Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A visit to tyAgarAjA temple- tiruvArUr

In one of my earlier posts in December, while posting about my concert for Brahma Gana Sabha on 27.12.08, I had said that I would write a separate post on the kriti "hastivadanAya" in the Raga navroj, a composition of Muthuswami Dikshitar. (I had sung this kriti in this particular concert.)

It was on 19.01.2005 - Sri.N.V.Subramaniam of saraswathi vaggeyakAra trust had organized a "musical visit" for a small group of musicians, to the tyAgarAjA temple, tiruvArUr. It was a unique experience..

The group of musicians included Sri.Tiruvengadu Jayaraman, Sri.Tirupunthuruthi Venkatesan,Sri.R.K.Sriramkumar, Smt.Prema Rengarajan, Smt.Sumathi Krishnan and myself. We chose all the Kritis of Sri.Muthuswami Dikshitar composed on the different deities in this famous temple in tiruvArUr and each one of us rendered around 5 to 6 kritis.The total number of kritis covered from morning to evening was 51 :-)(40 kritis on various deities + kamalAmbA navAvarNa kritis sung in unison)

The most interesting feature was that we started our journey into the temple that morning and sang the respective songs standing in front of the respective sannidhis (shrines). We had no mikes, no accompaniments. This kind of ambience to sing, was simply wonderful.

The grand finale to this journey around the temple was the group singing of the "kamalAmbA navAvarNa" kritis. All of us sat in front of the shrine and during the evening "Deeparadhanai", we sang these kritis in unison. The vAra kriti budhamAshrayAmi(nAttakurinji) was also sung in unison at the respective shrine inside the temple.

I sang the five kritis hastivadanAya (Navroj), sundaramUrtim(takkA), dakshiNAmUrthe(shankarAbharaNam), tyAgarAjE(sArangA) and neelOtpalAmbA jayati(nArAyaNagowla).

(I am singing the kriti dakshiNAmUrthe in front of the sannidhi)

This was the first time I sang the kriti hastivadanAya and that too, standing in front of the gaNapati sannidhi !! (this is one of the shOdasha gaNapati kritis)

Hence, each time I sing this song in a concert, I am reminded of this trip to tiruvArur. :-)


Sathej said...

Thats nice! :) Must have been a wonderful experience..Nice pics too:)

preeya said...

Hi Gayathri,
i enjoy reading your blog. and look forward to your posts. enjoyed reading your experiences at thiruvarur. also do share your favourite raagams, songs, composers and how they have influenced your style of singing.want to know more of your views and experiences singing songs of oothukkadu venkata subbaiyer and ambujam krishna. i just love them.

priya ram

Prasanna said...

Thanks for the interesting post.Have a couple of queries:

Are the Shodasha Kritis based on the various Ganapthis in the Tyagaraja temple?

Is Sri Maha ganapthi (Gowlai) also part of the same?Isn't it on the deity in the Kamalalayam tank?


Anonymous said...

Definitely a unique experience to cherish. Believe, it must have brought you a sense of contentment. You artistes also need appreciation for taking out some time amidst your busy schedule, to devote some for yourselves and to do what you like. It is a way to salute the great composers!

Thanks for sharing it with us as promised.

Infact, I have always liked your rendition in front of the goddess at Sringeri Mutt, T Nagar (every year) after the concert is over; without mike, accompaniment. In a concert, you sing for rasikas. In contrary, you praise the lord through hymns / kritis while facing Him. The difference is bound to be there and is very much felt. That is a bonus track to the listeners who stay back for arathi.


Sankar said...

What an opportunity to sing the compositions at the very place where Our great composers sang them, in an overflow of bliss and ecstasy at having tasted divinity.

Given that carnatic music is all about expression of one's love for God, how nice it would be if all musicians performed with a sense of reverence and Bhakti on stage - it would help the audience appreciate the Bhakti/emotional aspect of the song than just taste the Raga Bhavam.



The blog in the below link captures this.

Gayathri Girish said...


Yes, reverence and Bhakti is a very essential component in our music.

There is no link appearing in your comment. Can you please check and give it again?


Gayathri Girish said...


Muthuswami Dikshitar has composed on all the 16 forms (shOdasha) of gaNapati, but it seems to be a myth that all of them were sung on the deities at the tiruvArUr temple. (tiruvArUr is also known as sripuram, kamalAlayam and mUlAdhAra ksetrA)

Out of the authenticated kritis of MD on gaNapati, the kritis

ucchishta gaNapatau(kAsirAmakriya)
vallabhA nAyakasya(begadA)
vAtApi gaNapatim(hamsadhwani)
sri mUlAdhArachakra(sri)
sri mahAgaNapati(gowLa)

have been composed on the deities in the tyAgarAja temple,tiruvArUr.

(The gowLa kriti sri mahAgaNapati was composed on the shrine of gaNapati located just outside the tyAgarAja temple,on the banks of the kamalAlayA tank).


Sankar said...

It was not a link below, rather the one linked to my name in that comment. (It was a toon made in a lighter vein )

Do you, going forward, plan to upload recordings of some of your favourite songs to this blog ?

It would sure generate lot more traffic and activity in your blog.


SAI<=>MUSIC said...

Thats really cool!!! but its really not-so-cool in the sense that you have just crossed past my place and u did not tell me mam!!! jus kidding... anyway...its so nice to know such trips r being organised and that spirit of singing in temples where the compositions were created should be really some great spiritual exercise and also an enriching experience. feeling happy for u!!!:)

MyTiruvarur.com said...

all the best...

MyTiruvarur.com said...

nice... and all the best.

visit: http://www.MyTiruvarur.com