Prahladha Bhakthi vijayam
This is one of the great musical drama composed by Saint Thyagaraja. Please note it is not “Bhaktha Vijayam” telling about story of Prahladha but “The story of the victory of devotion of Prahladha.” It has 45 Keerthanas written in 28 Ragas , The play has five different Acts .The saint follows the Telugu rules of grammar in writing this great opera. It does not have any scene between Prahladha and his father Hiranya Kasipu or about the killing of Hiranya by Narasimha. The play is written in five acts . There are several prayers and introductory notes
Act –I Prahladha saved by God of ocean and Garuda.(1-7)
The play starts with prayers to Lord Ramachandra , Lord Vishvaksena, Goddess Saraswathi . There are also praises to sage Narada , Purandara Dasa, Ramadasa, God Panduranga , Nama deva , Jnana Deva , Jaya Deva , Thukaram( All of them not in Keerthana style) .
This is followed by a prayer addressed to Lord Ganesa by a Keerthana , At this time the gate keeper of Vaikunta arrives singing the name of Lord Vasudeva , The discussion between him and the the Suthradhara(stage manager details about the happenings in the act. Prahladha is thrown in to the ocean tied by Poisonous snakes. The Lord of the ocean saves him and requests Garuda to come there and chase away the snakes. After the snakes are chased away Prahladha prays the Lord of the ocean to tell him about methods for reaching Lord Hari and he is advised to pray Lord Hari.
Kanda padhyam -introductory verse
A.Prayer to Ramachandra
Sri Janaki Manohara ,
Rajeeva bhavadhi vandhya raghukula thilaka ,
Rajeeva nayana muni jana ,
Poojitha pada Ramachandra Punya Charitha.
Stealer of the mind of Janaki ,
Lord of Raghu clan worshipped by Shiva and Brahma,
Lotus eyed one , One whose feet is worshipped by sages,
Oh Ramachandra with an blessed history.
B.Prayer to Vishvaksena
Dhyanincheda madi Vishvaksenuni ,
Sri Vishnu charana seva nirathuni,
Nana Vigna Nivarunu , Senadhipu ,
Aprameyu, srithajana Poshunu
I pray lord Vishvaksena,
Who is engaged in the service to the feet of Lord Vishnu
Who removes obstacles , Who is the Commander in chief ,
And a matchless protector of devotees.
C.Prayer to Goddess Saraswathi
Vani ninu vededanu purani,
Na rachanayandhu rajillave ,
Kalyani Veena Pustaka Pani ,
Madhurya Vani , Padmaju Rani.
Oh Saraswathi, I am requesting Oh ancient one shine on my toungue ,
Oh doer of auspicious who holds Veena and book ,
Oh sweet toungued one and consort of Lord Brahma.
C. Prayer to sage Narada
Narayana punya katha saramu,
Proluchunu sarva samata varagu ,
Sri Narada Guru Pada yugamulu ,
SArku madilonanachi sannuthui setun
The essence of the blessed story of Narayana ,
For spreading to every one , for universal recognition,
Is kept below the two feet of my teacher Narada ,
Who is within my mind ,
D.Prayer to Thulasi Dasa
THulasi kananm anthuna ,
Vilasita mukha Harini joochi vismaya tudai ,
Pulakeekrutha tanudaguna ,
Tulasi dasa varu sannutulu sethu main.
Seeing Lord Hari in the forest of Thulasi ,
Tulasi Dasa was filled with winder ,
And his hair stood erect and I am offering this at his feet.
E.Prayer to sage Purandara Dasa
Duritha vratamu lellanu marachidi ,
Hari gunamula baduchunepudu ,
Paravasuday Velayu Purandara Dasuni ,
Mahimamulanu dalacheda madilo
I have forgotten all the speedy penances ,
And wam thinking about the glory of Purandara dasa,
Who sang all the time about good qualities of Hari.
F.Prayer to Ramadasa
Kali yugamuna vara bhadra chalamuna ,
Nelakonna Ramachandruni pada bhkthalukella,
Varudu anandaki velasina Sri Rama Dasu vinutintu madin
I place my mind to Sri Rama dasa who is the greatest,
Among all disciples in Kali Yuga of the feet,
Of the blessed Ramachandra who is in BHadrachalam.
G.Vachanam (prose praising several devotees)
Ishta devatha abinandanumbunu satguru dhyanambunu salpi purva bhaktha vrathambunu ganiyadhi mariyu panduranga namadeva , jnana deva m, sahe deva ,Jaya devam, Thukarama , Sri Narayana thithadhi bhgawath dasulunellam , pranamili na yonarpambunina Prahladha BHkthi vijayambunu prabhandhaambunuku Krti Nayukunadaku sri Chandruni sambodhana vakhambunanjeri vinnavichunadetianina.
The author seeks permission from , Sri Rama the master of the work after saluting his pet God , meditating on his great teacher and ancient devotees of Hari like Pandurana , Nama deva , Jnana Deva , Saha Deva , Jaya deva , Tukaram and sri Narayana Tirtha.
Poems introducing himself
(from now on wards I am giving only the Krithis with translations and different portions connecting them only in translations and not the texts)
1.Oh Lord belonging to the auspicious dynasty ,
Who lived in the city of Ayodhya ,
Who rushed to kelp the king of elephanys ,
I am engaged in writing this book,
With your blessing and I request,
You to hear it with great love .
I am the son of Rama Brahmam ,
Who is considered as the incarnation ,
Of Ramachandra and have been born,
In Thiruvayyaru and have conquered all desires.
2.To you and live and move in the Vedas ,
I would introduce myself as Thyagaraja ,
Who makes you happy with dedication of songs ,
With sweet Ragams and appropriate Thalam,
Filled with Ghana rasam and Bhavam.
A long introduction about the work.
Oh Lord who is shining with Sita, Oh father who gives boons to those who request for it ,Who wears ornaments of gold , I am presenting before you a musical drama. Oh Lord of Goddess Lakshmi , After saluting the elders, I shall tell you the specialties of this Drama . The mood of wisdom , detachment, science and pure devotion shines in this drama,. In olden times a Rakshasa called Hiranya Kasipa exposed his son to many tortures. At the end he ordered his servants to tie him up with serpents and throw him in the sea . The Lord of ocean helped him out with services of Garuda and Prahladha informed him his need to see Lord Hari. At that time sage Narada came there and seeing him Prahladha lost his consciousness .Later Lord Hari appeared before Prahladha thrice and Prahladha was transported to great joy because of it. This incident is described in the form of a Drama supported by Ragam, Talam and playing of Mrudangam..Please consider this as your garland and make use of it as much as you like. OH Goddess earth please protect me , the son of Rama Brahmam who considered your worship as your matchless mercy. Due to her habit , please pardon if there are any mistakes.Please bless all those who explain this drama to others
The commencement of the Drama.(Act 1)
In the first scene of the Drama of Prahladha Bhakthi vijayamu . Lord Ganesa who removes all obstacles arrives this way on the stage and the poet describes the Lord.
He has a face of king of elephants , brightness of camphor ,
He is the son of daughter of the mountain, He enjoys music.
Lord Brahma and other devas worship him ,
He eats naval fruits and with his pure heart and detachment .
He attracts others and charms them. Please come let us worship him.
The first Krithi of the drama praising Lord Ganesa:-
1.Sri Ganapathini sevincharare
(Prayer to Lord Ganesa)
Sri Ganapathini sevincharare,
Come let us salute Lord Ganapathi,
Oh devotee human beings
AnupallaviVagadhipathi supoojala jekoni ,
Baga natimbuchunu vedalina
To him who receives the woship of Lord Brahma and others,
Who comes dancing greatly.
Panasa narikeladi jambu phalamu laraginchi,
Anayamu hari charana yuga mula hrudayambuna nunji ,
Vinayamunanu Thyagaraja vinthudu vividha Gathula dalangumani vedalina.
After partaking jack fruit , coconut Jamoon fruit ,
Keeping on the earth his heavy feet making “Gal, Gal” sound,
Keeping always in his mind the divine feet of Lord Hari,
With humility that God worshipped by Thyagaraja,
Coming in several styles, dancing making sound ‘Dith thalangu”
All the dramas of those days have a commentator who briefs about each character and also gives a commentary as to what can be expected in the next scene. A gate keeper is introduced . He first praises Lord Vasudeva or Lord Hari.
2.Vasudevayani vedalina yi
Vasudevayani vedalina yi dou-
Please see these sentries who come,
Vasavadhi surapoojithudai (na),
Varija nayanuni madhini dalasuchunu.
Keeping in their mind the lord with lotus eyes who is ,
Worshipped by Indra and others.
1.Neerugavi dovathulanu gatti,
Nidalamunanu Sri choornamu betti,
Sari vedali yi sabalo jutti,
Sareku Bangaru kolanu batti.
1.Tying a dhothi coured red like “kavi”,
Putting mark of “Sri Choorna” on their foreheads,
Several times going round and round this stage ,
Holding in their hand a staff made of Gold.
2.Mati matikini meesamu dhuvvi ,
Manmatha roopudu thanani grovvi ,
Dhati Dhati padusunu tha nivvi ,
DAmbu na balukuchu paka paka navvi
2. Again and again rolling their moustache,
Becoming proud that they are like cupid ,
Jumping and jumping and moving about ,
Talking in various ways and laughing uproariously.
3.Bagu meera natanamu cheyusunu ,
Pathitha pavanuki tha vedusunu ,
Raga thala gathulanu badusunu ,
Thyagaraja sannuthuni bogaduchunu.
3. Coming dancing extremely well ,
Praising Lord Hari who protects the fallen ,
Singing according to Raga(tune) and Thala(beats),
And praising the God worshipped by Thyagaraja.
Then the Suthra dara comes there and asks the gate keeper as to who are all there ?Why there are torch lights. Why in mrudangam , the mangala Vadhyam raises this sound. Why are people dressed prettily . What is the name of Drama ? What is the use of enacting this drama? And who ordered this?
And then the Suthra dara replies as follows:-
This drama is meant for sages , devas , ladies , children and people belonging to all castes and even dfor the heartless Asuras. Those who listen to the prose and verse of the drama and study it would be blessed with pleasure on this earth . The act of seeing this Drama would give them protection as if the devas had come away from heavens and chase away all their problems. It also would serve as a proper medicine and cure them from all their sickness and prevent further sorrows to them.
And then the Suthradaran asks the gate keeper as to which is his native place and how he arrived there? And the gate keeper replies as follows:-
“ I am from the kingdom of the God of ocean and he ordered me to decorate this stage in this great city with Vaidoorya gems and decorate the Pandal with Jaxck fruit , banana plants , grape bunches and also decorate the stage with l lots of Gold and then invite deva maidens to come and dance in this special stage and I have now completed the job.”
Then the Suthra dara asks the need for such a special statge and the occasion for erecting it? Then the Gate keeper replies . “ As per the orders of King Hiranya Kasipu his servants have tied his son Prahladha by snakes and have put him in the ocean. And the king of ocean knowing the greatness of Prahladha went and received him along with his wives. And then he ordered his city to be decorated this way .
The Suthradara then asks the gate keeper why there was need to decorate his capital city that way?
Then the gate keeper replies that the king of the ocean considered that his being able to such a great devotee like Prahladha was due to his great luck and so he decided to being him in a great procession , keeping him on his chariot and bring him here with great honour.
(The scene of God of ocean bringing Prahladha)
Ragam Yamuna Kalyani
Saregu gana rare
Please do come to see ,
The march of the king of the ocean.
Baguga prahladhu ni vara,
Yogini gaukida jerchi.
Hugging well to his chest ,
Lord Prahladha , the great Yogi.
1.Mandara dharudaa , nandha,
Kandhudu thana hrudayaaraa,
1.He who lifted the Mandara mountain ,
And who grants great joy thinking about,
The prettiness that dwells in the ,
Lotus heart of his
2. Varana mula pai beri,
Vadhyambu lu mroyaga , sura,
Vaara sthreela natyambu ,
Varusala joochuka vetkaga.
2. The big drums making blaring sound
on the top of the elephant,
Looking funnily at the rows of
The great ladies of the Devas dancing ,
3.Rajillina Sri Thyaga,
Raja sakuni manasara ,
Raja kumara sahithudai .
3.Along with the prince of Rakshasas,
Who praises the lustrous friend ,
Of Thyagaraja , with all his heart.
After The king of ocean and along with the serpents tying Prahladha , he placed him on the golden throne as he was eager to talk with him.Then he folded his hands and started praying Lord Garuda this way.
“Oh king of birds .Please come down from the sky and drive away these snakes which have tied Prahladha. He is still a small kid and does not know many things.”Then he sang this Krithi.
4. Vinatha sutha Rara
(Calling Garuda to save Prahladha from ties of serpents.)
Vinatha sutha rara,
Vinuthi gai konuma
Oh son of Vinatha, please come, come,
Please accept my salute
Gana naga pasambu la ,
Cut the heavy Rope of snakes come come
1.Amaresuni gelisi neevu amruthamu dechi ,
Vimala keergi vahinchi velasillina Veera
1.Oh valorous one are you not the hero who won over Indra ,
Brought nectar and got unalloyed fame .
2.Hariki vahanamou mayayya vega rara nee,
Sariyou bhakthuni brova samayamithi rara
2.Oh Lord who is the steed of Lord Hari come , come quickly,
This is is the time to save the real devotee our lord , please come
3.Thyagaraja nuthi dasudow dheera ,
Nagasana ninnu vinaga yevvaru ra
3,Oh slave of lOrd whom Thyagaraja worships,
You who eat serpents , who else except you can protect ?
Being greatly pleased with the prayer of the king of the ocean appeared before him , He was like a Mewru mountain which was moving and arrived speedily as he was not able to see the sorrow of the great devotee like Prahladha. He came chanting “Krishna, Krishna and the heat due to the worries in the mind of king of Oceans, The wings of Garuda attacked the serpents and made them in to pieces and using gis beak and nails he destroyed all of them. The king of ocean pleased by this prayed Lord Garuda using the following Krithi:-
(Description of how Garuda comes to save Prahladha)
Here is the steed of Lord Vishnu ,
Please see him now
Krishna charana bhakthulalo ,
Keerthi galgu Bhagyasali
He is the most lucky one,
Among the devotees of Lord Krishna’s feet
1,Ranga pathini bongusu hrud-
Ranga munanu dalasi ,
Bangaru sari rangugala pa-
Thanga raju thanansunu
1.Becoming joyous by keeping,
Ranganatha in the stage of his m mind ,
Saying that he himself is the king of birds ,
With a golden body ,
2. Varunalayu moralida vini,
Karuna poorithudai ,
Hari bhakthula parithapamu ,
Hariyinthu nanusu vedkaga
2. Hearing the request of the king of ocean,
Becoming filled with mercy ,
With a great desire to remove the sorrow
Of devotee of Hari, spectacularly proceeding
3. Rajillu virajadhi pu-
Dee jagamuna keki yahi ,
Raja raja boji THyaga-
Raja nuthuni dhabogadusu.
3. The lustrous lord of the birds ,
Who eats the king of kings of snakes ,
Came praising the Lord worshipped by Thyagaraja.
Lord Garuda got greatly angry at the serpents for tying the body of the great devotee like Prahladhan. Prahladha became greatly peaceful and Lord Garuda returned back to Vaikunta, The king of the ocean spoke with love to Prahladha and woke up from his meditation on the feet of Hari.He then praised Prahladha. Prahladha opened his eyes and felt bad that he did not show hospitality to the king of the ocean. He bowed before the ocean king , saluted him and told him how sorry he was for the indifference shown by him and fell at the feet of the king of the ocean, who lifted him up treated him in a great way and gave him several gifts. He also told that Lord Vishnu would be angry at those who only worship him but not his devotees because they are un-evolved beings.Prahladhan accepted all the gifts given by the ocean king and also addressed prayers a to the ocean king. He alo requested him to tell him how to realize the great God Hari. He then addressed the following Krithi at the ocean king.
6.Varidhi neekuvandana monarinchedha
(Prayer of Prahladha to the God of the sea)
Varidhi neekuvandana monarinchedha
Oh ocean I am offering my salutations to you
SAreku nee hrudayaravindamunanu ,
Maa Ramanudu goodu Dhari delpumu Naatho
Oh Lord ell me how , in your lotus like heart ,
My Lord Vishnu is always staying.
Nayeda dayyunvhi sakumee yeda,
Bayakundu dhari delpumee muni,
Dhyeyunitho mata balkumi ye yu-
Payamaina jesi pranamu nilpumi
1. Please show mercy to me and make me yours,
And tell me the way by which Hari never deserts me ,
And please tell a word to him and request him,
To do some trick and make my soul stay here.
2.Danuja baa dalellaa dalachunu boga,
Dhana sampadhulaku jeyi jasanu naa ,
Manasuna Harini nemaranu naa,
Kanulaara naathu nigana delpumi natho.
2.I recollected all troubles given by Asuras and for,
The sake of pleasure, money and wealth ,
I would extend my hand and beg and I would not leave ,
Praising Hari in my heart and so please tell me ,
A way by which I can see Hari with my own eyes.
3.Aajanma masura badhaa yenu jala,
Raja prayamuliu dharayenu Thyaga-
Raja sakhdu radayenu vinu ,
Yajanu bahudu agapada delpumi.
3.Oh King of sea all my life I underwent sufferings from Asuras ,
And by that time five six years were past but,
The friend of Thyagaraja did not appear before me ,
Please tell me a method by which he whose hand touches his thigh is seen by me.
Hearing these words the ocean king praised Prahladha. He also told him the right way to pray and please Lord Hari. He told him to annoing Lord Hari with the water called meditation, cloth him by the cloth of self respect , decorate him with ornaments called devotion , offer him food called blessed deeds and give him the Tamboolam called Infinite joy ,And then salute him with ultimate faith. Hearing this great advice , Prahladha stated singing the names of Rama and the ocean king was greatly pleased and told him that Lord Hari would visit and bless him using the following Kriti.
7.Vachunu Hari ninnu jooda
(The king of ocean assures Prahladha that Hari would come to see him and advices him.)
Vachunu Hari ninnu jooda,
Vachunu Hari ninnu Jochi,
Mechunu Hari ninnu joochi
Hari would come to see se you,
He would come to see you,
And that Hari seeing you would appreciate you.
Kuchitha vishayathula chichureethi nenchi neevu ,
Hechugaanu maa swamini machikatho nuthiyimbu
You see the matters of passion with hatred ,
Start loving my lord and salute him very well.
1.Dheeruni Sitarama avatharuni sakala lokaa-,
Dharuni nija bhaktha mandharuni nuthiimbavayya
1,You please pray that bold one ,
One who has taken incarnation as Sitarama ,
One who carries the entire world
And a wish giving tree to his devotees.
2.Dhanyuni velpulalo moordhanyuni prathileni la-
Vanyuni Parma karunyuni nuthiyimpavayya
2.Please pray that blessed one , who is the best among Devas ,
Who has matchless beauty and one who is greatly merciful.
3.Ye japa thapamulaku raadu Yajanadhulaku Radu ,
Rajikaa nuthiyinchu Thyagarajanuthuni Nee vela.
3.He cannot be got by any chanting and meditation ,
He cannot be approached by any fire sacrifices,
So please pray with love that Lord,
Who is prayed to by Thyagaraja.