The infant at Sri Rangam wave-surfs in the Kaveri.

In my yesterday’s post, I had proposed to write a little about the lyric., Tolliyunu Marraku.
Tolliyunu Marraaku by Annamacharya. ( Vol.4,P.160) . Composed in Raagamalika (Khanda Chapu taalam) by Sri Nedunuri Krishna Murthy.

Here is the Telugu lyric in original, in Roman script.

Pallavi (Neelambari)
Tolli yunu marraku tottelane yuge gana
Chellubadin oogeeni Sri Ranga sisuvu.
Charanam-1 (Aabhogi)
Kaligi Kaveri taragala bahulathalaney
Talagak itu ranga madhyapu tottelan
Palu maaru tanun oochi paadagan oogeeni
Chilupala selavi to Sri Ranga Sisuvu

Charanam-2 (Hindolam)
Adi vo kamalaju ni thiruva araadhanamb anaga
Adana kamalabhava andamanu tottelan
Udadhulu tarangamulun oochagan oogeeni
Chedarani sirula toda Sri Ranga Sisuvu
Charanam -3 (Sri Ragam)
Vedamule cherulai velayamga Seshude
Padu konu tottelai paraga ganoo
Sri Devi to goodi Sri Venkatesudai
Seda theeredi vade Sri Ranga Sisuvu.

Here is my attempt at translation of the lyric into English,

Just as he had, in the hoary past , swung along on a cradle of banyan leaf, He is swinging now aptly, this babe at Sri Rangam.

He possesses the creeper-like tender arms, the waves of river Kaveri, as his own,
As he is swung again and again in the cradle in the midst of this venue , to the accompaniment of songs one after the other, he swings, without let ,hindrance or fear, this child at Sri Rangam, drooling just a bit at the corners of his lips

Lo! Is it verily Brahma, born in the lotus, who is worshipping him (swinging him lovingly and devoutly) ? Yes, it looks so.
The immense, undepleteably rich infant at Sri Rangam swings, within the immense universe, his cradle, even as the waves of the mighty oceans toss and swing him about.

The four vedas (ancient scriptures) serving as the ropes of his cradle, the mighty serpent Sesha , coiled cosily to form this cradle, the infant Sri Ranga, in the company of Sri Lakshmi, is resting as the Lord Sri Venkateswara, himself.

This forms part of a set of a few songs rendered by the late Smt. M.S.. Subba Lakshmi, under the music direction of Sri Nedunuri Krishna Murthy. I remember to have read a reference to this , made by Sri P.V.R.K.Prasad, I.A.S.,in his autobiographical account of his experiences, while he worked as the Executive Officer of the TTD, entitled, ” Naaham karta, Harih Karta.”,
I remember that Sri Nedunuri had also made a mention of this in one of his talks over the Bhakti TV, an year or more ago.
It is to the credit of the legendary M.S. that she renders the difficult Telugu words perfectly.
Besides being legendarily talented she was legendarily humble. It is said that even after having been provided with the lyrics and details of the ragas and the notation, she insisted on being trained personally by the ‘Masterji’
You may listen to this song by M.S. by going to. the YouTube clip of my previous post.
By the way, there is another lyric which starts with the same theme of the Child On the Banyan leaf’, but goes on to describes in quaint folk Telugu of centuries gone past, the Ten Manifestations ( Dasavataras) of Maha Vishnu), ” Teppa ga marraku meeda telaadu vaadu’, meaning The One who floats about on a banyan-leaf-boat.It was set to music in Lalitha ragam by Sri D. Pasupathi, i will write about it in another post.

Here is a link to an interesting discussion about the lyric ‘Tolliyunu’ .


About versa kay

Agile, keen, versatile,considerate,patient
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