The story of Rama and Sita’s wedding has inspired many great poets and saints. In my entry for Kalyana Rama, I had the retold this story. There, the poet describes the beauty of Rama as groom. Today I have picked a song in which another aspect of the same story is explored by the another poet.
Arunachala Kavi (1711-1779) was a Tamil poet who wrote the musical drama Rama Natakam. The music was composed by his disciples, Venkatarama Iyer and Kodandarama Iyer. This musical-drama contains 197 songs and 278 viruththams (devotional verse). From this. I present a song where the poet describes the emotions of Rama when he first sees Sita. Originally sung in Raga Saveri, it is nowadays rendered in the beautiful raga Bhairavi. To know more about this raga, click here.
‘Who can it be? What is her name? ’ Rama wonders on glimpsing Sita. ‘In this beautiful Mythila which abounds with clouds and wealth, who is this who stands in front of the ladies quarters?’. He is taken by the vision of Sita. ‘With her beautiful moon like face turned towards me, is she looking at me? Perhaps our relationship in a previous life is why she presents herself to me today’.
This is not love at first-sight that the poet describes, but recognition at first-sight. Vishnu born as Rama recognises his consort Lakshmi born as Sita and the love that they have for each other from time immemorial resurfaces. In Hindu mythology, Lakshmi is said to reside in Vishnu’s heart and thus is inseparable from Him.
For the complete song and translation, see footnote below.
To present this song, I have chosen a rendition by the incomparable Sanjay Subrahmanyan. For me, it’s always a great pleasure to listen to him singing Tamil compositions.
Alternate Link : Click here and download item 5 Kriti (needs free membership of Sangeethamshare.org)
[28.03.2014 : I recently heard a video version by SS; I add the link for those who prefer to see their artist, it is the first song in this video]
For an instrumental version of the song, listen below to this wonderful rendition by Ganesh and Kumaresh weaving their magic on the violin.
Alternate link : Click here.
Footnote 1 : Lyrics and translation
I give below the complete composition and translation sourced from a Carnatic music discussion board rasikas.org (thank you, contributers!) and other internet sources. But I haven’t ever heard the full song being sung. Normally only the third charanam is sung.
Srimati Vedavalli has said that this song should be sung as Aaro Ivar Aaro. However, I have chosen to follow the Yaaro Ivar Yaaro route for this post.
Lyrics in Tamil :
யாரோ இவர் யாரோ என்ன பேரோ அறியேனே (யாரோ)
காருலாவும் சீருலாவும் மிதிலையில் கன்னிமாடம் தனில் முன்னே நின்றவர் (யாரோ)
பண்ணிப் பதித்தார்ப்போல் இரு ஸ்தனமும் கூட பாங்கியர்கள் இன்ன முத்துரைத்தனமும்
எண்ணத்தாலும் வண்ணத்தாலும் பங்கயப் பெண்ணைப்போல்
கண்ணிற் காணும் மங்கையர் (யாரோ)
பாக்கியம் என்பது இவர் தரிசனமே அதிங்கே
பலித்ததென்ன புண்ணியமோ மனமே
மூக்கும் முழியும் தீர்க்கமாய் இன்னமும் பெண்கள்
பார்க்கப் பார்க்க நோக்கம் கொள்ளுமோ கண்கள் (யாரோ)
சந்த்ர பிம்ப முக மலராலே என்னைத் தானே பார்க்கிறார் ஒருகாலே
அந்த நாளில் சொந்தம் போலே உருகிறார்
இந்த நாளில் வந்து சேவை தருகிறார் (யாரோ)
yArO ivar yArO enna pErO ariyEnE
kArulAvum shIrulAvum mithilaiyil kannimADam tanil munnE ninravar
paNNip-padittArp-pOl iru sthanamum kUDa pAngiyargaL inna muduraittanamum
eNNattAlum vaNNattAlum pangayap-peNNaip-pOl kaNNirk-kANum mangaiyar
bhAgyam enbadivar darishanamE adingE balittenna puNNiyamO manamE mUkkum muzhiyum dhIrgamAi innamum peNgaL pArkkap-pArkka nOkkam koLlumO kaNgaL
candra bimba mukha malarAlE ennai tAnE pArkkirAr orukkAlE
anda nALil sondam pOlE urugirAr inda nALil vandu sEvai tarugirAr
Who can this be? What could her name be? I know not!!
In this beautiful city of Mythila, where clouds and symbols of wealth abound, who is this standing in front of the ladies quarters of the palace?
Her breasts appear as though they have been uniquely designed and installed in her body. She is surrounded by a band of friends with sweet chatter. In thought and appearance (complexion) she looks like the goddess seated on lotus, viz., Lakshmi. Who could it be?
One must have earned a lot of merit to have the audience of this woman. To have that opportunity right here is really significant. She has striking eyes and nose. When other girls look at her they are so captivated by her charm that cannot take their eyes off her.
With her moon-like face turned towards me, is she looking at me? A loving relationship from those times (a past life) brings her before me in these times.