Thyagaraja Krithis

Following are a few songs composed by Saint Thyagaraja Bhagavathar also called Kakarla Tyagabrahmam (4 May 1767 – 6 January 1847)
  1. Challare Ramachandru – Ahiri
  2. Giriraja Sudha Tanaya – Bangaala
  3. Dheena Janavana – Bowli  (Avataram based song)
  4. Mamava Raghurama – Saaranga
  5. Narayana Hari – Yamuna Kalyani
  6. Nagumomu Galavaani – Madhyamavathi
  7. Naadopaasana – Begada
  8. Nadasudha Rasambilu – Aarabi
  9. Nannukanna Talli – Sindhukanada(28th Harikamboji) or Kesari Ragam
  10. Raghunaayaka – Hamsadhwani
  11. Rara Raghuveera – Athana
  12. Sree Rama, Sree Rama
  13. Sarasa Netra
  14. Seetha Kalyanam
  15. Tulasee Dalamulache
  16. Telisi Rama – Poornachandrika
  17. Vandanamu Raghunandana

Saint Shri Tyagaraja, one of the most important and prolific composers of Carnatic music and part of the “trinity” of Carnatic music composers, along with Muthuswa­mi Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri was born in 1767. He was a great devotee of Lord Shri Rama. Tyagaraja’s life demonstrated fully that God realization is best achieved through Nadopasana (music with devotion). His songs are filled with an intimate devotion to Rama, all through revealing his deep understanding of the tenets of the Vedas and Upanishads and Puranas and Itihasas.

 Tyagaraja had composed about 24,000 songs in his long and purposeful life. Though most were in praise of Lord Rama there are also a few on other gods such as Shiva. Though most of them were written in his mother tongue Telugu, there were also a few in chaste Sanskrit.

 He was born in Thiruvarur in the Thanjavur district of presentday Tamil Nadu to Kakarla Ramabrahmam and his wife Seethamma. His father Ramabrahmam taught him to worship Rama daily and initiated him in Rama taraka mantra. Tyagaraja com­posed his first song on Rama, Namo Namo Raghavaya when he was only 13 years old. Shri Tyagaraja continued to recite the Rama Nama every day and had many darshans of Shri Rama, which inspired him to write songs on his beloved Lord, Shri Rama. The family soon settled in Thiruvaiyaru, which became the scene of the life and work of the great composer.

At 18 years of age, Tyagaraja married Parvati, who died when he was only 23. He then married Kamalamba (sister of Parvati). Unfortunately there are no surviving descendants today, but his tradition is kept alive by his musical disciples and their followers. Tyagaraja started his musical training under Shri Sonti Venkataram­anayya at an early age. Tyagaraja regarded music as a way to experience the love of God saturated with Bhakti Bhavam. The legend goes that he was blessed by the divine sage Narada with great musical knowledge.

 His Endaro Mahaanubhavulu the fifth of the Pancharatna Kritis so intensely pleased his Guru that he told the king Sarafoji about the genius of Tyagaraja. The king sent an invitation, accompanied as was traditional with many rich gifts, to Tyagaraja but Tyagaraja rejected the riches preferring a simple life style enriched not by material wealth but with devotion to Rama. Infuriated at his rejection of the royal offer, Tya­garaja’s brother gave vent to his frustration by throwing his idols of Rama in the Kaveri river when Tyagaraja was away. Tyagaraja, unable to bear the separation with his Lord, made a pilgrimage to all the major temples in South India and composed many more songs in praise of the deities of those temples. He is said to have finally found and recovered the idols with the help of Rama himself.

 In addition to his main masterpiece called Ghana raga Pancharatna Keertanam (set of 5 kritis in different ragas on the same deity), he also composed other Pancharatnas like Lalgudi Pancharatnam, Tiruvotriyoor Pancharatnam, Kovur Pancharatnam and Shrirangam Pancharatnam. He made significant contribu­tions to raga lakshana, raga lakshya, and raga swaroopa, and in general, to the development of musicology in the field of Carnatic music. Tyagaraja took sanyasa Ashram in his final days and attained Moksha on Vaikunta Ekadasi in the year 1847.

 His most important works:

1.                  Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam (Musical drama)

2.                  Nouka Charitram (Musical drama)

3.                  24,000 kritis of which only 700 are available now.

 Some of his important songs used in sampradaya bhajan are given below:

·      Shri Rama Jaya Rama Shringara Rama (Yadukula kambodhi)

·      Tava Daasoham Tava Daasoham (Punnagavarali)

·      Nannu Vidachi Kadalakura (Reethigowla)

·      Shantamuleka Sowkhyamu Ledu (Sama)

·      Ennaga Manasukuraani Pannagashaayee (Neelambari)

·      Shiva Shiva Shiva Yanaradha (Pantuvarali)

·      Heccharikaga Ra Ra hey Ramachandra (Yadukula kambodhi)

·      Naada Tanumanisham (Chittaranjani)

·      Nannu Paalimpa Nadachi (Mohanam)

·      Ksheera Sagara Shayana (Devagandhari)