Category Archives: E.Gayathri

Kana Kana Ruchira

RamaIt has taken me a long time to continue with my posts on Tyagaraja’s Pancharatna Kritis that I started last year. If you are just catching up, here are the posts on Jagadananda Karaka, Dudukugala and Saadinchane.

Kana Kana Ruchira, like the other Ghana Raga Pancharatna Kritis, is familiar and well-loved by most Carnatic music fans.  It is set to Raga Varali, an ancient raga dating beyond 1300 years. Varali has a lulling quality which is so appropriate to devotional music and which I find very pleasing indeed. If you would like to know more about this raga, click here.

This lovely composition is an outpouring of love for Lord Rama by Tyagaraja.  It the  pallavi  he says ‘The more I see you, the sweeter it is’ . This simple phrase is most evocative and sets the mood of the composition to an unalloyed sweetness. This is stressed by the anupallavi – dina dinamunu manasuna chanuvuna – ‘everyday, in my mind’s eye with love’.  Is that not the essence of Bhakti rasa?  To love one’s God so much that one is enthralled in gazing at God through the mind’s eye, all day, everyday? This mood of being enthralled is enhanced by the hypnotic quality of Raga Varali.

Tyagarja continues to describe and praise his Lord in many ways in the charanams; this composition stresses Rupa-Mahima or extolling the form.  I will leave it to another post to examine the concept of beauty in Divinity, a concept we come across very often in Hinduism. I love the sancharas in the purvanga (first half of octave) in Varali which are most soothing. See footnote for lyrics.

To present the song, I have chosen a rendition by the revered veteran vocalist and musicologist R.Vedavalli whose calm and crisp singing steeped in paddhati (classical method/system) is nonetheless full of emotion.

For an instrumental version, what better than the Veena, an ancient instrument to match this ancient raga? Listen below to a rendition by the talented musician E.Gayathri.


Footnote (Lyrics) :

Language : Telugu

As I do not speak Telugu, here are the lyrics in Devanagri script. For notation, click here. :

कन कन रुचिरा कनक वसन निन्नु

दिन दिनमुनु मनसुन चनुवुन निन्नु

चरणं 1
पालु गारु मोमुन श्रीय
पार महिम तनरु निन्नु

चरणं 2
कलकलमनु मुख कल कलिगिन सीत
कुलुकुचु नोर कन्नुलनु जूचु निन्नु

चरणं 3
बालार्काभि सुचेल मणि मय मालालंकृत कन्धर सर-
सिजाक्ष वर कपोल सुरुचिर किरीट धर संततंबु मनसारग

चरणं 4
सा पत्नि मातयौ सुरुचिचे कर्ण शूल मैनमाट वीनुल
चुरुक्कन तालक श्री हरिनि ध्यानिन्चि सुखिम्पग लेदायटु

चरणं 5
मृग मद ललाम शुभ निटिल वर जटायु मोक्ष फ़लद पवमान
सुतुडु नीदु महिम तेल्प सीत तेलिसि वलचि सोक्क लेदा (आ ) रीति निन्नु

चरणं 6
सुखास्पद विमुखाम्बु धर पवन विदेह मानस विहारप्त सुर
भूज मानित गुणांक चिदानन्द खग तुरंग धृत रथांग पर-
म दयाकर करुणा रस वरुणालय भयापहर श्री रघुपते

चरणं 7
कामिञ्चि प्रेम मीर करमुल नीदु पाद कमलमुल पट्टुकॊनु
वाडु साक्षि राम नाम रसिकुडु कैलास सदनुडु साक्षि
मरियु नारद पराशर शुक शौनक पुरन्दर नगजा धरज
मुख्युलु साक्षि काद सुन्दरेश सुख कलशाम्बुधि वासाश्रितुलके

चरणं 8
सततमु प्रेम पूरितुडगु त्यागराज
नुत मुख जित कुमुद हित वरद निन्नु


kana kana rucirA kanaka vasana ninnu

dina dinamunu manasuna chanuvuna ninnu

Charanam 1
pAlu gAru mOmuna srIya
pAara mahima tanaru ninnu

Charanam 2
kalakalamanu mukha kala kaligina sIta
kulukuchunOra kannulanu jUchu ninnu

Charanam 3
bAlArkAbhi suchElA maNi maya mAlAlamkruta kandhara sara-
sijAksha vara kapOla surucira kirITa dhara santatambu manasAraga

Charanam 4
sA patni mAtayau suruchichE karNa shUlamaina mATa vInula
churukkana tALaka srI harini dhyAninchi sukhimpaga lEdAyaTu

Charanam 5
mruga-mada lalAma shubha niTila vara jatAyu mOksha phalada pavamAna sutudunIdu mahima telpa sIta telisi valachi sokka lEdA (A) rIti ninnu

Charanam 6
sukhAspada vimukhAmbu dhara pavana vidEha mAnasa viharApta sura
bhUja mAnita guNanka chidAnanda khaga turanga dhruta rathAnga para-
ma dayAkara karuNA rasa varuNAlaya bhayApahara srI raghupatE

Charanam 7
kAminchi prEma mIra karamula nIdu pAda kamalamula  pattukOnu
vADu sAkshi rAma nAma rasikuDu kailāsa sadanuDu sAkshi
mariyu nArada parAshara shuka shaunaka purandara nagajA dharaja
mukhyulu sAkshi kAda sundarEsha sukha kalashAmbudhi vAsAshritulakE

Charanam 8
satatamu prEma pUrituDagu tyAgarAja
– nuta mukha jita kumuda hita varada ninnu


O Golden-attired one, the more I behold you, the sweeter it is!

Every day in my mind, with love (I behold you)

Charanam 1
The charming face, glowing with prosperity and limitless glory

Charanam 2
Whom Sita, face glowing with happiness, looks at elegantly by side-glances

Charanam 3
Lord with the splendour of rising Sun, wearing fine garments!  One whose neck is adorned with gem studded necklace! O Lotus-eyed! One with beautiful cheeks! One wearing a brilliant crown! Unceasingly, to my heart’s content..

Charanam 4
Did not Dhruva, unable to bear the harsh words of his step-mother Suruchi attain comfort by meditating on Sri Hari? In the same manner..

Charanam 5
One whose auspicious forehead is adorned with a tilaka of musk! Bestower of emancipation on the blessed Jatayu! When Hanuman, son of the Wind God, described your glory, was not Sita enraptured with love by listening to it? In the same manner..

Charanam 6
O Abode of Comfort! O gale that scatters the cloud called enemies! One residing in the hearts of celestials! O Wish-tree of those dear to you! One with the mark of virtues! One effulgent as consciousness and bliss! One who speeds on Garuda! O Wielder of the discus! O Supremely compassionate one! O Ocean of the nectar of compassion!

Charanam 7
The one who holds your lotus-feet in his hands with overflowing love and longing [Hanuman] is a witness (to my words); [Siva] The enjoyer of Rama’s name and resident of Kailasa (Shiva) is a witness too. Further, personages like sages Narada, Parasara, Suka, Saunaka, Indra, Parvati and Sita are witnesses, aren’t they? O Lord of beauty! One comfortably residing in the Ocean of Milk! Those who have sought refuge in you ….

Charanam 8
O Lord who is praised by this Tyagaraja, who is ever-replete with love towards you!  O Lord whose face surpasses the lustre of moon! O Bestower of boons!



Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Telugu, E.Gayathri, R.Vedavalli, Tyagaraja

Asainthadum Mayil

Krishna dancingToday I am lost in the dance of Krishna. I am listening to Asaithadum Mayil (see footnote for lyrics), swaying with the music, my mind’s eye seeing Krishna dance,  anklets tinkling, bracelets jangling, earrings swaying, peacock-feathers waving in the air, His yellow garments fluttering, His eyes sparkling, His smile enchanting, his feet stepping high, divine music in the air. And when I think thus of Him, I see the universe dancing too – the waves thrashing, the wind blowing, the bees buzzing, the planets revolving, the electrons jumping and hearts pumping blood everywhere to the beat of His music, all linked inexplicably in this giant web, God and Man and Universe as one.

Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer (1700 – 1765) had an amazing talent for making the images of our Gods come alive in our minds. His genius is specially evident in my selection today. It is much more than words, which are indeed charming. Set to Raga Simhendra Madhyamam, the rhythm and cadence echo the dance of Krishna and the pulse of the universe. I especially love the madhyamakala (faster) section; I automatically close my eyes and start nodding in time, echoing Krishna’s dance. There is amazing musicality in constructing the descent from ‘oru padam vaithu’ until ‘malar magalum pada’ followed by a triumphant upswing. It is mesmerizing for Tamil speakers but I believe the song should speak to you even if you don’t understand a word.

To know more about the raga Simhendra Madhyamam, click here.

I have heard semi-light treatments of this song as well as elaborate versions (by TNS for example). Sudha Raghunathan’s rendition is very popular; I am sure all Carnatic Music fans are familiar with hers. For a change today I present you O.S.Arun who infuses his devotional singing with an energy which suits this song very well. This is from the CD called Madura Madhura.

Alternate link : Click here.

For an instrumental version, listen to E.Gayathri on the Veena.

Alternate link : Click here.

Footnote (Lyrics) :

I have heard variations for a few of the words which I have noted with an asterisk. I have gone with the Bombay Sister’s version.

அசைந்தாடும் மயில் ஒன்று காணும்*
நம் அழகன் வந்தான் என்று சொல்வது போல் தோனும்* (அசைந்தாடும்)

இசையாறும்* குழல் கொண்டு வந்தான் (கண்ணன் )
இந்த ஏழேழு பிறவிக்கும் இன்ப நிலை தந்தான்
திசை தோறும் நிறைவாக நின்றான்
என்றும் திகட்டாத வேணு கானம் ராதையிடம் ஈந்தான்*

அனுபல்லவி (மத்யமகாலம்)
எங்காகிலும் எமதிறைவா இறைவா என
மனனிறை அடியவரிடம் தங்கு மனத்துடையான்
அருள் பொங்கும் முகத்துடையான்
ஒரு பதம் வைத்து மறு பதம் தூக்கி நின்றாட
மயிலின் இறகாட மகர குழையாட மதி வதனமாட
மயக்கும் விழியாட மலரணிகள் ஆட மலர் மகளும் பாட
இது* கனவோ நனவோ என மன நிறை முனிவரும்
மகிழ்ந்து கொண்டாட (அசைந்தாடும்)

அசை போடும் ஆவினங்கள் கண்டு
இந்த அதிசயத்தில் சிலை போல நின்றதுவும் உண்டு*
நிஜமான சுகம் என்று ஒன்று -இருந்தால்
நீடுலகில் இதையன்றி வேறெதுவும் அன்று
இசையாறும் கோபாலன் இன்று -நின்று
எழில் பொங்க* நடமாட எதிர் நின்று ராதை பாட (எங்காகிலும்)

Alternate Words :

காணும் – கண்டால்
தோனும் – தோன்றும்
இது – அது
நின்றதுவும் உண்டு – நின்று
எழில் பொங்க – எழுந்தெழுந்து
ஈந்தான் – ஈர்ந்தான்
இசையாறும் – இசை பாடும்

asaindADum mayil ordru kANum
nam azhagan vandAn endru sollvadu pOl tONum

isaiyArum kuzhal koNDu vandAn
inda EzhEzhu piravikkum inba nilai tandAn
disai tOrum niraivAga nindrAn
enrum tigaTTAda vENugAnam rAdaiyiDam IndAn

engAgilum emadiRaivA iRaivA ena
mana niRai aDiyavariDam tangu manattuDaiyAn
aruL pongu mugathuDaiyAn
oRu padam vaiththu maRu padam thUkki nindrADa
mayilin iragADa makara-kuzhaiyADa madivadanam ADa mayakkum vizhiyADa malaraNigal ADa malar magaLum pADa
idu kanavO nanavO ena mana niRai munivarum magizhndu koNDADa

asai pODum AvinangaL kaNDu inda adisayatthil silai pOlE ninraduvum uNDu nijamAna sukham endru ondru irundAl nIdulagil idaiyanri vEreduvum andru isaiyArum gOpAlan inru ninru
ezhil ponga nadamADa edir nindru rAdai pADa  (engagagilum)

When a dancing peacock is seen, it is as if its saying ‘Our beautiful one is coming’!

He brought with him the flute of healing music (interpretation of isaiArum),
And  left me in a joyous state for fourteen births,
He was everywhere (in all directions),
and played the ever-enjoyable flute-music to Radha.

He stays with devotees, wherever they are, who say with contentment  ‘my God, my God’, His face brimming with grace,
One leg on the floor, one leg lifted, He dances,
peacock-feathers swaying, fish-shaped earrings moving,
moon-like face nodding, enchanting eyes dancing,
his flower ornaments swaying and Goddess Lakshmi singing,
sages celebrating with joy, wondering if it is a all a dream!

As the cud-chewing cows behold this wonder
they stand frozen like statues,
If there is a thing called real pleasure,
There is nothing but this (the view of Krishna dancing) in the entire world.
The cowherd who heals with music stands today
and dances with much grace while Radha sings.



Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, E.Gayathri, O.S.Arun, Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer

Pancharatna Kritis 1 – Jagadananda Karaka

The Pancharatna Kritis are five compositions by the great Saint composer Tyagaraja (also spelt as Thyagaraja). They are arguably the most well known kritis (compositions) in Carnatic Music. The kritis are really prayer songs, written in praise of Rama. I shall present these five kritis as sung or played by different musicians over the next so many posts.

Jagadanandakara is the first composition and is written in raga Natta (to know a more about this raga, click here). This is composed in Sanskrit while the other Pancharatna Kritis are in Telugu.

Every year in January, a music festival is held in Thiruvaiyaru to commemorate the saint. Carnatic musicians converge here and one of the highlights is the group performance of the Pancharatna Kritis by hundreds of people, including some very famous musicians.  Musically one can hear better renderings of the kritis, but the atmosphere cannot be beaten. Watch below the kriti Jagadanandakaraka as sung in the festival.

Jagadanandakaraka–Tyagaraja Aradhana festival

Listen to this version on the Veena, one of the oldest Indian Musical Instruments known even in Vedic times (1500 BC and before). The artist on the Veena is E.Gayathri and it is from the album Pancharatna Kritis of Sri Thyagaraja.

This site has the wordings and translation for those interested.

The next post on Pancharatna Kritis is here.

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Sanskrit, E.Gayathri, Tyagaraja