Janani Ninnuvina

‘Please protect me!’ begs the poet-composer Subbaraya Shastri, ‘I have placed my trust in you, who else is there for me?’. Did the Mother Goddess listen to his entreaties? Listening to the beautiful composition in Raga Ritigowla, I think that even the hardest of hearts would melt at his words.

Subbaraya Shastri (1803-1862) was the son of Shyama Shastri and went on to become the disciple of Tyagaraja.  He also worked with Muthuswami Dikshithar, and thus was in the enviable position of having learnt from all the members of the Carnatic Trinity. He also learnt Hindustani music from Maratha musicians who lived in the South. He composed only 20 or so kritis but there are gems amongst them, such as Janani Ninnuvina. He was a great devotee of the Goddess and his bhakti bhava (devotional mood) is very evident in this slow and restful composition. When the body or spirit needs healing, this is the song I reach for.

For lyrics, notation and translation click here. To know more about the raga, click here.

To present this song, I have chosen renditions by two Maestros whom I respect above all – Balamuralikrishna whose magnificent voice enhances any music and Lalgudi Jayaraman whose strings speak a lyricism which have enchanted me always. Sometimes well loved old ‘voices’ are the only ones which seem right.
 
Balamuralikrishna
 
Lalgudi Jayaraman
 

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Telugu, Lalgudi Jayaraman, M.Balamuralikrishna, Subbaraya Shastri

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