Tag Archives: Subramanya Bharathi

Theerada Vilaiyattu Pillai

Krishna's MischiefCan one call oneself Tamil if one doesn’t know this song? This gem amongst the gems written by the great poet Subramanya Bharathi has such an extraordinary appeal! For one, we all love stories about the mischievous and quite irresistible  Lord Krishna, don’t we? And then there is the poet’s expertise in choosing words and metres which resonate so deeply with the audience.  However poetry by its very nature finds itself at a disadvantage crossing borders; for isn’t poetry about language at its very best, its very beautiful? Who but natives can really appreciate it? But once it has been sung as a song, it crosses borders so much more easily!

Popular as a ‘light’ piece in Carnatic Music, this song happily bridges the gap between the classical and the popular. I hope you will join me on a walk-through of this beautiful poem and its meaning. I limit myself only to the verses sung by Carnatic musicians.

Raga: Sindhu Bhairavi

தீராத விளையாட்டுப் பிள்ளை – கண்ணன்
தெருவிலே பெண்களுக்கோயாத தொல்லை

tIrAda viLaiyATTUp piLLai – kaNNan
teruvilE peNgaLukkOyAda tollai

Krishna (kaNNan) is such an endlessly (tIrAda) playful (viLaiyATTu) boy (piLLai)!! He is a ceaseless (OyAda) trouble (tollai) to the women (peNgaLukku) on the street (teruvilE)!

The first verse sets the scene perfectly. Such an endlessly mischievous lad, the poet says, that he is Trouble with a capital T to all the women on the street. Why women? Did He not direct any mischief towards the men? But no, He never did! He was the darling of the women and he loved them dearly; yet it is those very women He troubled! Our symbolism starts here..He is Parama Purusha, the supreme male aspect.  All creation, Prakriti, is the female aspect. We see this symbolism again and again in poetry from all around India.

Raga : Sindhu Bhairavi

தின்னப் பழம் கொண்டு தருவான் – பாதி
தின்கின்ற போதிலே தட்டிப் பறிப்பான்
என்னப்பன் என்னைய்யன் என்றால் – அதனை
எச்சிற்  படுத்திக் கடித்துக் கொடுப்பான்

tinnap pazham koNDu taruvAn – pAdi
tinginDRa pOdilE taTTip paRippAn
ennappan ennaiyyan enDRAl – adanai
echchiR paduttik kaDittuk koDuppAn

He will bring (konDu) and give (taruvAn) fruit (pazham) to eat (tinna). While (pOdilE) eating (pAdi =half, tinginDRa) he will grab it (taTTi paRippAn)! If (enDRAl) one cajoles him (ennappan, ennaiyyan as terms of endearment) – he will bite it (kaDittu) and contaminate it by eating (echchiR=jhUTA in hindi) and then give it back (koDuppAn).

What mischief! He grabs back the fruit he has given and takes a bite before giving it back! I wonder, is this concept of contamination by eating/saliva unique to India? In the olden days, at the wedding feast, a wife would eat off the plate eaten by her husband to denote the closeness of the new relationship. Sharing of food half eaten by others is a privilege limited to those who are near and dear. Here the poet wants to show how close the relationship is between the Lord and his subjects. Krishna is happy to eat the fruit half-eaten by his loved ones (remember Rama and Sabari?) and what He gives back we take as prasaadam. So what does the fruit denote? All that He gives us, of course! Perhaps the poet wants to say also that He who gives may equally take away.

Raga : Kamas

அழகுள்ள மலர் கொண்டு வந்தே (alt: வந்து ) – என்னை
அழ அழச் செய்தபின் கண்ணை மூடிக்கொள்
குழலிலே சூட்டுவேன் என்பான் – என்னைக்
குருடாக்கி மலரினைத் தோழிக்கு வைப்பான்

azhaguLLa malar koNDu vandE (alt: vandu) – ennai
azha azha seydapin kaNNai mUDikkoL
kuzhalilE sUTTuvEn enbAn – ennai
kuruDAkki malarinai tOzhikku vaippAn

He will bring (konDu vandE) a beautiful (azhaguLLa) flower (malar). After (pin)  making one cry (azha azha seyda) He will say (enbAn) ‘close (mUDikkoL) your eyes (kaNNai), I will adorn (sUTTuvEn) your braid (kuzhalilE) with it’. After making (Akki) me (ennai) blind (kuruDu), he will place (vaippAn) the flower (malarinai) on my friend (tOzhikku)!

Have you ever seen something you wanted very badly? Perhaps you begged and pleaded for it, perhaps you worked hard for it, but you thought you almost had it. And then when you relax for a moment, it is gone, given to some other. In real life this could be tragic. Imagine it is the promotion you worked hard for, the treat your parents promised you, the relaxed retirement you look for after a lifetime of work. And then circumstances occur when it seems to be snatched away from you. How frustrating it is, how depressing when it happens! If we can see it as no more than Krishna’s mischief, his leela, perhaps it will console us.

(Don’t miss the mridangam at this interval in the BJ performance, how good it sounds!!)

Raga : Shanmukhapriya

பின்னலைப் பின்னின்றிழுப்பான் -தலை
பின்னே திரும்பு(ம்) முன்னே சென்று மறைவான்
வண்ணப் புதுச் சேலை தனிலே -புழுதி
வாரிச் சொரிந்தே வருத்திக் குலைப்பான்

pinnalaip pinninDRizhuppAn – talai
pinnE tirumbu(m ) munnE chenDRu maRaivAn
vaNNap puduch chElai tanilE – puzhudi
vArich chorindE varuttik kulaippAn

He will pull (izhuppAn) one’s braid (pinnalai) while standing behind (pin ninDru). Before (munnE) one can turn (tirumbum) one’s head (talai) back (pinnE) He will disappear (chenDRu maRaivAn)! He will make one sorrowful (varutti) and agitated (kulaippan) by throwing (vAri) dust (puzhudi) on (tanilE) one’s new (pudu) colourful (vaNNa) sari (sElai).

Krishna pulling at a Gopi’s hair and disappearing – isn’t it a disarming portrayal of our mischief making Lord? Has your metaphorical braid been pulled by someone or something at any time? How frustrating not to be able to pinpoint who did it! And what about your metaphorical new clothes? Has someone thrown dust as it?  These are common life occurrences, aren’t they! They sadden us, agitate us, disturb us. And yet we smile when we think of Krishna and his mischief. That too is a leela.

Raga : Mand

புல்லாங்குழல் கொண்டு வருவான் – அமுது
பொங்கித் ததும்ப நற்கீதம் படிப்பான்
கள்ளால் மயங்குவது போலே – அதனை  (alt:அதைக்)
கண் மூடி வாய் திறந்தே கேட்டிருப்போம்

pullAnguzhal konDu varuvAn – amudu
pongit tadumba naRgItam paDippAn
kaLLAl mayanguvadu pOlE – adanai (alt:adai)
kaN mUDi vAy tiRandE kETTiruppOm

He will bring (konDu varuvAn) a flute (pullAnguzhal). He will recite (paDippAn) good (nal) songs (gItam) which overflow (pongi tadumba) with nectar (amudu). And like (pOlE) one gets intoxicated (mayanguvadu) with liquor (kaLLAl), we would be listening (kETTiruppOm) with closed (mUDi) eyes (kaN) and open (tirandE) mouths (vAy)!

This is a lovely verse where Krishna is portrayed as the enchanter that He is. And oh, how I love Raga Mand! In the other verses the poet talks of how He troubles and agitates the women. In contrast, this verse is about how he fascinates with his playing of a different kind. What is Krishna’s song in your lives? What is that which enchants you, intoxicates you, absorbs you? As to me, I hear Krishna’s song in so many things – in the light which reflects off the lake I see from my window, in that pause between two notes when Lalgudi plays Mohanam in a CD I have, in the perfection of Vermeer’s Milkmaid, in that smell of the earth just after it rains, in the memory of cuddling my children when they were babies and a million other things besides.  These are indeed nectarine as the poet says. After listing all the mischief the Lord plays on us, it is good of the poet to remind us of how He plays his music for us too!

To present this song, I have chosen renditions by two divas of the Carnatic Music world, Bombay Jayashri and Nithyasree Mahadevan. I have always loved Bombay Jayashri’s voice and in this recording it sounds warm and lovely, as smooth as honey.

Alternative Link : Click Here

It is Nithyasree Mahadevan’s crisp enunciation which attracts me to this performance. This is poetry as it should sound!

Alternative Link : Click Here

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Filed under Bombay Jayashri, Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, Nithyasree Mahadevan, Subramanya Bharathi

Dikku Teriyada Kattil

ForestI arrived on my post today by way of jetlag!  Last Sunday I arrived back at my home in Switzerland from my home in Australia.  After two months of long summer days, I was back into sub-zero temperatures, flurries of snow and short winter days. The 10 hours of time difference is difficult to get over and after having woken up at midnight for a couple of days, I managed to sleep until 3 am last night. My nights have been filled with Carnatic Music and this morning it was the poetry of the extraordinary Subramanya Bharathi which kept me enthralled. And as I said, I arrived at Dikku Teriyada Kattil for my post today.

In a forest through which I couldn’t find the way,
I grew tired in my search for you.

In this metaphoric poem, Bharathi likens life to a forest in which our soul is lost, forever searching for the Divine. This beautiful poem is sung by Carnatic musicians in different ragas. The most popular version is a Ragamalika – a string of different ragas – as sung originally by the great maestro G.N.Balasubramaniam. Only a subset of the verses are sung normally.

In the unsung verses, the heroine wanders lost in the forest, amazed at all the beauty of the world around her as well as the dangers. In the first verse which is sung, the heroine says:

I started falling as my legs tired, and my eyes grew sleepy,
when a lustful hunter stared at me to my embarrassment.
‘”Girl, I am maddened by your beauty!” he said and laughed.
“Oh my darling, I want to embrace you”

In other unsung verses, the hunter goes on to ask the heroine to lie with him, to eat and drink and make merry. Thus do dangers come to seduce us, implies the poet. There are passive dangers, like the lions and snakes the poet mentions as he sets the scene but also active dangers, like the hunter who intends to harm by way of pleasure.

Elder brother, I fall at your feet, do not say such cruel things to frighten me!
Is it correct to even to look in such a way at a woman who is married to another?

Who is the soul married to? Who but God himself! Our scriptures often portray the jeevatma (soul) as feminine and the paramatma (God) as masculine. The two are tied by sacred bonds as if they were wed.

‘”Don’t speak of rules! I seek only your pleasure, my sweet!
An enchantment intoxicates me like a bowl of aged liquor”

The hunter seeks pleasure, willing the girl to betray her principles. It is interesting that the poet has the hunter seeking her pleasure, not his. Is that the ultimate seduction? The most irresistible temptation is an offer of pleasure, is it not?

‘Hearing these words, I cried out ‘Kanna’ and fell.
Before long my faintness cleared and I woke to see You!’

Kannan is the name of Lord Krishna, but it is also means beloved. For her, both are the same.  The poet seems to say that when we are seduced by the illicit pleasures of the world, we need only take the name of our Lord and He will come to save us.

It is fascinating that in the version sung by GNB the words are altered slightly. He sings ‘I cried out ‘Kanna’ and leapt to embrace him’ !! Here the hunter is implied to be the Lord in disguise. A small change, but how it changes the story!  To those lost in this world, the only true seducer can be the Lord for what can more seductive than an offer of love from Him? There is yet another interpretation, that the girl was asleep from when fatigue made her drowsy to the time she woke up and saw ‘Him’. The poet may be implying that life is like a dream, all its pleasures and dangers a mirage and that one day we will wake from it to see the Lord.

This song appeals to me on multiple levels. The imagery is charming; a girl lost in the forest, not frightened but amazed at the world in which she finds herself. Accosted by a hunter, the world suddenly becomes a frightening place because her virtue is at stake. Great imagery! On another level, the metaphor makes sense to me and keeps me thinking. On a third level, I love the sound of the words which flow so elegantly, Tamil at its very best. On yet another level, I love the ragas the song has been set to, each verse infused with its own mood. It starts with Behag, lilting and light as she traipses through the forest. As she tires, we switch to Revagupti, a gentle and somnolent raga. The hunter seduces in Kuntalavarali and she begs him for mercy in Sahana. He talks cheerfully of his intoxication in Kapi and she loses consciousness in Paras. A gem of a song.

This song was so much owned by G.N.Balasubramaniam that it would be a travesty to offer any other rendition. I found this rather light, filmy version on youtube which I hope you enjoy.

For an instrumental version, listen to the great violinist T.N.Krishnan.

Alternate link : Click here


Footnote (Lyrics) :

திக்குத் தெரியாத காட்டில் — உன்னை
தேடித் தேடி இளைத்தேனே

கால் கை சோர்ந்துவிழலானேன் – இரு
கண்ணுந் துயில்படரலானேன் – ஒரு
வேட்கை கொண்டு கொலை வேடன் – உள்ளம்
வெட்கம் கொண்டொழிய விழித்தான் nbsp;

“பெண்ணே, உனதழகைக் கண்டு – மனம்
பித்தங் கொள்ளு” தென்று நகைத்தான் – “அடி
கண்ணே, எனதிரு கண் மணியே – உன்னை
கட்டித் தழுவ மனம் கொண்டேன்

“அண்ணா, உனதடியில் வீழ்வேன் – என்னை
அஞ்சக் கொடுமை சொல்ல வேண்டாம் – பிறன்
கண்ணாலம் செய்து விட்ட பெண்ணை – உந்தன்
கண்ணாற்ப் பார்த்திடவுந் தகுமோ?

“ஏடீ, சாத்திரங்கள் வேண்டேன் – நினது
இன்பம் வேண்டுமடி, கனியே!
மோடி கிருக்குதடி தலையை  நல்ல
மொந்தைப் பழைய கள்ளைப் போலே.”

காதால் இந்த உரை கேட்டேன் – ‘அட
கண்ணா!’ என்று அலறி வீழ்ந்தேன் – மிகப்
alternate : கண்ணா!’ என்று தாவி அணைத்தேன் – மிகப் 
போதாகவில்லை இதற்குள்ளே – எந்தன்
போதம் தெளிய நினைக் கண்டேன்

Transliteration

dikku teriyAda kATTil unait-tEdit-tEdi iLaittEnE

kAl kai sOrndu vizhalAnEn iru kaNNUm tuyil paDaralAnEn – oru
vEtkaik koNDu kolai vEDan uLLam veTkam koNDozhiya vizhittAn

peNNE unadazhagaik-kaNDu manam pittam koLLudendru nagaittAn aDi
kaNNE enadiru kaN maNiyE unnaik-kaTTit-tazhuva manam koNDEn

aNNA unadaDiyil vIzhvEn ennai anjak-koDumai solla vENDAm – piran
kaNNAlam seiduviTTa peNNai undan kaNNArp-pArttiDavun-tagumO

EDI sAttirangaL vENDEn ninadu inbam vENDumaDi kaniyE
mODi kirukkudaDi talaiyai nalla mondaip-pazhaiya kaLLaip-pOlE

kAdAl inda urai kETTEn aDa kaNNA endru alari vIzhndEn -migap-
alternate : kAdAl inda urai kETTEn aDa kaNNA endru tAvi aNaitten -migap-
pOdAgavillai idarkkuLLE endan bOdam teLiya ninaik-kaNDEn

Translation

In a forest through which I couldn’t find the way,
I grew tired in my search for you.

I started falling as my legs tired, and my eyes grew sleepy,
when a lustful hunter stared at me to my embarrassment.
‘”Girl, I am maddened by your beauty!” he said and laughed.
”Oh my darling, I want to embrace you”

Elder brother, I fall at your feet, do not say such cruel things to frighten me!
Is it correct to even to look in such a way at a woman married to another?

”Don’t speak of rules! I seek only your pleasure, my sweet!
An enchantment intoxicates me like a bowl of aged liquor”

Hearing these words, I cried out ‘Kanna’ and fell.
alternate : Hearing these words, I cried out ‘Kanna’ and leapt to embrace him.
Before long my faintness cleared and I woke to see You!

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, G.N.Balasubramaniam, Subramanya Bharathi, T.N.Krishnan

Asai Mugam

Alas, I have forgotten that beloved face! To whom shall I talk of it my friend? When my heart has not forgotten the love, how could I have forgotten the face? In my mind I see a form, yet it does not have the full beauty of Kannan And when I have a glimpse of a befitting face, I see not his beautiful smile.  Ah the sins that my eyes have committed that I have forgotten the form of my dearest Kannan! Amongst the ladies, have you seen someone as naive as me? I don’t even have a colour portrait of Him, how will I live now?

Krishna Baby2

Memory. Today I have landed upon this rather unusual topic for Carnatic Music. For people of my age group, growing into the autumn years of our lives, memory is an especially interesting topic given how often it fails us!

Is it not interesting that we remember emotions and sensations far better than facts? I have heard it said that emotion helps us retain and retrieve memory. But emotion also colours our memories so that what we consider facts are in all probability very inaccurate perceptions of reality. Actors use what is called sense memory, remembering emotions triggered by a memory of a sense-experience like a smell or a taste. Do we not all remember a favourite dish by our mother or our grandmother, and do we not have a rush of affection for them with the memory? How often do you smell a perfume or incense and get assailed with memories of another time, another place?

Yet these memories remain elusive, with an untouchable, dream-like quality. I remember the overwhelming rush of love I felt for my baby as she was put into my arms for the first time, but I cannot remember whether it was night or day. I remember the desolation of hearing that my mom passed away, but I cannot remember the date. I remember the despair of arguments with my husband, but not the reason.  Why is our memory so selective? But perhaps our brain is just being smart in remembering the essence of matters rather than the clutter which surrounds them.

That brings me to the poetry choice of today. Is it not the cleverness of a poet to write of what we understand and lead us towards what we do not?  As I listen to this beautiful song by the extraordinary thinker, activist and poet Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921), I reflect on his words. Who knows what poets intend? One can only interpret based on our limited understanding of life.

Alas, I have forgotten that beloved face!’ laments the poet. ‘ When my heart has not forgotten the love, how could I have forgotten the face?’. The poet talks of his beloved Kannan, Lord Krishna, struggling to remember the form which just eludes him. ‘And when I have a glimpse of a befitting face, I see not his beautiful smile’.   We theists, is that what happens to us? Are we remembering the overwhelming love of God yet forgetting His form?

Ah the sins that my eyes have committed that I have forgotten the form of my dearest Kannan!’ despairs the poet. ‘Is there a bee which forgets honey? Or a flower which forgets sunlight?’   Should it not be as natural for us to remember God as it is for a bee to seek honey or a flower which seeks light? ‘If I forget Krishna’s face, what use having these eyes?’ says the poet. Yet he has remembered what is essential, the love of God – so I ask, what if our eyes have forgotten? Let our hearts not forget, that should be enough.

Set to Raga Jonpuri, the melody is simple and the stress is on the beauty of the words. I am indeed sorry if you do not understand Tamil for my translation does no justice at all to the beauty of the words. If you would like to know more about this raga, click here.

My favourite version of this song is by Sudha Raghunathan, from a tape I have had for years. [Alternate link]

For a contrast, listen to this version by O.S.Arun who always imbibes his music with a lot of energy.

 

 


Footnote (Lyrics) :

Language : Tamil

ஆசை முகம் மறந்து போச்சே – இதை
ஆரிடம் சொல்வேனடி தோழி?
நேசம் மறக்கவில்லை நெஞ்சம் – எனில்
நினைவு முகம் மறக்கலாமோ?

கண்ணில் தெரியுதொரு தோற்றம் – அதில்
கண்ணன் அழகு முழுதில்லை;
நண்ணு முகவடிவு காணில் – அந்த
நல்ல மலர்ச்சிரிப்பைக் காணோம்.

ஓய்வு மொழிதலும் இல்லாமல் – அவன்
உறவை நினைத்திருக்கும் உள்ளம்;
வாயும் உரைப்பதுண்டு கண்டாய் – அந்த
மாயன் புகழினையெப் போதும்.

கண்கள் புரிந்துவிட்ட பாவம் – உயிர்க்
கண்ணன் உரு மறக்கலாச்சு;
பெண்களின் இடத்தில் இது போலே – ஒரு
பேதையை முன்பு கண்டதுண்டோ?

தேனை மறந்திருக்கும் வண்டும் – ஒளிச்
சிறப்பை மறந்துவிட்ட பூவும்
வானை மறந்திருக்கும் பயிரும் – இந்த
வையம் முழுதும் இல்லை தோழி.

கண்ணன் முகம் மறந்து போனால் – இந்தக்
கண்கள் இருந்தும் பயன் உண்டோ ?
வண்ணப் படமுமில்லை கண்டாய் – இனி
வாழும் வழி என்னடி தோழி?

Transliteration

Asai mugam marandu pochchE – idai AriDam solvEnaDi tOzhI?
nEsam marakkavillai nenjam – enil ninayvu mugam marakkalAmO?

kaNNil teriyudoru tOtram – adil kaNNan azhagu muzudillai
naNNu mugavaDivu kANil – anda nalla malarsirippay kANOm

Oyvu mozhidalum illamal – avan uRavai ninaiththirukkum uLLam
vAyum uraippudunDu kanDAy – anda mAyan pugazhiniyay pOdum

kaNgal purinduvitta pAvam – uyir kaNNan uru marakkalAchchu
peNgaLin iDattil idu pOlE – oru bEdaiyay munbu kanDadunDO?

tEnai maRandirukkum vanDum – olich-chirappai maranduvitta pUvum
vAnai marandirukkum payirum – inda vaiyam muzhudum illai tOzhi

kaNNan mugamarandu pOnAl – inda kaNgalirundum payan unDO?
vaNNap-paDamumillai kandAy  ini vAzhum vazhi ennaDi tOzhI?

Translation

Alas, I have forgotten that beloved face! To whom shall I talk of it my friend? When my heart has not forgotten the love, how could I have forgotten the face?

In my mind I see a form, yet it does not have the full beauty of Kannan
And when I have a glimpse of a befitting face, I see not his beautiful smile.

With neither rest nor speech, my thoughts are only of his love. You see how I speak ceaselessly in praise of that illusionist?

Ah the sins that my eyes have committed that I have forgotten the form of my dearest Kannan! Amongst the ladies, have you seen someone as naive as me?

Is there a bee which forgets honey? Or a flower which forgets sunlight? Oh my friend, is there any plant in the world which forgets the sky?

If I forget Krishna’s face, what use having these eyes? You see I don’t even have a colour portrait of Him, how will I live now?

 

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, O.S.Arun, Subramanya Bharathi, Sudha Raghunathan

Chandiran Oliyil

Chandiran OliyilI bought Sanjay Subramanyan’s CD of the same name last year, quite excited to listen to an album full of Tamil compositions. Yet, I didn’t like the album as much as I expected. It missed something – I’m not sure what. But I loved the title track from first listening. Recently I was reminded of it by video I saw on youtube.

Chandiran Oliyil is a poem written by one of the greatest modern Tamil poets, Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921). Though he often both wrote the songs and set them to music, I am uncertain about this song as I have heard versions in Raga Chandrakauns as well as Raga KeervAni. Sanjay Subrahmanyan’s version in Malayamarutam particularly pleasing. To know more about this raga, click here.

The poet recounts his meeting with his Goddess (unnamed) by moonlight, saying ‘She told me to work without counting on the results, she told me to live in devotion. Thus, she has removed all affliction, she has rooted out all pain and suffering’. He also says ‘I have controlled my senses and destroyed the desire of ‘mine(selfishness? ego?)’. In essence, there seems to be advice lifted from Raja Yoga (control of senses, removal of desire), Bhakti Yoga (life spent in devotion) as well Karma Yoga (doing one’s duty without looking for results). The aim? The removal of all pain and suffering.

Listen below to the detailed rendition (25 min) by Sanjay Subrahmanyan. I normally feature shorter renditions, given the short attention span that one has for blogs. But this is a recording of both excellent audio and video quality of an expert rendition; definitely attention worthy. The kalpanaswarams are a shower of delight; I also loved the violin accompaniment by S.Varadarajan. Neyveli Venkatesh on the Mridangam performs beautifully and the artists all share a great rapport.

 


Footnote (Lyrics) :

பல்லவி
சந்திரன் ஒளியில் அவளைக் கண்டேன்
சரணம் என்று புகுந்து கொண்டேன்

அனுபல்லவி
இந்திரியங்களை வென்று விட்டேன்
எனதென்றாசையைக் (எனது என்ற ஆசையை) கொன்று விட்டேன்

சரணம் 1
பயன் எண்ணாமல் உழைக்க சொன்னாள்
பக்தி செய்து பிழைக்க சொன்னாள்
துயரில்லாதெனை செய்து விட்டாள்
துன்பம் என்பதை கொய்து விட்டாள்

சரணம் 2
மீன்கள் செய்யும் ஒளியைச் செய்தாள்
வீசி நிற்கும் வளியைச் செய்தாள்
வான்கணுள்ள வெளியைச் செய்தாள்
வாழி நெஞ்சிற்க் களியைச் செய்தாள்

Transliteration

pallavi
chandiran oLiyil avaLaik-kaNDEn
sharaNam endru pugundu koNDEn

anupalllavi
indiriyangaLai vendru viTTEn
enadenrAsaiyaik-kondru viTTEn

Charanam 1
payaneNNAmal uzhaikka sonnAL
bhakti seidu pizhaikka sonnAL
tuyarillAdenai seidu viTTAL
tunbamenbadai koidu viTTAL

Charanam 2
mIngaL seyyum oLiyai seidAL
vIsi nirkkum vaLiyai seidAL
vAngaLuLLa veLiyai seidAL
vAzhi nenjirk-kaLiyai seidAL

Translation

I saw her in a moonlit night and sought refuge in her.

I have controlled my senses and destroyed the desire of ‘mine’.

She told me to work without counting on the results (karma yoga?), she told me to live in devotion. Thus, she has removed all affliction, she has rooted out all pain and suffering.

She created starlight, she created the blowing whirlwind. She created the outer space, she created the joy in our hearts.

 

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Subramanya Bharathi

Ninnai Charanadainthen

Subramanya Bharathi

It has been in my mind for sometime to mention the poetry of Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921). There is so much of his poetry that I like that it is difficult to decide where to start! A prolific writer of prose and poetry, he is one of the National Poets of India. He was also a Nationalist who fought for Indian Independence and a social reformer. I can not begin to say how important he is to the Tamil people; he is part of their identity. His songs are sung often in Carnatic Music concerts; they also make an appearance in Tamil films.

I am sure that this wonderful poet’s work will appear again and again in my blog. For today, I have selected the song Ninnai Charanadainthen (see footnote), set to music and sung by the incomparable Ilayaraja for the film Bharathi (2000). I believe that it has been set to Raga Puriya Dhanashree of the Hindustani tradition. I love this soothing rendition by Ilayaraja, whose genius I salute. 


Footnote (Lyrics)
:

பல்லவி

நின்னைச் சரணடைந்தேன் — கண்ணம்மா!
நின்னைச் சரணடைந்தேன்!

சரணங்கள்

பொன்னை உயர்வைப் புகழை விரும்பிடும்
என்னைக் கவலைகள் தின்னத் தகாதென்று (நின்னை)

மிடிமையும் அச்சமும் மேவியென் நெஞ்சில்
குடிமை புகுந்தன, கொன்றவை போக்கென்று (நின்னை)

தன்செய லெண்ணித் தவிப்பது தீர்ந்திங்கு
நின்செயல் செய்து நிறைவுபெறும் வண்ணம் (நின்னை)

துன்ப மினியில்லை, சோர்வில்லை, தோற்பில்லை,
அன்பு நெறியில் அறங்கள் வளர்த்திட (நின்னை)

நல்லது தீயது நாமறியோம் அன்னை!
நல்லது நாட்டுக! தீமையை ஓட்டுக! (நின்னை)

Translation :

I surrender to thee, the Ultimate
I surrender to thee!

I, who yearn for riches, status and fame, 
do not wish to be eroded by these yearnings..(I surrender to thee)

Cowardice and fear spread in my heart and
make it their home. To let these perish (I surrender to thee)

May my revelling in conceit end here and
may I fulfil what you destined for me.. so (I surrender to thee)

No more sorrows, no more despair, no defeats!
So as to nurture noble things by Love (I surrender to thee)

I lack wisdom to differentiate evil from good [Oh mother]
Let good prevail and evil perish! (I surrender to thee)

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Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, Ilayaraja, Subramanya Bharathi, Tamil Film Music