Ages have not withered the appeal of Tyagaraja kritis and even today lovers of music are enthralled by his music, which transcends barriers of nationality, religion, and language. Tyagaraja’s compositions have become real classics, "companion of all times". In this book I have endeavoured to bring out the notated text of selected compositions of the saint composer. I have provided a brief introduction summarising the biography of the Saint composer and enumerating the salient aspects of his music.
It is difficult to select compositions from Tyagaraja’s vast treasure house be- cause each composition is a masterpiece and each has a separate significance from the point of view of his life or the technical or literary aspects of music. Still I have selected compositions which are representative and which are popular with lovers of music. It is difficult to include all the compositions grouped as Pancharatnas in a select anthology, So I have included one composition each from his Pancharatna kritis, as a representation from each group. I hope this will make the book more useful to the learners of compositions.
My younger brother M.N. Moorthy has been of great help in the selection of the compositions and in providing notations of some compositions. I place on record my debt and gratitude for his patient perseverance.
I am thankful to Sri.M.Easwaran, Editor, CBH Publications for going through the typesetting and editing of the book. I thank Smt.M.Girija, Proprietor, CBH Pub- lications for undertaking the publication of the book and bringing out in record time. I express my sincere gratitude to all those whose material has been used in this book for reference. I also thank the musical community and students who have been a source of encouragement in bringing out books.
I sincerely hope that this book also will be accepted by the students and learners of music.
The name of Saint "Tyagaraja is associated with Karnatic music just like life in living beings. Whenever one thinks of Karnatic music, the name of Saint Tyagaraja rushes to one’s mind immediately. Being an ardent devotee, a yogi and above all a sacrificer, he is considered as the Tansen of South Indian music. Saint Tyagaraja is believed to be the combined incarnation of Valmiki, Vyasa and Narada. His kritis comprise a triveni of sangita, sahitya and Vedanta.
An ardent Nadopasaka, devout Bhakta, supreme Sangeetha acharya, Saint Tyagaraja-led a life of piety and simplicity for nearly 80 years. He was born on 4th of May in the year 1767 at Tiruvarur, a village near 'Panjavur, in Tamil nadu. He was the second son of Ramabrahmam and Seethamma. He was born on the 27th day in Chaitra masa, Sukla paksha, Sapthami tithi, soma vara (Monday), an auspicious day. His grand father Girirajakavi was a famous poet in Telugu. References to his parentage can be found in the kritis Seethamma Mayamma in Vasantha raga, and Girirajasutha in Bangala. He was named Tyagaraja after the presiding deity of Siva temple at Tanjore. The name suits him highly as he lived like a yogi and was the king of sacrifices. His father being a Harikatha performer and singer, Tyagaraja was initiated into the path of music by his parents even from early childhood. He had his initial training in music under the able tutelage of his parent and later under the instruction of Santi Venkataramanayya. Having mastered Sanskrit, Telugu and Music, Saint Tyagaraja started composing at an early age. It is believed that he com- posed a Sanskrit song ‘Namo namo raghavaya’ in Suddha Todi at the early age of l3. He adopted Bhakti Marga even from childhood and practiced strict discipline, and devotion. He was a man of austerity, purity and unostentatious habits of life. He was prepared to shed worldly pleasures and comforts and strongly believed that Rama Bhakti is the most supreme devotion. He was of strong belief that Moksha can be attained only by adopting the path of Sangeetha and Bhakti. Having adopted Bhakti Marga, Tyagaraja had the darsan of Sage Narada who initiated him into the path of Bhakti and Sangeetha devotion. Narada presented two rare treatises namely Svararnavam and Naradeeyam to him. References to this incident are evident from the kritis like Swararagasudha in Sankarabharanam and Varanarada in Vijayasri.
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