MahArAjA JayacAmarAJa WodeyAr's compositions on Devi


Dr. P. P. Narayanaswami


Navaratri greetings to all rasikas. This year, we browse through the Compositions of a more recent composer, His Highness MahArAjA JayacAmarAjEndra WodeyAr of Mysore, more so because the  Dussehra (ten nights)  festival is  so popular in Mysore!


JAYA  CAMARAJA (W)ODEYAR  (1919 - 1974 A.D) was the 25th and the last ruler of the  WoDeyAr Dynasty, who ruled  the Kingdom of Mysore. After the decline of the Vijayanagaram dynasty, around 1399 A.D., the WoDeyAr rule commenced with the two brothers, YadurAya and K.rSNarAya, and lasted until the Independence of India in 1947.  From the period of King RAjA WoDeyAr (1578-1617 A.D), who was accomplished in several forms of fine arts, the rulers of this dynasty took a keen interest in promoting the fine arts and Music of South India.  Many of them were not merely nurturing the music, but were talented scholars and composers in their own right.   Festivels were regularly conducted in grand scale, and music performances were an integral part of the palace activities.  Several well-known musicians and composers adorned their court. Some of the prominent rulers of WoDeyAr dynasty, who patronized fine art and music, (with the period of their rule given in paranthesis) are:


RaNadhIra KaNThIvara NarasarAja WoDeyAr (1638 – 1659  A.D)

Cikka DevarAja WoDeyAr (1673 – 1704 A.D)

(MUkarashu) KaNthirava NarasarAja WoDeyAr II (1704 – 1714 A.D)

K.rSNarAja WoDeyAr I (1714 – 1732 A.D)

KrishnarAja Wodeyar II ( 1734 – 1766 A.D)

(MummuDi) K.rSNarAja WoDeyAr III  (1799 – 1868 A.D)

CAmarAja WoDeyAr IX (1868 – 1901 A.D)

NAlvADi K.rSNa RAja WoDeyAr (1901 – 1940 A.D)

JayacAmarAja WoDeyAr. (1940 – 1947 A.D)


JayacAmarAja WoDeyAr, the last among these rulers, was born on 18 July 1919 to YuvarAja KaNThIrava NarasimharAja WoDeyAr, and Kempe Cheluvajjammanni.  He was brought up under the personal supervision of his uncle, NAlvADi K.rSNarAja WoDeyAr, and his early education was at the Royal School. Later, he graduated from the Maharaja's College, Mysore, with great distinction, securing several Gold Medals. CAmarAja WoDeyAr studied philosophy, metaphysics, and mImAmsa, and authored some classical works like "DattAtrEya – the way and the goal", "GIta and the Indian Culture", "Dharma MaTTu mAnava", and so forth.   On 8 Spetember 1940, he was installed to the throne. He married Pricess Satya Prema Kumari Devi in 1938 (no children), and later Tripura Sundarammanni in 1942 (six children). The King, along with his sister Vijaya Devi, took lessons in Piano and Western Classical music under the tutilage of Sister Ignatius.  He passed several examinations in western music conducted by the Trinity College.  JayacAmarAja was an excellent piano player. He was invited to Europe and America several times for his expertise on the piano and his deep knowledge of Indian philosophy. He has performed on the piano and given lectures at some prestigious venues in many of these countries. He became a Licentiate of the Guild Hall of Music, London and honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London. The British Government honored him with the GCSI and GCB. He was the first president of the Philharmonia Concert Society, London. In 1950, he enabled Richard Strauss's last wish to be fulfilled by sponsoring an evening at Royal Albert Hall by London's Philharmonia Orchestra with German Conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler in the lead and Soprano Flagstad singing his Four Last Songs.


He was also responsible in forming the Medtner Society in 1948 to popularize the contributions of the Russian composer, Nikolai Karlovich Medtner (1880–1951). He made arrangements to make the recordings of this western composer widely available to public.  Medtner expressed his gratitude by dedicating his Third Piano Concerto to the MahArAjA of Mysore.


Before he ascended the throne, the MahArajA underwent training in KarNATik vocal music from Mysore Vasudevachariar, and in vINa with VINa Ve"nkaTagiriyappa for a short term. The music he learnt from these two teachers, though it was for a very brief period, later blossomed and bore wonderful fruits. However, Western classical music was a passion for him, and only much later around 1940, his interest in south Indian music cherished, when he came into contact with stalwarts like Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar, and Tiger Varadachariar. Naturally, music luminaries and artists were attracted to his court. Scholars and composers who adorned his court includeTiger Varadachariar, Chennakeshavayya, Titte Krishna Iyengar, S. N. Mariappa, Chintalapatti Ramachandra Rao, R. N. Doraswamy, H.. M. Vaidyalingam (the adopted son and nephew of Muthiah Bhagavatar). When violinist T. Chowdayya was crowned Sangita Kalanidhi, the MahArAjA delivered a very scholarly presidential address at the Music Academy, which is still a landmark.


JayacAmarAja held several covetable posts, During Independace days, he was a Rajapramuka of Mysore, later Governer of Madras, Chancellor of Mysore, Madras, and Benaras Universities, President of Sangita Nataka Academy, and so on.  He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from several universities Including the University of Queensland, Australia, and the fellowship of the Sangita Nataka Academy.  For his ample patronage of scholars, arts and music, and for his generocity, he was often referred to as the "DakSiNa BhOja".  He dies on 24th August 1974, after a serious illness.




JayacAmarAja was initiated to "shrI vidyA" upAsana, by Saint Siddhali"nga SvAmi, the chief of the nAgali"nga matham.  He soon gained a deep understanding of the shrIcakra ritual of worship.  He used to hold frequent sessions with Mysore Vasudevachariar, Tiger Varadachariar and others, discussing finer aspects of Hindu religion, music, and so forth.  With his immense knowledge of Sanskrit and philosophy, he composed a large numer of compositions in KarNATik music. A total of 94 of his compositions are supposed to be available in print, but I have been able to collect only 93, which can be viewed here:







JayacAmarAja's compositions were modeled after MuttusvAmi DIkSitar, who was also a shrividyA UpAsaka. All his songs are in chaste sanskirit. Of the 93 songs, 11 are on gaNapati, 13 in shiva, 4 on ViSNu, 2 on sarasvati, 1 on gAyatri, and the rest of Goddess pArvati, and lakSmi. While not on specific shrines, we find references to Ka~ncIpuram (kAmAkSi, EkAmrEshvara), arunNAcalanAtha (tejOli"ngam) of Tiruvannamalai, Madhurai, sh.r"ngEri, gajAraNyam, mahAbala giri, shvEtAdri (White Hills?), etc., in some of his songs.  It is not clear whether he visited these temples and composed songs there. All his k.ritis incorporate several doctrines from shrividyA, shrIcakram, and mantra shAstram.  These compositions were his vehicles to express his inner spirit longing for liberation from this world.  Many of these songs obviously were inspired by similar compositions of MuttusvAmi dIkSitar.


There are nor varNam or rAgamALika in his works, and all are just kIrtanams with pallavi, anupallavi and caraNam. In very rare cases we find multiple caraNams.  Citta svara passeges are found in some compositions (for example:. rAjarAjeshvarIm, shrI mahAgaNapartim, shrI jAlandharam). Many of his songs are adorned with madhyamakAla passages, some appearing only in caraNam, and some in both anupallavi and caraNam. In one instanvce, we have madhyamakAla passege in the pallavi itself. ("pAhi mAm shrI rAjarAjEshvari" in rAgam Jayasamvardhani).  The song, "kAmAkSIm varalakSmIm" has three madhyamakAla passages.


The theme of shrIvidyA is sprinkled liberally in all his compositions. Especially noteworthy are some of the following illustrative lines:


"kSityAdi shivAnta SaTtriMshat tattvasvarUpiNi"  (kSIrasAgarashayana, shrIrAjarAjEshvarIm)


"Om hrIMkarEkASarAnuvAgartthasvarUpiNi"  (aMbujAkSi pAhi mAM)


"hakAramakArasakAra rUpashvAsOcchvAsamayi hamsamantrarUpiNi"  (kAmAkSi pAhi mAm)


"sarvAnandamaya trikONnAntargata cakravAsini pa~ncabrahmaparyantOpadEshinIm" . (kAmEshvarIm)


"anAhatAdi SaTkamalAntasthitE akhaNDaikarasAsvAdabharitE

akacaTatapAdivarNEshvari …

animAdyaSTasiddhishaktyaktmaka navAvaraNashrImadAdividyE" (bhuvanEshvari)


"kAmAkarSanyAdi caturdashakAminIsamsevitamahAmayE" (shrIcakrapuravAsini)


"navAvaraNamadhyavAsini nadabindukalAsvarUpiNi" (shrIlalite)


In some songs, the mahArAja has incorporated phrases borrowed from the

"LalitA sahasranAmam".  For instance:

"catuH SaSthikOTiyOgoinI gaNavanditAm

cidagnikyuNDa sambhUtAm"    ("jaganmOhinIm haramOhinIm")


In one song, "shrI gAyatI dEvi", we find fitting references to the gAyatrI mahA mantram: (e.g.,  "muktAvidrumAdi kAntiyutE, bhargadEva varENyAnugrahitE"),  


The song, "mAta"ngakanyAm " in shuddha tODI has several phrases resembling the  popular cUrNka, "shyAmaLA daNDakam" of poet Kalidasa.


Long winding phrases usually found in DIkSitar compositions are present in several songs such as the caraNam of  "pAhi mAM shrIpa~ncamAta"ngatanaya".

or "shrIguru dakSiNAmUrtE"



The MahArAjA has used a total of 30 mELa rAgams in his compositions. Besides the popular mELams like tODi, kalyANi, sha"nkarAbharaNam, latAn"gi, SaNmukhapriya, cakravAkam, cArukEshi, shubhapantuvarALi, simhEndra madhyamm, hEmavati, dharmavati, he has also employed some not-so-usual candidates like dhEnuka, kOkilapriya, vakuLAbharaNam, hATakAmbari, sUryakAntam, vAgadIshvari, kAmavardhani, rAmapriya, gamanashrama, bhavapriya, rAgavardhani, vishvambhari, SaDvidhamArgiNi, suvarNAn"gi, nAmanArAyaNi, and .rSabhapriya.  A notable omission is mELam 22, kharaharapriya.


The Janya rAgams employed include some popular ones, some very rare ones, and one invented by MahArAjA  himself, as the following list illustrates:


am.rtavarSiNi, bAlacandrika, bhairavam, bhOgavasantam, dEvagAndhAri, dUrvA"nki, gamakakriya, guNDakriya, hamsavinOdini, hindOLam darbAr, hindOLadESika, hindOLavasantam, jaganmOhini, janara~njani, , kOkilabhASiNi, kOkilapa~ncamam, lalita, mAND, nAdabrahmam, nAgadhvani, nArAyaNagauLa, nIlavENi, pratApavarALi, simhavAhini, simhEndramadhyamam,  shivakAmbOdhi, shuddha lalita, shuddha tODi, shuddha sALavi, supradIpam, suranandini, udayaravicandrika, vasanta, vIravasantam, vijayavasantam. 


The scales of some lesser known rAgams he employed are given below:


bhUpALA pa~ncamam  -- janyam of jhALavarALi (mELam 39)

s r g r m p d s --- s p d m g r s


bhOgavasantam  -- janyam of kAmavardhani (mELam 51)

s r g m d n s --- s n d m g r s


bAlacandrika – janyam of  kharaharapriya (mELam 22)

s g m p d n s --- s n dm G r s


bhAnucandrika – janyam of hanumatODi (mELam 8)

s m d n s – s n d m g s


hamsanaTani – janyam of hATakAmbari (mELam 18)

s g m p s --- s p m g r s


hamsavinOdini – janyam of  dhIrasha"nkarAbharaNam (mELam 29)

s r g m d n s – s n d m g r s


nIlavENi – janyam of  naTabhairavi (mELam 20)

s r g m p d n d s –s d p m g r s


nAdabrahmam – janyam of  vAcaspati  (mELam 64)

S p m p d  n s – s n d p m g s


dUrvA"nki – janyam of  dhIrasha"nkarAbharaNam (mELam 29)

d r m p d s – s n p d p m g r s


shivakAmbhOji – janyam of harikAmbhOji (mELam 28)

s r g m n s –s n p m g r s


shuddha sALavi -- janyam of  naTabhairavi (mELam 20)

s g m p n s – s n p m r s


suranandini – janyam of  dhIrasha"nkarAbharaNam (mELam 29)

s r g p d n s – s n d p g r s


vijayavasantam – janyam of  vishvambhari (mELam 54)

s m p d n s – s n p m g s


jayasamvardhani – janyam of  sUryakAntam (mELam 27)

s g m p d n s—s n p m g r s

(this rAgam was invented by JayacAmarAja WodeyAr himself)




Besided Adi (caturashra tripuTa), rUpakam, and mishra cApu, he has composed in rare tALams like: mishra jhaMpe,  trishra jhaMpe,, caturashra aTa, caturashra maThyam, caturashra dhruvam, khaNDa rUpakam,  khaNDa Triputa , sa"nkIrNa tripuTa, , and mishra tripuTa.




Most of his songs are adorned with some form of alliteration (prAsam), such as AdyakSara prAsam (first syllable rhyme), dvitIyAkSara prAsam (second syllable), or anytAkSara prAsam (end syllable rhyme), or sometimes a combination of them. The AdyakSara prAsams are prominent in the following  k.rtis:

"pAhi mAM shrI paramEshvar I", " kAmAkSI pAhi mAm".


 Examples of dvitIyAkSara prAsams are fouind in "gaM gaNapatE namastE", "vijayatAM shrIrAjarAjeshvar", " nAgali"ngamahEshvaram",


AntyAkSara prAsam  examples are :"shrIguru dakSiNAmUrtE", "paripAhi shrI varalakSmi", "ambA shrI rAjarAjEshvari", "bAlE b.rhats.rSTimUlE", "mahiSAsuramardani",  "suvarNA"ngi rAjamAta"ngi".




Being an ardent devortee of Goddess and follower of shrIvidyA, the MahArAjA naturally chose the phrase  "shrIvidyA" as his vAggEyakAra mudra in most of his compositions. The shrIvidyA mudra is absent only in 8 compositions, In four, we have only "vidyA" instead, or the phrases "srI" and "vidyA" separated by a qualifying adjective such as "mahA".  We also find the phrase "nAgali"nga" in a few compositions, which perhaps is an offer of respect to his spiritual Guru, Shilpi Siddhal"nga SvAmi of the nAgali"nga maTham. Also there are references to kaNThIrava (his teacher), and yOga paTTAbhirAma.


Genuine rAga mudra is available for 86 songs.  The missing ones are in rAgams hanumatODI, aThANa, am.rtavAhini, hindoLadarbAr, cArukEshi, vasantabhairavi and mALavi.   Many a time, we fine phrases line " --- rAga tOSitE", Many rAga names appear as synonyms of the corresponding name for the Goddess e.g., kalyANi, suvarNA"gi, bhavapriyA, jaganmOhini, haimavati.  In a few rare cases, we have indirect rAga mudra, through some ingenious word construction. For example.


mAND                        (in brahmANDa valayE mAyE),    

gamanashrama        (parabrhama gamanasramahitakAriNi)

dhEnuka                    (kAmadhEnukAtishayAM)

hamsavinOdini         (paramahamsavinOdinIm)



We give below the sAhityam and free style meanings of nine among his chaste and scholarly compositions on Goddess.


1. sarasvatIM bhagavatIm


rAgam: hamsavinOdini      tALam: mishra jhampE




sarasvatIM bhagavatIM namAmyahaM

sammOdinIM paramahamsa vinOdinIm




sarasIruhAsana prIyayuvatIM shrImatIM

saraLasvabhAvasumatIM sannuta kIrtIm

sarasagAnalOla vAgIshvarIM sAmpradAyika-

gAyakAnugrahakarIM shubhakarIm




mUka vAkpradAna vikhyAtAM sucaritAM

shuka shaunakAdi vanditAm karuNAnvitAm

pAkashAsanAdi surapUjitAm darahasitAM

shuka pustaka vINA maNi mAlAlank.rtAm

rAkEnduvadana virAjitAm shubhravastra

sushObhitAm shrIvidyAtOSitAm





I bow down to Goddess Sarasvati ---

who  brings  happiness; who delights in the  yOgis;


The beloved wife of brahma (who is seated on a lotus);

who is auspicious (venerable);

who has a straightforward disposition and pure mind;

whose glory is sung by all;

who is the Goddess of speech, 

who enjoys good music; 

who bestows grace on the singers who adhere  to tradition; 

who grants goodness and prosperity. 


who is famed for granting speech  even to the dumb; 

who is with a good nature;

who is worshipped by sages  shuka, shaunaka, and others;

who is the compassionate One;

who is woshipped by Indra and the other dEvas;

who possesses  a gentle smile;

who is adorned in Her hands with the parrot, book, vINa and rosary ;

who has a shining  face that is verily the full moon;

who is replendent in pure white clothes; and

who is ever pleased by the shrIvidyA doctrine.


hamsavinOdini is a pa~ncama varjya, SADava upA"nga janyam of mELam 29, dhIrasha"nkarAbharaNam. Its scale is


ArOhaNam;               S R2 G3 M1 D2 N3 S*          

avarOhaNam:           S*  N D M G R S


WoDeyar has brought out the essence of the rAgam beautifully. He has also nicely woven the rAga murda into the sAhityam, using aprpopriate slEsham in the phrase " partamahamsavinOdinIm". There are very few compositions in this rAgam.  The famous NarAyaNatIrtha tara"ngam "sharaNam bhava karuNamayi" is sung in this rAgam by the D.K. Jayaraman school.

2. vandEhaM sadA shAradAm


rAgam: hamsanaTani         tALam: Adi




vandEhaM sadA shAradAM

hamsanaTanI rAgapriyAM shrIvidyAm




mandahAsinIM manOnmaNIM

ma~njuLa vAgvilAsinIm brahma-

mAnasOllAsinIM mAninIm




mUlAdhArAdi SaTcakrAntargatAM

mUka vAkpradAna suvikhyAtAm

mUla prak.rtyAdi svarUpAM

mUrtAmUrta bhavya svarUpAm

kart.rtvAdyatIta rUpAm kavijana sammOdita cidrUpAm





Always, I salute Goddess shAradA.

who likes hamsanaTani rAgam;

who is the very essence of shrIvidyA.


who is  with a gentle smile;

who is the jewel to the mind;

who is soft spoken;

who brings joy to brahma;

who is venerable.


who is ever present in the six cakrams starting from mUlAdhAra;

who is famed for granting speech even to the dumb;

who is in the form of the origin of the universe;

who is both with and without form;

who is beyond creation and destruction;

who is in the form of the intellect, pleased by poets.


hamsanaTani is a svarAntara auDava upANga rAgam, traditionally placed under the 18th mELam,  hATakAmbari/jayashuddhamALavi..

Composition in the rAgam are hard to find. WoDeyAr has so deftly handled the rAgam  that one forgets the limitations imposed by the rAga structure and the svarAntara ArOhaNam. The rAgam evokes bhakti rasa, with a hint of adbhutam. This is a beautiful composition that bears ample testimony to the composer's skill in handling rare rAgams.  The rAga mudra is placed directly by invoking its name. 

3. suvarNA"ngi rAjamAta"ngi


rAgam: suvarNA"ngi         tALam:  mishra jhampe




suvarNA"ngi rAjamAta"ngi

shivArdhA"ngi hIra maNimayA"ngi jaganmOhanA"ngi




suratharAja kaivalya pradAyini

suprasiddha navAkSara b.rhannAyaki

suradAnavAdi vinutE satya j~nAnAnanta

saccidAnanda pada sambOdhitE




kAmESvara manOhari sarasA"ngi

kAmakOTi pITha nilayE ratnA"ngi

kAmAkSi kAntAmaNi mAta"ngi

kAmavairi mOhanakari hEmA"ngi

vAmadEvAdi pa~ncavaktrEshvara

vAmA"nkavAsini shrIvidyAntara"nga nivAsini




Oh! The Golden limbed One; rAjamAta"ngi;

who has taken over half of Lord shiva;

whose body is adorned with diamond various gems;

who has a beauty that enchants the whole universe.


who granted salvation to king suratha. (the story of King suratha is mentioned in the dEvI bhAgavatam).


who is the mistress of the famed navAkSari (nine-lettered)  mantram;

who is praised by dEvas and dAnavas alike;

who is known by names such as satya, j~nAna, ananta, saccidAnanda,  etc.,

who captivates the heart of kAmEshvara;

who possesses a comely form;

who reside int the kAmakOTi pITham;

who is adorned with rubies;

who is a jewel among beautiful women/ wives;

who is mAta"ngi;

who has enamoured the foe of  Cupid;

who has  golden form;

who is seated on the left thigh of the 5-faced Ishvara;

who resides in the soul of shrIvidyA.


suvarNA"ngi is the 47th sampUrNa mELam. Its scale is


ArOhaNam:               S R1 G2 M2 P D2 N3 S*

avarOhaAnam:         S N D P M G R S


This is a very nice rAgam with scope for elaboration. The rAgam evokes various rasas such as sh.r"ngAram, hAsyam and vIram. The asampUrNa equivalent is rAgA"nga rAgam sauvIra.


WoDeyAr's k.rti is a nice addition to the very few compositions in the mELa rAgam. The song opens with the raga mudra. Interestingly, WoDeyAr has made use of several other mELakartA names in the k.rti (sarasA"ngi, ratnA"ngi, kAntAmaNi) using them as apellations of dEvi. The antya prAsam  is beautifully maintained in the pallavi and the caraNam.


There is no verb in this song, and the song just invokes the various names of the Goddess, similar in flavor to a nAmAvaLi type rendition. 


4. pAhi mAM shrI rAjarAjEshvari


rAgam: jayasamvardhini    tALam:  khaNDa tripuTa




pAhi mAm shrI rAjarAjEshvari

parvata rAjakumAri EkAnEkAkSari bhuvanEshvari




Ehi dEvi tvatpAda padma sEvanam

dEhi sadA mama janani EkAmranAthEshvari




shrIvidyAmOdini manOnmaNi

shrIkaNThEshvara jayasamvardhini

avidyA mUla haraNa nipuNa caraNE

avinAsha kaivalya pradAnta.h karaNE

anAdi parashiva jAyE ananta guNa nikAyE

analpa karuNA nilayE





Please protect me, Oh! shrI rAjarAjEshvari;

who is daughter of the king of mountains;

who is in the form of the one syllable, as well as the entire alphabet;

 who is the Goddes of the entire universe .


Come near me; dEvi! give me the service of your lotus feet;  forever; my mother;  wife of Lord EkAmranAtha (shiva).


who are appeased by shrIvidyA;

who is the jewel of the mind;

who cause the growth and consolidation of the victory of Lord shrIkaNTha;

whose feet are skilled in uprooting ignorance;

who is favourable to granting eternal salvation;

who is without a beginning;

who is the consort of parashiva;

who is the abode of innumerable attributes;

who is the abode of great compassion.


jayasamvardhini is a rAgam  discovered by WoDeyar. It is not found in treatises of music  It is a upA"nga janyam of the 17th mELam sUryakAntam/ chAyAvati. Its scale is


ArOhaNam:               S G3 M1 P D2 N3 S*

avarOhaNam;           S* N P M G R1 S


From the scale you can observe that it is very close to jaganmOhini.

This short k.rti is simply cute. The caraNam features the rAga mudra. The dvitIyA and antyAkSara prAsams are maintained throughout.  No other composition is available in this unique rAgam.


5. shrI vidyAM lalitAm


rAga: nAdabrahmam       tALam: Adi




 shrI vidyAM lalitAM praNamAmi

shritajana kalpalatAM shubhacaritAm




 sarva sampatpradAM b.rhadAnandAM

sarvalOka pUjita padAM sharva h.rtsukha pradAm kaivalyadAm




 IshAdi vIrAvaLi pa~nca brahma mayIM

IkAra rUpa sushObhita shivamayIm

IshAna sarvavidyA svarUpa yutAM

Isha sEvA niratAM darahAsayutAm

vIshavAha sahOdarIM

nAdabrahmavasha"nkarIM sha"nkarIm





I bow to lalitA, shrIvidyA. to Her

who is the celestial tree  to those that seek refuge in Her;

who is with an auspicious and good character


who bestows all riches;

who is unbounded happiness ; 

whose feet are worshipped by all the worlds;

who causes happiness/beatitude/comfort to Lord shiva`s heart;

who gives salvation (detachment from all worldly ties)


who is shines in the form of IkAra and is full of auspiciousness.

Note:  IkAra relates to lakSmI. The lakSmi aspect of auspiciousness, and ma"ngaLam are emphasized here. (e.g.,--  "IkArarUpA"  in lalitA trishati)


who has the form of all the mighty vidyAs (knowledge) in Her possession.

(e.g., – "shivaj~nAnapradAyini" in  LalitA sahasranAmam


who is ever immersed in the service of Isha. ("shivArAdhyA" in lalitA sahasranAmam)


who displays a sweet smile.

Who is the sister of the one who has the king of the skies as His vehicle.

(vIsha is vi+Isha i.e., king of the skies, namely the bird  garuDa).

who captures/is captured by nAdabrahmam.

who pacifies and does good.


nAdabrahmam is an upA"nga vakra auDava--SADava janyam of the 64th mELam vAcaspati The scale is 


ArOhaANam;                        S P M2 P D2 N2 S*

avarOhaAnam;         S* N D P M G3 S


The sa"nagtis of the pallavi are very catchy. The rAgam has a lilting melody and can be easily sung despite the vakra prayOgam in the ArOhaNam. The rAgam is gAna rasa pradhAnam, with a bright mood to it. There is an undercurrent of bhakti


The last line incorporates the rAga mudra. There is plenty of rhyming throughout, and the usage of the first phrase rhyming through "Isha" is well carved out.


6. brahmANDa valayE mAyE


rAgam: mAND          tALam:  Adi




brahmANDa valayE mAyE

brahmAdi vandita shivajAyE




brahmavidyAnandita h.rdayE

brahmarSyAdyupAsita shr vidyE brahmarandhra nilayE




gautamArcita gAyatri gauri girirAjEndra putri

kAnta rAgiNi nArAyaNi kAruNya lalitE ma"njuLavANi

antarmukha jyOtirmaya kalyANi ahi nibha vENi purANi

anta rahita kaivalya vihAriNi gatinirjita kariNi gIrvANi




Oh Goddess: surrounded by/encircling the whole universe

which envelops the whole universe is Her;

wife of shiva saluted by brahma, and others;


whose heart is pleased by brahmavidyA;

who is worshipped by the super sages and others;

who is the essence of shrIvidyA;

who is abiding in the brahma randhra/sahasrAra;


who is gAyatri woshipped by sage gautama; gauri;

who is the daughter of the king of mountains;

who is enamoured with Her husband;

who has compassion as Her charm;

who possesses a  sweet and mellifluous  voice;

who is always the doer of good

who is ever facing inward and effulgence;

whose braids are like a snake;

who is ancient and senior to everyone and everything;

who dallies playfully in eternal salvation;

who is gIrvANi.


maND is a very popular and pleasing rAgam.  Wodeyar has incorporated the rAga mudra cleverly disguising it  in the opening phrase: brahmANDa nilayE.

As usual, there is an abundance of prAsams.  This is one composition of the MahArAjA that is gaining populaity, and is often heard in concerts these days.


7.  bhuvanEshvari


rAgam: bhuvanagAndhAri           tALam:  dEshAdi




bhuvanEshvari bhuvanamanOhari

bhuvanagAndhAri tripur sundari




bhUrAdi lOkavyApini

bhuvana mOdini vishvavinOdini

shivashaktE shivakAntE shivakAyE

shivajAyE shivArdhamUrtE




mahAdEvAdi sampUjitE

mahAgaNapati guhEsha sahitE

anAhatAdi SaTkamalAntaH sthitE

akhaNDaika rasAsvAda bharitE

akacaTatapyashAdi varNavaikharI prakAshini shivE shrIbAlE

aNimAdyaSTasiddhi shaktyAtmaka

navAvaraNa shrImadAdividyE




makhadhvamsakari magasarimA

tajham jhaNuTa murahara

 pamamaga takiTa manOranjakari

maga taddhimikiTa lalitAmbike sanidapa tadhigiNatOm





She who enchants the world; bhuvana gAndhAri;

who is  tripura sundari;

who pervades all the worlds starting with bhUH;

who pleases the world;

who is entertained by the world;

who is the power of shiva; attracts shiva; is the abode of shiva;

The wife of shiva; and  who forms half of shiva`s body;


who is worshipped by mahAdEva, and others;

who is accompanied by gaNEsha and kArtikEya;

who lives in the siix cakrams including anAhata;

who is filled with boundless bliss;

who illumines(or is manifest in) the various letter groups beginning with a, ka, ca, Ta, ta, pa, ya and Sa;;

who is shrIvidyA elaborated in the 9 AvaraNas that include within them the 8 siddhis.


bhuvanagAndhAri is a upA"nga janyam of the 20th mELam, naThabhairavi.. Its scale is


ArOhaNam;               S R2 M1 P N2 S*    

avarOhaNam:           S* N D1 P M G2 S


This is a rare and beautiful rAgam, that evokes sh.r"ngAram and bhakti.

WoDeyAr has provided an authoritative essay on this rare rAgam. This k.rti has a sholkaTTu. WoDeyAr has also used the svarAkSara in several places as embellishments.


There are only a couple of other known k.rtis in the rAgam: "paramAtmani" of mIsu k.rSNayyar, and  "lalitAmbE shrImAtE" of vINa VE"nkaTagiriyappa.


Some of the phrases in this song remind us of kamalAmbA navAvaraNa series of muttusvAmi dIkSitar. Note that this k.rti does not have a verb. The rAga mudra is in the pallavi line. Further, in place of of the usual "shrI vidyA" mudra, here we find "shrImadAdividyA". Instead. The pleasing effect created by the multiple usage of of the phrase "shivE" in the anupallavi is noteworthy.



8. suj~nAnadAyinIm


rAgam: shuddha sALavi               tALam: Adi.




suj~nAna dAyinIM vandE

sadAnAda vinOdinIm




sujana pAlinIM sumatIM sundarIM

sujanakAmadhEnu svarUpiNIM sumitrAM sAvitrIm




anantAnantakOTi pashujana gaNayuta brahmANDa nAyikAM

sanakAdi mahAmuni pUjita b.rhadAnanda nAyikAm  ||1||


ariSTApaharaNa kAryaniratAM pashupatipriya nAyikAM

samasta  shAstra pratipAdita prak.rtyAtmikAM b.rhannAyikAm  ||2||


amaragaNavandita padAM ajAmEkAmiti suprasiddhAM

vimalAtmikAM shrIvidyAM AdyAM vijaya shuddhasALavI priyAm ||3||





I salute Her, twho grants appropriate auspicious knowledge.

who is ever dallying in bliss.


who protects the righteous people;

who is the wish-granting calf "kAmadhEnu" for the righteous;

who is a good friend;

who is radiant (sAvitri).


who is the reigning queen of infinite universe containing animals, men etc.

who is the mistress of infinite bliss,

who is worshipped by the great sages such as sanaka.


who is engaged in removing enemies/misfortune;

who is the beloved consort of  shiva, the Lord of all living.

who is in the nature that is the origin of everything

who is glorified by all doctrines;

who is with a colossal form.


whose feet are worshipped by the hordes of dEvas;

who is famous as "one without birth"  (parabrahma ), "The Only One".

who has a pure and unsullied soul;

who is the primordial One;

who  loves shuddha sALavi .


shuddha sALavi rAgam is WoDeyar`s find. It is him that has given a form to this beautiful rAgam.  It is a janya of naThabhairavi  (there is no dhaivatam)


ArOhaNam:              S G2 M1 P N2 S*

avarOhaNam;           S* N P M R2 S


This fabulous and enchanting k.rti is a shining example of WoDeyAr`s composition with svara -- sAhitya passages. The rAgam is very beautiful. It has bhakti and a touch of sh.r"ngAram and dainyam. This rAgam is very close to sughrAi/sughrAi kAnaDA, and also to suhA/suhAkAnaDA of the of hindustAni music This is one of the few compositions of WoDeyAr with multiple caraNams.



9.  ambA shrI rAjarAjEshvari


rAgm: bhOgavasantam      tALam: Adi




 ambA shrI rAjarAjEshvari

ambujAkSi shrI kAmAkSi




lambOdara janani kAmEshvari

sammOhini surEshvari

shAtOdari shAkambhari shrIpatisOdari

shritajana shubhakari shivasha"nkari




EkAnEkAkSara manu rUpiNi

EkAgracittArcita tOSiNi

shOka shamanakAriNi kalyANi

shAmbhavi ramAdhi shaktivAsini

vikArarahita vimalEshvari 

vinuta shrIvidyA SODaSAkSari

akArAdikSakArAnta vAgISvari

bhOgavasanta bhOgEshvari





Mother rAjarAjEshvari, lotus-eyed Lady, auspicious kAmAkSi (one with enchanting eyes)


Mother of gaNapatikAmEshvari

She who enchants; the Leader of the Gods.

who is  slim-waisted;

who gave food (vegetation) to this world at the time of famine;

the sister of ViSNu;

who does good to those that approach her.

And who is shivasha"nkari


who is in the form of one syllable (OmkAra) and also of many letters

who is pleased by a mind with oneness of purpose (of those who think of Her with concentration)

who destroys sadness (distress);

who is auspicious

who is the consort of shambhu;

who resides in the lakSmi shakti  (is the abode of lakSmi shakti as part of the three shaktis). Traditionally, lakSmi signifies the ma"ngaLam, prosperity and fertility aspect.


she who is pure and without any imperfection or anomaly worshipped shrIvidyA

who is in the form of the sixteen  letters


who is the Ruler  of all the language originating from the letters of the alphabet from a-kAra to kSa-kAra. (Note the word akSara also means indestructible).

And the One who enjoys bhOgavasantam


bhOgavasantam is a pa~ncama varjya ubhaya krama SADava upA"nga janyam of the 51st mELam kAmavardhani.  Compositions in bhOgavasantam are very rare.


There is antyAksara praAsam uniformly in all lines, and the dvitIyAkSara rhyme is also present in many lines. The last line exhibits the rAga mudra. Some phrases in this song remind us of similar phrases in muttusvAmi dIkSitar's kamalAmbA navAvaraNa series.


Related Links:


2000 - navarAtri k.rtis of maharAjA svAti tirunAL:


2001 - kAmAkSi navAvaraNam of UttukkADu vE”nkaTa kavi:


2002 - kamalAmbA navAvaraNam of muttusvAmi dIkSitar:


2003 - abhayAmbA vibhakti k.rtis of muttusvAmi dIkSitar:


2004 - nIlOtpalAmbA “gauLAnta” k.rts of muttusvAmi dIkSitar:


2005 – Nine nights – Nine composers – Nine k.rtis:


2006 – Compositiions of shyAmA shAstri on Goddess mInAkSi of Madurai (a.k.a navaratnamAlikA):


2007 – cAmuNDASTOttarashata kIrtanams of  HarikeshanallUr  Muthiah BhAgavatar:


2008 – rAgamAlikA Compositions on Devi:


In addition, we also uploaded several stOtrams on dEvi  (saundaryalaharI, lalitA sahasranAmam, and so on), appropriate for chanting on this festive occasion.  They can all be accessed from  the “shlOka bank” of Carnatica’s Composition Bank. (from the following links).


dEvi stOtrams:             


lalitA sahasranAmam: