Vachana Sahitya- Basavanna and Akkamahadevi

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
knandago2001
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#26

Post by knandago2001 » 25 Aug 2009, 17:21

The following excerpt is taken from a report on Akka Mahadevi’s vacanas at the Music Academy. http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/01/12/st ... 12070s.htm "Akka Mahadevi of the Veera Saiva cult (http://www.veerashaiva.org.in/Akka.html) was described as one of the earliest and brightest stars among the saint singers, who composed vacanas or compositions addressing the Supreme in nayikaa-nayaka bhava. Various vacanas centering round the deep devotion of Akka Mahadevi towards her Ishta Devata, Channa Mallikaarjuna Swami (``Kalavalada'', ``Holeyuva'', ``Kaamisi kalipisi,'' ``Chilipili'') and her intense love for the Lord in its different stages were illustrated, bringing out the composer's outburst of spiritual love. V. V. Srivatsa, musiocologist, mentioned the unique status of the vachanas and said that this pertains to one school of thought; further he brought to notice the vachana ``Kalla Bheda'' (Gowri Manohari) sung by Mallikaarjun Mansur. While some of the earlier vachanas contained eight lines (shatpadi), Akka Mahadevi has composed vachanas in Tripadi (three lines). R. Vedavalli referred to the vachanas of Basavanna, as having ideas of general outlook towards life, and added that Akka Mahadevi could be described as the Andal of Karnataka. A comparative study of these two divine women composers, as also an analysis of the vacanas of other composers, were suggested by her."
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vidya
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#27

Post by vidya » 25 Aug 2009, 19:37

>>While some of the earlier vachanas contained eight lines (shatpadi), Akka Mahadevi has composed vachanas in Tripadi (three lines).

Shatpadi of 8 lines?? A Shatpadi as far as I know is a mAtrA vRtta of 6 padas with a 3/4/5 mAtrA units based on the sub-type.
Last edited by vidya on 26 Aug 2009, 05:22, edited 1 time in total.
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keerthi
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#28

Post by keerthi » 25 Aug 2009, 19:58

The shaTpadi is a meter where the first, second, fourth and fifth lines are equal to one another in terms of the 'weightage' i.e, the sum of the 'values' of the syllables in each line.(a laghu being equal to two units and a guru being one unit)
The third and sixth lines are 1.5 times longer than the rest and they are equal to one another.

It is a popular metre in kannaDa poetry, with varieties like the shara,kusuma and the more famous bhAminI and vArdhaka ShatpadI-s; in which were composed the KarNaTa Bharata KathAmanjari of KumAravyAsa and the Jaimini Bharata of LakshmIsha, respectively..
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knandago2001
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#29

Post by knandago2001 » 26 Aug 2009, 11:40

Vacanas in the context of Kannada literature
http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/kar/liter ... story4.htm
http://literaryindia.com/Literature/Ind ... ature.html

The valuable contributions of Sri. H. Thipperudraswamy
http://www.classicalkannada.org/DataBas ... MY%20H.htm

Several vacana tracks on youtube
http://u2download.com/download-watch-video-Vachana.htm

Vachanotsava without music
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/402 ... ay-30.html

Vacahana Nirantara - reports from anyone who might have attended would be welcome
http://www.thehindu.com/2009/06/04/stor ... 120200.htm
http://www.thehindu.com/fr/2009/06/05/s ... 790300.htm

Experiments with fusion - swalpa sihi swalpa spicy
http://churumuri.wordpress.com/2009/06/ ... zeitgeist/
Last edited by knandago2001 on 26 Aug 2009, 12:59, edited 1 time in total.
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ramakriya
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#30

Post by ramakriya » 27 Aug 2009, 05:20

vidya wrote:>>While some of the earlier vachanas contained eight lines (shatpadi), Akka Mahadevi has composed vachanas in Tripadi (three lines).

Shatpadi of 8 lines?? A Shatpadi as far as I know is a mAtrA vRtta of 6 padas with a 3/4/5 mAtrA units based on the sub-type.
As far as I know, I don't think vacanakAras, including Akka Mahadevi have stuck to a specific meter.

-Ramakriya
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knandago2001
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#31

Post by knandago2001 » 27 Aug 2009, 12:04

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knandago2001
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#32

Post by knandago2001 » 27 Aug 2009, 15:49

It is evident that Basavanna meant for vacanas to be sung in ragas.
http://neelanjana.wordpress.com/tag/basavanna/
http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/feb/14spec2.htm
A better understanding of meter, inherent to sub-genres if any, in the lyrics would help setting many of the vacanas to CM talas / ragas. Otherwise, it may be possible to sing them in the manner of ugabhogas popularized by the haridasa koota. Wonder if there are vacanas that speak of tala or rhythm.
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ramakriya
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#33

Post by ramakriya » 28 Aug 2009, 04:37

vidya wrote:Ramakriya,
Thanks, That makes perfect sense.Subsequent to this I did come across a reference that some 4-pada (and multiples) songs exist in Yakshagana that are known as Shatpadis so it may not be an eye-brow raising odd name as I had presumed it to be. As Nandagopal says, it would be interesting to understand their underlying rhythmic structure more so if the vacanas as a genre are to be heard in CM.
I'm wondering those 4-pAda shaTpadis are just a way of writing. I have seen even Kumara Vyasa bharata written as verses of 4 lines :)

-Ramakriya
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ramakriya
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#34

Post by ramakriya » 28 Aug 2009, 04:50

knandago2001 wrote:It is evident that Basavanna meant for vacanas to be sung in ragas.
http://neelanjana.wordpress.com/tag/basavanna/
http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/feb/14spec2.htm

A better understanding of meter, inherent to sub-genres if any, in the lyrics would help setting many of the vacanas to CM talas / ragas. Otherwise, it may be possible to sing them in the manner of ugabhogas popularized by the haridasa koota. Wonder if there are vacanas that speak of tala or rhythm.
I have read about another vacana of Akkamahadevi, where reference to singing of vacanas is even stronger. Unfortunately, don't remember it now. It was in a research article)

-Ramakriya
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knandago2001
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#35

Post by knandago2001 » 28 Aug 2009, 11:13

For a contemporary interpretation through the medium of film: Ilaiyaraja on Akka Mahadevi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKPZWEG3PpM
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knandago2001
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#36

Post by knandago2001 » 28 Aug 2009, 14:49

A review:
"Ilaiyaraja, an admirer of Akka's poetry even before he took up this film (interview with Madhusree Dutta http://www.themusicmagazine.com/madhusreeint.html), succeeds in infusing contemporary meaning into a vachana like Kaisiriya dandava ('You can confiscate'). He sets it to a fast-paced tune (sung by the Tamil singer B Jayasree), and Madhusree shows shots of fisherwomen and women travelling in a Mumbai suburban train.

But the subsequent vachanas don't touch the same high mark, with Ilaiyaraja sounding repetitive. Little attention is paid to clarity of words, often leaving one wondering if the language is indeed Kannada! Frustrating for those familiar with the language.

The one exception is Indraneelada giriya which is not sung but recited (by Vanamala Vishwanath, writer and professor at Bangalore University) to a rhythm. Shantanu Moitra, the man behind Shubha Mudgal's tunes in Ab ke Sawan and Man ke Manjeere, is brilliant when he uses an operatic score to go with the strokes of Neelima Sheikh's paintings of Akka. That's a passage of music that stays in the mind."
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vasanthakokilam
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#37

Post by vasanthakokilam » 28 Aug 2009, 22:18

Thanks Nandagopal. Quite educational about Akka Mahadevi.
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vidya
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#38

Post by vidya » 25 Sep 2009, 21:32

Ramakriya / Others,
Would you happen to have the lyrics (Kannada) for Allama Prabhu's poems particularly the Parrot and the other where he personifies time as a Tiger? Is there any artiste who has rendered any of his poems?
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ramakriya
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#39

Post by ramakriya » 26 Sep 2009, 00:18

vidya wrote:Ramakriya / Others,
Would you happen to have the lyrics (Kannada) for Allama Prabhu's poems particularly the Parrot and the other where he personifies time as a Tiger? Is there any artiste who has rendered any of his poems?
Vidya,

Vicharamantapa.net has about 125 vachanas of Allama Prabhu.

I am copy/pasting those with reference to tiger and parrot. I am not sure which was the one you were looking for. Most of his vachanas are not very easy to understand (for me) without a lesson or two in philosophy, and darshanas.

à²â€â€
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vidya
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#40

Post by vidya » 26 Sep 2009, 01:38

Thanks, Ramakriya. Lovely lyrics! The following were what I was looking for with the literal translation. Yes most of them use simple symbols but have complex layers/ imagery !

gaganada mElondabhinava giLi huTTi
sayasambhramadalli maneya mADittu !
ondu dina giLi ippataidu giLiyAyittu !
brahmanA giLige hnjaravAd
vishNuvA giLige koRekULAd
rudranA giLige tA kOlAda
intI mUvara mundaNa kndana nungi
dR.shTanAma nashTavAyittu-identO guhESvara ?!


A new parrot was born in the sky
Andmade herself a gorgeous house
One parrot became twenty five
Brahma became her cage
Vishnu her bird-feed
And Rudra her perch
Whe she devoured
right in front of them
a baby
all that's seen and all that's heard
vanished: how come, Oh! Guheshwara

(in the final stage of the soul's ego state life's parrot is born and settles in the world.It's made of 25 elements. Brahma stands for the gross, Vishnu for the subtle and rudra the causal. Because these three principles are devoured by the ego state, it cannot see anything and cannot identify anything by name.

huliya taleya hulle hulleya taleya huli-
I eraDara naDu ondAyittu !
huliyalla - hulleyall
keladalondu bndu melukADittu nODA.
taleyillada muND
taRageleya mEdare
elemaReyAyittu guhESvara.

A strange animal it is !
With one body.
With two heads of tiger and deer,
It is neither a tiger nor a deer.
A different one stands by the side,
Chewing its cud.
It's headless body browses a dry leaf
A great leaf leaps off the sight
Oh! Guheshwara!
(time is depicted as a tiger and maya is pictured as a deer etc)
Last edited by vidya on 26 Sep 2009, 01:39, edited 1 time in total.
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