Showing posts with label Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaṇamu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaṇamu. Show all posts

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Literature, Music and Dance – The Integral Aspects of Ādibhaṭla Nārāyaṇa Dās’ Harikatha ‘Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaṇamu’

Dr. K. Savithri Devi

[This research paper was published in the peer reviewed journal "NADAMRUTHAM—The Journal of Music", Volume 12, 2021- 2022 published by the Department of Music, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram.]

ABSTRACT

Harikathā PitāmahaAjjāḍa Ādibhala Nārāyaa Dās served Harikatha for six decades (1883-1945) and transported his audience into his world of Harikatha by his multi-faceted personality. Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu, comprising six harikatha-s, is the longest of all harikatha-s of Nārāyaa Dās. It is an original work, a treasure house of literary, creative and musical excellence. It brought together the rāga, tāḷa and ntya forms in music and literature and lent scope to the limitless forms of prosody. Nārāyaa Dās, an expert of classical dance form, adopted the features of classical dance in his harikatha-s and made use of Daruvu-s and jati-s at the end of his kṛti-s and would perform pure nāṭya singing them. Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu is the most renowned of all his yakagāna-s portraying all the rasa-s effectively. Tempos in different rhythm cycles create different rasa-s. Adept in laya, Nārāyaa Dās’ composed kti-s in all tāḷa-s and jāti-s. Besides composing in prominent rāga-s, Nārāyaa Dās composed in Bēhāg, Yamunā Kaḷyāṇi, Husēni, Dēśi and other Dēśi rāga-s also. The use of rare tāḷa-s is outstanding in Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyāṇamu which is a testimony of Nārāyaa Dās’ literary excellence, musical brilliance and splendour of dance.

****************************

Key Words

Harikatha, yakagāna, gēya prabandha, rāga, rasa, daruvu, jati, laya, tāḷa

**********

‘Sagīta Sāhitya Sārvabhauma’, ‘Laya Brahma’, ‘Pancamukhī Paramēsvara’, ‘Āṭa Pāala Mēṭi’, ‘Sahaja Pānitya Vilāsa’, ‘Pūra Purushuu’, ‘Pubhāva Sarasvati and ‘Harikathā Pitāmaha Ajjāḍa Ādibhala Nārāyaa Dās (31.8.1864 – 2.1.1945) did invaluable service to the world of Telugu literature and arts by the creation of the novel art form Harikatha. He served Harikatha for six decades (1883-1945) transporting his audience into his world of Harikatha by his awe- inspiring versatility. The connoisseurs of arts of his time conferred on him the title of ‘Harikathā Pitāmaha’. Tūmāṭi Dōṇappa in his ‘Telugu Harikathā Vāṅgmaya Caritra’ spotlights the illustrious period of six decades in which Nārāyaa Dās’ harikatha-s reigned supreme as Nārāyaa Dāsa yuga in Telugu Harikathā vāṅgmaya caritra, the years before 1883 as Prāṅ (pre) Nārāyaa Dāsa yuga and the years after 1945 as Anantara (post) Nārāyaa Dāsa yuga[1]. The artiste carved a niche for himself and became synonymous with the art form he created, Harikatha.

Nārāyaa Dās authored twenty-one harikatha-s, which he termed yakagāna-s, including three in Sanskrit. Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu is the longest of all harikatha-s of Nārāyaa Dās. The best aspects of the various stories of Rāma were considered and the story ‘Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu’ was embellished with all the sentiments. It brought together the rāga, tāḷa and ntya forms in music and literature and lent scope to the limitless forms of prosody. The great work of art delighted all and sundry and has established itself as the means of achieving material and spiritual progress.

Nārāyaa Dās imbibed the knowledge of literature, music and dance naturally and was a self-taught genius. He was an ardent devotee just as poets like Pōtana and received honours of Maharāja-s in the manner of poets like Śrīnātha. He was a great Vāggēyakāra like Tyāgarāja, an independent litterateur like the poet Rāmakrina and had thorough knowledge of eight languages like Nārāyaa Bhaṭhu.  He loved to be original in creativity and detested imitation.

Nārāyaa Dās composed Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu after the death of his wife, Narasamma. Her death and this Harikatha composition took place in 1915. He dedicated his work to his wife who admired Rāmāyaamu very much. He studied various Rāmāyaa-s, combined the two Rāmāyaa-s (Vālmīki Rāmāyaa and Adhyātma Rāmāyaa of Vyāsa) derived some elements of both, discarded a few aspects, added a few of those which he thought might be the truth befitting the characters and authored Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu (in 1915) as a gēya prabandha. This is his original literary and musical treasure. He followed the story-line of Vālmīki and Tulasi Rāmāyaa-s and the depiction of Soul of Adhyātma Rāmāyaa.

Division Of Segments:

The story of Vālmīki’s Bālakānḍa was incorporated in ‘Śrī Rāmajananamu’ and ‘Sītā kalyānamu’. He named Ayōdhya kānḍa as ‘Padukāpaṭṭabhiṣēkamu’. ‘Śrī Rāma Sugrīva Maitri’ was spread through Araya kānḍa and Kiṣkinda kānḍa. ‘Hanumat Sandēśamu’ was the story of Kiṣkinda and Sundara kānḍa-s. The whole of Yudha kānḍa was changed as ‘Sāmrājyasiddhi’. At the end of each part there is an ‘Āsvāśanta gadya’ in which he mentions himself as ‘Sahaja pānḍitya vilāśa Brahmaśrīmadajjāḍādibhaṭṭa Nārāyaa Dāsa’.

The change was made with the view of bringing the story together to suit the Harikatha art form and the story was adapted to relate to the main characters of the epic. Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu is not meant to be performed in a single day. It was divided into six parts for six days’ performance. Those six parts can also be performed as six Harikatha-s. A capable and skilled performer of Harikatha can perform Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu for thirty days, justifying the musical and literary skills of the composer.

Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu of Nārāyaa Dās is an original work, a treasure house of literary, creative and musical excellence.

Nārāyaa Dās, an expert of classical dance form, adopted the features of classical dance in his harikatha-s and made use of daruvu-s and jati-s at the end of his kṛti-s and would perform pure nāṭya singing them. He would show mudra-s to explain the meaning of a particular word or sometimes to express the meaning and sometimes to add significance to the abhinaya. After presenting every kṛti with proper abhinaya and dance steps, he would present pure nṛtya on svara prastāra-s. The beauty of presentation of classical dance always depends on the trio of music, literature and laya.  Harikatha-s of Nārāyaa Dās follow these norms which make them very much suitable for a dance performance.

Nārāyaa Dās’ narration of the story would be very interesting and captivating. Every bit of it was musical. The anecdotes and humorous stories in between the main storyline were narrated by him equally interestingly.

For example: In a story where a tiger tries to get hold of an animal which it sees at a distance, the tiger makes several moves before it achieves its target. Enacting the various facial expressions and movements of the tiger, Nārāyaa Dās would render it through a rāga sancāra, befitting the mood of the story.  By the time he concluded the effective rāga sancāra, the tiger would catch the animal. He would express such incidents through svara sancāra-s in hundreds or thousands of varieties[2].

Rāga And Rasa In Śrī Yāthārtha Rāmāyaamu

Ādibhala Nārāyaa Dās was all in one. He appeared the greatest musician to musicians, the greatest litterateur to litterateurs and the greatest dancer to dancers. All arts flourished and reached their peaks in one person. Harikatha art became the right platform for his multi-faceted personality. Though we can’t now listen to his music and see his spectacular dance, we can perceive his inimitable prowess only through his scholarly works which are only a few rays of the vast light of his genius. For him music and literature were the two facets of an art and deserved equal prominence. They are so closely related to each other that he opined: “Music is scene and Literature vision, Music is world and Literature Soul, Music is Prakti and Literature Puruṣa, Music is worldly and Literature spiritual, Music is universe and Literature Īswara, Music is Vikṛti and Literature Prakṛti, Music is Life and Literature Death, Music is sagua and Literature nirgua.” [3]  They cannot be separated. He observed ‘Poetry is abstract, and Music is concrete. Poetry is theoretical and spiritual, and Music is practical and material. Poetry is the cause and Music is the effect. He believed in the theory of Gāndharva Vēda –‘Gīta vādyaca ntyaca trayam sagītamucyatē. He proved that the combination of gīta, vādya and ntya is the characteristic of music. He adored and practiced such true music like Śiva Nārāyaa Tīrtha. For him the compound word, ‘Sagītōpanyāsa’ had a specific meaning. ‘Sagīta’ meant gīta, vādya and ntya; and upanyāsa meant ‘dramatic narration, combined with aesthetic experience’.

He reiterated that all arts are God-given and they are meaningful only when they are offered to God. He made Harikatha a unique divine art, an astonishing union of arts appealing to perception in totality. All the characters divine and human, men and women, young and old, rich and poor came alive in him and his narration completed the yakagāna prabandham. The skilful coordination of dhātu and mātu, the libretto and the music portrayed the intended rasa or feeling. However, the tradition of Harikatha with a proper blend of sāhitya, ntya, gīta and vādya had had its heyday in the tenure of the incomparable versatile genius of Nārāyaa Dās.

His yakagāna-s are of kīrtana-s in a variety of rāga-s that depict the nine rasa-s which are perceived and felt. Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu is the most renowned of all his yakagāna-s portraying all the rasa-s effectively. There are many kīrtana-s which can be sung by all with devotion, taken out of the situation in Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu and many kīrtana-s have all the requisite elements for being sung in musical concerts.

Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyaamu’ contains kīrtana-s, mañjari-s, vacana-s composed in gait and devotion. Besides composing in prominent rāga-s like Kharahara priya, Śubhapantuvarāḷi, Kāmbhōji, Kēdāragauḷa, Malayamārutamu, Kannaḍa, Nīlāmbari, Śrīrāga, Śahana, Mōhana, Dēvagāndhāri, Nārāyaa Dās composed in Bēhāg, Yamunā Kaḷyāṇi, Husēni, Dēśi and other Dēśi rāga-s also.

Rare Tāḷa-s Used

Adept in laya, Nārāyaa Dās’ composed kti-s in all tāḷa-s and jāti-s. The use of rare tāḷa-s is outstanding in Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyāṇamu. Tempos in different rhythm cycles create different rasa-s. The right tempo has to be chosen to convey the desired emotion. For example : The kṛtis sung by Bhārgava, Virādha turned Tumbura, Śarabhaga, Sutīkṣṇa, Hanuma  were set in tāḷa-s Saṅkīrṇajāti Rūpakamu, Sankīra jāti Tripua, Caturasrajātyaa tāḷa, Miśrajāti Tripua tāḷa, Tryasrajātyaa and Śakīrajāti Dhva tāḷa.

Śrī Yathārtha Rāmāyāṇamu, comprising six harikatha-s, is a testimony of Nārāyaa Dās’ literary excellence, musical brilliance and splendour of dance. Apt rasa-s that suit different situations were depicted through appropriate rāga-s and tāḷa-s.  The essence of the art is aesthetic delight. 

Bibliography

1.  S. V. Jōgā Rao (Ed.), Śrī Ādibhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa Dāsa Sārasvata Nīrājanamu, Gunṭur: Racayitala Sahakāra Sanghamu, 1974.

2. TūmāṭiDōnappa, Telugu Harikathāsarvasvam, Gunṭūr: Nāgārjuna Viśvavidyālayamu, (1st print) 1978.

3. Vyzarsu, Bālasubrahmaṇyam, The Musical Genius of ‘Harikathā Pitāmaha’ Śrī Ādibhaṭla Nārāyaṇa Dāsu, Chennai: Kaḷātapasvi Creations, 2012.

4. Komānḍūri Śēṣhādri, Nārāyaṇa Dāsa vāggēya śilpamu, Rasamayi (cultural monthly magazine), January, 2007

5. Vāsā, Kriṣṇa Mūrthi, “Dāsugāri Sangītagurutvamu” in Śrī Ādibhaṭṭa Nārāyaa Dāsa  Sārasvata  Nīrājanamu,  pp. 1151-66.

.................................................................................

Notations For Two Keertanas 

1.  Rāga: Vasanta                           Rāmā nava nava                        Tāḷa: Caturaśrajāti aṭa

Lyric

Pallavi

Rāmā  nava  nava  mēgha  śyāmā   |  Raghukulābdhi   sōma    || 

Anupallavi

Bhūmijā   mānasābhi  Rāma  saṃ  pūrṇa sarva kāma   || 

Caraamu

Satya  jñānānanda   svarūpa    |   Sajjana   ḥṛddīpa   ||

Stutyaguṇa  kalāpa  drutaharacāpa   |  sura  vinuta  pratāpa     ||

-       Śrī Rāma Sugrīva maitri, p.14.

Pallavi

,   s  M  g  M  ,   d    N   m   D    |  ,  Ṡ     n        ṡ   n   ġ  ṙ    ṙ   ṡ  Ṡ    | 

    Rā .   mā .       na  va  na   va        mē  gha      śyā .  .   .     mā .   .

n     Ṡ     n    D    |   m  d         ṡ   n  d  m   ||    g  r

Ra  ghu  ku  lā         .  bdhi     sō  .   .  ma         .  .      Rā .   mā .   

Anupallavi 

,   d     N   ṡ    Ṡ    ,   ṡ    Ṁ   ġ       |   ṁ  ġ     ṙ   ṙ  ṡ   n ġ ṙ   ṙ    ṡ  Ṡ   |

Bhū  .   mi jā        mā  .    na  sā         .   bhi  Ra . ma .  .  .   sa .  .

ṡ   n   ġ  ṙ        ṡ   n   D   |   ṡ   n  d  m       g  m  g  r    ||   g  r 

pū .    .   .        ra .   .         sa  .   .  rva      kā  .   .  ma       .  .

Caraamu

,   ṡ  N ,  D      D   D      |      m   n  d   m     m  g  d  m    g   r  S   |              

Sa .   tya     jñā  nā          nan  .  da sva    rū   .   .   .     pa   .   .

,   s  M  g  M    |     d  m  d   n  ṡ  n    ||    D

Sa .   jja na         ḥṛ  .   ddī  .   .   .         pa

As Anupallavi 

Stutyaguṇa  kalāpa  drutaharacāpa    |   sura  vinuta  pratāpa     ||

2.  Rāga – Bēgaa                    Rāmacandra Sītāmanōhara               Tāḷa – Ādi

Lyric

Pallavi

Rāmacandra Sītāmanōharā  |  Raghukula jaladhi śaśī Paramātmā  ||

Anupallavi

Nī mahima deliyanenta vāḍanē  |  nī mudrikadālpa nātarabā  ||

Caraamu 1

Nīvu dēvuani nēnerigitinī  | nirhētuka kpa nī dāsuanu  ||

Kēvala dharma svarūpa ninnu  |  gīrtimpani vāri janmamēla  ||

Caraamu 2 

Māyāmānua vigrahā nā  |  madi śōdhincedavā  ||  yōdēv||

Rātinātigā jēsina nī pada  |  rajameppuu dālceda nā śiramuna  ||

              -      Śrī Rāma Pādukāpaṭṭābhiṣēkamu, p. 118.

Pallavi 

; , G   m    P  ;   P  ;    |         ṙ   ṡ   n  D   |   P ,  m  d   p  m g   ||

Rā  ma  can   dra   Sī    tā  ma  .  nō  .   .         ha   .   rā   .    .   .

m  r   g     M   d    P   p   p  m  g  R    s    |  S ; ; Ṡ    n  d   P , m  g ||

.    .   Ra   ghu ku  la   ja   .   la   .  dhi  śa .     śī . . pa    ra .  mā  .   tmā .

m  r

Anupallavi

;  n  Ṡ  ġ    Ġ    Ġ     Ġ  Ġ   Ġ   |  Ġ         Ġ  |    Ṙ          ;  ||

Nī  .  ma  hi   ma   de   li   ya    nen  .    ta   vā       .    a   nē

;  d       ṡ       N   N    D   P  |   P     p   d  N  D   |  P,   m  d  p  m  g  ||

Nī   .   mu   .   dri  ka  dā   .       lpa   nā   .   .   ta     ra .   bā .   .    .

m  r

Caraamu

; , G   m    P    ;  P    D   P   | ;  p   d   N  D  |    P  p  m  d  p  m  g   ||

Nī  vu   dē   .  vu  a  ni         nē   .    .  ne      ri  gi  .    ti  .   nī  .

m   r   g  M   d    P  g m  dpP   g  r  S   |   ;    S   G ; ,  r   G   M  P ;  ||

.     .   ni   .    rhē  .   tu .    ka..   k  .  pa       Nī   .   dā .   .    su  a  nu

;  m   P  d    P     ;         N   |      Ġ  Ġ  Ġ   |   ṁṗ  ġ     Ṡ   ||

Kē  .   va  la  dha  rma   sva     rū  pa  ni   .        .  .   nnu   .    .

;   d           R  N   N   D ;  |   P  p  d  N  D    |  P ,  m  d   p  m  g   ||

gī   .   rtim  .   pa  ni   vā       ri  ja   .   .   nma   mē  .   la   .    .    .      

m r



[1] Tūmāṭi Dōṇappa, “Telugu Harikathā Vāṅgmaya Caritra’’,  Ākāśa Bhārati, pp.27-36.

[2] Vāsā, Kriṣṇa Mūrthi, “Dāsugāri Sangītagurutvamu” in Śrī Ādibhaṭṭa Nārāyaa Dāsa  Sārasvata  Nīrājanamu,  pp. 1151-66.

[3] Ādibhaṭla, Nārāyaa Dās, Jagajjyōti - II volume, p. 370.