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NEETHU CHARANAMULE

From: L&T-ECCG-Buildings & Factories (BAF-ECC_at_eccm.co.in)
Date: Wed Oct 20 1999 - 02:18:48 PDT

Dear Sri vaishnava perunthagaiyeer

The vibheeshaNa saraNaagathy has a very special place in Srimadh
RaamaayaNam. It is very important for us, the Sri vaishnavaas. Here, in this
write up, the same topic is enjoyed through the soulful krithis of our Saint
composer, musician and Sri raama bhaktha, Sri Thyaagaraajaa [ST]. 

This write up is based on the clues given by my friend and colleague (who
has earlier given clues on the saadhinchanE krithi) and brought to shape as
this write up by me.

Raagaas and krithis selected, their meaning and significance:
1.	Harikhaambodhi- the 28th mELakartha raaga - undEthi raamudu okkati,
entharaa nee, enthuku nirdhaya, sani thOdi dEvE, dinamaNi vamsa
2.	KhaambhOdhi- maa jaanakee
3.	SimhEndra madhyamam- the 57th mELakartha raaga- neethu charaNamulE,
natha jana paripaalaka
4.	Khamaas- seethapathi naa manasunaa
5.	Sudhdha seemanthini- a janya raaga of 8th melakartha - jaanakee
ramaNa

Harikhaambodhi- the name of the raaga (or word) is to be split as hari + ka:
+ ambhOdhi or ambhudhi to understand the meaning of the name. Hari, the
saakshaath NaaraayaNan, parama pada naathan creates the entire srushti by
first creating ka: the brahmaa and rest through him. 

"Naarayanan padaiththaan naanmuganai, naan muganum than mugamaai
sankaranaiththaan padaiththaan" is the famous lines of "naan mugan
thiruvanthaathi" paasuram no 1 by thirumazhiai aazhvaar. Brahmaa produces
all the creatures subsequently with water as one of the important components
to carry out his creation. Water- ambhu- is abundantly available in ocean-
the ambhOdhi. So ka+ ambhOdhi is khaambhOdhi. It is well established and
beyond doubt that all creatures except very few need water for sustenance. 

- Like wise hari + ka: + ambhudhi the harikaabhodhi raaga is also the base
from which many raagaas take birth. This raaga is a favourite one to ST and
he has 10 krithis in this raaga. To quote all janya raagas of this
harikaambhodhi will be a big list and two important janya raagams are
khambhodhi and khamaas considered here in this write-up.

Khamaas: the word kha also means sun besides brahma, maas is month in
samskrutham. The raaga khamaas is like sun month- quite hot to handle, if
not sung or played properly / correctly will hurt the singer/ player (means
lead into other raagaas).

Sudhdha seemanthini: Seemanthini in samskrit [or samskrutham] means woman.
Sudhdham is pure and sudhdha seemanthini is a pure woman. In this raagam ST
has a song addressing Raamaa as "jaanakee ramana" - Oh the husband of
ever-pure jaanakee, even though she was kept in prison in ashokavanam by
raavaNan. The raaga selection itself indicates, says or signifies that point
very well.

Simhendra madhyamam: This 57th mElakarthaa raagam signifies- indraah: madhyE
simha: - lion among Kings. Indra is the king of dEvalOkam. Indra is also a
personification of beauty [that is why kunthi in mahabharatham wanted to
have a son through indran and got arjuna who is liked by ladies for his
beauty]. Indra also means devaas and devaas have come as monkeys and hence
raama is simha among indraa: - indra madhye simha. Even though there are
many such indraas available, raamaa is the Lion among indraas. Raamaa is
also the personification of beauty combined with vil power (not only will
power but also vil power), hence he is lion among indraas. The raaghava
simham is there in the middle among a lot of monkeys and bears.

Like that there are many beautiful raagaas- indra like raagas- kingly and
beautiful- but this one- at times it roars, at times it takes rest with a
special gambhiram- all like a lion. Hence simhendra madhyamam.

The scene in Raamaayana: [scene 1] Vibheeshana is arguing with his elder
brother RavaNa and king of lanka that already much damage was done by
hanumaan -the monkey ambassador of Lord raamaa sent mainly in search of
seetha, raama's wife. Hanumaan met seetha in lanka, [the main function in
his ambassadorial work fulfilled nicely], and wanted to show his prowess by
destroying some parts and burning some parts [extra works on
self-initiative]. 

To consider certain modern management aspects in raamaayaNam, the duty of
the servant is to carry out the master's orders first. That work of finding
seetha was carried out by hanumaan successfully. Then, on his
self-initiative, certain extra works can be carried out by the servant,
which can and will facilitate the master in his mission subsequently or give
added advantage to the master. That exemplifies the capacity of the servant.
After completing the main task, Hanumaan on self initiative destroyed part
of lanka and lit on fire some portion. That proved the capacity of servant
and it also glorified the master in selecting such a capable ambassador.

Vibhishana expresses himself and his belief, during his arguments, that
raama is saakshaath mahaavishnu. The Lord alone has come as raama in the
krithi undEthi raamudu okkati by ST

undEthi raamudu okati ooraka chedi poku
chanda maarththaaNda madhya maNdalamu nanu selanguchu
thaamasaadhi guna rahithudu dharmaathmudu sarvasamudu kshEmakarudu

meaning: the sarva vyaapi raaman is the single whole and soul of the entire
world (param poruL). Do not think easy about raama. He is the shine for the
sun. He is completely rid of thaamasa gunam. He is the dharmaathmaa. He
treats all equal. He is the savior for all.

Vibheeshana also adds
oka maata oka baaNamu oka pathnee vrathudE
oka chiththamu kalavaadE oka naadunu
chiranjeevithvamu nirjara vara soukya mosagunE
dharabaragE dhEvudE

meaning: Raama is a man of virtues like one word, one arrow, one wife. He is
a man of concentration and clear in his ideas without any waywardness. He is
capable of giving boons like long life without aging, [nirjara] etc. 

[scene 2] Vibheeshana's effort to convince ravana failed. He took off from
Lanka. He comes to the sky and asks the pardon and wishing to surrender to
the Lord feet. Now ST comes out with the song "Neethu charanamulE" Oh raama
I am asking you please accept my surrender at your feet. 

Neethu charaNamulE gathiyani neradha nammina vaadanuraa raamaa
Paapa karmamu niNduraa- indhu pada pada nE jaalaraa
E apakaari yaiyanu nannElukO

O raama I have come with the strong belief that you are my protector-
rakshakan and I have come to surrender to you. I have committed many sins
and please forgive me for my sins and accept me

Vibheeshana asks the surrender from the heights of sky, where he is standing
or positioned himself with his accompanists. Hence the song also starts at
the high pitch, so that Raama and others who are in the ground can hear it. 

Note: This and the song natha jana paripaalaka in simhendra madhyamam bear a
controversy that these two krithis were not composed by ST but done in our
age by contemporaries to us (viz during 1950 to 2000). But there are others,
who say these are by ST only. We will for this elaboration consider these
were composed by ST only.

Here the raamaayaNa slokam 17 of 17th sargam of yudhdha kaandam is worth
referring- which reads- nivEdhayath maam kshipram raaghavaaya mahaathmanE
sarva loka saraNyaaya  vibheeshaNamupasthitham/

[scene 3] Vibheeshana continues his appeal and tries to convince raama and
his team. VibheeshaNa wants himself to be taken into the inner circle of
raama and his aides. So he has to do lot of canvassing. He continues his
praise of raama.

dinamaNi vamsa thilaka laavaNyaa dheena charaNya
manavini baguga madhi nidhalanchuka
chanuvuna nElu chaaluka gnaalu- dinamaNi
sarva vinutha nanu samrakshinchanu garvamulElaga suvaarevarE
nirvikaara guNa nirmala karathrutha- dinamaNi

meaning: Oh surya kula thilaka! The beautiful Lord! The last resort for
incapacitated (or incapacity stricken) people! Please consider my request
seriously in your mind and then show your love to me and protect me. Oh
blemishless Lord, why you take pride without saving me from my distress.  

 [scene 4] Vibheeshana feels, perhaps raama is not convinced about his
appeals. So he does his act of convincing by talking about the purity of
raamaa's dEvi and to remove any trace of doubts that may come in the mind of
raama, starts addressing raama in the raaga sudhdha seemanthini "Oh Jaanakee
ramaNa". He is also of the opinion that this may help in raamaa's acceptance
of his surrender.

To add weight to his arguments in favour of sitaa, he adds the krithi maa
jaanaki setta bettaka in raaga khaambhOdhi. Since maa sri mahalakshmi now in
the garb of seethaa has also come from ambhudhi the raaga of khaambhOdhi
-selection is also very apt.
 
[scene 5] Again he pleads to the Lord to accept his surrender while the
discussions are going on. So the krithi "enduku nirdhaya" why you are
showing this sympathy-less-ness.
enthuku nirdhaya evarunnaaruraa
indhu nibhaanana inakulachandana
parama paavana parimalabagana
nE paradhEsee phapavEkaasi - enthuku

meaning: Oh Raama! Why are you not showing your karuNai to me? Who is there
for me to save me Oh raama who has a moonlike face and cool like moon. You,
one who makes all clean and holy, please remove my anxiety because I am
paradEsi. You are a person who treats friends and foes alike and hence
please accept me.
  
Once more pleading goes on from vibheeshana's side since there is delay in
conveying the acceptance and he also hears arguments against the acceptance
by raama. ST adds one more krithi seethaapathE naa manasunaa in khamaas. The
raaga indicates that vibheeshana is unable to bear the heat of the delay in
acceptance of the surrender hence raaga khamaas.
seethaapathi naa manasunaa sidhdhaanthamani unnaanuraa
vaathaathmajaathula chenthanE varNinchina nee palukulella
prEma joosi naapai pedhdha manasu jEsi  nee mahmalella nindhaara joopi
 ee mahima ni bhayamEdi kanna maata raamachandra-

meaning: Oh seethapathi! I believe in my mind as true and certain, what You
told hanumaan and others. Please show me your love, your fame and consider
my request with your large heart and prove your words of "Why you are afraid
of when I am here?".

[scene 6] After much deliberation, the surrender is accepted by raama with
the very famous sloka "sakruteva prapannaaya thavaasmeethi cha yaachathE/
abhayam sarva bhoothEbhyO dhadhaamyEthadh vratham mama// slokam 33 of sargam
18 of yudhdha kaandam". ST pours out the song sani thodi dEvE in
harikhambhodhi for this.

sani thOdi dEvE  kani karamutho kani karamidi chira kaalamu 
sukamanubavimpa vEgamE pathithula brOchE pattadhi kaarini
paramaarththa matha vasishtaanusaariNi
dhyuthi nirjitha satha sambaraarini dhureeNa- sani
meaning: Please go and bring him, please go with sympathy and bring him fast
so that he can enjoy in my company.

[scene 7] The song natha jana paripalaka nannu brovavE in the simhEndhra
madhyamam raaga starts in madhyama sruthi. By that time the surrender was
accepted by raama, vibheeshana and his accompanists have descended down to
the ground and his praising of raama can be heard by all, so madhyama sruthi
is adopted by ST.

natha jana paripalaka nannu brovavE
sruthi moralida lEthaa soothradhaari neevE kaathaa
jitha manOrathulaku mouna ya

Oh! Raama,  the saraNaagatha rakshakaa, you are the player in the puppet
show (the man who controls the strings of the dolls in the show). You have
undergone suffering to save the munigaNam. Your feet are the protection for
us.

Thus the songs even though apparently may convey ST's pouring from his heart
the songs are also well in lines of happenings in raamaayaNam. Hear the
krithis and enjoy the meanings, link with raamaayaNam and sink in the
bhakthi of raama

Daasan vasudevan M.G.