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Friday, December 31, 2010

Ela Ni Dayaradu : Thyagaraja : Atana

Elaa nee dhayaraadhu - baalakanakamaya
raagam: aThaaNaa 


Lyrics from : karnatic.com




29 dheera shankaraabharaNam janya
Aa: S R2 M1 P N3 S
Av: S N3 D2 P M1 P G3 R2 S

taaLam: aadi
 

Composer: Tyaagaraaja
Language: Telugu


pallavi
Ela nI dayarAdu parAku jEsE vELa samayamu gAdu


anupallavi
bAla kanakamaya cEla sujana paripAla shrI ramAlOla vidhrta sharajAlaA
shubada karunAlavAla ghananIla navya vana mAlikA bharaNa (Ela)



caraNam 1
rArA dEvAdi dEva! rArA mahAnubhAva rArA rAjIvanEtra raghuvara putrA
sAratara sudhA pUra hrdaya parivAra jaladhi gambhIra danuja samhAra
madhana sukumara budha janavihAra sakala shrutisAra nAdupai
(Ela)



caraNam 2
rAjAdhirAja muni pUjitapAda ravirAjalOcana sharaNya ati lAvaNya
rAjadharanuta virAjaturaga sura rAja vandita pAda-aja janaka dina-
rAjakOTi samatEja danuja gajarAja nicaya mrgarAja jalajamukha
(Ela)



caraNam 3
yAgarakSaNa parama bhAgavatArcita yOgIndra su-hrdbhAvita Adyanta
rahita nAgashayana vara nAgavarada punnAga sumadhara sadAgha-
mOcana sadA gatija dhrta padAgamAnta cara rAgarahita shrI tyAgarAjanuta
(Ela)



Core Meaning:

Ela nI dayarAdu parAku jEsE vELa samayamu gAdu  

Thyagaraja starts with a very comfortable and familiar calling of the lord : he calls him 'Ela'. It is a word used in telugu where you know the person you are talking to and are in a comfortable position to address him in the tone of the person who has known him for years. "Hey my dear boy! Come here" is the tone adopted here. He asks him why he has not cared till now. It is the time to care and yet he has not cared to come till now. Is it the way to treat me? There is no time for such things! 

bAla kanakamaya cEla sujana paripAla shrI ramAlOla vidhrta sharajAlaA
shubada karunAlavAla ghananIla navya vana mAlikA bharaNa (Ela) 

Thyagaraja continues in the same tone. Here he says : O my dear boy! O Bala! You are full of golden garments! You are the protector of good virtuous people.You are one who is taken up by Lakshmi! You are the one who does 'jala' with your arrows. Sara = arrows; jala = who does magic with it. Here, it means the one who wields a whole host of arrows. 

You are the one who bestows auspeciousness. Shubada = auspeciousness; from the root word 'shubam'. You are the one who is full of mercy : 'Karunalavala'. You look like a dark rain cloud and colored a dark blue : 'Ghana nila'. You wear garlands made of fresh forest flowers : 'navya vana malika abharana'

rArA dEvAdi dEva! rArA mahAnubhAva rArA rAjIvanEtra raghuvara putrA
sAratara sudhA pUra hrdaya parivAra jaladhi gambhIra danuja samhAra
madhana sukumara budha janavihAra sakala shrutisAra nAdupai

The music reaches a cresendo here. The beauty of telugu language comes to the fore here. Thyagaraja continues. "Rara"  : come! Come oh my boy! Come! Who are you? I know who you are. You are the head of all devas (devadhideva). Come! You are the most noble person (mahanubhava). Come! You have lotus eys (Rajiva Netra). You are the blessed descentant of king Raghu (Raghu vara putra). Please do come.

Oh my dear excellent boy! Your heart is full of bliss. So does your family's (of saints and people like me!). You are majestic like an ocean. You are the slayer of asuras (dhanuja)

Oh you are so beautiful. You are like cupid in your good looks. You reside in the hearts of wise people and saints! You are the essence of all vedas and sastras and all knowledge. In spite of all this, why are you unconcerned about me? (nadupai)

rAjAdhirAja muni pUjitapAda ravirAjalOcana sharaNya ati lAvaNya
rAjadharanuta virAjaturaga sura rAja vandita pAda-aja janaka dina-
rAjakOTi samatEja danuja gajarAja nicaya mrgarAja jalajamukha

You are the king of kings (Raja adhi Raja) . Your feet are those praised by munis (Muni pujita padha)  and sages and the wise ones. You have eyes as the Sun and the Moon (Ravi raja lochana). You are the one who offers refuge to those who have none. You are the most beautiful one.  

You are the one who is praised by Lord Shiva, who wears the crescent moon (Raja dhara nuta). You are the Lord Vishnu who flies on the majestic bird Garuda (turaga viraja). You are the one whose feet are worshipped by Lord Indra (sura raja vanditha pada). You are the one who is the father of Brahma (aja janaka)

You are the God of the day (Dina Raja)! Your splendour and brilliance is like a crore Suns put together (koti sama teja). You are like the lion, the king of animals, which slays multitude of elephants. Like that, you kill all the demons and asuras. You are the who has the lotus face. 

yAgarakSaNa parama bhAgavatArcita yOgIndra su-hrdbhAvita Adyanta
rahita nAgashayana vara nAgavarada punnAga sumadhara sadAgha-
mOcana sadA gatija dhrta padAgamAnta cara rAgarahita shrI tyAgarAjanuta

You are the one who protects yagas (yaga raksana). You are the one who is worshipped by the highest of the devotees (parama bhagavatha archita). You are the one who is loved and resides in the hearts of great yogis (yogindra suhrd bhavitha). You are one who has no start or end (Adi anta rahita). You are like a blessed elephant who takes rest on a serpent (naga shayana vara naga). You wear the flowers of punnaga (punnaga suma dhara). You are the one who always gives us freedom from our sins (sadha agha mochana). Your feet are always held by the one born of the wind God (sada gatija dhrta pada) ! Agamas and sastras dwell in you (agama anta cara)! You are the one who is without any desires (raga rahita)! You are the one who is praised by this Thyagaraja!
           
An interesting point about this song as given by karnatic.com  is this :  

This is a song which starts with the anupallavi first. The pallavi is normally sung later. This is also a song composed by Thyagaraja when he finally saw Rama. 

http://thyagaraja-vaibhavam.blogspot.com tells this : 


In the 1st charanam, in the place of 'madana sukumara", there is also a practice of singing the words "dasaradha kumara". But, 'madana sukumara' is what is used here.

My point of view : In terms of rhyming, both sound good. However, after listening closely to both Yesudas and TVS singing, I decided to use only 'madana sukumara'. Also, in the entire song, Thyagaraja continuously talks about Rama the youth and his beauty. So, 'madana sukumara' is consistent with this usage.

Beauty of the song and the stories from it: 

Thyagaraja sings this in Raag Atana. Atana typically has a very majestic tenor to it. Almost commanding! Though thyagaraja implores the lord in every single sentence, the tenor of the Raaga lends it a commanding quality. And, the way Thyagaraja begins, with the 'Ela'! sets the tone for the entire song. 

bAla kanakamaya cEla sujana paripAla shrI ramAlOla vidhrta sharajAlaA
shubada karunAlavAla ghananIla navya vana mAlikA bharaNa (Ela) 

In the anupallavi, thyagaraja tells us about the reason for Ram's birth - the reason why Lord Vishnu took the Rama avatar. The key reason is " sujana paripala" - to protect the good ones who were being tormented by the evil like Ravana. To do this, Rama did magic with his bow and arrows : "vidhrta shara jala" He killed fourteen thousand demons - the Kara Dhooshanas all alone. That is the magic being talked about here. And, the hint 'vana malikabharana' - the one who wears the garland of forest flowers gives us all the clues about the story here!

rArA dEvAdi dEva! rArA mahAnubhAva rArA rAjIvanEtra raghuvara putrA
sAratara sudhA pUra hrdaya parivAra jaladhi gambhIra danuja samhAra
Madhana sukumara budha janavihAra sakala shrutisAra nAdupai

The second reason for Rama's birth is talked about here. Though Thyagaraja gave ample hint of this in the previous charanam itself, he clarifies it here. Rama is Devadi deva. He is mahanubhava. He is beautiful with his lotus eyes. He is majestic like the ocean. He is the essense of all the vedas and sastras. He resides in the heart of jnanis and sages. But, all this is for what? All this is to kill the demons!! All this is for "danuja samhara"!The reason for the avatar of Rama is to get rid of demons such as Kara, Dhooshana and Ravanas. That is being talked about by Thyagaraja in this charanam.

yAgarakSaNa parama bhAgavatArcita yOgIndra su-hrdbhAvita Adyanta
rahita nAgashayana vara nAgavarada punnAga sumadhara sadAgha-
mOcana sadA gatija dhrta padAgamAnta cara rAgarahita shrI tyAgarAjanuta

 Finally, in this charanam, Thygaraja talks about Lord Vishnu and not just Rama. Lord Vishnu delivers us all from our sins. He has no desires and the moment we become one with Him, we become desireless too. Like the tamil verse 'Tiruk Kural' says, 

" பற்றுக பற்றற்றான் பற்றினை அப்பற்றை 
  பற்றுக பற்று விடற்கு" 

means this : have desire for the one who has no desires. And, have that desire so that you can be cured of all desires.

Like this, Thygaraja talks about the final destination in the 3rd charanam : Vishnu is without any desire. He resides in the heart of yogis who have no desires. Like that, by constantly worshipping him, let us also become ones without any desire. 

In this song, the pain of Thygaraja comes through clearly. His waiting for years, the love for Lord Rama, the pain that he has not yet seen the Lord, the fact that the Lord protects all the sadhus and good ones and yet he has not yet come to protect Thyagaraja, the fact that the Lord resides in all the yogis and yet Thyagaraja is not able to see the Lord in his heart - all that pours forth. 

An absolutely gem of a song. Pure poetry throughout. The language dances around. The words weave magic.  

Take the anupallavi:bala, cela, paripala, rama lola, shara jala, karunala vala, ghana nila...the "la" sound goes on and on..

Take the 1st charanam : Rara, rajiva netra, raguvara putra...and then saratara, sudha pura, parivara, gambira, samhara, sukumara, janavihara, shruti sara...the 'ra' sound goes on and on..

Take the 2nd charanam. It is full of Rajas! Rajadhiraja, raviraja, rajadharanuta, virajaturaga, sura raja, aja janaka, dina raja, sama teja, danuja, gajaraja, mrgaraja, jalaja...

Take the 3rd charanam : it is full of  'agas'  : 'naga' shayana, 'naga' varada, pun 'naga', sadhagha, 'sada ga' tija, 'padhaga' manta, cara raga, 'thyaga' rajanuta... 
The words dance around you. When it is sung by great musicians, you can see Lord Rama in all His splendour. You can see him doing mayajal with his bow and arrow. You can see him saving sadhus and munis. You can see him smiling and listening to the song. You can see the saint Thyagaraja calling out for Ram. You can see Thyagaraja crying throughout the song, calling Him to come and rescue him.  An absolutely beautiful, majestic song.

Song in Tamil : (From http://thyagaraja-vaibhavam.blogspot.com : This site also gives the word by word meaning of the song in both english and also in tamil. Beautifully written)

ப. ஏல நீ தய ராது பராகு
ஜேஸே(வே)ல ஸமயமு காது


அ. பால கனக மய சேல ஸுஜன
பரிபால ஸ்ரீ ரமா லோல வித்ருத ஸர
ஜால ஸுபத கரு(ணா)லவால கன
நீல நவ்ய வன மாலி(கா)பரண (ஏ)


ச1. ராரா தே(வா)தி தேவ ராரா மஹானுபாவ
ராரா ராஜீவ நேத்ர ரகு வர புத்ர
ஸாரதர ஸுதா பூர ஹ்ருதய
பரிவார ஜலதி கம்பீர தனுஜ
ஸம்ஹார மதநசுகுமார புத ஜன
விஹார ஸகல ஸ்ருதி ஸார நாதுபை (ஏ)


ச2. ரா(ஜா)தி ராஜ முனி பூஜித பாத ரவி
ராஜ லோசன ஸரண்ய அதி லாவண்ய
ராஜ தர நுத விராஜ துரக ஸுர
ராஜ வந்தித ப(தா)ஜ ஜனக தின
ராஜ கோடி ஸம தேஜ தனுஜ கஜ
ராஜ நிசய ம்ருக ராஜ ஜலஜ முக (ஏ)


ச3. யாக ரக்ஷண பரம பாகவ(தா)ர்சித
யோ(கீ)ந்த்ர ஸுஹ்ருத்-பாவி(தா)(த்ய)ந்த ரஹித
நாக ஸயன வர நாக வரத
புன்னாக ஸும தர ஸ(தா)க மோசன
ஸதா கதிஜ த்ருத ப(தா)க(மா)ந்த சர
ராக ரஹித ஸ்ரீ த்யாகராஜ நுத (ஏ)

Songs that you can listen to / download : 

One of my favorites - though it is from a film (salangai oli) - is sung by Janaki and goes upto only the first charanam. But, I think the beauty of the words and the song come out clearly and beautifully through janaki's voice : http://www.mediafire.com/?qrquwmdzutm

Other possible downloads : (From : arvindsdad.blogspot.com)
  1. ttp://www.mediafire.com/?t0y49uecgze Baala kanakamaya - K. J. Yesudoss
  2. http://www.mediafire.com/?lafvdreg3bj Baala kanakamaya - T. V. Sankaranarayanan
  3. http://www.mediafire.com/?xicnkwwbm20 Baala kanakamaya - Nithyashree
  4. http://www.mediafire.com/?2mbgtaeiwdk Baala kanakamaya - Aruna Sairam
  5. http://www.mediafire.com/?vmhvrbb2101 Baala kanakamaya - S. Janaki
  6. http://www.mediafire.com/?hujwgxxaml1 Baala kanakamaya - Sowmya
Some Youtube moments for you: 
1) Nityashree Mahadevan :
2) Malladi Brothers:
3) MS :

5 comments:

  1. Hello,thanks for the work you are doing and keep it up.
    BTW,
    Ela.. doesnt mean informal address,it just means why?? what you are talking about is Era..

    ela nee daya raadu?? means why am I not being graced by you??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, for this beautiful and thoughtful explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Absolutely commendable work, thank you for this. If there is one thing to change, it is along the lines of your viewer "Vinay"'s comments. "Ela nee daya raadu" would be more aptly interpreted as "How could I not be graced by you" or "why am I not being graced by you" .... the likening of the lord to a child/boy starts perhaps with the "Bala" part.
    Again - really really commendable work. Thank you for doing this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Its not madhana kumara rather its "Dasharatha kumara" - means Oh Son of King Dasharatha.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Marvellous, heart melting and the meaning, dissolves me in it. I just wonder the position of Thagaraja. Very great.

    ReplyDelete