Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

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vgovindan
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#151 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Pb,
In the second part of the lecdem, it is brought out that MD and tyAgarAja have composed kRtis in the Padam style - akshaya linga vibhO (MD) and manasu svAdhInamaina (tyAgarAja). MD has also created many nOTTusvara sAhitya in Sankarabharana - SyAmalE mInAkshi etc which resembles nursery rhymes.

Javali, Padam and Varnam are certain styles of music and anyone can adapt it. But the purpose of the topic is not about the style, but about the content. These - Padam, Varnam and Javali - must have come into being to cater for certain kind of audience. But, over a period of time, the clientele or connoisseurs became extinct and hence the performing artists lost their livelihood. Social reform was another factor which contributed towards decline of these art forms. Rest is history.

When ARI introduced concert style, these dying forms of art - Javali etc - were brought into the repertoire of concert. But, it is unfortunate that instead of adopting the style, the content was adopted, probably because there were no suitable composers who would adapt these for a newer content suitable for concert going audience - including children - particilarly those who were students of music. In the lecdem, there is a mention of Vedanayakam Pillai who created a composition in praise of Lord (Jesus?). Swati Tirunal seems to have contributed through few compositions in the style of Javali.

However, the favourite Javalis continue to have mostly Telugu content of yore - lewd ones. It is very unfortunate that the attitude of 'சாகித்தியத்தை விட்டுத்தள்ளுங்கோ' kind seems to have had a retarding effect on adaptation.

Against this backdrop, I raised this topic, but there were more music lovers here who were intent on status-quo, hence I withdrew from the thread. I still hold that it is incumbent on the present generation of music artists to discard the lewd contents and not try to gloss over the debilitating effect it has on impressionable minds. We owe it to the future generation.

BTW the lecdem is more for status-quo and there is no effort for any bold initiatve - like tyAgarAja and MD. It is very unfortunate that bhakti - the most dominant bhAva is treated as despicable. But, handling SrngAra rasa requires nuanced minds. Who will bell the cat?

shankarank
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#152 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

vgovindan wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 22:11 However, the favourite Javalis continue to have mostly Telugu content of yore - lewd ones. It is very unfortunate that the attitude of 'சாகித்தியத்தை விட்டுத்தள்ளுங்கோ' kind seems to have had a retarding effect on adaptation.
Isn't the refrain for long, that the tukkaDa section which used to have these stopped having them? The concert system did move away from these compositions. If they are being brought back, that is only by those musicians who have learnt it in their training, part of a lineage and they know their audience and confident of the fact that the audience knows the lineage these compositions represent.
vgovindan wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 22:11 I still hold that it is incumbent on the present generation of music artists to discard the lewd contents and not try to gloss over the debilitating effect it has on impressionable minds.
First you have to know the target of your appeal. For example, the above lec dems have taken place under the aegis of Sangeet Natek Akademi. What is this body? I cringed when the doyen of Dr Raghavan center of performing arts pays obeisance to this government body which is a creation of a constitutional government, when lot of matters with respect to culture viz-a-viz constitution are still unsettled matters! The only good thing out of this body, is some awards/recognition and especially medical insurance that it might provide to the recipients! Some practical value for the times. How does such a body carry on conversations in future? What will be the disposition of officials and bureaucracy towards culture in future times? Will speeches of current scholars be given value, discussed and quoted in future? What are the eyes, lens and basis used to look at culture? Without clarifying this the whole exercise is questionable.

You could ask what is the disposition of smArta brahmins and vaiShnava brahmins towards all of this. Well if these two groups think this sampradAya is not their sampradAya, then they should leave it and go in front of tyAgarAja samadhi, get soolamangalam type harikatha exponents and discover bhAva according to their sampradAya.

Colluding with government types under the guise of "art" and make a museum(/mockery) of both Bhakti and SrngArA does not help. If I end up being viewed as sectarian/divisive/casteist so be it.

Well if we think we are past all such divisions, we are the new world educated elite, then the impressionable young minds are already well informed, especially the elite kinds that engage in Dance and music. No worries there at all. In fact this will kind of be something that should stir their minds with the idea that, our forebears were not exactly the Victorian era scout boys and gals! And that is a good thing! :lol: Scouts have been translated as "sArANar" to make it sound as though this is Indian :evil: :lol:

Talking of scouts - Are they still guarding the door of the Academy during season? It was a knack and skill to negotiate past them to get into the member lobby for the free concerts in the morning? ;)

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#153 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by arasi »

Shankarank,
All day concerts at MA are a treat. With rasikAs weaving their way among other venues and the canteen, you get a comfortable seat, excellent sound system, and usually a reasonable amount of audience which encourages the young singers.
It's best to enter by the lobby door, pause there, even choose a seat from afar and head for it!

sureshvv
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#154 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

shankarank wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 19:54 I think he is pretty clear! If you have setup a stage , called it classical and claim scholarship and have scholars to back it, then prove it to be so!
To claim that T composed javalis and then justify by saying a certain kriti has the "prosody" of a javali is missing the target at best. Sure to impress fickle minds looking for a headline :D

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#155 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

vgovindan wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 22:11 I still hold that it is incumbent on the present generation of music artists to discard the lewd contents and not try to gloss over the debilitating effect it has on impressionable minds. We owe it to the future generation.
Your concern for children seems misplaced. Our temples have enough "lewd" sculptures and I don't believe that it has caused any damage to society at large.
But, handling SrngAra rasa requires nuanced minds. Who will bell the cat?
Handling any rasa requires a nuanced mind. I attended a lecture once where SS kritis were just dismissed as begging for this or that. That the title of the talk was "Thyagaraja's guide to management techniques" should have been a dead give away :D

shankarank
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#156 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

sureshvv wrote: 17 Feb 2020, 21:11 To claim that T composed javalis and then justify by saying a certain kriti has the "prosody" of a javali is missing the target at best. Sure to impress fickle minds looking for a headline :D
Should I say, lawyer minded people looking for technical errors? To get a crook off the hook?

http://thyagaraja-vaibhavam.blogspot.co ... -raga.html
1 - ceyi paTTitivE - The words 'ceyi paTTu', though may mean 'hold hand', it specifically signifies marriage. As seen from all the books, the traditional meaning given to these words in this kRti seems to be 'hold hand'. Accordingly, it has been adopted here. However, it would be more appropriate to translate the pallavi as 'Isn't it that You married me even in my child-hood?' Accordingly, this kRti is sung in 'nAyikA' bhAva (kAntAsakti – 'love of Lord as that of a wife' - as per definition in the nAarada bhakti sUutra.

Ranganayaki
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#157 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

shankarank wrote: 17 Feb 2020, 21:59
http://thyagaraja-vaibhavam.blogspot.co ... -raga.html
1 - ceyi paTTitivE - The words 'ceyi paTTu', though may mean 'hold hand', it specifically signifies marriage. As seen from all the books, the traditional meaning given to these words in this kRti seems to be 'hold hand'. Accordingly, it has been adopted here. However, it would be more appropriate to translate the pallavi as 'Isn't it that You married me even in my child-hood?' Accordingly, this kRti is sung in 'nAyikA' bhAva (kAntAsakti – 'love of Lord as that of a wife' - as per definition in the nAarada bhakti sUutra.
@shankarank

Whom did you quote here? I think i remember that you had written it, but quote’s original post seems to have disappeared.

Your Argument seems to intend to support the speaker’s view. But it does not work. Without any commentary by Thyagaraja regarding the nature of his Bhakti, you have to seeK proof of what you say in the wider body of work. And you have to also seek the speaker’s intent in the video.

In the speech, having mentioned a definition of the javali as a lewd poem, he goes on to say that the composition “Chinnanade Na” is a javali. Further, he speaks with clear disdain of the type of lyrics in javalis, and likens it to Chinnanade Na. So this person is not speaking of Bhakti. He is not speaking of the Madhura Bhava stream of Bhakti

So much for the speaker. On the other hand, Thyagaraja’s position wrt Rama is predominantly that of a son as he explicitly says ( “Seethamma Maayamma, Sri Ramudu Maa Tandri”). He was a mature Bhakta, he was not experimenting, and there is no justification for saying that he sees Rama as a lover or that he puts himself in Seetha’s shoes. So I feel that your statement above is not valid. It is not Nayika Bhava or Madhura Bhava even though this may be a Traditionally valid form of Bhakti (though I’m not sure the Bhava is called “Nayika” - that is more a literary term than a Bhakti term I think). When you have positioned yourself as a son of Rama, as we see in the entire body of work, with Seetha as Amma, it is probably impossible to cross the line into Madhura Bhava and assume HER intimacy with the Lord.

Regarding hand-holding, it certainly is a metaphor for marriage, but it also signifies support, guidance, friendship, depending on the context. The interpretation of “Ceyi Pettitive” as marriage is something of a headlong leap here.
Last edited by Ranganayaki on 19 Feb 2020, 13:40, edited 2 times in total.

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#158 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

This has me wondering if Madhura Bhava for Rama is even a thing.. Are there any saints or composers who have taken that position? I’m thinking Rama himself would probably not respond, being an ekapatnivrata.

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#159 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by SrinathK »

In Rama, shringara is passive. You would have to take the place of Seeta or compose from that angle to bring it out. He has always been described that way across all of Vaishnava canon. You can interpret kritis like rA rA seeta with shringAra or vatsalya also.

There is a story of how Krishna took the form of Narayana and finished off the shringara bhava of all the gopis, causing their mood to turn to dasa bhava. As a result they worshipped him in reverence. But when Radha came along, he couldn't keep up the form and changed back to Krishna!! So that story can tell you how bhakti poets have linked forms to rasas. There are also stories where this has been played with vatsalya bhava, when Krishna opened his mouth to Yashoda.

In the bhakti path, many compositions are specifically composed for devotees of different temperaments and emotions so that others too may relate to it. Other compositions are composed by role playing a particular devotee and potraying their sentiments. Such plot devices have been used across all performing arts because music, dance, drama, poetry, and katha have all been closely connected.

Krishna is the subject of lots of shringara because his relationships ... Aren't restricted to one or two... :lol:

This is also not just restricted to Vaishnavaism. Hasn't mAnickavAsagar done an AnDAL, but with much more of dAsa bhava?

Now if you are wondering how a male composer could compose in nayika bhava, has Rupa Gosvami not written Bhakti rasamrta sindhu based on nATyashAshtra and ujjvala nilAmaNi?

Even and especially in film music, how do you suppose a lyricist or music director can compose for an entire cast?

These plot devices to express rasas have always existed. A poet has to be adept at expressing all the rasas.

Of course all that I said now is bhakti specific. Not all compositions are like that. Many javalis IIRC are composed on patrons and contemporaries!

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#160 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

SrinathK wrote: 19 Feb 2020, 15:22.
Now if you are wondering how a male composer could compose in nayika bhava,
I’m not sure if you are addressing me in response to my question, but I’m not wondering about that.
Even and especially in film music, how do you suppose a lyricist or music director can compose for an entire cast?

These plot devices to express rasas have always existed. A poet has to be adept at expressing all the rasas.

Of course all that I said now is bhakti specific.
No, this part is about poetry, involving imagination, not Bhakti. In Bhakti, it is the Bhakta expressing his or her own spiritual ardor.

Rara Seetaramani seems to be Vatsalya Bhava to me. No part of the song is inconsistent with that type of Bhakti.
In Rama, shringara is passive. You would have to take the place of Seeta or compose from that angle to bring it out.
Yes, my point exactly: that is the only way (wrt Rama being ekapatnivrata) and Thyagaraja does not do that. He does not take the place of Sita. My question was whether there are any saints who lived with the constant experience of being Seeta and expressing constant love for Rama as Meera and Andal did for Krishna. I have never heard of such a saint.
Last edited by Ranganayaki on 19 Feb 2020, 19:28, edited 5 times in total.

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#161 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

My point is that no song of Thyagaraja fits the “lewd” definition of a javali. And that Thyagaraja in his Bhakti does not descend into lust as described by the speaker.

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#162 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

I said
my point exactly
I just realized that I didn’t actually make that exact point - sorry! But that was what I was thinking, in writing that post. So are there any such saints that we know of?

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#163 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

madhura bhAva - or for that matter any other bhAva like dAsya, vAtsalya, sakhA etc - is not to be understood as between two 'humans'. The following quote from the life of Meera, who had madhura bhAva towards Lord, illustrates the point that bhakti, in all its myriad forms are directed towards that purusha. It is a stage that has transcended the human perspective. Further, Adi Sankara was jocularly called as 'bahir Sakta, vyavahArEshu vaishNava'. The greatest of advaitin's poecy that poured out as bhakti is as equally valid as his nirvANa shaTkam where he refutes even mOksha in the style of asThAvakra gItA. There is no hard and fast rule that one has to practise only a certain type of path to reach the goal. tyAgarAja has experimented with advaita also. There are many kRtis like 'paramAtmuDu veligE' and 'dvaitamu sukhamA' etc., whick make it clear that he practised all possible approaches to the divine. Ramana Maharshi whose 'who am I?' type of enquiry approach did not work with some; then, he asked them to go for devotion.

".....Jiva Gosain was the head of the Vaishnavites in Brindavan. Meera wanted to have Darshan of Jiva Gosain. He declined to see her. He sent word to Meera that he would not allow any woman in his presence. Mirabai retorted: "Everybody in Brindavan is a woman. Only Giridhar Gopala is Purusha. Today only I have come to know that there is another Purusha besides Krishna in Brindavan". Jiva Gosain was put to shame. He at once went to see Meera and paid her due respects..."

https://www.chittorgarh.com/article/meera-bai/244/#

In regard to 'ceyi paTTu' (கைப்பிடித்தல்), you may also refer to kRti 'mA jAnaki ceTTa paTTaga', where the same words occur, to mean 'marriage'

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#164 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

vgovindan wrote: 19 Feb 2020, 23:16 madhura bhAva - or for that matter any other bhAva like dAsya, vAtsalya, sakhA etc - is not to be understood as between two 'humans'.
I am not sure if this is a general statement of information for everyone or specifically in response to me. Since I am the only one who spoke here of Madhura Bhava, I want to clarify that if you read carefully what I wrote, I only spoke of Madhura Bhava in the context of Bhakti (as a traditionally valid form of Bhakti). So obviously it does not apply to the relationship between two humans.

TyAgarAja has experimented with advaita also.


This may be a misinterpretation of what I wrote about T not experimenting. In all his works that we have, he has established himself in the path of Bhakti. He may have considered advaita and dvaita, but if you read the lyrics, he does not answer the question, ”Dvaitamu Sukhama, Advaitamu Sukhama?” He effectively shrugs his shoulders and it remains a question. Every seeker may examine these approaches and choose the path that best fits him or her. This is not what I meant about T not experimenting. The T we encounter in his works is already established in the path of Bhakti and is a mature bhakta who knows his relationship to his ishtha, and in that area, he is not experimenting. But he is certainly aware that it is the same Paramatma that shines forth, no mattter what his approach is (what he says in Paramatmudu) and he informs the rest of us of that, and tells us of the grandeur of this supreme being. He speaks of its ultimate grandeur no matter what our own limited perspective is. This does not amount to experimenting, it is established knowledge to him.

In regard to 'ceyi paTTu' (கைப்பிடித்தல்), you may also refer to kRti 'mA jAnaki ceTTa paTTaga', where the same words occur, to mean 'marriage'
Again a possible misinterpretation of what I said about hand-holding not meaning marriage. When Thyagaraja is speaking of Rama who held the hand of Maa Janaki, hand holding IS marriage obviously. But when he speaks of Rama holding his own hand even in childhood, it just cannot be interpreted as T being married to Rama, as madhura Bhava towards Rama. It just does not hold water.

If what you wrote is not in response to anything I wrote. Then I’ll be left wondering what the relevance of it is to our topic and what was said about the kritis being javalis. You have not addressed that. Or are you saying that T is expressing Madhura Bhava in Chinnanade Na? If you are, I don’t agree with you at all. Forget lust, even as Madhura Bhakti, i disagree.

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#165 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Ranganayaki,
You and I are speaking substantially same, but are quibbling over words. Suffice it to say that Love of divine is all-inclusive - none of the bhAvas are mutually exclusive.

The experience of Ramakrisna Paramahamsa during his encounter with his guru Totapuri - transcending even the the Love of Mother Kali, is an illustration that all these bhAvas are only transitional towards the ultimate goal ('sAyujya'). On the other hand, the experience of guru Totapuri - an advaita sannyAsi - in the same period of encounter with Ramakrisna Paramahamsa, that, for dealng with the World, one has to come down to Duality, is also true. Adi Sankara's jIvanmuktAnanda lahari illustrates this - shall I say 'dichotomy'? - clearly. Neither advaita and dvaita are mutually exclusive, nor bhAvas of dvaita are.

Coming to the Javali nature of kRtis of T, I have already given my point of view. The subject is meandering too much and I don't want to add more to the confusion.

If you ask whether it is possible to have different bhAvas - madhura, vAtsalya, sakha etc - towards the same person, I will definitely say 'yes'. And who else knows that better than a woman? Love is indivisible - like cidghana(pure consciousness). They are one and same - the perspective makes the distinction.

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#166 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

Ok, let’s leave it at that, I am quite confortable here with what you’ve said. 🙂🙏🏻

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#167 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Ranganayaki wrote: 19 Feb 2020, 13:16
shankarank wrote: 17 Feb 2020, 21:59
http://thyagaraja-vaibhavam.blogspot.co ... -raga.html
1 - ceyi paTTitivE - The words 'ceyi paTTu', though may mean 'hold hand', it specifically signifies marriage. As seen from all the books, the traditional meaning given to these words in this kRti seems to be 'hold hand'. Accordingly, it has been adopted here. However, it would be more appropriate to translate the pallavi as 'Isn't it that You married me even in my child-hood?' Accordingly, this kRti is sung in 'nAyikA' bhAva (kAntAsakti – 'love of Lord as that of a wife' - as per definition in the nAarada bhakti sUutra.
@shankarank

Whom did you quote here? I think i remember that you had written it, but quote’s original post seems to have disappeared.
That quote is from the foot note #1 in the provided link there of.

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#168 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

Oh, ok, thanks.. I misremembered.

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#169 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

vgovindan wrote: 19 Feb 2020, 23:16 Ramana Maharshi whose 'who am I?' type of enquiry approach did not work with some; then, he asked them to go for devotion.
https://youtu.be/F-Wc4RqHWBY?t=130 - so there is the nayaka-nAyaki bhava - RamaNa refers to aruNAcalESvara!

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#170 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Ranganayaki wrote: 19 Feb 2020, 13:16 In the speech, having mentioned a definition of the javali as a lewd poem, he goes on to say that the composition “Chinnanade Na” is a javali.
Well his mistake was to refer to the people assembled there as pious. Piety is not relevant in what is supposed to be a seminar organized by jointly with a government body. But if you listened carefully , he was only quoting another scholar on javaLi meaning this and that in various languages and goes on to conclude : "all of them cannot be true; javaLi was name given later to a form that is already present" - which sounds to me as : the name by itself does not imply lewdness is what he is trying to say!

As regards cinna naDE kriti, if I remember right from Balakrishna SAstrigal's tyAgarAja rAmAyANam discourse, the vivaha was balya vivaha - which tallies with "you held my hand when I was little". You must have heard the term pANi garahaNam!

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#171 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

Piety of audience: irrelevant.

This section of the speech was poorly prepared, no benefit of the doubt from me. I’ve said all I had to say about that part.
the vivaha was balya vivaha - which tallies with "you held my hand when I was little".
Which vivaha? Whose vivaha are you speaking of?

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#172 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

I think you may be referring to the seetha-rama wedding.

Re. hand-holding:

1. If we are speaking of the whole kriti as Thyagaraja addressing Rama, then it expresses Thyagaraja’s Bhakti without madhura bhava, that is my view. Then hand-holding is not marriage.

2. If we are saying that Thyagaraja has imagined a scene in which Seeta is saying all the words of the kriti to Rama, then certainly hand holding refers to marriage - Seeta’s own marriage to Rama. In that case, the poem is almost like the dramatic monologue of western literature in which there is a single speaker and an implied listener present, Rama. In that case Bhakti is not the primary Bhava, it certainly is the Nayika-Nayaka Bhava as a literary device - as @shankarank says. Bhakti has certainly motivated Thyagaraja to write the kriti, but it is not any part of kriti, of the scene he has created.

#2 is a very plausible interpretation, and the entire song fits it.

None of y’all specified which of these two frameworks you are using as a reference point to speak of the hand-holding, and in the context of the implied lewdness, your words made no sense to me. Now I’m guessing you are both speaking of this from viewpoint #2.

In any case, even as Sita’s loving words to Rama, nothing justifies the derisive tone which the speaker uses to liken the typical javali to this kriti (the “lewd” aspect).

That’s it, I think I’ve exhausted this topic for me. 🙂

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#173 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

#165 - refers to last para.
The word 'Love' should be taken to mean 'parama-prEma rUpa' as defined in Narada Bhakti Sutras as explained by Swami Sivananda -

http://sivanandaonline.org/public_html/ ... on_id=1122

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#174 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
Back to basics :-

Let us take a song detailing intimate feelings and longing.

If ‘Oh Krishna!' is prefixed, would it become a Bhakti Geet ?

The same song, if prefixed with 'Oh Manmatha!, would it be a Javali ?

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#175 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Pb,
The post where you posted the link about a video wherein Thyagaraja was mentioned, started a fresh round. Then, you did not express any opinion. Now, thanks for stating your position.

If songs sung in the Kothis - where women are depicted as temptress for a clientele, like in the film Pakeeza - are to be equated with kRtis of tyAgarAja whose yearning is 'parama prEma rUpA' (as defined in Narada Bhakti Sutras - see the link for translation and commentary of Swami Sivananda), just because the names are same, then it would amount to trashing all upanishads, gIA and bhakti literature.

Good luck to you in your venture.

My decision to leave the forum 10 years ago was indeed wise. I regret re-entering.

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#176 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

vgovindan wrote: 21 Feb 2020, 06:56 Pb, ... thanks for stating your position. ...
I am trying to understand the 'subject of javali'. I have no opinion or 'position' on this.

And I am not commenting on any particular kriti of Tyagaraja or the stand of others.


My post #136 :-
I have no opinion on this. I keep hearing so many arguments.

I quoted Shri V.S.K. Ranga Rao, who inter alia mentions : “Some songs of Tyagaraja are Javalis !”, -- merely to indicate that "there is no end to views, opinions and discussions !" on this subject.

Your contributions are great. And I respect and admire your points of view.

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#177 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

I doubt Dr V.A.K Ranga Rao is trying to argue for prevalence of any particular composition or types of composition within the jAVaLi form. In fact he presents an example of a dEvadAsi who changed muvva gOpAla to vENu gOpAla and when challenged simply replied, vENu gOpala is with whom she spends ( her devotional) time.

At least he is not a human rights crusader for some suppressed, ignored voices.

He asks artistes to know the meaning. If Gurus are trustworthy, then there is no need for students to know it at least initially. Gurus have the discretion to choose the composition to teach after all! If the students are doing additional research on their own ( if indeed they are that capable) then they should be able to figure it out.

He is asking them to adopt a "new" sound approach to presentation and don't get stuck on some old form - which may not be suitable for them and the times. That kind of a conveys a sense around how they should pick compositions to present as well.

And I don't think he is putting Sri tyAgaraja's compositions in the same basket as any other. He stopped with saying javaLi form has been utilized by tyAgarAja as well.

We should leave it to the artistes and their good sense to do this filtration than calling for abolition/eradication.

As regards whether nayaki-nayaka bhAvam is a literary device for composing - I think it is deeper than that. As a upamana, it makes the Woman the yearn-er - mostly ( now somebody give a counter example). There have been questions about that, Smt. Alarmel Valli brought it up in nAtya kala conference - I think 2 years back.

There is a dharma in that! Women have been the ones to know the dharmic limits to any endeavour , even if it transgresses. I.e. they are perceived as better than Men here. That is probably why they have been put in that role.

Men's viewpoint always should be to submit to her as a Mother - Now do "SS" compositions make sense??

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#178 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by arasi »

Well, Suryaprakash has sung my songs of that nature on a CD, if you recall...The idea evolved on Rasikas.org, Arun wondered why there aren't any songs on the sentiments of men. It lodged in me and I wrote a number of songs on that theme. EngirundO vandAi is its title.

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#179 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

oh that is right. Forgot about it. Long time we talked about it. I guess in all this melee you had two bouts of nostalgia.

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#180 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by arasi »

When it comes to nostalgia, we oldies thrive :)

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#181 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
Telugu Javali :
jAnarO I mOhamu

Rendered by: K V Narayanaswamy
https://youtu.be/E_7wFfvhVEE?t=1

For lyrics & meaning, please check the earlier discussion at :
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=18760&p=218312&hil ... mu#p218312

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#182 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

pb,
If you are in search of bhakti in the true sense, authentically from a woman's mouth - yearning which does not seek 'paravasa' - sort of titillation - you must listen to Meera bhajans - a real woman who truly yearned for Lord and ultimately when she was given upadESa, it was rAma mantra - transcending the bodily notions of paravaSa, but simple surrender. The paravaSa or bliss which great saints speak of pertains not to physical body but to causal body where we - the jIva - are actually in union with paramAtma - like in deep sleep.

Nameless composers who invoke Lord's names as a cloak for their lustful songs for securing a livelihood and a few rupees, is not bhakti in the traditional sense. It is a travesty.

This I had to write because in the link given by you, it is mentioned as 'srngara and bhakti', which is not true, it is out and out srngara. There is nothing wrong with srngara as such, but when you give a cloak to it, the motives become questionable.

For everything, there is a context. When we tear anything out of context, even Krishna would appear lewd - haven't many declared so? The Krishna who spends a night with a hunch back flower seller whom no man would ever take second look! - a lewd indeed!
Last edited by vgovindan on 23 Feb 2020, 11:33, edited 1 time in total.

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#183 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

As people (tambrahms especially!) who get travel to or get transferred somewhere North and come back to tell stories - North indiala avaLukku romba bhakti jaasthi ( North Indian people have more devotion!) :lol:

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#184 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Further to my post.
My reference to Meera should not mean that there are no such famous bhaktas in TN. Andal, Karaikkal Ammaiyar, Avvaiyar are shining examples. Of these Andal has handled Srngara rasa - but no one dare to sing her compositions in the category of Javalis, because they are in Tamil. Not because Javali format is any bad - no art form is good or bad; it is the use to which it is put, that makes the difference. Javali's evolution and traditional application have been on mundane level of Srngara, sometimes bordering lewdness for voyeuristic audiences - not suitable for public discourse, like musical concert - maybe in a chamber concert with discerning audience.

Contextualisation is very important. And, most importantly, what the person stood for in his/her life time, would secure him his/her due place, not otherwise, by counting one swallow.

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#185 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

Pratyaksham Bala wrote: 21 Feb 2020, 06:27 .
Back to basics :-

Let us take a song detailing intimate feelings and longing.

If ‘Oh Krishna!' is prefixed, would it become a Bhakti Geet ?

The same song, if prefixed with 'Oh Manmatha!, would it be a Javali ?
Nope. (All) words matter. Back to basics indeed! :D

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#186 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

vgovindan wrote: 23 Feb 2020, 12:04 And, most importantly, what the person stood for in his/her life time, would secure him his/her due place, not otherwise, by counting one swallow.
Also, a life time is long enough for a person to stand for different things at different times of their life. For eg., Arunagiri nathar or Bangalore Nagarathnamma. We need to have a balanced approach and not be dismissive or judgmental in our analysis.

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#187 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Suresh,
What you say is true for contemporaneous personalities. But when we are looking from the prism of time into the past, the totality of the picture surely emerges. Nagaratnammal would surely have been evaluated differently at different times by different persons. I am no exception. Surely, we are not talking about contemporary persons, aren't we? That's why I have added 'swallow' - which works both ways - good and bad.

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#188 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by arasi »

And Arunagirinathar?

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#189 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Arasi,
Arunagirinathar, in his young age, used to frequent common women and thus contracted diseases and became a leper. He made a come back and became an ardent devotee, openly expressing remorse. Therefore, there are two sides of his personality. The saying goes - 'today's saint was yesterday's sinner'. That redeeming feature of sanAtana dharma, which makes man accountable unto HIMSELF, also makes life worth living - not to be condemned to eternal fire and final judgment. Therefore Arunagirinathar is in the same category as Nagaratnammal, in whose case, her birth was responsible for her lifestyle - not her free choice, and she made a choice.
Last edited by vgovindan on 24 Feb 2020, 08:58, edited 1 time in total.

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#190 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

vgovindan wrote: 23 Feb 2020, 12:04 Of these Andal has handled Srngara rasa - but no one dare to sing her compositions in the category of Javalis, because they are in Tamil. Not because Javali format is any bad - no art form is good or bad;
Think you may have just thrown open a challenge to some "non right thinking" capable musician :D

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#191 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Oh yeah - I am waiting for a paraju (with a pratimadyama touch!) or a karnATaka kApi tuned tiruvaimozhi soon :lol:

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#192 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

sureshvv wrote: 23 Feb 2020, 19:37
Pratyaksham Bala wrote: 21 Feb 2020, 06:27 .
Back to basics :-

Let us take a song detailing intimate feelings and longing.

If ‘Oh Krishna!' is prefixed, would it become a Bhakti Geet ?

The same song, if prefixed with 'Oh Manmatha!, would it be a Javali ?
Nope. (All) words matter. Back to basics indeed! :D

Thanks a lot for the pointed response !
Words ! Yes, of course.

In that case, the above questions would apply only when suitable words are selected, and structured so delicately in the song, that it would qualify for both the options !

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#193 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

Pratyaksham Bala wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 19:11 In that case, the above questions would apply only when suitable words are selected, and structured so delicately in the song, that it would qualify for both the options !
Sure! It is indeed a marvelous feat of composers who walk the razor's edge straddling both sides of the chasm (Sorry for the metaphor avial :D) ! May be there is a whole other thread here ;)

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#194 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

sureshvv wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 21:06
Pratyaksham Bala wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 19:11 In that case, the above questions would apply only when suitable words are selected, and structured so delicately in the song, that it would qualify for both the options !
Sure! It is indeed a marvelous feat of composers who walk the razor's edge straddling both sides of the chasm (Sorry for the metaphor avial :D) ! May be there is a whole other thread here ;)
You are both talking about acceptance, about clever compositions (at whatever level). But true Bhakti is an outpouring, the heart speaking only to the Beloved. It is not about literary merit or assuaging critics. Or about answering the question javali or not, or certainly about disguising. As long as the composer is not solely preoccupied with Bhakti like T, and composing just a livelihood or just poetic imagination or skill, we don’t have to care whether a song is addressed to god or not.

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#195 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

Just came across this video that addresses the choice of singing javalis and padams from the perspective of a performer, using a pragmatic approach to the question. This is not the main topic of the talk, but it is spoken of tangentially at 13:27.


https://youtu.be/8UVDunxO1hc

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#196 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

Ranganayaki wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 21:40 You are both talking about acceptance, about clever compositions (at whatever level). But true Bhakti is an outpouring, the heart speaking only to the Beloved. It is not about literary merit or assuaging critics. Or about answering the question javali or not, or certainly about disguising. As long as the composer is not solely preoccupied with Bhakti like T, and composing just a livelihood or just poetic imagination or skill, we don’t have to care whether a song is addressed to god or not.
Thought you had argued for (and settled) true heart/intellect unification earlier.

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#197 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

shankarank wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 11:10 Oh yeah - I am waiting for a paraju (with a pratimadyama touch!) or a karnATaka kApi tuned tiruvaimozhi soon :lol:
The raga choice will be the easy part. The javali treatment is much more than that.

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#198 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Ranganayaki wrote: 25 Feb 2020, 04:19 , but it is spoken of tangentially at 13:27.

https://youtu.be/8UVDunxO1hc
I think the person who suggested they focus more on bhajans is probably this lady: https://sriramv.wordpress.com/2014/09/1 ... he-spirit/

Ra-ga sisters had spoken about her once.

Now before that point, reg. how they handled criticism on sAhitya: vElai tUkkum - piLLai tanai - peTRa daivamE - both the established pATantaram and their modification to crowd syllables before arudhi are not ideal. The solution is to smooth over arudhi after leaving a gap post vElai tUkkum . piLLai will fall on Arudhi instead of 1/2 before that! and piLLaitanai can be sung together without compromising on syllable spread. It is the svara notation that must give way here! Must be changed to shift melodic stress appropriately. kAmbOdhi is quite flexible there!

In karnATaka sangItam, the sampradaya has come to mean preserving original svara notations in their place on time scale - as though these are like some mozart composition! And that makes it classical music. Sigh...

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#199 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

sureshvv wrote: 25 Feb 2020, 08:46

Thought you had argued for (and settled) true heart/intellect unification earlier.
Where? Quote me. I don’t think I spoke explicitly about intellect anywhere.. I am not aware of having said anything about heart-intellect unification.

My point was that T was a true bhakTa. Only lesser bhaktas would be concerned with social acceptance, the approval of critics, etc. Those composers may feel pressured to disguise their lyrics to be socially acceptable - with a god name.
In that case, the above questions would apply only when suitable words are selected, and structured so delicately in the song, that it would qualify for both the options !
This is about being clever, about making wayward lyrics appear socially acceptable, for the sake of livelihood, fame, etc. True Bhakti does not walk a razor’s edge. No fine balancing act. They go headlong into devotion.

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#200 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

shankarank wrote: 25 Feb 2020, 12:47
Now before that point, reg. how they handled criticism on sAhitya: vElai tUkkum - piLLai tanai - peTRa daivamE - both the established pATantaram and their modification to crowd syllables before arudhi are not ideal.
I am from the "do not needlessly tinker" school of thought. All that is needed is not break to breathe between pillai and thanai at least once.

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