I am haunted these last few days by this lovely composition in the uncommon Raga Nasikabhushani. It has taken root in my mind and I catch myself singing snatches to myself and swaying to its rhythm at unexpected times. This composition is attributed to Tyagaraja but there seems to be some doubt about it. No matter who has composed it, it gentles my soul and wraps me in its peace.
The poet-composer addresses Goddess Shakti in the form of Dharmasamvardhani, the deity at Tiruvaiyaru. The lyrics read as an attestation – This is Her, he says, and She is the one has bestowed me with gifts. For lyrics and translation, see footnote. Click here to know a bit more about the raga.
First listen to the composition played brilliantly by Lalgudi Jayaraman on the violin. He brings out the true beauty of the raga in such an elegant and effortless way!
Now listen to one of the few detailed renditions that I have heard of this raga (about 20 mins total with alapana, krithi and swarams). The vocals are by Raji Gopalakrishnan whom I came across but recently. I was immediately taken by the unusual timbre of her voice but even more by her relaxed style of delivery. A voice to hear when one is at peace with oneself. I shall try and get more of her music for I enjoyed her performance very much.
Language : Sanskrit
मार वैरि रमणी मञ्जु भाषिणी
क्रूर दानवेभ वारणारि गौरी (मार वैरि)
कर्म बन्ध वारण निष्काम चित्त वरदे
धर्म (सम्) वर्धनि सदा वदन हासे शुभ फलदे (मार वैरी)
mAra vairi ramaNI manju bhAshiNI
krUra dAnavEbha vAraNAri gaurI (mAra)
karma (or kAma) bandha vAraNa nishkAma chitta varadE
dharma (saM)vardhani sadA vadana hAsE shubha phaladE (mAra)
O Beloved of Lord Shiva (the enemy of cupid), O Sweet Spoken one!
O Gauri, enemy of elephantine demons!
She who resists those tied by karma (or kAma=desires), She who blesses those with no desires, O Dharmasamvardhini (Goddess of Tiruvaiyaru), She who has an ever-smiling face, O giver of auspicious rewards.