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Sri Jayanthi Celebrations

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Sep 03 1999 - 20:07:00 PDT

Dear BhakthAs : 

I was immersed in the joy of browsing
the Shri KrishNA Home pages of
Sri Haresh BalasubramaNyan yesterday
( Sri VaikAnasa Munithraya Sri Jayanthi day).

Today (Sri PaancharAthra Sri Jayanthi day),
I had the delectable anubhavam of (1) listening 
to Saint ThyagarAjA's NowkhA Charithra Krithis
and (2) Swami Desikan's Sri GopAla Vimsathi .
I will share with you the story of NowkhA 
Charithram, the Operatic drama of Saint ThyagarAjA.
There is no basis for this story in Srimath
BhAgavatham just as Sri Hamsa sandhEsam has 
no connection to Srimadh RaamAyaNam of Adhi Kavi.
NowkhA Charithram is a beautiful testament 
to Saint ThyagarAjA's kalpanA sakthi 
capacity to write padhyams and musical genius.

NowkhA Charithram 

It is also known as GopikA Gharva Bhangam .
On one evening , Our Lord , Baala KrishNan 
and number of beautiful Gopis were sailing in 
a boat and were having Sarasa Kreetai. The Gopi
girls were taken up with themselves over the thought
that the Lord was caught in their soundharya valai(net)
and became bloated over their Soundharya Gharvam.

Sri KrishNan wanted to teach them a valuable lesson .
He wanted them to remember that He as ParamAthmA 
is far away from the JeevAthmA , when it becomes 
proud about its  prowess and independence .
When the JeevAthmA has this Bramam about itself , then 
ParamAthmA causes certain things to happen to 
bring the JeebvAthmA to the sober state of remembering
that it is totally dependent on the Lord as a seshan.

BhagavAn suddenly created a great storm and the winds 
and the rain shook the boat and YamunA waters entered 
the boat .A hole opened up in the body of the boat and 
the boat began to sink .There was a threat to the life of 
the proud Gopis.Now the gopis began to worry about 
the Lord's safety and prayed to Mother YamunA to save 
them and get them ashore without harm . Our Lord laughed 
inside and suggested to His Playmates to take their 
sarrees off and use them plug the leak in the boat . 
The Gopis remembered the days of VasthrAbharaNam 
and were stricken with shame over the demands of the Lord. 
Finally ,they gave up their pride and surrendered 
themselves totally to Sri KrishNan to save them  
from the impending calamity.They prayed to HIm
with utter devotion . Immediatley , they had His
darsanam as the divya ManhgaLa Vigrahan ( divine
resplendent SubhAsrayam ).The storm subsided and
the boat came ashore safely.The Gopis recovered 
their clothes and fell at their Lord's sacred feet .
They formed a procession and placed their Lord 
in the middle , sang His glories and returned
to their homes .

Saint ThyagarAjA composed this Opera to remind
us about the importance of PoorNa Prapatthi
and when that is done , He becomes our full
protector in the spirit of the GithA slOkam :

ananyAscchinthayanthO maam yE Jana: paryupAsathE 
tEshAm nithyAbhiyukthAnAm Yoga kshEmam vahAmyaham 

Raagams used by Saint ThyagarAjA for display of the RasAs:

The Saint used 13 RaagAs in his nowkhA charitham.
These are : Surutti, pantuvarALi ,Yathukula KaambhOji,
SaurAshtrA , SaaranhA , Bhairavi , PunnAgavarALi,
SaavEri, karnAtaka Kaapi, GhantA , varALi and Mohanam .

The saahithyams are full of SringAra Rasam and 
Bhakthi Rasam . The poetry is of a high order . 
The ghandha Padhyams, Seesa Padhyams Vachanams, 
SaardhUlams and the dhvipathais  are most delectable 
to experience in the Sundara Telegu.

The choice of Raagams for the occasions of
the fast moving drama are most apt.The use
of KaruNA rasa PrAdhAnya Ragam , PunnagavarALi 
for 4 songs and the SooryakAntha Janya Raagam,
SourAshram for four more songs of NowkhA
charithram are masterly strokes of the genius
of Saint ThyagarAjA . 

I will conclude this posting for Sri Krishna
Jayanthi of PramAthi Samvathsaram with 
the Phala Sruthi :

ThyagarAja kruthAm PuNyAm kathAm Saadhu manOharAM 
yE sruNvanthi narA lOkhE thEshAm KrishNa; praseedhathi 

(Meaning): For those of the world , who hear 
the auspicious and delectable kathai of NowkhA Charitham 
composed by ThyagarAjA, Lord KrishNA will 
appear before them .
Sri KrishNArpaNam asthu.
Oppilaippan Koil V.Sadagopan