Value of OVK's contributions

Carnatic composers

Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#76  Postby vasanthakokilam » 24 May 2011 22:59

CML, for Ponbhairavi's hypothesis, we needed some data points if that view was around during that time. Your quote of Arunagirinathar provides that data. So in a way, this OVK composition is the "indication" ( "evidence" may be too strong ) that OVK may have subscribed to that view. You are right, if there are other compositions that provide similar "indication", then the quote-unquote around "indication" can be taken out ; ) Just so we do not go too far in the temple controversy itself, this is not about if that view is true or not, it is only about if that view was prevalent during that time.
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#77  Postby cmlover » 24 May 2011 23:11

Exactly VK! So these are only seeking the coordinates and the substance is immaterial and not a debating issue here..
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#78  Postby chitravina ravikiran » 25 May 2011 05:58

Excellent points raised by PB, VK, CML etc. A couple of doubts:

1. Wasn't Tirupati temple's gold-plating very recent?
2. Isn't Ambalam (as a town/city/temple) in Tamil literature more specific to Chidambaram?

The two taken together may help us grasp this further...
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#79  Postby cmlover » 25 May 2011 06:51

The word 'ambalam' is used very commonly in Malayalam to denote any temple. As a common noun and as a word affix it is still used in TN to denote a Siva temple and as a proper noun it indicates Chidambaram.

What was the original name for Tiruppati?
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#80  Postby Pratyaksham Bala » 25 May 2011 08:33

In Tamil 'ambalam' refers to a temple or a public meeting place.

In Peria Puranam (12th Century) Sekkizhar repeatedly refers to Mount Kailash as Tirumalai.
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#81  Postby chitravina ravikiran » 25 May 2011 08:43

What was the original name for Tiruppati?


Some of the names we normally see are: seshadri, seshachala, seshagiri, saptagiri, venkatadri, tirivenkatam etc. Interesting to see Kailasa being described as Tirupati too. I just read that Chidambaram is said to have been made using 21600 golden tiles and 72,000 golden nails. Tirupati has been gold-plated.

But nevertheless, interesting to see such teasers from OVK. I recall the debate the opening words of his 2nd Avarana krti - bhajasva shrI tripura sundarI (mAmapi) sparked off - until the rare context in which OVK had used a common word 'bhaja' was discovered.
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#82  Postby Ponbhairavi » 25 May 2011 11:26

Apparently we have no definite information as to when Tirupathi 's main shrine was gold plated.probably we may have to refer to Sthala puranam. But irrespective of that issue, let us reconsider.
ThUya niraivAna sudhA nirgunA jyothi ponnalE Anal ennA then comes the pause or hyphen mark
Golden can be,( without the slightest infringement to the text), taken to refer to the jyothi : idol covered with golden kavacham.
ambalam general meaning is temple or mandapam. By force of usage it has acquired the specific meaning of Chidambaram.(similarly tamil kOyil besides the general meaning has the specific meaning of Srirangam temple.In everyday's usage we would resort to the special meaning only if the common meaning does not fit. In this case if we make a start holding firmly on the specific meaning of Chidambaram, apparently we are not able to get a coherent whole so far. But if we take the general meaning it appears to provide some light and lead us somewhere.

Moreover, the fact that he has not composed any krithi on Tirupathi is a collateral support. because if there is one or if it is subsequently found that he has composed praising Srinivasa of Tirumalai kshethram my whole hypothesis would stand blown off.
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#83  Postby Pratyaksham Bala » 25 May 2011 12:57

cmlover wrote:What was the original name for Tiruppati?

The old name of Vengadam was pullikunDRam, land of Pulli, the Chieftain of kaLvars of toNDaimaNDalam. (aganAnURu)
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#84  Postby cmlover » 25 May 2011 21:30

There may be a whole host of sanskritized names for Tiruppathi subsequently. It was an age-old tamilian site and hence we need to look for a tamil name. I think the aganAnURu reference may be pulikunRam (where tigers roam). Another term for tiger is 'vEngai' and it was also called 'vEngai iDam' (place of tigers) = vEngiDam whence vEngiDa malayAn = venkiTeshvaran when sanskritized after Ramanuja reclaimed it for Vishnu. OVK may be familiar with these historical facts. But then he does not appear to be strongly committed to support them. If he was not afraid of expressing his views openly he would have said it explicitly. That is why he was perhaps posing the puzzle talking about the 'open secret'. The recent gold-plating of Tiruppati is not supportive of tracing his time line. We should also consider the alternate hypothesis as to whether this is a genuine OVK composition. Again let us keep in mind OVK is not a serious devotee of Muruga to elevate him above the Trinity!
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#85  Postby rshankar » 25 May 2011 22:46

cmlover wrote:Again let us keep in mind OVK is not a serious devotee of Muruga to elevate him above the Trinity!
Is the part I have bolded a fact-based statement?
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#86  Postby cmlover » 25 May 2011 23:17

No! Inferential.
Most of his songs are on Krishna with a predilection for dance; though his compositions range on other deities including minor deities like Surya, hanuman etc., It is difficult to say whether he had special allegiance to any one other than Lord Krishna since he hails from Mannarkudi where Krisnna worship is very popular and he even considers Krishna as his Guuru...

RK can confirm...
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#87  Postby chitravina ravikiran » 26 May 2011 06:06

Most of his songs are on Krishna


1. OVK definitely had a personal affinity for Lord Krishna but his family worshipped Devi. They have mentioned that they possess an idol of Devi which has been with them for a few generations even before the composer.

with a predilection for dance

2. I would not say most of his songs have a predilection for dance. Most are pure music pieces of the highest calibre.

3. However, many also happen to be suited for dance because of the rich tapestry of rasas he has woven, be it Vinayaka/Krishna/Shiva/Rama/Muruga. I cannot forget Dr Vyjayantimala Bali's soul-stirring portrayal of OVK's sankshepa Ramayana Ragamalika in Brahma Gana Sabha this year nor her powerful depiction of his Anjaneya Saptaratna krti - bhakta bhAgadhEyAnjanEya (Madhyamavati) which had the audience in tears.

4. There are a few score pieces where he has embedded specific jatis and he also composed tillanas. His unique masterpiece - the naTAngam in Gambheeranattai was probably never intended for a music recital (since it also has free-form verses/jatis).

5. OVK refers to or talks about music and dance in numerous pieces, mentions gamakas, sapta talas and other related aspects.

his compositions range on other deities including minor deities like Surya, hanuman etc.,

6. Apart from a few dozen operas like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavatam, Pranavopadesham and Daksha Yagam, I have so far seen around 10-12 songs each on Rama, Shiva, Muruga, Vinayaka and a smaller number of pieces each on Meenakshi, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Parthasarathy and various other kshetra krtis (Srirangam, Mylapore, Udupi, Pandarapur, Tiruvarur, Tirukkannapuram, Sikkil, Pazhani, Chidambaram and many more). There are songs on Surya, Aghora Veerabhadra and great personalities like Valmiki, Vyasa, Andal, Tirumangai Azhwar, Manickavachakar etc.

7. The largest number of even one-off songs are probably on Krishna.

8. There are several Sanskrit shlokas such as Madhava panchakam, Nrsimha panchakam, Ranganatha panchakam etc. There are also numerous free verses and poetry in Tamil - which are eminently suited for musical discourses.

he even considers Krishna as his Guru...


9. There are at least 15 sublime krtis on guru without ever mentioning a name (out of reverence and regard). Legend goes that he had a human spiritual guru but the Lord was his guru as far as music goes.

10. OVK's one-off songs on Radha are brilliant and significant - almost all other Carnatic composers have preferred to mention Rukmini more.

I have only given a bird's eye's view here but even here one can see that his colossal works naturally straddled music, dance, drama and spiritual discourses, leaving imprints of significant strength.

And this was no accident. Apart from his own genius, he lived during a period when the Tanjore area was a melting pot of various influences and when music of a very high quality was much closer to other art forms. Things gradually changed from late 1700s and things became more specialised (and definitely less demanding).
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#88  Postby chitravina ravikiran » 26 May 2011 07:28

The last para above set off another train of thought which I have shared in a new post:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16609
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#89  Postby cmlover » 26 May 2011 20:39

Thx for the details...
Did OVK ever mention about Arunachala Kavi who was coeval with him?
The Rama Natakams were however tuned into CM much later...
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#90  Postby chitravina ravikiran » 26 May 2011 23:41

Did OVK ever mention about Arunachala Kavi who was coeval with him?


No! But he composed his own Ramayana songs and several other one off songs. I have given below a Sanskrit composition on Lord Santana Ramaswami in Needamangalam. The melodic treatment of the raga is evocative, yet bright.

Sahana - Adi

P: sharaṇam yāmi shree santāna rāmaswāmi tvāmaham

A: sarasija nayana kōdanḍa pāṇi

M K dhara vitaraṇa guṇa janakajā ramaṇa sowbhāgya varada nipuṇa

C bhajamāna satya madhura mrdu tara - vachana nata sujana
nijadāsa hrt kumuda nichaya hita - charaṇa shruti ramaṇa
aja vamsha tilaka sārva bhowma - ayodhyā nagara sadana

M K nija kara dhrta kalamba gambheera nidhijā kucha kunkuma sindoora
bhuja ankita chandana shrngāra sphuTa bandhana lambita tooṇeera
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#91  Postby cmlover » 27 May 2011 03:43

Contrast with MD's version

P santAna rAmaswAminam saguNa
nirguNa swaroopam bhajarE ||
.
AP santatam yamunAmbApuri niva
santam nata santam hindOLa va
santamAdhavam jAnakee dhavam
sachchidAnanda vaibhavam Sivam

C santAna soubhAgya vitaraNam
sAdhujana hrudaya sarasija charaNam
chintAmaNyAlankruta gAtram
chinmAtram soorya chandra nEtram
antaranga guruguha samvEdyam
anruta jaDa dukkha rahitamanAdyam ||

Is YamunAmba puri same as Needamangalam?

I find OVK referring to Sita as 'nidhijA' whichis quite unique!
Has anybody used the same epithet subsequently?
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#92  Postby cmlover » 27 May 2011 03:58

Got my answer
Needamangalam Rama Temple (Santhanarama swamy temple)

Needamagalam santhana rama Temple is 30 km from Kumbakonam.
Moolava and Urchava deity rama sita lakshmana and hanuman.

Maharastra king pratab singh build the temple in 1761. queen name is yamunabal. so the place called as yamunambal in olden days now it is called as needamangalam.king prayed the lord rama and god the child. so it is famous for newley married person who look for the child.
take a dip in saketha tank in front of the temple and pray the rama to get the kids

source : http://www.netglimse.com/holidays/sri_r ... rama.shtml

The temple must have been built during OVK times and his composition may historically relate..
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#93  Postby chitravina ravikiran » 30 May 2011 06:50

Here is a bright composition on Lord Anjaneya. OVK's Anjaneya Saptaratna krtis are in Sanskrit.

Kēdāragowḷa Adi

P: veekṣhitōham dhanyōham
M K: vēgavara tanaya kamala nayanēna vidhi nuta hari pada vimala hrdayēna - iha (veekṣhitōham)

A: sākṣhi bhoota tapana sanga varēṇa
sarvadā shree rāma nāma smaraṇēna
MK: janaka sutā shishira vachana pātra chalita gagana vara sādhu mitrēṇa - iha (veekṣhitōham)

C: ātanka mukha vāli tanayādi atirava veeragaṇa ānata padēna
sādhaka viha sama tāraka pāṭhanēna dānava kula bheekara mukha varēṇa
M K: samudita madhuvana sanga tungēna dasharatha dvitanaya sankaṭa harēṇa
sumukha bhakti virachita vachanēna sulabha manōhara sukrta tapasēna - iha (veekṣhitōham)

OVK's treatment of the subject matter - in this case, Hanuman - is fascinating. He did not restrict himself to portraying him as just a rama-bhakta or even rama-dhoota. He almost made it a point to acknowledge and glorify Anjaneya's role in offering solace and help to Rama, Seeta and Lakshmana. This song is no exception as the beautifully phrased part in the final MK shows:

dasharatha dvitanaya sankaṭa harēṇa
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#94  Postby rshankar » 30 May 2011 06:55

Beautiful...
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#95  Postby cmlover » 30 May 2011 07:12

I think
dasharatha dvitanaya sankaṭa harēṇa
refers to his bringing the sanjeevi parvatam and reviving them.
What does
janaka sutā shishira vachana pātra chalita gagana vara sādhu mitrēṇa referring to?
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#96  Postby chitravina ravikiran » 30 May 2011 07:52

janaka sutā shishira vachana pātra


One deserving of cool words from Seeta (as in one who earned her benevolence).

calita gagana vara sādhu mitrēṇa


One who could use the akasha marga (fly) and was friend of devotees. (OR, one who travelled straight (sadhu) along with the sun (mitra), to learn from him.)

I wanted to check if it should be pātrēṇa?
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#97  Postby rshankar » 30 May 2011 08:38

cmlover wrote:I think
dasharatha dvitanaya sankaṭa harēṇa
refers to his bringing the sanjeevi parvatam and reviving them.
hanumAn brought the sanjIvini parvatam to revive lakshmaN; rAma was not affected. After reviving lakshmaNa, suSEna used the herbs to revive the warrriors who were felled in that day's battle. The only time when both rAma and lakhsmaNa were affected on the battlefield was when rAvaNa used the nAgAstra and bound both of them. hanuman invoked garuDa, seeing whom the snakes released the brothers and slithered away. daSaratha dvitanaya could refer to the fact that he was responsible for reviving lakshmaNa on the battlefield (with herbs from the sanjIvini parvatam) and was also responsible in preventing bharata from entering the fire at the end of vanvAs (isn't that what Arunachala Kavi describes in the song, vandAn vandAn bharatA, raghurAman vandAn vandAn bharatA?).
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#98  Postby chitravina ravikiran » 30 May 2011 10:32

Shankar,

According to Valmiki, the following happened in the sequence mentioned below.

1. Almost in the beginning of the battle, Indrajit used nagastra and felled Rama and Lakshman - Garuda came and the the snake-bonds were released.

2. Indrajit came again to the battlefield (after Kumbhakarna died) and felled Rama and Lakshmana (for the 2nd time). Almost everyone else was also unconscious. Jambavan was one of the survivors along with Anjaneya and he asked him to get Sanjeevini, which revived everyone.

3. Ravana felled Lakshmana in a one-to-one battle and Anjaneya again brought the mountain of herbs upon Sushena's request and saved him, as well as a crestfallen Rama, who went so far as to bemoan the pointlessness of life, were he to lose his brother.

Later writers of Ramayana may have altered/edited things out but I had been captivated by Valmiki's narrative since I first read it (when I was about 13). It is also interesting to note that in Valmiki's narration, there was no swayamvaram for Seeta nor did Ahalya ever turn into a stone.
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#99  Postby rshankar » 30 May 2011 19:55

Thank you, Sri Ravikiran. Is there an English translation of Valmiki's original?
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Re: Value of OVK's contributions

#100  Postby cmlover » 30 May 2011 20:06

Here it is
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rama/index.htm
What is the take on
janaka sutā shishira vachana pātra chalita gagana vara sādhu mitrēṇa
OVK is deeply well-versed in the puranas and ithihasas whence there are lot of interesting puzzles in his compositions
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