Carnatic Compositions – The Essence and Embodiment
– Aparna Munukutla Gunupudi
Our intent for this essay is to highlight the great features of the language, emotion and melody (rAgam) of a krithi (song/composition) and also to provide the song for your listening pleasure. Most of you may know these krithis, but when you discover the distinct features of a krithi, you may enjoy a new beauty or an attribute in the krithi.
Note: Krithi is defined as a song containing pallavi, anupallavi and charanam that have high musical value and can be sung elaborately with improvisations. Whereas, Keerthana also has a pallavi, anupallavi and charanam but is sung in a single form or simpler pattern.
Composer: Chinna krishna Dasar
gajAnana yanuchu sadA bhajana sEya rAdA
sajAtIya vijAtIya sakala bhEdam EmilEni cAmara karnuni gani pada sarOjamulanu vEdi
mOdakamula chEkonna navamohanAngudau Adi antamEmilEni
antarAnguDaina vAni anudinamunu bhajinci ataDE brahmamanuchu(nenchi)
gajAnana – GajAnana, lord Ganesha
Yanuchu – by calling
sadA – constantly
Bhajana – praise
sEya rAdA – won’t you do it?
sajAtIya – his own kind
vijAtIya – and other kind
Sakala – everybody
bhEdam – difference
EmilEni – with out
cAmara – fan like
Karnuni – eared
Gani – by looking
pada sarOjamulanu – lotus feet
vEdi – plead
mOdakamula – dumpling balls
chEkonna – holding in his hands
navamohanAngudau – fresh and beautiful
Adi – beginning
Antam – end
EmilEni – with out
antarAnguDaina – dwells in the hearts
vAni – him
Anudinamunu – every day
Bhajinci – praise
ataDE- only he is
brahmamanuchu(nenchi) – the brahma
Won’t you always pray/praise to lord gajAnana! Won’t you plead at his lotus feet who is the one with large fan like ears and the one with no difference between his kind or other kind and treats everybody equally. He looks fresh and beautiful by holding the rice dumpling balls in his hands, he has no beginning or the end and he dwells upon the hearts of the devotees. Pray to him everyday thinking that he is none other than the brahma.
Kritis of lord Ganesha need no new introduction! There are so many krithis in praise of him in many different languages. He is known as the remover of the obstacles. It is no secret that we encounter many obstacles in our lives on a daily basis. Therefore, year after year we celebrate Ganesh chaturthi, praying to him to remove all the obstacles. As the song details, he has no bias and treats everybody equally. Therefore, the Ganesha concept is spread across the oceans and is praised and worshiped by one and all, globally. Conceptually, that is the power driven by the faith in him. Physically, just thinking of the size of an elephant and its brute force gives us the strength to conquer any obstacles.
The power of music is profound
The joy of music is sweet and sound
The awe of music is abound
Music makes the world go round
Tanikella Chandra Bhanu is an accomplished Carnatic musician and a graded artist in All India Radio (AIR). She teaches music at Smt. Durgabai Deshmukh Music College. She has performed extensively in India and abroad. She currently lives in Bangalore.
Aparna Munukutla Gunupudi is a poet, lyricist and short story writer. She has written dance ballets such as Queen of Jhansi, Prasanna Ashtalakshmi, Usha Kalyanam, Sneham, Jamsetji Tata and they were performed in Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam styles. She wrote songs for “Prema Tarangini” an audio cassette released by noted music director Sri Manohar Murthy. She considers her parents, who provided and encouraged her in book reading, are her “gurus” and Sri Jandhyala Payayya Sastri as her writing mentor.