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.

vina rAda
raagam: dEvagAndhAri
taaLam: DesAdi
Composer: Tyagaraja
Language: Telugu


vina rAdA nA manavi vina rAdA nA manavi


kanakAga kAvETi ranga srI kAnta kAntalella kAminchi pilichitE

caraNam 1

tEjinekki bAga teruvuna rAga rAjasatulu jUchi rammani pilichitE

caraNam 2

bhAgadEya vaibhOga ranga srI tyAgarAjanuta taruNulu pilichitE


vina rAdA – please listen
nA manavi – to my request

kanakAga – golden hued body
kAvETi ranga – Ranga, who protects
Sri kAnta – lord of Lakshmi
kAntalella – the women
kAminchi – with love
pilichitE – calling you

caraNam 1
tEjinekki – ascending the chariot
bAga teruvuna – on the streets
rAga – as you come
rAjasatulu – the royal women
jUchi – looking at you
Rammani – to come
pilichitE – calling you

caraNam 2
bhAgadEya – we are fortunate
vaibhOga ranga – celebrating Ranga
srI tyAgarAjanuta – praised by tyAgarAja
taruNulu – the women
pilichitE – calling you


Oh RanganAtha, listen to my request, please! Oh golden hued kAveti RangA, the lord of Lakshmi, the women are calling you passionately, after seeing you as processioning on the chariot through the streets, the royal maidens and other women are calling you, as you are praised by Tyagaraja, we are the fortunate to witness the celebrated RangA and please bless us.

          As the month of kArteekam the prominent month for worship of Siva and Siva Linga abhishekam follows the month of mArgasiram where the prominent month for worship of Vishnu/RanganAtha begins. The worship of Sri RanganAtha begins from mid December with singing Thiruppavai (30 songs – one for each day), nagara sankeerthanam (an early morning procession of devotees singing songs on lord Vishnu), chanting the VishNu mantra “Om namO nArAyaNaya”, reading/listening to Vishnu puranam in the evenings and special worships in the temples for an entire month. This is one of the Sri Ranga pancharatna krithis. The other krithis are JUthamu rAre in Arabhi, Karuna joodavayya in SAranga, Raju vedale in ThOdi and O Rangasayee in KAmbhoji. Of the five songs, O ranga sayee is the crown jewel krithi, where Tyagaraja praises & depicts Sri Ranganatha in a beautiful form. Enjoy this song and listen to all other songs in praise of RanganAtha.

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 worked as a music lecturer at Smt. Durgabai Deshmukh Music College.  She has performed extensively in India and abroad.  She currently lives in Bangalore.


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