As I always say and write one of my chief Mentors is Mahakavi Bharathiyar . To day being the end of Daserra, it was thought fit to bring in this subject and I am sure my esteemed viewers will relish. Thanks.
NavarAththiri Song–நவராத்திரிப் பாட்டு
Composer: MahAkavi Subramanya BhArati
NavarAtri festival is dedicated to goddess Shakthi manifested in three popular forms—Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Three days each are allocated to the three goddesses and worshiped during this period. The most popular event during this period is the arrangement of golu in most houses wherein various dolls of religious and mythological sinificance are displayed in a stair-like arrangement.
In the Carnatic music world, this period is celebrated with music concerts which feature exclusively those songs which are in praise of dEvi. Various music sabhas arrange such thematic concerts of several musicians. Some of the prominent composers whose songs are featured in such concerts are: Purandara dAsa, Muththuswami Dikshitar, Thyagaraja, Shyama Sastri, OoththukkADu Venkata Kavi, SwAti ThirunAL, PApanAsam Sivan, and a few other modern day composers.
While the songs of above-mentioned composers are given due importance during NavarAtri, let us see an important composition of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi. He wrote one specific song titled navarAtrip pATTu which has 4 stanzas wherein he sang on the three prime goddesses—PArvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. This is unique because no one else included all the three of them in the same song.
Bharathi was a maverick universalist and a firebrand nationalist who risked his life and family in the pursuit of national freedom, women’s empowerment, and the upliftment of the” lower class” people while living in abject poverty and writing excellent poetry on various topics all along. His devotional songs on all Hindu Gods and Goddesses, as well as Allah, and Jesus Christ are well-known. Here is navarAtip pATTu here.
This song in ChaarukEshi raagam was specially composed-as reported to have been extemporaneously by Bharathi at the request of his daughter ThangammaaL in PuduccEri (ca 1912) on the occasion of navaraathri.
மாதா பராசக்தி வையமெல்லம் நீ நிறைந்தாய்!
ஆதாரம் உன்னையல்லால் ஆரெமக்குப் பாரினிலே!
ஏதாயினும் வழிநீ சொல்வாய் எமதுயிரே!
வேதாவின் தாயே! மிகப்பணிந்து வாழ்வோமே.
In this first stanza Bharathi is addressing Shakthi who is a blend of all the three goddesses, PArvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Shakthi mother, Bharathi says, is all pervasive in the universe. There is nobody else with whom to seek refuge. He appeals to the goddess to guide him (us) for virtuous life. He addresses her as the mother of all VEdAs and that we will surrender unto her. (Even under the most adverse circumstances in his personal life he never lost hope and worshiped Paraasakthi fervently.)
வாணி கலைத் தெய்வம் மணிவாக் குதவிடுவாள்
ஆணிமுத்தைப் போலே அறிவுமுத்து மாலையினாள்
காணுகின்ற காட்சியாய்க் காண்பதெலாங் காட்டுவதாய்
மாணுயர்ந்து நிற்பாள் மலரடியே சூழ்வோமே
In this second verse Bharathi addresses goddess Saraswati (vANi) who is the deity in charge of the arts who will shower her grace on us for good speech. Like a flawless pearl she is the garland of knowledge. She is one whom we behold with reverence and whatever we see it is she who portrays them. She towers above everything that we imagine and “let us surrender at her flower feet”.
பொன்னரசி நாரணனார் தேவி, புகழரசி
மின்னுநவ ரத்தினம்போல் மேனி யழகுடையாள்
அன்னையவள் வையமெல்லாம் ஆதரிப்பாள், ஸ்ரீதேவி
தன்னிரு பொற்றாளே சரண்புகுந்து வாழ்வோமே
In this third quatrain Bharathi extols goddess Lakshmi as a golden queen ( reminiscent of MuttuswAmi Dikshithar’s song “hiraNmayIm lakshmIm in lalitaa raagam) who is the consort of lord NaaraayaNa and one who is the epitome of fame. She has the beautiful complexion of the dazzling nine gems. She is the mother who protects all the beings in the universe. “Let us surrender unto the golden feet of Sri dEvi and flourish”.
மலையிலே தான் பிறந்தாள் சங்கரனை மாலையிட்டாள்
உலையிலே யூதி உலகக் கனல் வளர்ப்பாள்
நிலையில் உயர்த்திடுவாள், நேரே அவள் பாதம்
தலையிலே தாங்கித் தரணிமிசை வாழ்வோமே
In the last of the four stanzas, Bharathi praises Goddess Paarvati as having been born in the mountain (hima giri tanayE) and married lord Shiva (Sankaran). She bears all the cosmic energy and by cultivating the flame (in the foundry) she creates and sustains the energy in the universe. She will protect us.” Let us bear her feet on out heads and prosper in this world”.
For the benefit of those who can’t read Thamizh script, the transliterated Roman script version is given below as is the practice with this Blog.
MAthA parAsakthi vaiyamellam nI niRaindAy!
AdhAram unnaiyallAl Aremakkup pArinilE!
EdhAyinum vazhinI solvAy emadhuyirE!
VEdhAvin tAyE! migappaNindhu vAzhvOmE.
VANi kalaith theyvam maNivAk kudhaviDuvAL
ANimuththaip pOlE aRivumuththu mAlaiyinAL
KANuginRa kATciyAyk kANbadhelAng kATTuvadhAy
MANuyarndhu niRpAL malaraDiyE sUzhvOmE
Ponnarasi nAraNanAr dEvi, pughazharasi
Minnunava raththinampOl mEni yazhaguDaiyAL
annaiyavaL vaiyamellAm AdharippAL, srIdEvi
tanniru poRRALE saraNpugundhu vAzhvOmE
malaiyilE thAn piRandhAL sankaranai mAlaiyiTTAL
ulaiyilE yUdhi ulagak kanal vaLarppAL
nilaiyil uyarthiDuvAL, nErE avaL pAdham
thalaiyilE thAngith tharaNimisai vAzhvOmE
Thanks to Google Guru I could make out this post today and I am sure you will with me tomorrow specifically “In Obeisance of Goddess Saraswathi-the Goddess of LEARNING.