Today for this ninth day of Navaratri, Navami, and as my 100th post, I have chosen the beautiful composition of Mysore Vasudevachar, Mamavatu Sri Saraswati set in Raga Hindolam to pay homage to Goddess Saraswati. This song is specially meaningful to me. My sister learnt Carnatic Music for many years as a young girl and her lessons and her singing were one of the founding blocks of my love for this music. I cannot listen to this song without remembering her young and lovely voice singing this song while my mother kept talam in my childhood home. In that home, where songs were sung and the listeners enraptured, Saraswati’s presence was all around us. As we worship our Goddess today, we should all remember that She exists not only in temples but in each home where the arts are practiced and loved, be it music, dance or fine arts. She exists in every home in which education is honoured and respected. She lives with us, in us, through us.
To present this song, here is a very nice performance by Sudha Raghunathan, with some lovely kalpanaswarams (improvisations). A special mention also for the violinist Embar S.Kannan whom I have come to appreciate very much. How I love Hindolam!! To know more about this raga, click here. The song is preceded by a short prayer :
सरस्वती नमस्तुभ्यं वरदे कामरूपिणी विद्यारम्भं करिष्यामि सिद्धिर भवतु मे सदा
Oh Saraswati, I salute you. You who fulfil all desires, grant me a boon. I begin my studies today. Let me attain this knowledge successfully.
For lyrics of the song and the raga, see footnotes.
For an instrumental version, listen to the young musician A.N.Kishan on the Veena.
Language : Sanskrit
मामवतु श्री सरस्वती |
कामकोटि पीठ निवासिनी ||
कोमल कर सरोज धृत वीणा |
सीमातीत वर वाग्विभूषणा ||
राजाधिराज पूजित चरणा राजीव नयना रमणीय वदना |
सुजन मनोरथ पूरण चतुरा निजगल शोभित मणिमय हारा |
अजभव वन्दित वासुदेव चरणार्पित सकल वेद सारा ||
mAmavatu shrI sarasvatI
kAmakOti pITHa nivAsinI
kOmala kara sarOja dhRta vINA
sImAtIta vara vAgvibhUshaNA
rAjAdhirAja pUjita charaNA rAjIva nayanA ramaNIya vadanA
sujana manOratha pUraNa chatura nijagala shObhita maNimaya hArA
aja bhava vandita vasudEva charaNARpita sakala Veda sARA
Protect (ava – root av) me (mAm) Shri Saravati ! The One who lives (nivAsinI) in the seat of Kamakoti.
Holding (dhRuta) a Veena in your gentle (kOmala) lotus-like (sarOja) hands (kara), beyond (atIta) limits (sImA), bestower (varada) of beauty (vibhUshana) to speech (vAk).
Whose feet (charaNa) are worshipped by (pUjita) kings (rAja) and emperors (adhirAja), with lotus-like (rAjiva) eyes (nayana) and a beautiful (ramaNiya) face (vadana). Swift (chatura) to fulfil (pUraNa) the wishes (manOratha) of the virtuous (sujana), whose own (nija) neck (gala) is adorned by (shobhita) a jewelled (maNimaya) necklace (hAra). Extolled (vandita) by Brahma (aja=unborn) and Shiva (bhava), the essence (sAra) of all (sakala) Vedas, ffered (arpita) to your feet (charaNa) by Vasudeva (name of poet-composer).