Mara Vairi Ramani

Aiyaarappar Temple TiruvaiyaruI am haunted these last few days by this lovely composition in the uncommon Raga Nasikabhushani. It has taken root in my mind and I catch myself singing snatches to myself and swaying to its rhythm at unexpected times. This composition is attributed to Tyagaraja but there seems to be some doubt about it. No matter who has composed it, it gentles my soul and wraps me in its peace.

The poet-composer addresses Goddess Shakti in the form of Dharmasamvardhani, the deity at Tiruvaiyaru. The lyrics read as an attestation – This is Her, he says, and She is the one has bestowed me with gifts. For lyrics and translation, see footnote. Click here to know a bit more about the raga.

First listen to the composition played brilliantly by Lalgudi Jayaraman on the violin.  He brings out the true beauty of the raga in such an elegant and effortless way!

Now listen to one of the few detailed renditions that I have heard of this raga (about 20 mins total with alapana, krithi and swarams). The vocals are by Raji Gopalakrishnan whom I came across but recently. I was immediately taken by the unusual timbre of her voice but even more by her relaxed style of delivery. A voice to hear when one is at peace with oneself. I shall try and get more of her music for I enjoyed her performance very much.

Footnote (Lyrics):

Language : Sanskrit

मार वैरि रमणी मञ्जु भाषिणी
क्रूर दानवेभ वारणारि गौरी (मार वैरि)
कर्म बन्ध वारण निष्काम चित्त वरदे
धर्म (सम्) वर्धनि सदा वदन हासे शुभ फलदे (मार वैरी)

mAra vairi ramaNI manju bhAshiNI

krUra dAnavEbha vAraNAri gaurI (mAra)

karma (or kAma) bandha vAraNa nishkAma chitta varadE
dharma (saM)vardhani sadA vadana hAsE shubha phaladE (mAra)


O Beloved of Lord Shiva (the enemy of cupid), O Sweet Spoken one!
O Gauri, enemy of elephantine demons!
She who resists those tied by karma (or kAma=desires), She who blesses those with no desires, O Dharmasamvardhini (Goddess of Tiruvaiyaru), She who has an ever-smiling face, O giver of auspicious rewards.



Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Sanskrit, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Raji Gopalakrishnan, Tyagaraja

7 responses to “Mara Vairi Ramani

  1. Ambareesh Iyer

    Ranjani Gayatri’s rendition of Mara Vairi too impressed me a lot. Especially because it is rendered briskly..

    • Oh very nice indeed Ambareesh! I have not heard R&G’s rendition before, thank you for that. The faster rendition gives quite a different mood I can see..also the mridangam sounded very good. Which concert is this from?
      Cheers. Suja

  2. Chandrashekhar

    Also listen to MLV’s rendition of mAravairi-ramaNI. Her unique voice quality imparts an element of gAmbheeryam to the song, and her pAThAntaraM and sangati-s are also somewhat different – though I find her pronunciation wanting in some places. This is a very good quality recording:

    • Indeed the recording quality is very good indeed, it is a pleasure to listen to MLV with such clarity! I heard it a few times – the first time my mind only focused on the different pATHAntaram and sangati-s , it always disturbs, don’t you think. that first time you hear quite a different version of a very familiar kriti? Subsequent listens settled my mind and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for the link.
      Cheers. Suja

  3. Srilatha M

    This version of Ms. Raji is also very pure. Enjoyed it!

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