Ananda Nartana Ganapatim

I meditate upon the joyously dancing Ganapati. He is Spirit incarnate, he is the origin and the foundation, the form of Om, elephant faced, the greatest! He is praised by the joyful chiefs of sages. He lies hidden in the mind of Shiva Shankara.  He dwells as the reverberations when celestial musicians endowed with the lute and rhythm  strike a note. He is heaven for the wretched. He dwells with beauty in an incomparible divine kalEbara.  He dwells in light. He is incomparable. He is fitting. He is honoured by his devotees.

Narthana GanapatiHappy Ganesh Chaturthi to all of you!

Pillaiyar (His Tamil name) and I share a very amicable relationship. I think of Him as my friend and look often to Him to share the ups and downs of life with me. It wasn’t always so. Brought up in a Vaishnavaite family, He existed only vaguely in my peripheral vision. Naturally, when I married, left India and marked out one corner of my kitchen bench top as the altar of my new home, I did not look for a picture or idol to represent Him. Thus I reached the ripe age of 29 without really integrating Pillaiyar into my life.

Then in my 29th year something strange happened. Pillaiyar started invading my home. First it was a friend who came to visit and gave a little pencil holder carved with His form. Then came another friend from India who gave me a small idol which I placed in my altar. A friend from Bombay sent me prasad from a Vinayaka temple and yet another idol. My sister-in-law sent along a wall hanging in Batik, another Pillaiyar.  My mother sent a pocket calendar with a picture of Ganesh. Ah, I forgot to say – all this was over just a couple of weeks.

Very soon after that I had a psychic experience, an experience which gives me goosebumps even now. Don’t mistake me. I am just an ordinary woman. But very rarely in one’s life extraordinary things can and do happen. And so an extraordinary thing happened to me. After the experience I was left with an unassailable conviction that Pillaiyar had blessed me with a son. As we had not even contemplated having a second child, my husband looked at me with great disbelief when I shared my experience with him that evening. But a visit to the doctor a few weeks later confirmed it, and 40 weeks later I had a beautiful son to nestle in my arms. Now 22 years later, as I look at him sitting across the room engrossed in his book, I remember that day and the wonderful blessing I was given. And on this Pillaiyar Chaturthi day, I once again thank Him for sending me my son.  Needless to say, since that day so many years ago, Pillaiyar’s presence abounds in my heart and my home.

So what music did I pick for Him today? Those who follow my blog know how much pleasure I take in dancing Gods. And what can be more wonderful that a dancing Pillaiyar? In this wonderfully rhythmic song set to Raga Natta (click here to know a bit more about this raga), Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyar prays to Vinayaka while he dances his divine dance. For lyrics and translation, see footnote.

To present this song, I went for the obvious choice of a dance. In the video below, watch Padmashri and Sangeet Natak Academy winner Dr Ananda Shankar Jayant give meaning to this song with her beautiful Bharatanatyam movements.

 

Click here to listen to an energetic rendition by Aruna Sairam, with slightly different jatis.

 


Footnote (Lyrics) :

Language: Sanskrit

Note: I have transcribed the jatis as it has been sung for the dance video. It seems as if different musicians add their own jatis as I have heard a few different versions.

आनन्द नर्तन गणपतिं भावये – (परम् / सदा )
चिदाकार मूलाधार ॐ कार गजवदनं परमम् परम् (आनन्द)

सानन्द मुनीन्द्र गणनुत शिव शङ्कर मानस निलीयमानं
तन्त्रीलय समन्वित गन्धर्व सारण वरानुगीय मानं
दीन जन मन्दारं अनुपम दिव्य कलेबर शोभाय  मानं
भासमानं असमानं भजमानं भक्तजन सम्मानं

पा म ग मा रि सा स रि सा
तकदिमि तकजणु किट तडान्गु तक
दीम् त दीम् त ता तैय्य ताम्
ता तडम्तरि ता  तक तडं तडं तरि तै
तरि तरि तरि त  दिमि दिमि दिमि त
जडु जडु जडु त  दिमि दिमि किट त
किट किट किट जण जण जण

दिविपतिनुतं  पदसरिसजं
म ग प म नि प मरकत निभं
मदकरिमुखं प्रणव निनदं
अजितं अनघं शुभदं परमम्

कनकाम्बर धरणं एक रदनं / दन्तं

तक तडं तकत तरि दित्
तक तडं तकत तरि तक तडं तकत तरि ताम्
दित् तक तडं तकत तरि दित्
तक तडं तकत तरि तक तडं तकत तरि तै
तत् दित् तक तडं तकत तरि दित्
तक तडं तकत तरि तक तडं तकत त
(आनन्द)

Transliteration

Ananda nartana gaNapatim bhAvayE
chidAkAra mUlAdhAra OmkAra gajavadanam paramam param (Ananda)

sAnanda munIndra gaNanuta shiva shankara mAnasa nilIyamAnam
tantrI laya samanvita gandharva sAraNa varAnugIya mAnam
dIna jana mandAram anupama divya kaLebara shObhAya mAnam
bhAsamAnam asamAnam bhajamAnam bhaktajana sammAnam

jati
pa ma ga mA ri sa sA sa ri sA
takadimi takajaNu kiTa taDAngu taka
dIm ta dIm ta tA taiyya tAm
tA taDambari tA taka taDam taDam tari tai
tari tari tari ta dimi dimi dimi ta
jaDu jaDu jaDu ta dimi dimi kiTa ta
kiTa kiTa kiTa jaNa jaNa jaNa

divipatinutam pada sarisijam
ma ga pa ma ni pa marakata nibham
madakari mukham praNava ninadam
ajitam anagham shubadam paramam
kanakAmbara dharaNam Eka radanam (or eKa dantam)

jati
taka taDam takata tari dit
taka taDam takata tari taka taDam taka tari tAm
dit taka taDam takata tari dit
taka taDam takata tari taka taDam taka tari tai
tat dit taka taDam takata tari dit
taka taDam takata tari taka taDam taka ta (Ananda)

Translation

I meditate (bhavayE) upon the joyously (Ananda) dancing (nartana) Ganapati. He is Spirit incarnate (chidAkara), he is the origin and the foundation (mUla AdhAra), the form of Om (OmkAra), elephant faced (gaja vadana), the greatest (paramam).

He is praised (nuta) by the joyful (sAnanda) group (gaNa) of chiefs of sages (munIndra). He lies hidden (nilIyamAnam) in the mind (manasa) of Shiva Shankara.  He dwells (mAnam) as the after-song (reverberations?) (anugIta) (note: unsure if anugIya comes from anugIta) when celestial musicians (gandharva) endowed with the lute and rhythm (tantrI laya) strike a note (sAraNa). He is heaven (mandAra) for the wretched (dIna jana). He dwells (mAnam) with beauty (shObhAya) in an incomparible (anupama) divine (divya) kalEbara (body).  He dwells (mAnam) in lustre/light (bhAsa). He is incomparable (asamAnam). He is fitting (bhajamAnam). He is honoured (sammAnam) by his devotees (bhakta jana).

He is praised (nutam) by the Lord (pati) in Heaven (divi) (meaning Indra I think). His feet (pada) are like the lotus (sarasijam). He resembles (nibham) an emerald (marakata). He has a face (mukham) of an elephant (madakari is an elephant in rut, but here perhaps it just means elephant. Unsure). He is the sound (ninadam) of Om (pranava). He is unsurpassed (ajitam). He is faultless (anagham). He is the giver (-da as suffix) of welfare (shubha).  He is the supreme (paramam). He wears (dhAranam) golden (kanaka) clothes (ambara). He has one (Eka) radanam or dantam (tusk).

 

8 Comments

Filed under Ananda Shankar Jayant, Aruna Sairam, Carnatic Music, Classical Dance, Compositions in Sanskrit, Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer

8 responses to “Ananda Nartana Ganapatim

  1. Filmbuff

    Hey Suja – happy ganesh chaturthi to you too. Same story here – being brought up in an Iyengar household, puliyar was not in my presence for a long time until a few years ago when I got a no of puliyar presents over seas (pics/small idols etc) from friends. When i go to a temple i usually do pradhaksham at the puliyar sannadhi as he is god of wisodm, remover of all obstacles. That is a cute story about puliyar blessing you with a son! I will hear the song later. Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyar has composed some good songs on Lord Krishna.

    • Thanks Meera🙂 Well, if you are being given lots of Pillaiyar gifts, you’ll best make a place for Him in your altar🙂 Yes Oothukadu is a special favourite with me and I have featured many songs by him in this blog. Just click on the Tag and the list will come up..

  2. indigoite

    Happy Chathurthi to you too. These festivals take a special meaning when you are outside the country – in India it can become commonplace at times.

    Nice post with a touching personal story to embellish it. And featuring a raga where there are so many compositions as you have noted. Coincidence that Chalanatta, its Melakarta root, is the Shuddha Madhyamam counterpart of Rasikapriya which you featured in your last Carnatic music post, before you went movie watching🙂 I would have never known of such things, but after starting to follow your blog the interest has been piqued – my mother who had completely written me off as beyond redemption musicwise now feels there is some salvation !! She’s become a sometimes reader of your blog too.

    • Thank you Ramesh. What do you mean commonplace festivals? Didn’t you wolf done nice kozhakkattais yesterday?🙂 I remember vinayaka chaturthi from my childhood when I would eagerly wait for the Iyer mami from next door to send us some yummy prasadam ! Never a commonplace occurrence!

      Oh, I didn’t notice but of course chalanatta is 36th and rasikapriya is 72nd ! So you are exploring the intricacies of ragas now?🙂 Its a beautiful world, you’ll enjoy it🙂 Namaskarams to your mum, do thank her for taking interest in my blog.
      Cheers. Suja

      • Filmbuff

        he he, another shared experience. I too gobbled on delicious kozhakattais (during my school years) made by my best father’s best friend’s wiife – an iyer family. Her sweets and savouries were “to do die” for. God bless her soul – she used to bring big dhabas for us kids to enjoy.

      • One day i shall have to learn to make kozhakattais, I liked the sweet ones best. The puranam our neighbour of yore used to make was to die for! Yum memories!

  3. J

    I totally relate to your experience of growing up in an Iyengar household and enjoying the neighboring Iyer mami’s kuzhakattais🙂 Interestingly, we did celebrate Vinayaka Chathurthi at home…. It was a lot of fun – the hunt for arugam pul in the lawn for the puja and each of us at home making our own pilayars with clay and decorating it ourselves ( I recall using gundu mani for his eyes…). I hear we are back a full circle in India these days with these simple clay pilayars replacing the colorful but not very eco-friendly ones. I should start celebrating these festivals more now that my kids are old enough to appreciate it. By the way, the Iyer aunty who kuzhakattais were hard to beat is the carnatic vocalist, Seetha Narayanan. I remember going over to listen to her teach music to other kids when I was just 5. She was always so warm and welcoming and I would hang out there to hear her sing. Oops sorry for this outpouring of nostaligia…

    • Oh Don’t apologize J, I loved your story! Stories like these make festivals come alive in our minds! These memories are precious and colour our world for us, dont they? Sadly my children have not had the same experiences, but hopefully they have had others which they hold as dear.

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