How did they sing, O Lord Shiva? I too would like to sing like that! Just as the saints Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manikkavasagar sang of you with full knowledge, I too would like to sing like that!
Poetry. Music. Sainthood. Do these three words make a seamless connection in your mind? Perhaps not. Whichever part of the world you come from, I assume that Poetry and Music will seem intimately connected to you . But Sainthood?
Perhaps the first word-association with Saints would be to teaching and miracles. Christian Saints always remind me of martyrdom, as do the courageous Sikh Saints. Buddhist Saints remind me of detachment and compassion, of renunciation and self-realisation. Sufi Saints call to mind their mysticism.
But when we talk of Hindu Saints, my mind almost always jumps to poetry and music. Be it Narada from mythical times, Valmiki from Vedic times, the Azhwars (6th-9th c.), the Nayanmars (5th-10th c.), Adi Shankara (8th c.), Namdev (14th c.), Purandaradasa (15th c.), Meerabai (15th c.), Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (15th c.), Tulsidas (16th c., Tukaram (17th c.), Tyagaraja (18th c.).…the list is endless..we associate so many of our most important Saints with song.
The list of poet-musician Saints is indeed so long and intimidating that any devotional poet-musician would be struck with a sense of inadequacy! How did they write such beautiful poetry that centuries afterwards we still talk of them with awe? How did they sing such that God himself descended to bless them, as legends tell us? How did they create music which leaves leaves us spellbound even after hundreds of years, even when the world has changed so much from the world in which the music was created?
A poet-composer of today has much to live up to, which is what my song choice of today is about. ‘How did they sing?’ Suddhananda Bharati (1897-1990) wonders. ‘I wish to sing in the same way!’. He goes on to say ‘Overflowing with compassion, heart melting with your love, how did they sing sweetly of you in chaste Tamil everyday ?’ For lyrics and translation, see footnote.
Though I knew of Suddhanada Bharati’s poetry, I knew little of his life. I did some research online and found that he had led a very interesting life indeed. I have written a short synopsis for those who would like to know more of him. Click here to read.
Eppadi Padinaro is set to Raga Karnataka Devagandhari. To know a bit more about the raga, click here. From what I have read, Suddhananda Bharati was a poet. I could not verify if he set the song to music as well and if not, who did so.
To present this song, I have chosen a particularly pleasing rendition of a great musician from yesteryears, D.K.Pattammal (1919-2009).
For an instrumental version, listen below to Kadri Gopalnath on the Sax.
Footnote (Lyrics) :
Language : Tamil
எப்படி பாடினரோ அடியார்
அப்படிப் பாட நான்
ஆசை கொண்டேன் சிவனே !
அருள் மணி வாசகரும்
பொருளுணர்ந்து உன்னையே (எப்படி பாடினரோ)
இனிதுனை அனுதினம் (எப்படி பாடினரோ)
eppaDi pADinarO adiyAr
appaDi pADa nAn
Asai koNDEn shivanE (eppaDi)
aruL maNi vAsakarum
poruLuNarndu unnaiyE (eppaDi)
inidunai anudinam (eppaDi)
How did they sing, O Lord Shiva? I too would like to sing like that!
Just as the saints Appar, Sundararar, Aludai Pillai (another name for Sambandar) and Manikkavasagar sang of you with full knowledge/understanding (I too would like to sing like that).
Overflowing with compassion, hearts melting with your love, how did the great Guru Shankara, the dear Thaayumaanavar, Arunagirinathar and Vallalaar sing sweetly of you in chaste Tamil everyday? (I too would would like to sing like that).
16 responses to “Eppadi Padinaro”
You are absolutely right – saints in India do go hand in hand with music. Although in your list Narada would be more associated with something else 🙂
Music is so inherent in Indian culture ; I suspect music in our genes – that’s why all types of music are so popular and when they do talent shows so many people sing so very well.
If even an expert like you finds many of these ragas similar, I a rank amateur, am content to simply enjoy them 🙂
Nice choice of DK Pattamal for the vocal version; don’t think you have featured her before.
hehehe about Narada 🙂 Even when he spread tales, he was strumming constantly on his simple Veena, no? 🙂 You are right about Indians and music, it is in our souls – and I use the word ‘soul’ intentionally, for it is our path to spirituality. And no, I haven’t featured DKP before. I tend to stick to the current generation mainly because that is what I listen to, older recordings are never of the same quality sadly.
and no, like I told you before, I am not an expert, not even a particularly knowledgeable listener, but merely a fellow amateur who takes great pleasure in music.
That is a stunning picture of DK Pattamal.
Good looking lady 🙂
I need some help with a song that my mother sings: Nee Yindri Yaarin Thunai நீ இன்றி யாரின் துணை in Raagamalika.
She says it was probably composed by Suddhananda Bharathy,
Can you throw some light on this?
Hello Gautam, I am sorry but I do not know this song. Hopefully some other reader will recognize and answer your query.
Wow ! What a song and what simple easy to understand lyrics and add to it the great DK Pattammal’s rendition…Amazing..No Words..just tears in my eyes
Indeed it is a very touching song and beautifully sung by the great DKP! Glad you enjoyed it too.
This song, Eppadi Paadinaro by Kaviyogi Maharshi Shuddhananda Bharati rendered by the Great Singer D.K.Pattammal was the most popular song among the music circles during the 50’s and 60’s.
Another song that carnatic music admirers should listen and enjoy is “Antharangam Ellam Ariyayo” penned by Kaviyogi Shuddhananda Bharati and sung by the Great Singer N.C. Vasanthakokilam.
Mr. Gowtham, the song “Nee indri yaar en thunai” is of course the composition of Kaviyogi Shuddhananda Bharati. Popular Singer Sri. Sirkazhi Siva Chidambaram has given an album by name “Keerthananjali” (Indu Audio) and you find this song in that album.
Thank you VenkatachalaPathy for all your comments. I will make note of your recommendation re Antharangam Ellam Ariyayo for a future post and will also listen to Nee indri if I can find it online. Cheers. Suja
‘குருமணி சங்கரரும் கனித்தமிழ் சொல்லினால்’……..There is no evidence that Great Sankaracharya ever sang in Tamil. Though born in Kaladi near Palhghat, Kerala, he had his gurukulam under Guru Govindhapaadhaa in Vindhya mountain region. He read, thought,spoke and taught in Sanskrit …. I used to like this song because of the ragam and because DKP sang it, in my childhood days. Later, after learning a bit of historical perspective, I detest the lyrics as smacking of tamil chuvinism…Also beacause, all the names mentioned in the poem are saivites. while Alwars were the forerunners of Devotinal music..
You are right, Shankaracharya probably did not speak or sing in Tamil. But I do appreciate what to the poet wants to do in including all whom he admires. Poetic licence!
Thanks for the life story of Suddhananda Bharathi. Very interesting.
Thank you for your comment. Frankly, I too learnt of his story just as I was writing the post! I found it interesting and wanted to share it with my readers.