Did the Pancharatna Mallari encourage Tyagaraja to compose Pancharatna kritis?

Othavaneswarar temple in Thiruchottruthurai on the southern banks of the Cauvery.
| Picture Credit score: M. Srinath

It’s idyllic on the temple in Thiruchottruthurai, on the southern banks of the Cauvery. The streets are abandoned. Besides for 2 ladies  making garlands for the presiding deity Othavaneswarar, and Manoharan, the priest of the one of many Sapthasthana temples, there isn’t a different presence, belying the temple’s place in Saivite custom and music. 

For, it was throughout one of many Sapathasthana festivals, when deities from seven temples could be carried in palanquins, was Saint Tyagaraja handled to the Pancharatna Mallaris by the nagaswaram gamers of Thiruchottruthurai, who had come to play at Tiruvaiyaru. The incident has been recorded by scholar and creator Swaminathya Athreyan in his brief story assortment, Tyagaraja Anubhavangal, explaining the circumstances that led to the creation of a specific kriti.

Entrance to the  Othavaneswarar Temple in  Thiruchottruthurai

Entrance to the Othavaneswarar Temple in Thiruchottruthurai
| Picture Credit score:
M. Srinath

Thiruchottruthurai finds a reference within the story in regards to the kriti Manusolini Marmamulu in raga Varamu.

In line with the story, after his dinner, Tyagaraja joined his disciples who sang Dolotasava kritis  and provided milk to Rama. Then, he sang Uyyalaa in Neelambari and Padaikatheera in Reetigowla earlier than concluding the day’s poojas. It was then that they heard the sound of crackers. 

“Anna, nagaswaram gamers from Thirucottruthurai are going to play the Pancharatna Mallari. They’re excellent at it. Lets go?” requested Ramarayan, one in every of Tyagaraja’s disciples. The saint checked out Sundara Bhagavathar and Krishna Bhagavathar. “Lets go?”

The agraharam near the temple

The agraharam close to the temple
| Picture Credit score:
M. Srinath

They crossed Thirumanjana road and merged into the group. After they reached Sannidhi road, an aarti with lamps was being provided to Lord Panchanatheeswarar and his consort Dharmasamvarthani, who have been seated on a platform product of palmyra fronds. 

The Mallari started in Nattai. There have been 4 nagaswarams — two every set in mandrasthayee and tharasthayee. Six thavils accompanied them in excellent synchrony. They’ve most likely practised effectively. There may be not a single improper observe. 

Othavaneswarar Temple

Othavaneswarar Temple
| Picture Credit score:

The music mesmerised the group. This was adopted by Gowla, Arabi, Varalai and Sri ragas. Within the Keezhaveedhi, nagaswaram gamers carried out a thani.

Did the Pancharatna Mallari encourage Tyagaraja to compose his Pancharatna kritis or did the nagaswaram gamers observe a practice created by Tyagaraja? Athreyam, himself, doesn’t present any clues.  However, he means that Tyagaraja was impressed by Sarvalagu Layam within the ganam singing of Vishwesara Ganapadigal, notably about Prahatharanyam. This incident finds reference within the brief story in regards to the Rama Neeyada kriti in Karaharapriya. It isn’t clear whether or not they have been composed so as or individually. 


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Particular Association

In his preface to the e-book, Athreyan, a good friend of T. Janakiraman and Karichankunju, says that every one the incidents in his tales are true, and narrated by  Umayalpuram Swaminatha Bhagavathar and Embar Srirangachariar, disciples of Tyagaraja’s direct disciples.

Scholar V. Raghavan, in his e-book The Religious Heritage of Tyagaraja, says that the music ‘Endaro mahanubhavulu andariki vandanamu’ in Sri Raga was composed to commemorate the go to of the Kerala-based Shatkala Govinda Marar, a prodigious musician. 

“The music is an omnibus obeisance to the huge galaxy of realised souls, devotees, sages, saints and singers of the reward of the Lord and may have hardly any hint of an incident just like the go to of Govinda,” writes Raghavan. 

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