This wonderful kriti on Lord Ganesha composed by Saint Tyagaraja, is indeed a masterpiece in the Raaga Sowrashtra. This kriti is a part of “Prahlada Bhakti Vijaya” – a musical drama (opera) composed by Tyagaraja.
Here Tyagaraja urges all the devotees to worship (sevimparaare) Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha, the One who is worshipped by Lord Brahma, is coming dancing beautifully (Baaga Natimpuchu). ” Oh! Devotees offer your salutaions to Him” says Tyagaraja.
He having accepted the offerings – jack fruit, coconut and jambu fruit etc .. from his devotees, is coming here dancing with heavy resounding steps, with Sri Hari in his heart. Lord Ganapathy dancing in different rhythms and steps is being glorified by Tyagaraja (vividagatula dhithalaangumani). The kriti overflows with sweet devotion!
Sowrashtra is a sampoorna vakra raaga derived from the 17th mela Suryakantham. A raaga which evokes Bhakti is usually rendered in vilamba. Mangalam is usually sung in this raaga. Saint Tyagaraja is probabily the only composer to have composed a kriti on Lord Ganesha in this majestic raaga.
This kriti sung by the world renowned Carnatic Classical Music Vocalists Smt. Haripriya and Smt. Shanmukhapriya popularly known as Priya Sisters. Here’s the link..
shrI gaNapatini sEvimpa rArE shrta mAnavulArA
vAgAdhipati su-pUjala cEkoni bAga natimpucu veDlina
panasa nArikElAdi jambU phalamula nAraginci ghana tarambagu mahipai padamulu
ghallu ghallana nunci anyamu hari caraNa yugamulanu hrdayAmbujamuna nunci
vinayamunanu tygarAja vinutuDu vividha gatula dittaLAngumani veDalina
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“Guru” – teacher, remover of ignorance, one represents the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) and who is even beyond them – the Parabrahma.
Who is a Guru? In this composition, Saint Tyagaraja described two qualities of a Guru. One whose mind is NISHCHALA (One who is not disturbed by the ongoings of worldly issues and whose mind is calm under all circumstances) and NIRMALA (Pure – One who is devoid of the six inner enemies – Kaama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya). He indeed is qualified to be a Guru.
Tyagaraja attributes these qualities to none other than Lord Raama . Tyagaraja is now a disciple of Lord Raama. As a disciple, he tells his Guru (Lord Raama), that his mind which is immersed in the worldly matters is disturbed and agitated. It knows no peace. Hence the Saint seeks the grace of the Lord to help him to reclaim his mind.
It is only a Guru who purifies the mind like a Sallaki Seed (guruvu cillaginca) which purifies the water by removing the mud. The Guru is like the Bee or the Wasp (guruvE bhramaramu) who transforms the disciple and guides him to his own State of Perfection. The Guru is the Sun (guruDE bhAskaruDu) who dispels the darkness of spiritual ignorance from the student and leads him unto the Light of Spiritual Knowledge. Guru himself represents the ultimate (the highest truth) to be realised and attained. Tyagaraja concludes by surrendering himself to the Lord who indeed is the Guru of all gurus – the Sole Protector of the world.
It is noteworthy that Tyagaraja has composed this kriti in Dhanyasi – a raaga most suited for emoting Bhakti Bhava
nI cittamu nishcalamu nirmalamani ninnE namminAnu
nA cittamu vancana cancalamani nanu viDa nADakumi shrI rAma
guruvu cillaginca guruvE bhramaramu guruDE bhAskaruDu guruDE bhadruDu
guruDE uttamagati guruvu nI vAnukoNTi dharanu dAsuni brOva tyAgarAjanuta
Among numerous compositions of Tyagaraja where he goes all out to explain the significance and importance of Hari Naama, this kriti stands out where he describes the method of Maanasa[mind] puja. What bhagya indeed that we have a human life where we can chant the name of Lord Raama. He says Nara Janmame janmamu. Indeed this is also echoed in Purandaradasa’s composition Maanava Janma Doddadu. A life where one can chant the divine name of Lord Raama is all that Tyagaraja asks for.
On a platform (Vedika) adorned with Swaras born out of Naada, Tyagaraja visualises a beautiful golden pedestal (Kanaka Peeta) called the Mind. There he installs Lord Raama, the Jewel of his heart (hridaya bhooshana). At the lotus feet of the Lord-of-his-heart, the Saint offers Naama-pushpa Archana (offering of the flowers of the Lord’s names). It is important to note that there is nothing more PURE than a clear, calm and quiet mind devoid of passion, anger, jealousy, greed etc. A pure mind full of bhakti (devotion) is all that the Lord wants from us. Lord Krishna himself says in the Bhagavad Geeta, “a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a drop of water if offered with devotion, I accept that devout offering.”
…..only then can one attain fulfillment in life!
nAma kusumamulacE pUjincE nara janmamE janmamu manasA
shrIman mAnasa kanaka pIThamuna celaga jEsikoni vara shivarAma
nAdasvaramanu vara navaratmapu vEDikapai sakala lIla vinOduni
paramAtmuni shrI rAmuni pAdamulanu tyAgarAja hrd bhUSaNuni