Happy Ramanavami to all my readers. Today is a day of worship. There are those who worship with prayers and offerings but in this blog, I offer worship just with music. With my song choice of today, with the words of Tyagaraja and the voice of M.S.Subbulakshmi, I shower Lord Rama with champaka, lotus, jasmine and parijata flowers.
The thing is, I have been terribly distressed this week and not in the right state of mind for worship. I had been pouring out my confusion and distress into a post which I had intented to post today, in spite of it being Ramanavami. ‘How can I think of worship when my heart is so heavy?’ I had thought. ‘This blog reflects the music of my heart, and if it has a note of dissonance today, so be it’.
When I woke this morning and ambled bleary eyed to my prayer alcove to say ‘Good Morning’, that was still my intention. But as I stood there, a sort of acceptance washed over me. And so I have kept aside my other post and here I am in a state of worship after all.
Let us shower flowers on Sri Ramachandra with a joyous mind says Tyagaraja. My mind is not joyous today, I have to work at it. Setting aside ignorance and observing self restraint, let us shower lotus flowers on Him. Is grief for worldly matters also just ignorance? Is giving into distress a lack of self restraint? Perhaps this song is addressed to me after all.. Let us whole heartedly worship Sri Ramachandra so that there are not countless births and deaths. Today, with my heavy heart, I see the beasts hidden in the hearts of men..and if prayers can get me away from this cycle, I will pray with all my heart.
I present you M.S.Subbulakshmi who wrings every possible emotion out of Ahiri.
Footnote (Lyrics and Translation) :
Composer : Tyagaraja
Raga : Ahiri
Language : Telugu
Note : I do not speak Telugu; the translation is taken from multiple sources online.
Note: MS sings only a subset of the charanams which I have marked in blue. As I do not speak Telugu, the translation relies on various web resources (tyagaraja vaibhavam, sahityam, karnatik).
Transliteration in Devanagari
चल्लरे रामचन्द्रुनिपैनि पूल
सॊम्पैन मनसुतो इम्पैन बंगारु
गम्पलतो मञ्चि चम्पकमुलनु
पामरमुलु मानि नेममुतोनु
रमा मनो-हरुनि पैनि तामर पूल
ई जगतिनि देव पूजार्हमौ पूल
राजिलो मेलैन जाजि सुममुल
अमित पराक्रम द्युमणि कुलार्णव
विमल चन्द्रुनिपै हृत्कुमुद सुममुल
धात विनुतुडैन सीता पति पैनि
चेतुलतो पारिजात सुममुल
ऎन्न रानि जनन मरणमुलु लेकुण्ड
मनसार त्यागराज नुतुनि पैनि पूल
Transliteration in English
challarE rAmachandrunipaini pUla
sompaina manasutO impaina bangAru
gampalatO manchi champakamulanu
pAmaramulu mAni nEmamutOnu
ramA manOharuni paini tAmara pUla
I jagatini dEva pUjArhamau pUla
rAjilO mElaina jAji sumamula
amita parAkrama dyumaNi kulArNava
vimala chandrunipai hRt kumuda sumamula
dhAta vinutuDaina sItA pati paini
cEtulatO pArijAta sumamula
enna rAni janana maraNamulu lEkuNDa
manasAra tyAgarAja nutuni paini pUla
Let us shower (challarE) flowers (pUla) on (paini) Lord Ramachandra (ramachandruni).
With a joyous (sompaina) mind (manasutOnu), let us shower (implied) nice (manchi) champaka flowers (champakamulanu) from beautiful (impaina) golden (bangaru) baskets (gampalatO) .
Abandoning (mAni) ignorance (pAmaramulu) and observing self-restraint (nEmamutO), let us shower (implied) lotus (tAmara) flowers (pUla) on (paini) He who is beloved (manO haruni) to Lakshmi (ramA).
Let us shower (implied) jasmine (jAji) flowers (sumamula), the best (mElaina) amongst all the flowers (rAjilO pUla) fit for (arhamau) worship (pUjArhamau) of the Gods (dEva) in this world (jagatini).
Let us shower (implied) the lotus (kamala) flowers (sumamula) of our hearts (hRt) on the spotless (vimala) moon (chandra) of the ocean (arNava) of the Solar (mani=jewel, dyu=sky) dynasty (kula) with infinitely (amita) mighty(parAkrama).
Let us shower (implied) pArijata flowers (sumamula) with our hands (chEtulatO) on (paini) the consort (pati) of Sita, praised (vinutuDaina) by Brahma (dhAta).
Let us wholeheartedly (manasAra) shower (implied) flowers (pUla) on He is who is worshipped (nutuni) by this Tyagaraja so that there are no more (lEka uNDa) countless (enna rAni) births (janana) and deaths (maraNamulu).
6 responses to “Challare Ramachandruni”
What a song selection today. Have listened to it so many times and this is almost another trademark MS song. I had never given a thought to the words and today I listened to the song while reading your translation at the same time. For the nth time, the enjoyment has been much increased by understanding the meaning too. Usually, I read the meaning and try to understand it in toto, but today I listened to it and read your explanation phrase by phrase. Very enjoyable.
Interestingly, I have never heard this krithi sung by anybody else in a concert, even during our regular Ramanavami season. I suppose MS has this effect – almost nobody else can sing her trademark songs.
This is a favourite with me too Ramesh, I find it so deeply moving. And like you said, if I think of this song in my mind, it is the voice of MS which is on playback. I tried to keep an open mind while selecting a rendition to post and listened to a number of artists. Much as I liked a few others, I could not bring myself to post anybody but MS. That said, listen to LGJ wring out every last drop of emotion from your heart with his rendition here (song 6) : http://bit.ly/1F5qJz7
I have a recording of this sung by Abhishek Raghuram. I can share if interested
That would be lovely, thank you! I just noticed that the video I had linked to is not in youtube anymore. I will have to fix it too!
Thanks to your blog, I stumbled upon this hauntingly beautiful composition, Ahiri being one of my favorites. The raga choice is a bit of a mystery to me as it is seemingly at odds with the sentiments in the sahitya. Neverthless, this composition is a treasure.
Ahiri has a certain haunting quality which infuses the music with beauty, doesn’t it! I’m glad my blog led you to something you enjoyed. And yes..the choice of raga makes you wonder sometimes, doesn’t it!