Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lyrics of "dina dayalo" Song

రాగం: యమునాకళ్యాణి     
తాళం: చాపు   

దీన దయాళో దీన దయాళో దీనదయా పర దేవ దయాళో

1. కనకాంబరధర ఘన శ్యామ దయాళో | సనకాది ముని యోగి వినుత దయాళో ||

2. శరధి బంధన రామచంద్ర దయాళో | వర దామర బృందానంద దయాళో ||    

3. నారద ముని దేవ నాథ దయాళో | సార సాక్ష రఘునాథ దయాళో ||

4. దశరథసుత లోకాధార దయాళో | పశుపతిచాప త్రుటిత దయాళో ||

5. ఆగమ రక్షిత అమిత దయాళో | భోగిశయన పరమ పురుష దయాళో || 

6. వరద భద్రాద్రి నివాస దయాళో | పాలిత శ్రీ రామదాస దయాళో ||

raagam: yamunaakaLyaaNi     
taaLam: chaapu   

diina dayaaLO diina dayaaLO diinadayaa para dEvadayaaLO

1. kanakAMbara ghana SyAma dayALO | sanakAdi muni yOgi vinuta dayALO ||

2. Saradhi bamdhana rAmacamdra dayALO | vara dAmara bRmdAnamda dayALO ||    

3. nArada muni dEva nAtha dayALO | sAra sAkSha raGunAtha dayALO ||

4. daSarathasuta lOkAdhAra dayALO | paSupaticApa truTita dayALO ||

5. Agama rakshita amita dayALO | BhOgiSayana parama puruSha dayALO || 


6. varada bhadrAdri nivAsa dayALO | pAlita SrI rAmadAsa dayALO ||

(English Transliteration generated by Lekhini)

This is a composition of Bhadrachala Ramadasu, a 17th century Telugu poet and music composer. Some of his songs run into more than hundred lines.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lyrics of "Saranam bhava" Song by Sri Narayana Tirthulu

రాగం సౌరాష్ట్ర - ఆది తాళం  

శరణం భవ కరుణామయి కురు దీనదయాళో
కరుణారస వరుణాలయ కరిరాజ కృపాళో 

అధునా ఖలు విధినామయి సుధియా సురభరితం
మధుసూదన మధుసూదన హరమామక దురితమ్‌ 

వర నూపుర ధర సుందర కర శోభితవలయ
సుర భూసుర భయవారక ధరణీ ధర కృపయా 
త్వరయా హర భరమీశ్వర సురవర్య మదీయం 
మధుసూదన మధుసూదన హరమామక దురితమ్‌ 

ఘృణిమండల మణికుండల ఫణిమండలశయన 
అణిమాది సుగుణభూషణ మణిమంటప సదన
వినతాసుత ఘనవాహన మునిమానస భవన
మధుసూదన మధుసూదనహర మామకదురితమ్‌ 

అరిభీకర హలి సోదర పరిపూర్ణ సుఖాబ్ధే
నరకాంతక నరపాలక పరిపాలిత జలధే
హరిసేవక శివ నారాయణ తీర్థపరాత్మన్
మధుసూదన మధుసూదన హర మామక దురితమ్ ‌ 

SaraNaM bhava karuNaamayi kuru deenadayaaLO
karuNaarasa varuNaalaya kariraaja kRpaaLO 

adhunaa khalu vidhinaamayi sudhiyaa surabharitaM
madhusoodana madhusoodana haramaamaka duritam

vara noopura dhara suMdara kara SObhitavalaya
sura bhoosura bhayavaarakadharaNidhara kRpayaa 
tvarayaa hara bharameeSvara suravarya madeeyaM 
madhusoodana madhusoodana haramaamaka duritam

ghRNimaMDala maNikuMDala phaNimaMDalaSayana 
aNimaadi suguNabhooshaNa maNimaMTapa sadana
vinataasuta ghanavaahana munimaanasa bhavana
madhusoodana madhusoodanahara maamakaduritam

aribheekara hali sOdara paripoorNa sukhaabdhae
narakaaMtaka narapaalaka paripaalita jaladhae
harisaevaka Siva naaraayaNa teerthaparaatman

madhusoodana madhusoodana hara maamaka duritam


(In the village high school we had a very entertaining, instructive math teacher. During one of his classes we heard a superb rendition of two Telugu songs from the adjacent classroom. It was my classmate's (A. K. R.) voice. He gave an extempore presentation of ‘saranam bhava’ and ‘janani sivakamini’. Thus I came to know about this classic piece of Sri Narayana Tirthulu. Though the compositions are well known across South India, we know only snippets of Sri Narayana Tirthulu’s life. Tears would roll down my eyes when I read and think of these extraordinary saints and composers of the Telugu land. I have not looked into the meaning of every word in detail, but the Sanskrit words are not too difficult to understand. These songs are apparently sung in a number of styles ranging from dance ballet, bhajana sampradaya, to Yaksha-gana. Obviously the songs were thoroughly blessed by the composer and their efficacy is truly attested by Lord Krishna. I am indebted to the creators of Andhra Bharati website. Tomorrow happens to be the most auspicious day - ముక్కోటి ఏకాదశి, certainly a day suited for meditating on this composition.)

Friday, December 16, 2016

"mivalla guna dosha memi" Song with Telugu lyrics

మీవల్ల గుణదోష మేమి శ్రీ రామా
నావల్లనే గాని నళిన దళ నయనా (మీవల్ల)

బంగారు బాగుగ పదివన్నె గాకుంటే
అంగలార్చుచు బత్తు నాడుకొనేల

తన తనయ ప్రసవ వేదనోర్వ (కోర్వ) లేకుంటే
అనయ యల్లునిపై అహంకార పడనేల

ఏ జన్మమున పాత్ర మెరిగి దానమీక (దానంబీక)
పూజించ మరచి వేల్పుల నాడుకోనేల

నా మనసు నా ప్రేమ నన్నెలయ జేసిన

రాజిల్లు శ్రీ త్యాగరాజ నుత చరణ (ణా)

meevalla guNadOsha maemi Sree raamaa
naavallanae gaani naLina daLa nayanaa (meevalla)

baMgaaru baaguga padivanne gaakuMTae
aMgalaarchuchu battu naaDukonaela

tana tanaya prasava vaedanOrva (kOrva) laekuMTae
anaya yallunipai ahaMkaara paDanaela

ae janmamuna paatra merigi daanameeka (daanaMbeeka)
poojiMcha marachi vaelpula naaDukOnaela

naa manasu naa praema nannelaya jaesina
raajillu Sree tyaagaraaja nuta charaNa (Naa)

Composer: Tyagaraju
Lekhini script is used for the transliteration

I learnt this song by listening to Sri Maharajapuram Santhanam's rendition in an old cassette. There were two songs on the tape, this one and "sarasa sama". I could not make out some of the words of "మీ వల్ల". Thus for several years I have been singing this beautiful composition incorrectly, corrupting the words, and the original meaning. I apologize to Sri Rama, the composer, and the exceptional vocalist. Now I come to appreciate this song much more, like a child who suddenly looks at his face in a clean silver mirror for the first time! I will post the English translation in the next post. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Translation of "sogasu lura" tillana with lyrics

సొగసు లూర హొయలు కోరి నీ దరి చేరితిని
నీర క్షీర న్యాయమై మైమరచి
సకల చరా చర మెల్ల పులకించె
తీయని హాయని పించు చిరు రవళి
నీ మురళీ మాధురి   నాదిర్ ధీం

sogasu luura hoyalu kOri nii dari cEritini
niira kshiira nyaayamai maimaraci
sakala caraa cara mella pulakince
tiiyani haayani pincu ciru ravaLi

nii muraLii maadhuri   naadir dhiim

Gopika confides in Krishna thus:

“Enchanted by your graceful movements (poses)
I’ve come to you
Like the inseparable water in milk
I am exhilarated (delighted beyond description)
(I’ve become one with you, I’ve totally dissolved in you)
The whole universe encompassing
The moving and fixed
Is in ecstasy, in a state of bliss
Your flute’s gentle sound
Produces a sweet soothing relaxation” 

“He is also an experimenter in nada or musical sound and floods his concerts with finer nuances of music, gliding melody and ever-fresh musical phrases” - Sangita Kala Acharya T. S. Parthasarathy in the foreword to Dr. Balamurali’s magnum opus, “Suryakanthi”. I am nobody to comment on the extraordinary musician, but being an amateur singer myself I have tried to express similar sentiments in a blog after attending his Albany concert in 2011, almost fourteen years after Sri Parthasarathy’s objective assessment of the great artist.

Sadly many Indians did not understand Dr. Balamuralikrishna, nor did they appreciate his musical genius fully. A real genius does not care much about power, pelf, awards, or titles. The creative person’s world is up there in the stratosphere; he is in touch with the fountain of energy. It is rare to find the combination of precocity, prolific output, originality, and versatility in one individual. Now that fame securely belongs to the coastal Sankaraguptam hamlet in Andhra, the birthplace of Sri Balamuralikrishna.

Due to the language barrier (Telugu, Sanskrit, or Tamil) sometimes Dr. Balamurali’s singing is not transparent to all. But his art always reached the heart directly. He also successfully utilized music therapy for bringing peace and relief to desperate patients. He will forever remain a great inspiration to many aspiring singers and music fans. The composer’s death leaves a huge gaping void in the world Telugu community. His concerts were spontaneous performances on the stage, shorn of monotonous rehearsals. At home he rarely sang or hummed any snippets!

The copyright for the original Telugu song (with the entire music) belongs to Dr. Balamuralikrishna, his estate, and his Trusts. This article was originally posted at my Facebook. Copyright 2016 by the author.





Friday, November 4, 2016

Stargazer Lily

[Foremost I should record my gratitude to my parents, grandmother, and a number of village friends for imparting gardening skills and practical knowledge. In the village and later in big cities I acquired a vast array of techniques related to horticulture, water conservation, and propagation. Real gardening involves growing from cuttings, seed gathering, and pest control. Of course such matters can be learnt in classes or green houses, but many master gardeners in India mastered such skills through the “borderless open universities” spread across farms under the vast skies. They may not have any diplomas to display their proud achievements, but I’ve seen them raise prized gardens with vibrant flowers, tasty vegetables, and fruits. I bow with reverence to all such gardeners in India and across the world. My affection is always biased towards India and other developing countries because there they have to work with the real life constraints of water, fertilizer, weather, and other resources.]


It has always been our constant focus to produce reasonably good yields with minimal inputs. Thus whenever possible we resort to obtaining high quality compost, organic manure, or coffee grinds from local recycling centers, farmers, or Starbucks. There are some outrageous cranky experiments of producing a $ 100 dollar tomato or splurging hundreds of dollars for a raised patch of vegetable garden. But in most cases we have refrained from such wastage of resources. Our motto is always – simple living but high thinking. You can produce extraordinary results in gardening through careful observation, patience, and timely hard work.

            Now coming to these stargazer lilies, it has been a wonderful experience working with these bulbous plants. Right from childhood I have been exposed to colorful sweet fragrant flowers and tasty fruits (chakkar-keli Banana), thanks to mom. That sensuous memory remained with me intact throughout life. Thus I am always partial to aromatic flowers. Sadly some people cannot bear intensely fragrant flowers due to allergies. These stargazer lilies (also known as oriental lilies) are perennial plants. Originally we had planted half a dozen lilies but only three got established – two stargazers and one white lily.

            Here, in the northeast due to heavy annual snowfall much of the garden soil gets quite compacted. The soil is good for strong native trees (honey locust, hawthorn, maple, and oak, etc.) but for most garden plants and roses the soil needs improvement. Before planting the lily bulbs, I add a bit of compost, leaf mold and fresh topsoil. Basically the lilies, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, gladioli, cannas and narcissuses all love loose soil with good drainage. The soil needs to be highly fertile too because they need to manufacture extra energy for producing large flowers with vivid colors. And our flower patch is in a shaded area due to large trees with outstretched canopies. Perhaps part of the nutrients is regularly washed away due to heavy downpours or taken up by nearby trees and lawn. Thus we have to periodically replenish the soil system. Otherwise the bulbs eventually diminish in their output (flowers) and we have sterile standing gladiolus blades or forlorn daffodil grassy leaves without flowers.

            We must have lost more than half a dozen lilies over the years. They just disappear in the soil. Some years the rabbits nibbled away at the new sprouts in spring. We lost a prized sweet scented Hosta thus. Once a deer has munched on the fresh flower buds early in the morning. You lose the entire year’s worth of priceless sweet aromatic flowers and of course priceless labor. We’ve learnt our lesson and immediately erected a 4 feet plastic tall fence around the lilies. Some times we put physical obstacles (like big pots with bananas) around the lilies to discourage the deer. That worked. So now we’ve been getting a good crop of these stargazer lilies regularly. They are giving slender side offshoots too. These plants are actually in the shade of large pine and magnolia trees. So they get only partial sun and of course plenty of diffuse light. One lily plant is almost 6 feet tall and has yielded fifteen flowers. Just with two stargazer lily plants, the garden was full of sweet aroma for more than a month. A total of twenty-five colorful sweet scented flowers decorated the front yard during the early summer. This seems to be a reasonable (rather the best) record for stargazer lilies seen in any prized garden. We may have to dig up the bulb in spring and replant with fresh loose soil sprinkled with bone meal, compost, and slow releasing fertilizer.

            Normally we leave these bulbs in the ground for the entire year. They sprout in spring, give flowers in summer, and the leaves stay green till late fall. Before the snow, I cut the long stems. I leave about 4-6 inches above ground for easy identification in the spring. Both the gladioli and lilies get thick layer of mulch for protection from the sub-zero temperatures during chilly sub-zero winters. Some years I have used the loose dry birch leaves for cover. I also utilize pine needles and straw. Maple leaves tend to form soggy heavy buildup, so mostly I avoid maple leaves as mulch. As it warms in spring, slowly I remove the mulch (top cover) little by little and start watering the sprouting bulbs. Once or twice during the growing season, I add fresh compost, topsoil, and bone meal. A general-purpose lawn fertilizer is also useful for these lilies and other bulbous plants. The only pest we’ve encountered is the lily leaf beetle. The beetle looks almost like ladybug but with a bit elongated body. You can just pick them off of the leaf and drop in a coke bottle. Neem oil spray does wonders in pest control. Some times I just dislodge the sticky larvae with gentle water spray. In an earlier gardening post I’ve given details about preparing neem oil emulsion for spray.

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            The flowers stay fresh for a week in cool indoors. The whole room gets filled with its scent. Certainly my mother would have enjoyed it. Once I came across a big spherical cut flower arrangement in a hotel lobby with stargazer lilies, ferns, large magnolia leaves, and other seasonal flowers. These lilies make a bold statement and of course they make my head turn in appreciation every time.  

Friday, October 28, 2016

Red Velvet Hat (A Weekend Musing)

Red Velvet Hat

Red hat, red hat
My red velvet hat
With three things – the winter jacket,
Little purse with cell phone in hand,
And the red hat
Like the Gulmohar flower on top
I started with my hubby
To the Saturday Farmers’ Market
In my tamarind brown van
Playfully swinging
Reached the large shed
In thirty minutes –
Cold, cold, shivering cold,
Tickling nippy cold
Biting cold, 
“Eggplants, red eggplants,
Onions, potatoes, oranges,
Apples, pears, ”
Strolled up and down
Several times
Bought three dollars’ apples, bell peppers…
Then I found my crown jewel missing!

My dear husband, nay mari perle
Walked up, and down
Checked all the stalls across
The two isles
Where would it go? In this North America
The norm has mostly been: “Finding intact
The lost ones”
“Where’re you going little damsel?” Thus
It
Greeted me. There, next to the (cardboard) oranges
Crate, it hung on the steel post
Beckoning me sweetly
My golden red hat, my red hat! 

(English translation of the Telugu poem "ఎఱ్ఱ టోపీ" both penned by the author) 
Copyright 2016 తె. వె. రావు.   

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Lyrics of "Sita kalyana vaibhogame"

శంకరాభరణము - ఖండలఘువు

సీతా కళ్యాణ వైభోగమే
రామ కళ్యాణ వైభోగమే  || సీతా || 

పవనజ స్తుతి పాత్ర పావన చరిత్ర
రవిసోమ వరనేత్ర రమణీయ గాత్ర  || సీతా || 

చరణము
భక్తజన పరిపాల భరిత శరజాల
భుక్తి ముక్తిద లీల భూదేవ పాల  || సీతా || 

చరణము
పామరా సురభీమ పరిపూర్ణ కామ
శ్యామ జగదభిరామ సాకేతధామ  || సీతా || 

చరణము
సర్వలోకాధార సమరైక ధీర
గర్వమానసదూర కనకాగ ధీర  || సీతా || 

చరణము
నిగమాగమ విహార నిరుపమ శరీర
నగధ రాఘ విదార నత లోకాధార  || సీతా || 

చరణము
పరమేశనుత గీత భవజలధి పోత
తరణికుల సంజాత త్యాగరాజనుత  || సీతా || 

seetaa kaLyaaNa vaibhOgamae
raama kaLyaaNa vaibhOgamae | | seetaa | |

pavanaja stuti paatra paavana charitra
ravisOma varanaetra ramaNeeya gaatra | | seetaa | |

charaNamu 1 
bhaktajana paripaala bharita Sarajaala
bhukti muktida leela bhoodaeva paala | | seetaa | |

charaNamu 2 
paamaraa surabheema paripoorNa kaama
Syaama jagadabhiraama saakaetadhaama | | seetaa | |

charaNamu 3 
sarvalOkaadhaara samaraika dheera
garvamaanasadoora kanakaaga dheera | | seetaa | |

charaNamu 4 
nigamaagama vihaara nirupama Sareera
nagadha raagha vidaara nata lOkaadhaara | | seetaa | |

charaNamu 5 
paramaeSanuta geeta bhavajaladhi pOta
taraNikula saMjaata tyaagaraajanuta | | seetaa | |

[Tyagaraju (త్యాగయ్య) was a great bilingual scholar. He learnt both Telugu and Sanskrit as a kid. His songs are replete with words and phrases borrowed from the twin languages. He could also coin new phrases with his linguistic skills. Therefore we should not distort or modify his original songs with our limited knowledge. Plenty of errors, typos, and transliteration distortions abound on the Internet and even in printed books regarding his Carnatic song lyrics. The disciplined singer is forewarned to look out for such avoidable mistakes and pitfalls. If you substitute soft 'da' for the aspirated 'dha', the meaning changes. In Sanskrit language even a single letter conveys meaning. Much of the profound meaning and feeling goes out of the window if you do not sing these songs faithfully with perfect diction. When properly sung, Carnatic songs produce unbelievable effects - both the body and soul become peaceful through the cool vibrations of sound. There are many instances where such soul-stirring music has produced beneficial effects to people. English transliteration is generated by Lekhini.]