Tag Archives: Pancharatna Kritis

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


I continue again with my posts on Pancharatna Kritis. For newcomers to my blog, click to find the first and second parts.

Saadinchane is composed in Raga Arabhi in Telugu. In this kriti, Tyagaraja has a rather playful list of complaints against Krishna who, he says, is a deceiver and that he changes his stance according to the situation! True. In Mahabharata, we have Krishna using guile to get his way a number of times. It is interesting that the God we see as the teacher of Dharma, the same God we portray as using non-straightforward means to achieve just ends. In Sadinchane, Tyagaraja also complains that in spite of doing all that is right, God does not come to him! This song paints a very human picture of Tyagaraja.

If you are interested, this site offers lyrics, notation and a short translation. To know more about the raga, click here.

Watch below Sadinchane as sung in the festival at Thiruvaiyaru to celebrate this Saint-poet.


Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Telugu, Tyagaraja

Pancharatna Kritis 2 – Dudukugala

I continue today with my posts on Pancharatna Kritis. For those landing on my blog for the first time, the first section is here.

Dudukugala is composed in the Raga Gowla  in the Telugu language. In this composition, the poet paints himself as a sinner, which is surprising because he seems to have led a fairly blameless life. But does not the best of poetry arise from personal angst? Tyagaraja says in one charanam ‘ Not realising that the human form is difficult to obtain, I didn’t strive for Supreme Bliss but instead became a slave to arrogance, jealousy, lust, avarice and infatuation, and went to ruin’. And so has every Saint lamented from time immemorial; the battle of Sainthood seems to be the battle with one’s own self. For a full translation, see here.

Tyagaraja’s works can be appreciated on so many levels – for the beauty of the poetry, for the lyricism of his compositions, for his scholarship in the development of ragas and structures in Carnatic music, for his lighting the way in Bhakti marga (the way of devotion). I have but limited understanding yet I find much to marvel at and enjoy in his works.

In paintings, one works to achieve both contrast and similarity. In the Raga structure of Indian music, one plays with what would be called a limited palette in art i.e.. only a certain subset of possible notes. This limited palette can be chiaroscuro with great variations in tone (term used in visual art), like most of Rembrandt’s works. Or they can be high-key impressionistic works like Monet’s Rouen Cathedral, West Facade in Sunlight, where there is very little variation in tone. Both are beautiful, but in different ways. There may be drama in chiaroscuro, but there is peace and resonance in low-contrast works.  The same beauty can be found in low-key works, again of little contrast but with a play in slight variations which is so pleasurable to the senses.

In Dudukugala, in the second charanam (stanza), the notes r r s s ; r s r M m s r M | ns r g M – sr G , m r r s s  dance around in the lower half of the octave with the next charanam playing a variation in the same playing field. Not chiaroscuro, but impressionism! Ah, what a nectar to my ears this music is!! To more about this raga, click here.

Watch below Dudukugala as sung in the festival at Thiruvaiyaru to celebrate this Saint-poet.

Dudukugala–Tyagaraja Aradhana

To appreciate the beauty of the musical notes, listen to the instrumental version by child-prodigy turned Maestro U.Shrinivas  on the Mandolin.

Click here to read the next post on Pancharatna Kritis.

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Telugu, Tyagaraja, U.Srinivas

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