Oh Ananadavalli! Grant me happiness eternally! Your beautiful smile eradiates the darkness of suffering of poor people like a ray of nectar. The beautiful one who holds a young parrot. Hail!
Having flown 16,500 kms traversing 10 time zones over 30 odd hours to travel from one home to another, sleep (or lack thereof) is on my mind. Naturally, I choose to listen today to Raga Nilambari, a soothing and soporific raga most often associated with lullabys in Carnatic music. Today’s song however is not a lullaby; its a prayer song to the Goddess Anandavalli of Padmanabhapuram, Tamil Nadu. Composed by Swathi Thirunal, its slow and soothing sound is a balm to my sleep-disturbed state.
Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma (1813-1846) was the Maharaja of Travancore. A connoisseur of both Carnatic and Hindustani music, he was a prolific composer with some 350+ compositions attributed to him. A linguist, speaking 8 or so languages, with an interest in literature and arts, his court included many expert musicians and dancers. He was a great devotee of Sri Padmanabha, presiding deity of the royals of Travancore. Click here for further information.
The poet begs the beautiful Goddess to grant him eternal happiness. ‘Your smile eradiates the darkness of suffering’ says the poet. For lyrics and translation, see footnote. To know more about the raga Neelambari, click here.
Though lovely, this song is rarely sung in concerts. I have listened only to this one version by Sanjay Subrahmanyan .
Alternate link : Click here (free membership of Sangeethapriya.org required)
Footnote (Lyrics) :
Language : Sanskrit
आनन्द वल्ली कुरु मुदमविरतं
दीन जन संताप तिमिराम्रुत किरणायित सुहसे
धृत शुकपोत विलासिनि जय परम
जम्भवि मत मुख सेवित पद युगले
गिरिराज सुते (अम्ब)
घनसार लसित विधु खण्ड सदृश निटिले
शंभु वदन सरसीरुह मधुपे
सारसाक्षि हृदि विहर दिवानिशं
Lyrics in English and translation (from Swathi Thirunal site)
Anandavalli kuru mudamaviratam
dIna jana santApa timirAm.rta kiraNAyita suhase
dh.rta shuka pota vilAsini jaya parama (Anadavalli)
jambhavi mata mukha sEvita pada yugaLe
giri rAja sutE (amba)
ghanasAra lasita vidhu khaNDa sadrsha niTile
shambhu vadana sarasIruha madhupE
sArasAkShi hrdi vihara divAnisham
kEsha pAshajita sajala jaladanikarE pada pankaja sEvaka
kheda jAla shamAnaika parama caturE
nAshitAgha caritE bhuvanatraya
nayike vitarE mE shubhamanupamam
shAradEndu rucimaNjuLatama vadanE
cArukuNDala mukulOpama vardanE
pArijAta taru pallava caraNe
padmanAbha sahaje hara me shucam
Oh Ananadavalli! Grant me happiness eternally!
Your beautiful smile eradiates the darkness of suffering of poor people like a ray of nectar. The beautiful one who holds a young parrot. Hail!
One whose feet are worshipped by Indra, foe of Jambha, daughter of the king of mountains. One who is adorned with camphor on the crescent like forehead. You are like the bee to the lotus face of Shiva. The one with lotus-like eyes. Always dwell in my heart.
Your long tresses surpasses the water bearing collection of clouds. You are the only skillful one in dispelling the misfortunes of those who worship your lotus feet. One who has the glory of removing the afflictions of the three worlds. Please grant me insurmountable prosperity.
One who has the most beautiful face like the charming autumnal moon; resides in the hearts of ascetics. One who has charming teeth like the beautiful jasmine buds; feet like the tender leaf of Parijata. Oh The sister of Lord Padmanabha! Dispel my grief!