EKA-KRITHI RAGAS: VIJAYASHRI – JANYA OF MELA (47) RAGAM SUVARNANGI

The mela Suvarnangi (some call this wrongly as Swarnangi) is one of the very rare ragas; out of the very few janyas of Suvarnangi, only the ragam Vijayashri is well known. If one goes on searching for the compositions in this raga, finally it will lead to the only Thyagaraja krithi, “vara NArada NArAyana”. Though there are few other compositions, none of these are heard in concerts; the Thyagaraja krithi still holds the ‘Eka Raga krithi’ title. Vijayashri is a shadava symmetrical raga, losing Dhaivatham from the janaka raga notes; the ragaswaroopam can be found as:

S R1 G2 M2 P N2 S // S N2 P M2 G2 R1 S

Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal places it under melas (41) Pavani and (47) Suvarnangi

(a) under Pavani mela:

S G R G M P N S - S N P M G R S

S R G M P N S - S N P M G R S

S R G M P D N S - S N D P M G R S

(b) under Suvarnangi mela:

S G R G M P N S - S N P M G R S

S R G M P N S - S N P M G R S (the normal spec)

It seems that the Saint was the first to introduce this raga and both the other Trinities have not composed in this; there is every possibility that Thyagaraja would have obtained the details from the book “Swararnava”, given to him by Sage Narada. This is evident in the krithi, which is composed as thanks to the Sage. Sadguru has composed many krithis on Sage Narada;

Sri NArada nAda – ragam – Kanada

Vara NArada Narayana – ragam Vijayashri

NArada guru – ragam Darbar

NArada muni – ragam Panthuvarali

Sri NArada muni – ragam Bhairavi,

all the above commonly known as NArada pancharathnas

Another popular kriti "NArada gAna lola" in the raga Atana is sometimes included in the above set. Though this krithi begins with the name Narada, this song is actually in praise of Lord Rama (or any of Lord Vishnu's avathars since there is no explicit mention except as "blue hued" (neela)), who is captivated by NArada's music (NArada gAna lola) and not on Narada himself. (The composition 'nAradamuni vedalina' is a daru from the Prahlada bhakti vijayam, and cannot be claimed to be part of any set. It does describe NArada as having a golden veena, and being the benefactor of Prahlada).

Compositions:

Anandaroopam – Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Neelayatakshi – Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Sringeri nilaye Sharade – Dr. M.Balamuraleekrishna

Vara NArada Narayana - Thyagaraja

In the composition, ‘vara NArada’, Sadguru prays to sage NArada whom he describes the guru for all the worlds. The meaning of the krithi:

“Glorious NArada! You are perpetually experiencing the Bliss arising out of your meditation of Narayana, the Lord of Shri. The radiance of your body outshines the splendor of the moon of the spring. Grant me spiritual wisdom and guide me in the path of devotion. The Lord Himself has declared that you are the preceptor par excellence in this world and He is you. What more? Bestower of auspiciousness! Worshipped by Thyagaraja!”

We shall listen to vid. Amrutha Venkatesh, giving a wonderful rendition of this krithi, with a brief alapana also at the beginning.


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