Chandiran Oliyil

Chandiran OliyilI bought Sanjay Subramanyan’s CD of the same name last year, quite excited to listen to an album full of Tamil compositions. Yet, I didn’t like the album as much as I expected. It missed something – I’m not sure what. But I loved the title track from first listening. Recently I was reminded of it by video I saw on youtube.

Chandiran Oliyil is a poem written by one of the greatest modern Tamil poets, Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921). Though he often both wrote the songs and set them to music, I am uncertain about this song as I have heard versions in Raga Chandrakauns as well as Raga KeervAni. Sanjay Subrahmanyan’s version in Malayamarutam particularly pleasing. To know more about this raga, click here.

The poet recounts his meeting with his Goddess (unnamed) by moonlight, saying ‘She told me to work without counting on the results, she told me to live in devotion. Thus, she has removed all affliction, she has rooted out all pain and suffering’. He also says ‘I have controlled my senses and destroyed the desire of ‘mine(selfishness? ego?)’. In essence, there seems to be advice lifted from Raja Yoga (control of senses, removal of desire), Bhakti Yoga (life spent in devotion) as well Karma Yoga (doing one’s duty without looking for results). The aim? The removal of all pain and suffering.

Listen below to the detailed rendition (25 min) by Sanjay Subrahmanyan. I normally feature shorter renditions, given the short attention span that one has for blogs. But this is a recording of both excellent audio and video quality of an expert rendition; definitely attention worthy. The kalpanaswarams are a shower of delight; I also loved the violin accompaniment by S.Varadarajan. Neyveli Venkatesh on the Mridangam performs beautifully and the artists all share a great rapport.


Footnote (Lyrics) :

சந்திரன் ஒளியில் அவளைக் கண்டேன்
சரணம் என்று புகுந்து கொண்டேன்

இந்திரியங்களை வென்று விட்டேன்
எனதென்றாசையைக் (எனது என்ற ஆசையை) கொன்று விட்டேன்

சரணம் 1
பயன் எண்ணாமல் உழைக்க சொன்னாள்
பக்தி செய்து பிழைக்க சொன்னாள்
துயரில்லாதெனை செய்து விட்டாள்
துன்பம் என்பதை கொய்து விட்டாள்

சரணம் 2
மீன்கள் செய்யும் ஒளியைச் செய்தாள்
வீசி நிற்கும் வளியைச் செய்தாள்
வான்கணுள்ள வெளியைச் செய்தாள்
வாழி நெஞ்சிற்க் களியைச் செய்தாள்


chandiran oLiyil avaLaik-kaNDEn
sharaNam endru pugundu koNDEn

indiriyangaLai vendru viTTEn
enadenrAsaiyaik-kondru viTTEn

Charanam 1
payaneNNAmal uzhaikka sonnAL
bhakti seidu pizhaikka sonnAL
tuyarillAdenai seidu viTTAL
tunbamenbadai koidu viTTAL

Charanam 2
mIngaL seyyum oLiyai seidAL
vIsi nirkkum vaLiyai seidAL
vAngaLuLLa veLiyai seidAL
vAzhi nenjirk-kaLiyai seidAL


I saw her in a moonlit night and sought refuge in her.

I have controlled my senses and destroyed the desire of ‘mine’.

She told me to work without counting on the results (karma yoga?), she told me to live in devotion. Thus, she has removed all affliction, she has rooted out all pain and suffering.

She created starlight, she created the blowing whirlwind. She created the outer space, she created the joy in our hearts.



Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Subramanya Bharathi

2 responses to “Chandiran Oliyil

  1. indigoite

    Have you noticed how mridangam vidwans shine when playing to Sanjay Subramanyan. Maybe his style of singing lends itself to thalavadyam excellence. Here’s a piece where Arun Prakash simply excels accompanying him –

    • True, Arun Prakash is excellent in this clip..Actually, I hadn’t registered the fact but you are right, both the violin and the mridangam support for Sanjay is almost always of good quality. When I met Sanjay just before and then after a live performance in Geneva, he came across as a down to earth person, very well-mannered and gentlemanly. And he seemed to enjoy a very good rapport with his accompanists. Perhaps that why..

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