Tag Archives: Lalita

Hiranmayim Lakshmim

Lakshmi

On this fifth day of Navaratri (Panchami), I continue to pay homage to Goddess Lakshmi. Those who pray to Goddess Lakshmi hope to be blessed with material wealth and prosperity. Even her image is shown as pouring gold from her hands. Here the poet-composer Muthuswami Dikshithar (1775-1835) describes Lakshmi herself as being golden (Hiranmayeeem); she is the gold that he aspires for. There is an interesting story behind this song.

One day, it is said, Dikshithar’s wife longingly asked for some golden jewellery. Dikshithar was not in the financial situation to provide these for his wife. One of his disciples suggested to Dikshithar that if he were to go to the court and sing in praise of the king, the king would give him enough to buy some jewellery for his wife. Dikshithar refused and said that he would sing only in praise of his Goddess, never for a man! Then he created this beautiful composition, calling his Goddess the Golden One. That night, Diskhithar’s wife dreamt of the Goddess who came and poured gold on her and said, ‘there, are you satisfied?’. On waking up she apologized to Diskshithar for ever wanting any material wealth  when they were so blessed with Divine wealth.

For lyrics of this beautiful song, see footnote below. The song is set to Raga Lalita (see footnote).

To enjoy this beautiful song, here’s a performance by the young vocalist Sikkil Gurucharan.

For an instrumental version, listen to this beautiful performance on the Sax by the incomparable Kadri Gopalnath.

Edit : A few years have passed since I wrote this post. There is a version which I admire tremendously and hear often. It is T.M.Krishna’s version which you can listen here. His pace is leisurely and deeply meditative. I love Lalita in all forms but like this she is just exquisite. Lalita is also lovely in the mellifluous voices of Ranjani and Gayatri which I also urge you to listen here.


 

Footnote (Lyrics):

पल्लवि

हिरण्मयीं लक्ष्मीं सदा भजामि |
हीन मानव आश्रयं त्यजामि ||

अनुपल्लवि

चिरतर संपत् प्रदां क्षीरंबुधि तनयां |
हरि वक्षथलालयं हरिणीं चरण किसलयां |
कर कमल धृत कुवलयां |
मरकतमनि मय वलयां ||

चरणं

श्वेत दीप वासिनीं श्री कमलंबिकां परां |
भूत भव्य विलासिनीं भूसुर पूजितां वरां |
मातरं अब्ज मालिनीं माणिक्य आभरण धरां |
गीत वाद्य विनोदिनीं गिरिजाम्तां इन्दिरां ||
सीता किरण निभ वदनां श्रिता चिन्तामणि सदनां |
पीत वसनां गुरु गुह मातुल कान्तां ललितां ||

For transliterated lyrics, translation and notation click here.

 


Footnote (Raga) :

The scales of Raga Lalita are as follows :

Aarohanam (Ascending) : S R1 G3 M1 D1 N3 S’
Avarohanam (Descending) : S’ N3 D1 M1 G3 R1 S

15-2 Lalita

Lalita is a janya raga, derived from Mayamalavagowla (see below), 15th on the Melakarta scale. This is not related to the Hindustani Lalit. Nannu Brovu Lalita by Shyama Shastri  is another composition in Lalita which I enjoy very much.

15 Mayamalavagowla

Note : The 12 notes in the octave are named as below. Please note that C is used as Sa for the sake of simplicity as the scale is relative in Carnatic Music. Also note that the scales paint only a superficial picture of the raga as the gamakas(ornamentations) are a very important part of a raga.

Scale

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Sanskrit, Muthuswami Dikshithar, Ranjani Gayatri, Sikkil Gurucharan, T.M.Krishna

Nannu Brovu Lalita

Lalita

On this third day of Navaratri, I pay homage to Goddess Lalita, Tripura Sundari, a form of Goddess Shakti. What better way than to sing her praise? For today’s prayer, I have chosen one of Shyama Shastri’s (1762-1827) songs from Navaratnamalika, his nine gems in praise of Goddess Meenakshi in her many forms.  This song is most appropriate not only because it sings Her praise but even the name of the Raga is Her name. Lalita – what a lovely name! As an adjective, it can mean any or all of innocent, charming, lovely, gentle, pleasing, desired, elegant etc.  A Goddess who is all that and more, who can resist Her? The Raga Lalita is equally pleasing, as feminine as the Goddess.

To present this song, here is a clip by Nithyasree Mahadevan.

I must also urge you to listen to a beautiful rendition by T.N.Seshagopalan which you can listen here


Footnote (lyrics) :

This is a Telugu song but as I don’t know the language, I give below the song in Devanagari script.

पल्लवि
नन्नु ब्रोवु ललिता वेगमे
चाल निन्नु नॆर नम्मियुन्न वाडु गदा
भक्त कल्पकलता

अनुपल्लवि
निन्नु विना एवरुन्नारु गति जननी
अति वेगमे वच्चि (नन्नु)

चरणम् 1
पराकु सेयकने वच्चि  कृप सलुप रादा मॊर विनवा (or विनदा)
पराशक्ति गीर्वाणि वन्दित पदा
नी भक्तुडनम्मा सन्ततमु (नन्नु)

चरणम् 2
सरोज भव कमल नाभ शङ्कर सुरेन्द्रनुत चरिता
पुराणी वाणी इन्द्राणी वन्दित
राणी अहिभूषणुनि राणी (नन्नु)

चरणम् 3
मदात्मुलैन दुरात्म जनुलनु कथलनु पॊगडि
सदा ने वारल चुट्टि तिरिगिति
वॆतल नॆल्ल दीर्चि वरमॊसगि (नन्नु)

चरणम् 4
सुमेरु मध्य निलये श्याम कृष्णुनि सोदरी कौमारी
उमा श्री मीनाक्षम्मा शङ्करी
ओ महा राज्ञी रक्षिम्प समयमिदे (नन्नु)

For transliteration and translation click here.



Footnote (Raga) :

The scales of Raga Lalita are as follows :

Aarohanam (Ascending) : S R1 G3 M1 D1 N3 S’
Avarohanam (Descending) : S’ N3 D1 M1 G3 R1 S

15-2 Lalita

Lalita is a janya raga, derived from Mayamalavagowla (see below), 15th on the Melakarta scale. This is not related to the Hindustani Lalit. Hiranmayim by Muthuswami Dikshithar is another composition in Lalitawhich I enjoy very much.

15 Mayamalavagowla

Note : The 12 notes in the octave are named as below. Please note that C is used as Sa for the sake of simplicity as the scale is relative in Carnatic Music. Also note that the scales paint only a superficial picture of the raga as the gamakas(ornamentations) are a very important part of a raga.

Scale

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Telugu, Nithyasree Mahadevan, Shyama Shastri, T.N.Seshagopalan