Yesterday was a Behag day for me. An import from Hindustani music, there are a number of tukkadas (short compositions sung at the end of concerts) in this raga. I played all the ones I could find while pottering about with the painting I am working on now. Behag gentles me, like a lullaby gentles a baby, and gets me into a zone where I work best. To know more about this raga, click here.
Of all the compositions in Behag, I am particularly entranced today by the composition Muruganin Maru Peyar Azhagu written in Tamil. Trying to find out about the composer turned out to be difficult; there is not much information on Guru Surajananda. He was a Yogi who lived in Chennai and died in Sept 1992. He took an interest in Carnatic music and played the Mridangam. In 1982 he wrote a book called Geeta Sangamam with a number of his compositions which were set to music by 5 eminent carnatic musicians – T M Thiyagarajan, DK jayaraman, Calcutta Krishnamurthy, TS Kalyanaraman and T K Govindarao. I was unable to ascertain who exactly composed the music for the song I am presenting. Whoever it was, it has been done brilliantly!
The poet talks of how the beauty and the smile of of Lord Murugan enchants the world (மயங்குது உலகு) – I found Behag to be particularly suitable for this description of enchantment. See footnote for lyrics. To present this song, I have chosen this gentle version by Ranjani and Gayatri.
For an instrumental version, listen to Sikkil Mala on the flute below:
I found that artists sing the charanam with a few variations. I have given the most used version, giving alternatives when possible.
Language : Tamil
முருகனின் மறு பெயர் அழகு
அந்த முறுவலில் மயங்குது உலகு
குளுமைக்கு அவன் ஒரு நிலவு
(நீ) குமரா என சொல்லி பழகு
வேதங்கள் கூறிடும் ஒளியே
உயர் வேலோடு விளையாடும் எழிலே
துறவியும் விரும்பிய துறவே
(alternate : துறவிகள் விரும்பிடும் உறவே )
(நீ) துறவியாய் நின்றிட்ட (நின்றிடும்) திருவே
muruganin maru peyar azhagu
anda muRuvalil mayangudu ulagu
kuLumaikku avan oRu nilavu
(nee) kumarA ena solli pazhagu
vEdangaL kURiDum OLiyE
uyar vElODu viLaiyaDum ezhilE
turaviyum virumbiya turavE
(alternate: turavigal virumbiDum uRavE)
(nI) turaviyAy ninDRiTTa (ninDRiDum) tiruvE
The other (maru) name (peyar) of Lord Murugan is ‘beautiful’ (azhagu)! The whole world (ulagu) is enchanted (mayangudu) by that smile (muruval)!
For coolness (kuLUmaikku) he is (avan oru) the moon (nilavu)! Practice (pazhagu) saying (solli) Kumara !
O Divine (implied) Light (OLiyE)! O the grace (ezhilE) with which you play (vilaiyADum) with the best of spears (uyar vElODu)! O Ascetic (turavu) who is desired by (virumbiya/virumbiDum) all other ascetics (turaviyum)! You are the divine one (tiruvE) who stands (ninDRiTTA) as an ascetic (turaviyAy)!