Carnatic Musing 30 – Navarathri – Day 8 – Composition on Goddess Saraswathi


Mysore Vasudevachar – Please refer for biography and list of compositions

Audio Link

Mambalam Sisters

Meaning in English

Let Saraswati, who resides in Kamakoti peetha protect me. She who holds the veena in her soft lotus hands, the one adorned by boundless gift of speech. Your feet are worshipped by the king of kings (maybe this refers to a particular king), yours eyes resemble lotus flowers and you have a beautiful face. You fulfill the desires of all the gentle people. a necklace made of jewels is elegantly placed on your chest. you are worshipped by brahma and shiva. the essence of the vedas lies in your feet.

Meaning in Tamil


அருள்மிகு சரஸ்வதியே, காமகோடி பீடம் உறை

அன்னையே எனைக் காப்பாய்


மென்மைமிகு ஆம்பல் கரமதில் வீணையேந்தி அளவிலா

வரம்தரும் இனிய வாக்கெனும் அணிகலணனி… அருள்மிகு


ராஜாதி ராஜர் துதிக்கும் பாதம்

தாமரை விழி அழகுமிகு வதனம்

மத்யம காலம்

நல்லோர் விழை நிறைவேற்றும்

நீள் மிடறணி எழில் மணி மாலையும்

நான்முகனும் மலைநாதனும் போற்றும்

நாராயணன் வணங்கும் பொற்பாதமும்

நான்மறைதனின் சாரம் என உறையும்……அருள்மிகு

Sanskrit Verses


मामवतु श्रि सरस्वति कामकॊटि पीथ वासिनि……… मामवतु


कॊमळकर सरॊज ध्र्त वीणा सीमातीत वर वाघ्विभूसण…….. मामवतु


राजाधि राज पूजित चरण राजीव नयन रमणीय वदन

मध्यम काल्म्

सुजन मनॊरथ पूरण चतुर निजगळ शॊबित मणिमय हार

अज भव वन्दित वासुदॆव चरणार्पित सकल वॆद सार……… मामवतु

English Transliteration


mAmavatu shrI sarasvati kAmakOTi pITha vAsini



kOmaLakara sarOja dhrta vINA sImAtIta vara vAGvibhUSaNa



rAjAdhi rAja pUjita caraNa rAjIva nayana ramaNIya vadana

madhyamakAlam: sujana manOratha pUraNa catura nijagaLa shObhita maNimaya hAra

aja bhava vandita vAsudEva caraNArpita sakala vEda sAra


Meaning of the Sanskrit Words


मामवतु – me, fix/tie/bind (protect me)

श्रि सरस्वति – Sri Saraswathi

कामकॊटि पीथ – Kamakoti Peetam

वासिनि – resident


कॊमळकर – कॊमळ कर – tender/soft, hand

सरॊज – lotus

ध्र्त – hold

वीणा – veena

सीमातीत – सीम अतीत – border, exceed/go beyond (limitless)

वर – boon

वाघ्विभूसण – वाघ् विभूशण – speech, adorned


राजाधि – kings’

राज – king

पूजित – prayed

चरण – feet

राजीव – lotus

नयन – eyes

रमणीय – beautiful

वदन – face

मध्यम काल्म्

सुजन – good people

मनॊरथ – the car of the mind i.e desire/wishes

पूरण – fulfilling

चतुर – charming

निजगळ – निज गाल – ones own, neck

शॊबित – adorned/decorated/beautifully

मणिमय हार – gems studded garland

अज – a name for Brahma (unborn)

भव – a name for Siva

वन्दित – praised

वासुदॆव – Vasudeva (Vishnu)

चरणार्पित – चरण अर्पित – feet, offered

सकल – all –

वॆद सार – essence of Vedas

Carnatic Musing 29 – Navarathri – Day 7 – Composition on Goddess Saraswathi


GN Balasubramanyam GNB – Please refer

Audio Link

Ranjani Gayathri

Video Link

Child prodigy Rahul Vellal at the Mysore Dasara 2020

Meaning in English

Salutations to Saraswathi who is Sharadha (seated on white lotus) the giver of learning, who holds in her hands book, Veena and divine rosary of gems. She has a conch like neck decorated by nine gems and fondled by Brahma and has a feet that is served by devas. She is as white as the Moon God.

Meaning in Tamil


சரஸ்வதியை துதிப்பேனே, நல்

வித்தைக்கு வித்திடும் வெண்தாமரை அமர்….. சரஸ்வதியை


வீணை புத்தகம் கரம் ஏந்தும்,

பொண்மணி மாலை அணியும் …….சரஸ்வதியை


நரனுந்தியோன் நளினமுடன் கொஞ்சும்,

நவமணி மாலையேறும் சங்கு மிடரும்,

விண்ணோர் பணியும் பொன்மலரிரு பாதம்

வின்மதி ஒப்ப வெண்மை நிறமுடை…..சரஸ்வதியை

Sanskrit Verses


सरस्वति नमॊस्तुतॆ शारदॆ विद्याप्रदॆ


कर ध्र्त वीणा पुस्तक वरमणि मालान्क्र्त


नरहरि सुत विधि लालित नवमणि युत कम्भुगळॆ

सुर सॆवित पद युगळॆ सुधाकर समधवळॆ

English Transliteration


sarasvati namOstutE shAradE vidyApradE


kara dhrta vINA pustaka varamaNi mAlAlankrta


narahari suta vidhi lAlita navamaNi yuta kambhugaLE

sura sEvita pada yugaLE sudhAkara samadhavaLE

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words


सरस्वति – Saraswathi

नमॊस्तुतॆ – Salutations

शारदॆ – Sharada – white lotus

विद्याप्रदॆ – विद्या प्रदॆ – knowledge/learning, give/grant/bestow


कर – hand

ध्र्त – hold

वीणा – veena

पुस्तक – book

वरमणि – best, stones

मालान्क्र्त – garland, decorated, ornamented


नरहरि – Vishnu

सुत – son

विधि – Brahma

लालित – fondling/charming/pleasing

नवमणि – nine types of stones

युत – connected with

कम्भुगळॆ – shell lime neck

सुर – devas

सॆवित – prayed

पद – feet

युगळॆ – pair

सुधाकर – moon

समधवळॆ- alike, white

Navarathri – A nine night integration process

Navarathri Nostalgia

Typical Agraharam

Six decades ago, living in a rural area in a village agrahaaram (like the one shown above), as school going kids, we used to wait eagerly for the evenings in the month of October (Tamil month of “Purattaasi” புரட்டாசி) with a glee in our eyes, fun in the mind and hunger in the belly.

Yes; this is the month of Navarathri (nine nights) where we used to have a collection bag, go to each one of the houses in the community who had put up “kolu” (arrangement of Dolls in an odd number of steps) to look at the dolls display.


We collect “Sundal” ( a snack preparation of proteins in the form of steamed, fried nuts ) making sure to exchange notes on who has collected what variety and from which house and of course about the quality of the supply.


We also used to listen to some wonderful singing by girls and ladies in front of the “kolu” and getting presents. It was fun time for kids; but I guess some serious work for the elders.

The essence of Navarathri

My understanding of the Navarathri is more spiritual now than what I had six decades ago as a kid. Let me try to explain.

Every human being has consciousness (Lord Shiva) and energy (Goddess Shakti). Consciousness and Energy (Shiva and Shakti) are both definable yet inseparable. We can take the example of Sun & Heat for illustration. Within this energetic realm, there are three main forms of Shakti. The 3 Forms of Shakti are:

• Iccha Shakti – the energy of will or desire

• Jnana Shakti – the energy of knowledge

• Kriya Shakti – the energy of action

During Navarathri, the nine nights are used to identify, work with, purify, and ultimately integrate and strengthen these forms of Shakti within us.

The “Kolu” (Display of dolls)

Of course we need to convey this message to the young ones through a visual medium for easy learning. Hence the display of dolls called Kolu. Dolls are arranged in specific sequences on odd number of steps in a staircase style arrangement to depict the process and interplay of these energies that are continually cycling within us. The steps progressively take us through the stages of our evolution in our spiritual progress as a human being. At the base step, dolls depicting routine mundane activities can be seen. Progressively as we climb the stairs, we can see the dolls conveying our graduation in our consciousness level. The dolls focus on various gods, their actions, themes representing the historical events around the gods and the meaning they convey for leading our lives. The apex level step will have the ultimate integration of our consciousness (Shiva) with the energy (shakti) at the top most (apex) step in the form of two wooden dolls (called in Tamil as Marapaachi dolls). That sums up the learning through the visual medium.

Marapaachi Dolls

Navarathri – Women and the Music

Inviting, traditionally receiving and honoring girls, women and ladies, presenting them with gifts (as per the capacity of the host) and devotional singing in praise of the three goddesses representing the three energy forms is a tradition. This brings out the axiom that we should see every single woman as a manifestation of goddesses representing these three energy forms. This also brings out purity in our thoughts that without these three energy ingredients, we would become inert.

My participation in Navarathri 2020

Sitting in a country 8400 miles away from my place in this pandemic year, I decided to participate in the Navarathiri Celebrations by trying to understand the Sanskrit Compositions that are sung during this period. These compositions are in praise of the Goddesses identified as the principal form (roopa) of that type of energy viz, Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswathi ( for Icha, Kriya, Gnana ).

Starting from October 17 till October 26, there will be a blog a day; through each blog I will try to understand ten Sanskrit compositions and try to express it in my mother tongue. The first three will be on Goddess Durga, followed by Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswathi and culminating on the tenth day on Goddess Vijyambike, coinciding with Vijayadasami, the day that marks the culmination of the festivities with the idea that the nine night events have helped the good in us scoring victory over the evils that reside in us.

Enjoy the Navarathri celebrations along with me by visiting this blog daily, listen to the wonderful music compositions and help me improve my knowledge by critically commenting on my translation work. Thank you.