Mysore Vasudevachar’s Dwaadasha Naama Kritis – Kritis 1, 2 & 3

  1. First Name – Kesava

Meaning:

  1. One with beautiful hair
  2. Destroyer of asura Kesi
  3. One who has rays that brighten the whole world – one who’s in the form of Surya and Chandra

Kriti Details

shrI kEshava mAm pAlaya – rAgA bhairavi – rUpaka tALA

P:  shrI kEshava mAm pAlaya rAkEndu mukha krpAlaya

 

A:  lOkEsha nArada sugEya sAkEtAdhipApramEya

 

C:  bhUsura vara paripUjita vAsudEva caraNAgata

dAsajana manOmbujAta vAsarEsa sukhyAta

 

Madhyama Kala:

sAsita khala dOSa rahita bhAsuramaNI bhUSaNayuta

vAsava mukha dEva vinuta kOsala nrpa shEkhara suta

Translation:

shrI kEshava mAm pAlaya – protect us, Sri Kesava!

rAkEndu mukha – one who’s face shines like the full moon

krpAlaya – abode of mercy

 

lOkEsha – Lord of the world

nArada sugEya – sung well by Narada

sAkEtAdhipApramEya – this compound word is broken down as:

sAkEtAdhipa – Lord of Saketa i.e. Ayodhya

apramEya – beyond understanding – i.e. beyond the understand of our five senses

 

bhUsura vara paripUjita – sincerely worshipped to the utmost by the best among the twice-borns

vAsudEva caraNAgata – devotees who have sought refuge

dAsajana manOmbujAta vAsarEsa – he is the Sun to the lotus i.e. the innermost hearts of his devotees; he makes this lotus bloom

vAsarEsa – Lord of the day i.e. lord of the sun

sukhyAta – very famous and reknowned

sAsita khala– punishes the evil-minded

dOSa rahita – without any blemish or bad qualities

bhAsuramaNI bhUSaNayuta – wearing gems shining with brilliance

vAsava mukha dEva vinuta – saluted by all the important devas starting from Indra (vAsava)

kOsala nrpa shEkhara suta – son of the king of Kosala

Additional notes:

Set to rupaka tala, this kriti is a short and sweet encapsulation of Bhairavi, proving yet again that Bhairavi is capable of accommodating compositions of all sizes!

In this first kriti of this set of Dwaadasha Naama kritis, Vasudevachar has made an emphatic point about Kesava being the Lord of the Sun – vAsarEsa.  The connection thus to the daily mandatory ritual of Sandhyavandanam and consequently the Gayatri mantra is firmly established.

The madhyama kala which almost comes as a surprise is the icing on the cake.  Vasudevachar describes Narayana as kOsala nrpa shEkhara suta – Ayodhya was also part of the kingdom of Kosala while Kausalya was from another part.  Hence the description of Rama being the son of the king of Kosala.


  1. Second Name – Narayana

Meaning:

  1. One who manifests as the five elements
  2. Refuge for the common man

Kriti Details

nArAyaNa namada  –  rAgA tODi – Adi tALA

P:  nArAyaNa namata santatam

vArAShi shayanam hIrAngadayutam

 

A:  mArAri vinutam munijana vinatam

dhArAdhara nibhatanum shubha caritam

 

C:  vAsudEvam ambuja lOcanam

dAsavarya pApa vimOcanam

vAsavAdyAkhila sura krta namanam

bhAsurEndu vadanam bhrta bhuvanam

Translation: 

nArAyaNa namata santatam – an imperative appeal to always prostrate to Narayana

vArAShi shayanam – reclining on the ocean – reference to Vaikuntam

hIrAngadayutam – with diamonds on the shoulder

 

mArAri vinutam – praised by Siva (referred to as mArAri which is mAra + ari i.e. enemy of Manmatha)

munijana vinatam –  paid obeisance to by saints (rishis) who have controlled their minds

dhArAdhara nibhatanum – with a body resembling that of heavy rain laden dark clouds

shubha caritam – with a very auspicious history and rich legacy

 

vAsudEvam ambuja lOcanam – as the son of Vasudeva, with eyes like a lotus

dAsavarya – eminent among devotes (varya or vara denoting eminent)

pApa vimOcanam – destruction of sins

vAsavAdyAkhila sura krta namanam – bowed to by Indra and other foremost of Devas

bhAsurEndu – shining like the moon (bhAsura = shining)

vadanam – referred to the face

bhrta bhuvanam – sustaining the universe

 

Additional notes:

Although there are countless kritis in Todi already extant, this is one is practically unknown.  Yet, the all-encompassing raga that Todi happens to be – its scope is akin to the infinite space around us and also in my opinion, Vasudevachar’s phenomenal talent for composing, there is something about this relatively small kriti that sounds so fresh, charming and captivating.

The word ‘’vArAshi’’ as a word for the ocean, is relatively rare.

 

 

  1. Third Name – Madhava

Meaning:

  1. Ma denotes mahalakshmi and hence Madhava denotes her husband
  2. One who’s born in the lineage of Madhu
  3. One who can be understood through Madhu vidya – one of the branches of the Upanishads

 

Kriti Details

bhaja mAdhavam – rAgA hindustAni kApi – Adi tALA

 

P:  bhaja mAdhavam anisham vAsudEvam

bhujagAdi pati shayanam dEvadEvam

 

A:  aja rudra surEsha vinuta caraNam

gajarAja bali prahlAdAdi sharaNam

 

C:  mAra janakam ambuja nibha nayanam

nAradAdi munijana krta namanam

shUra mArIca rAvana madanam

shAradEndu vadanam paribhrta bhuvanam

 

Translation:

bhaja – Worship

mAdhavam – Madhava ( husband of Ma – Lakshmi)

anisham – always!

vAsudEvam – Son of Vasudeva

bhujaga- adhipati shayanam – reclining on the lord of snakes

dEvadEvam – god of gods

aja rudra surEsha vinuta caranam – one whose feet are praised by Brahma, Siva and Indra

gajarAja bali prahlAdAdi sharaNam – the refuge of Gajendra, Mahabali, Prahlada and others

mAra janakam – father of Manmatha

ambuja nibha nayanam – one with lotus-like eyes (nibha  / aabha – oLi veesura kaNgaL nibha – brightness / used as comparison – samkaasha, sadhrusha)

nAradAdi munijana krta namanam – one who is offered/done prostrations by Rishis such as Narada

shUra mArIca rAvana mathanam – destroyer of heroic demons Ravana and Maricha

shAradEndu vadanam – one whose face is like the autumn moon

paribhrta bhuvanam – one by whom the universe is sustained

 

Additional notes:

The reference to Ravana and Maricha as ‘’shUra’’ is interesting.  ‘’shura’’ generally refers to someone who is very heroic and brilliant.  Certainly Ravana’s brilliance and talent was undisputable and so was his complete devotion to Lord Siva that enabled the ruler of Lanka Ravana to acquire the grace of the latter.  Hence the use of the word ‘shUra’.  Very tragically, Ravana’s immense power, and the fruits of his physical and spiritual penances and sacrifices, were used to ultimately terrorize the universe and to gratify his lust.  Since Ravana was such a ‘’shUra’’ it needed someone with the stature and superhuman personality, rather an avataara purusha like Rama to vanquish him.

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About Mohan Santhanam

Carnatic vocalist, based in Chennai. Disciple of Late Shri T.R.Subramanyam (TRS).
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2 Responses to Mysore Vasudevachar’s Dwaadasha Naama Kritis – Kritis 1, 2 & 3

  1. Anantha says:

    As usual an excellent presentation by you Mohan!!!

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