[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated]


Kalyani dispels the darkness of fear. It gives motherly comfort and increases confidence. Kalyani means Mangalam. Recited with faith and devotion, the raga is believed to clinch marriage alliances. There are many authentic reports about the raga’s power to destroy fear which takes many forms, fear of poverty, of love, of power, of ill health, of death and so on. The great Tamil poet, Muthuthandavar sang “Chidambaram Ena En Manam Maghzinthida Japam Cheyya, Kodiya Janana Maranam Ozhinthidum” in Kalyani. Tyagaraja, unmoved by the request of the King of Thanjavur to compose a song in his praise, instead sang ‘Nidhi chala sukama, Ramuni sannidhi seva sugama’ in Kalyani. The raga bhava suits its emotional keerthana bhava. Shyama Sastri in ‘Himadrisude Pahimam’ appeals to Devi for a continuous flow of energy. Muthuswami Dikshithar has given a treasure in the Kamalambal navavarnam which acts as a shield, protecting one from the ill effects of planetary movement. In those days, Kalyani was very popular in the film industry. Pakshi Raja Films produced a film, “Kannika”, for which Papanasam Sivan wrote ‘Sundareswarane’, a super hit. I tuned a devotional song, ‘Kaatchi Thanthu Ennai Aatchi Seyvai Amma’, in the raga. ‘Chindanai Sey Maname’ and ‘Mannavan Vandanadi’ are some of the famous songs in Kalyani.


Karaharapriya is an excellent remedy for worry, distress and neurotic disorders. Tyagayya dissolves himself in the raga as he sings “Chakkaniraja.” ‘When the royal road is available with all the comfort, why do you opt for dreaded lanes and bylanes’ asks the saint.

Another Karaharapriya song ‘Mithri Bagyame’ counts the blessings of Sita and Lakshmana for being lucky enough to be nearer to Rama for his beck and call, and longs for the same proximity. Muthuthandavar sang in ecstasy, “Maayaviddhai Seigiraane Ambalavanan.” Many music composers have used Karaharapriya in their films to convey sentiments. Rajeshwara Rao used it to express the lovers’ mood in the song `Ariya Parumavada Madana.’ Earlier, ‘Bagavan Avatharippar’ composed by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu for the film “Valmiki” was also a hit. Another superhit is ‘Madhavi Ponmayilal.’ For “Agathiyar,” I composed ‘Esayay Tamizhay Iruppavane.’

« Part II

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