Innum En Manam

Is it just to behave as if  you do not know my mind? Is all this acting/drama something you rehearsed before, O Lotus-eyed Lord, coloured like a gem? O beautiful Krishna, will you not alleviate my grievances?

My musical offering today is a Varnam composed by the violin Maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman (born 1930), Innum En Manam in raga Charukesi. Varnam means colour in Sanskrit; perhaps they are are called that because they teach students the ‘colour’ of the raga. Varnams are used as advanced training exercises for Carnatic music students. It is also customary to start a Carnatic music performance with a varnam. On the other hand, varnams are the main items in a Bharatnatyam dance performance.

This composition is wonderfully lyrical and a perfect instrument for understanding the beauty of the raga Charukesi within a short few minutes.  The last charanam (stanza) in particular is as perfect as Charukesi can be. To know more about this raga, click here.

To appreciate this composition well, it would be best first to listen to a vocal performance by Maharajapuram Santhanam (1928-1992) below.

Then listen to the Maestro play his own composition.

Footnote (Lyrics) :

Language : Tamil

இன்னும்/இன்னம் என் மனம் அறியாதவர் போல
இருந்திடல் ஞாயமா யாதவ மாதவ

முன்னம் பயின்றதோ இன் நாடகம் எல்லாம்
மன்னா கமலக்-கண்ணா மணி வண்ணா

(சித்தச்வரம் )

குழல் ஊதும் அழகா கண்ணா குறை தீராயோ

[Note, these are only the sung lyrics – the chittaswarams and swarams have lyrics which are not sung. Full lyrics and notation can be found here.]


innum/innam en manam aRiyAdavar pOla
irundiDal gnAyamA yAdava mAdhava

munnam payinDRado in nATakam ellAm
manna kamalak-kaNNA maNi vaNNA

kuzhal Udum azhagA kaNNA kurai tIrAyO


Is it just (gnAyamA) to behave (be) (irundiDal) as if (pOla) you do not know (ariyAdavar) my mind (en manam)?

Is all this (ellAm) acting/drama (in-nATakam) something you rehearsed (payinDRado) before (munnam) O King (manna), O Lotus-eyed (kamalak-kaNNA), coloured (vaNNA) like a gem (maNi) ?

O beautiful (azhagA) Krishna (kaNNA), will you not alleviate (tIrAyO) my grievances (kurai)?


Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Maharajapuram Santhanam

22 responses to “Innum En Manam

  1. Wonderful. Thanks for posting this. I’m a huge fan of Charukesi here. 🙂

  2. tamil

    Intha Yekathula/Sogathula Yethanaiyo Inbamana Magizhchigal.

  3. Sharanya Menon

    I cannot listen to the music clippings. They aren’t buffering.

    • Thank you Sharanya for pointing that out. It should work now. Hope you enjoy the music.

      • Sharanya Menon

        Thanks Suja 🙂 I just did my Bharatanatyam Rangapravesam this August and I performed on Innum En Manam for my Varnam, which is the most important dance item. The lyrics and notation provided on this site was really helpful in the choreography stages 🙂 Thanks

      • You are welcome Sharanya, though I must point out that I only provided a link to Shivkumar’s site, so the thanks belongs there! If you have a video of your performace, why dont you upload on youtube and give a link in a comment? I am sure my readers would enjoy watching it as I would 🙂

  4. ned

    where can i download his song?

    • Lalgudi’s Legends Vol 1 has his instrumental version also his disk called Gana Sagaram. Maharajapuram Santhanam you can download from Sangeethapriya (you need to be a member but it is free).

  5. Vegavathy

    I am a big Fan of Lalgudi sir. I am literally obsessed with this varnam! Your blog is very informative. All your footnotes are very useful!

    • Me too, I am a very longtime fan of Lalgudi, I place him on a pedestal all on his own 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment, I am glad you find information of use to you.
      Cheers. Suja

  6. Ravichandran

    Lovely song…thanks for sharing

  7. Ramakrishnan.K

    where can i download the vocal version of this song ?

    • Become a member of It is free. If you search their database by raga spelt carukesi, they have quite a few renditions by different artists. All this is copyright free and you can download whatever you like. Cheers. Suja

  8. Ambareesh Iyer

    Thanks a ton! After the untimely demise of the great maestro U.Srinivas’ , this varnam has been resonating in my ears. This was the first recital I heard of Srinivas when i was very very young. Today, I get to know the meaning – courtesy your blog. Indeed, is this life just a drama as subtly pointed out by Lalgudi sir?? The dwandwa have always troubled, but after this tragic event, unable to decipher between what is right and wrong, dharmam and adharmam, enlightened and the ignorant; in a deep conundrum. But this beautiful varnam provides solace…

    Thank you so much for the lyrics and its meaning.

    • Welcome to my blog 🙂 This varnam is quite exquisite, isn’t it? I have always somewhat hero-worshipped Lalgudi Jayaraman; it is no doubt due to compositions of lyrical beauty such as this one. All CM lovers will mourn the so untimely passing of U.Srinivas. In Hindi one says ‘bhagwan ke pyare ho gaye’, that he has become dear to God. Is it that God calls those dearest to himself to come to him early? That though provides solace too..

  9. Ranjani krishnaprasad

    Can you please put 2nd half varna meaning?

  10. Ahila

    I did this song for my dance arangetram 1999

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s