNavam . 

13.ChAyAtarangiNi ( Ithara dhaivamuluvalla ilanu
   soukhyamA Raama )

This is another Krithi expressing the ananya Bhakthi
of the Saint of ThiruvaiyyARu. He explains his position
to Sri RaamA : " Is it possible to gain happiness
through the worship of Gods other than You ? Without
rancor towards other faiths , my mind is firmly anchored
in You wiht indescribable love . Whether You choose to
protect me or abandon me, I have placed my entire trust in You .
Please treat me as Yours . This is the appropriate moment .

14.Navaraskannada ( ninnu vinA maa ma dhenthu nilvathE Hari Hari)

This krithi reminds us of Thirumangai Mannan's 
ThirupullANi paasuram : " yellOrum yenn tannai yEsilum 
pEsidinum , PullANi EmperumAn poy kEttirunthEnE ".
In that spirit , the Vaalmiki avatharar says:
" Sri Hari ! My mind refuses to dwell on anything
other than You . My eyes are fully bewitched by Your
soundharyam ; my ears are ringing with Your kathAmrutham ;
my tongue and mouth feel blessed only by reciting Your
Taaraka nAmam ;Wherever I see, I see only Your beautiful
form ; to me , even Your harsh , distasteful and deceitful
words  have become relishable .Verily , Thou art 
the phalan of all of my tapas ,DhyAnam and AarAdhanam .

15.NAARAYANI ( RaamA neevE ghAni)

In the mood of DhainyOkthi , Sadhguru swaamigaL 
begs the Lord to cheer him up with the assurances
of protection . Who else is there to protect me?
Bhaktha BhAgadhEya ! Naaga Sayana! Muni Yaaga Paalana !
SaakEthapura VihAra ! ThAtha vachana Paala ! Sundara-
vadhana ! Paavana! Oh Keeper of Your father's promise!
Please bless me . There is no one else to protect me !
16.NAARAYANAgoulaa (kathalE vaadu Raamudu )

Here, the bard is in the rapturous state of
arising from the reflection on the limitless 
mahimai of the Lord .He salutes the Lord as 
Adhi madhyAntha rahithan , Jagath KaaraNan ,
Sarva VyApi and the adhi bheejam of the chethanams
and achEthanams . He has an answer to the MaayA vaadhins
here with the statement that the creation of 
the Lord is not some thing to be dismissed as 
Maayaa and this world and its entities arose
from the sankalpam of the Lord and are very real .
17.Naatta Kurinji ( Kuvalaya DaLa NayanA )

In this long krithis with eight charaNams 
set in the mood of amarsha rOsha rOshOkthi , 
the saint protests to the Lord about His 
indifference : " I have been deeply in
love with You. You wont cast Your glance my way !
What kind of behavior is that ? Have You forgotten me 
or is it that You are a God devoid of glory 
as a Bhaktha Rakshakan ?I have been singing
constantly that You are the supreme among
Gods . I have totally renounced the temptations
of the world . If You do not have daya for me ,
wont You earn a bad name that You are not a SaraNAgatha 
rakshakan ? Give me wisdom and stand by me and accept 
my worship .

18.Bangalaa ( SaakshilE tanuthsu SaadhimpakE )

This is another krithi protesting the Lord's neglect.
Here the sage of ThiruvaiyAARu takes the Lord to task:
" Oh my dear One ! They say that You declared that You
will protect without fail all those , who sought 
refuge in You . Please do not try to say that there 
was no human witness to the above statement of Yours 
referring to Your SaraNAgatha RakshaNa vratham .If You 
do so ,the people of the world will laugh at You .
Saakshi lEdhanuchu saadhimpakE , Sathyasantha Sadhbhaktha 
paalaka ! " Only the great BhakthAs can get away with 
the Lord thru such protestations questioning His veracity.

19.YadhukulakAmbhOji( daya sevayyaa sadhaya RaamachandrA )

SitA Svayamvaram and the Lord claiming Her hand 
by winning the contest of chording the Siva Dhanus is 
the subject of this krithi in a mood of Tanmayathvam.
The saint visulaizes himself as the Naayaki of the Lord 
and asks the Lord : " Assure me my Lord , Your grace 
and a small portion of joy , SitA Devi had , when You
arrived at the svayamvara mantapam and chased away 
Her worries by bending and breaking the mighty bow of 
Sivaa . Vouchsafe to ThyagarAja Naayaki the protection 
that You gave to SitA DEvi by tying the Maangalya sUthram 
around her neck after winning Her hand in the contest ".
20.RavichandrikA (Niravdhi sukhadha nirmala roopa )

This whole krithi seeking the rakshaNam of the Lord
is full of moving naamArchanai. " Niravathi sukhadha 
( One who confers limitless bliss! ),niramla rUpa! ,
maragatha MaNi nipa dEha !( One who has the tejas 
like an eamerald gem ), Sri MaNi lOla ,
Sritha jana Paala ! bheema ParAkrama! 
ThyagarAja Vinutha ! maamava ".Simple padhams
and elegant mood of Bhakthi are housed here .
21.Raagapanjaram ( VaradhA navanIthAsA paahi)

This krithi in the UpAnga Raagam of Raaga Panjaram
is another example of lilting chandhams . This is addressed
to the boon-granting ,navanItha priyan, KrishNan . 
His invocation to the varadhan to appear before him (yEhi)
is filled with Bhakthi .DhAnava Madha naasA yEhi 
(Oh Lord who quells the pride of asurAs ! please 
come before me ! ). Oh Lord with the majestic gait 
of an elephant in rut ! please appear before me ! Suma 
Saradha ! Aasaa rahitha ! Kara dhAsana! yEhi ! Paahi !
What a splendidly phrased invitation !  

22.SahAnA ( dEhi tava padha bhakthim VaidEhi pathitha paavani)

This is a prayer to SitA pirAtti to bless him
with parama bhakthi for Her blessed feet . 
Oh Divine Consort of RaamA ! The entire universe is 
Your form .You are the cause of my good fortune.
You protect those who seek refuge in You .
Oh Devi ! You have permanent residence in
the heart lotus of ThyagarAjA !

23.Sarasvathi ManOhari ( yenthavEdukOntu Raagava bhantha mElarA )

This is a krithi asserting the Saint's
MahA VisvAsam in the Lord as his protector.
" Chala nammithini , Saaravabhouma " are the words 
of the Bhakthan . Believing with joy that 
the greatest bliss consists of finding You in my heart lotus ,
I have reposed my total faith and trust in YOU .
Please do not tarry to come to me ! How long should I
pray to You to appear before me ?
24.SaamA (santhamu leka soukayamu lEthu)

The flute genius late T.R.Mahaalingam renderd 
this beautiful krithi in 1987 in the most moving manner.
The saint advises us in this krithi : " Without tranquility ,
there is no happiness for anyone , whether he is a Vedantin , 
who has controlled his senses.Without quietitude , there is
no happiness for one even if he has a lovely family ,
huge estate , rich tapas , Veda-Saasthra paandithyam or
Bhagavatha reputation .
25.Suddha SaavEri ( KaalharaNamElarA HarE Sri SeethArAmA )

In this emotion-soaked krithi ,the Saint asks SitA Raaman
the reason for His delay in blessing him .He says:
" Oh Lord known as the embodiment of ThyAgam ! Who else
is there to save me ? I have wandered day in and day out
and finding refuge nowhere , I have sought Your sacred 
feet and performed Prapatthi . I have sought and held 
Your holy feet from my very birth . KaalharaNamElarA ? HarE ! 
SithA RaamA ! Suguna jaala ! karuNAlavAla ! ".
26.SupOshiNi ( raminthsuvArevurA RaghUtthama ninu vinA )

This krithi is in celebration of the Naama 
MahAthmyam of the Lord . Here the bard confesses :
Oh RaghUttamA ! Who else is there among
the beings of this Universe, who can transport one
to the height of bliss except You ? Even the rsplendent
DevAs do not comprehend the secret significance of
Your holy name , nor secure the Isvaryam of bliss 
arising from the recitation of Your Taaraka Naamam .

27.Surati( GeethArthamu SangIthAnandhamu)

This krithi is in the form of a conversation
with his mind. The Saint states : Oh My foolish
mind ! Behold ! here in Raama NaamA , You have
the full significance of the Bhagavadh GitA ( VedAnthA ) 
and the nectarine bliss of Music .This secret is well
known to HanumAn, who constantly worships the holy feet of 
SitApathi , the antharyAmi of SivA , Sun , Time et al ."
28.SvaravarALi ( PrArabhdhamitlunDukA )

This is a krithi dealing with the mood of NirvEdham .
ThyagarAja SwamigaL blames his past karmAs interfering 
with the acquisition of the Lord's grace and states that 
there is no point in blaming others . He continues : " Those 
whom I help do me harm. When I show mercy to others , they level
unfounded charges aainst me. Fickle-minded  people
who put on the garb of BhakthAs become my enemies ".

NirvEdham is essential before one can climb the ladder
of Bhakthi towards the goal of Prapatthi
and gaining the fruit of Moksham thereafter
by conducting the true life of a PrapannA .
Swami Desikan has set a whole chapter full
of Nirvedham in PaadhukhA Sahasram to emphasize
this cardinal point .

On this Sri Raam aNavami day , it is my parama
bhAgyam to place at the lotus feet of Janaki Vallabhan
these thoughts celebrating the glory of His Parama BhakthA,
Saint ThyagarAja SwamigaL.

Raama , Raama , Raama .
Daasan , VaradAchAri SadagOpan
Subhamasthu. Saanthrasthu .