On this third day of Navaratri, I pay homage to Goddess Lalita, Tripura Sundari, a form of Goddess Shakti. What better way than to sing her praise? For today’s prayer, I have chosen one of Shyama Shastri’s (1762-1827) songs from Navaratnamalika, his nine gems in praise of Goddess Meenakshi in her many forms. This song is most appropriate not only because it sings Her praise but even the name of the Raga is Her name. Lalita – what a lovely name! As an adjective, it can mean any or all of innocent, charming, lovely, gentle, pleasing, desired, elegant etc. A Goddess who is all that and more, who can resist Her? The Raga Lalita is equally pleasing, as feminine as the Goddess.
To present this song, here is a clip by Nithyasree Mahadevan.
I must also urge you to listen to a beautiful rendition by T.N.Seshagopalan which you can listen here.
Footnote (lyrics) :
This is a Telugu song but as I don’t know the language, I give below the song in Devanagari script.
नन्नु ब्रोवु ललिता वेगमे
चाल निन्नु नॆर नम्मियुन्न वाडु गदा
निन्नु विना एवरुन्नारु गति जननी
अति वेगमे वच्चि (नन्नु)
पराकु सेयकने वच्चि कृप सलुप रादा मॊर विनवा (or विनदा)
पराशक्ति गीर्वाणि वन्दित पदा
नी भक्तुडनम्मा सन्ततमु (नन्नु)
सरोज भव कमल नाभ शङ्कर सुरेन्द्रनुत चरिता
पुराणी वाणी इन्द्राणी वन्दित
राणी अहिभूषणुनि राणी (नन्नु)
मदात्मुलैन दुरात्म जनुलनु कथलनु पॊगडि
सदा ने वारल चुट्टि तिरिगिति
वॆतल नॆल्ल दीर्चि वरमॊसगि (नन्नु)
सुमेरु मध्य निलये श्याम कृष्णुनि सोदरी कौमारी
उमा श्री मीनाक्षम्मा शङ्करी
ओ महा राज्ञी रक्षिम्प समयमिदे (नन्नु)
For transliteration and translation click here.
Footnote (Raga) :
The scales of Raga Lalita are as follows :
Aarohanam (Ascending) : S R1 G3 M1 D1 N3 S’
Avarohanam (Descending) : S’ N3 D1 M1 G3 R1 S
Lalita is a janya raga, derived from Mayamalavagowla (see below), 15th on the Melakarta scale. This is not related to the Hindustani Lalit. Hiranmayim by Muthuswami Dikshithar is another composition in Lalitawhich I enjoy very much.
Note : The 12 notes in the octave are named as below. Please note that C is used as Sa for the sake of simplicity as the scale is relative in Carnatic Music. Also note that the scales paint only a superficial picture of the raga as the gamakas(ornamentations) are a very important part of a raga.