Gana Moorte

20130215 Lulu

Please meet the newest entrant to our family, my grand-niece whom I affectionately call Lulu. She is 4 months old and is a Carnatic Music connoisseur.  Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing her for her thoughts on this form of music.

Welcome to our family. I see that you are already a dedicated Carnatic music fan. Can you tell me how it came about?’, I ask curiously.

It is all about exposure’ she says with confidence ‘I did hear a bit of it when I was in my mummy’s tummy, but I am not sure how much attention I paid to it. But since I was born, my grandma has played this music often for me and now it is as precious as milk!’. She gurgles, blowing a milk-bubble in illustration.

Why do you like Carnatic music?’ I am interested. ‘How does it make you feel?’.

She smiles at her mom who is standing across the room and her brilliant big eyes follow her mom’s movements without blinking.

Ma’am?’ I draw attention back to myself, waving a soft toy in front of her eyes.

She blinks her eyes and stares at me with intelligent eyes. ‘It is so soothing!’ Her lips have a hint of a smile. ‘See, when I want my mommy but she is not there, or when my tummy aches with a burp which I just cannot get out, or when I am sleepy but can’t seem to close my eyes or stop my busy mind, I find that Carnatic Music lulls me into a happy and restful state’.

Having had enough of this interview, she fills her lungs to their fullest extent and demands in the most princess-like style that her mom attend to her at once.

Please ma’am, I would like you to recommend a restful playlist for my readers, especially for those who have a child or a grandchild to soothe.’ I beg.

She pauses for a moment and nods her head. ‘Check out my ipad.’ She dismisses me and deigns to smile at her mom, who has come running to do her bidding. The interview is closed.

This then is Lulu’s playlist of favourites.

1. Krishna Nee Begane by K.S.Chitra (too light for me, but Lulu adores this)
2. Gana Moorte by Nisha Rajagopal (Well sung, but video removed now)
3. RTP in Brindavana Saranga by O.S.Arun (I heard for the first time today, its very good! Do listen.)
4. Jo Jo Rama by Bombay Jayashri (from Vatsalyam, a CD of lullabys, very soothing)
5. Shlokas on Shri Venkatesha by Aruna Sairam (I am a fan, but video removed now)

As I have already featured the song Krishna Nee Begane in my blog, I have chosen Gana Moorte by Tyagaraja to feature in my post today. Set to the unusual Raga Ganamoorti, it is in praise of Lord Krishna. If you would like to know a bit more about the raga, click here.  Like a number of kritis, the lyrics list ‘identifiers’ for Lord Krishna. A great prayer song, it brings the mind to focus on who He is. For those who know the associated stories, it brings along a vivid imagery, allowing the mind’s eye to wonder at the leelas of Lord Krishna. As my grand-niece’s favourite rendition by Nisha Rajagopal has been removed in Youtube, I offer instead T.N.Seshagopalan’s version here.

Footnote (Lyrics) :

Language : Sanskrit

गान मूर्ते श्री कृष्ण वेणु गान लोल त्रिभुवन पाल पाहि

मानिनी मणि श्री रुक्मिणी मानसापहार मार जनक दिव्य

नवनीत चोर नन्द सत्किशोर नर मित्र धीर नर सिंह शूर
नव मेघ तेज नगजा सहज नरकान्तकाज नत त्यागराज


gAna mUrtE shrI krshNa vENu gAna lOla tri bhuvana pAla pAhi

mAninI maNi shrI rukmiNi mAnasApahAra mAra janaka divya

navanIta chOra nanda satkishOra nara mitra dhIra nara simha shUra
nava mEgha tEja nagajA sahaja narakAntakAja nata tyAgarAja


O Embodiment (mUrtE) of Music (gAna), Lord Krishna! O He who longs for (lOla) Music (gAna) ! O Protector (pAla) of the three worlds (tri bhuvana), protect me (pAhi) !

O Stealer (apahAra) of the mind (mana) of the gem (maNi) of a proud woman (mAnini) Rukmini ! O divine (divya) father (janaka) of mAra (the God of love) !

O Stealer (chOra) of butter (navanIta) ! O good son (sat kishOra) of Nanda ! O friend (mitra) of man (nara) ! O brave (dhIra) hero (shUra), Narasimha ! O He who is radiant (tEja) as fresh (nava) clouds (mEgha)! O brother (sahaja) of Parvati (nagajA=daughter of mountain)! O destroyer of the demon naraka (narakAntaka)! O unborn (aja) ! O Lord saluted by (nata) tyagarAja !



Filed under Carnatic Music, T.N.Seshagopalan, Tyagaraja

14 responses to “Gana Moorte

  1. I gotta say Little Lulu has excellent taste in music 🙂 !

  2. While it seems most unlikely that I’ll enjoy Carnatic music in this lifetime, I’m certain that I have many enjoyable years ahead reading these delightful blog muses. With every passing year your blogs, comments and ruminations are acquiring unbelievable “wazan”. You are beginning to say profound things, perhaps without even realizing it. Lage rahiye!

    • Thank you Srinivas 🙂 What kind things you say! You know me well enough to know that I just stumble into some ‘wazandaar’ stuff purely by chance, if at all 🙂 Thank you also for reading things so outside your interest areas. Hugs to you all 🙂

  3. Ramesh

    What wonderful way to introduce the song. Totally bowled over by Lulu and her fine taste in music 🙂 But then Lulu featuring a RTP in her selection is too much :):):)

    May I recommend Jo Achyutananda , the Annamacharya krithi for Lulu’s critique. Would you mind asking her opinion of the rendering by Priya sisters when you interview her next !

    • Thank you 🙂 Lulu certainly likes the featured RTP, she has a well-developed ‘palate’ for music, I assure you 🙂

      Your recommendation will be passed on to the authorities in charge of her ipad-go-to-sleep-playlist. I will let you know what she thinks of it 🙂
      Cheers. Suja

    • I am sorry to say that your recommendation was rejected by our little music critic 😦 When it came to the instrumental interlude, she was vociferous in her objection – she squawked, her lower lip trembled, her eyes started filling with tears – but before she could go further, the song was switched to one from her approved list! Our young miss has very strong opinions, I am sorry..

  4. Ravi

    Since Lulu seems to like Chitra, I wonder if she’ll approve of Chitra’s short and sweet version of the wonderful Malayalam lullaby, “Omana Thinkal Kidavo,” written by Iriyiman Thampi:

    More on the lullaby written upon the birth of Swathi Thirunal here:

    • Thank you Ravi for the suggestion; I listened to it and it sounded very good! I have passed on the suggestion to Lulu’s entourage, who will make sure that it is added to her playlist in her Ipad 🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  5. Narasimha Raj

    AWESOME interview – by any standards of ‘interviews’! It’s a pointer/suggestion to would-be/on-the-way mothers to hook their off-springs early on to some form of art-expression. Perhaps, music – which has rhythm built into it – will enhance the rhythm-of-life in the child. Musi is the ELIXIR of life.
    The ‘bonus’ for the mother-to-be is the peace/tranquility she needs/deserves in her the ‘state-of-mind-&-body’ she is/would-be in.
    The ‘list’ of favorites – of Lulu – are wonderful. I’m sure she will keep adding to it as she grows up
    Lulu can’t/won’t take the motivation/message you’ve given her lightly!
    I’m sure I’ll be around when Lulu grows up and I hear her sing/dance – on CD/DVD, TV & on internet.
    God Bless you.

    • Thank you Raj 🙂 I do hope that Lulu continues the way she has started and one day incorporates music and dance into her life. And perhaps one day we shall indeed see her arangetram!
      Cheers. Suja


    The word LULU in Arabic means “PEARL” perfectly fit for the cutie. Really enjoyed the interview. Also gana moorte became my favorite now. But confused how Krishna is brother of parvathy ?? hmmmm…

    May the Gana Moorti protect all of us !!!
    And one day we shall enjoy Lulu’s blog

    • Thank you for the translation in Arabic Jayaprakash; though it is just my pet-name for her, it now sounds even more appropriate! As to Krishna being the brother of Parvati, there is reference to Vishnu-Parvati brother-sister relationship in many places in our scriptures. It seems to pop up quite regularly in our Carnatic Music songs as well. There is a good list of references in this link :

      Cheers, Suja

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