Mannargudi Sambasiva Bhagavatar

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Mannargudi Sambasiva Bhagavathar (also spelt Bagavathar[1]) (1912-2004) was a Carnatic musician, musicologist, Harikatha exponent and composer.[2][3]

He served Carnatic music for over seven decades. He was a disciple of Sangeetha Bhupathi Sri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer in music and Sri Madurai Narayana Bhagavatar and Smt.Saraswathy Bai in Harikatha.[2][4]

He performed more than 1000 music concerts and 7000 Harikatha performances all over India. He started composing right from his teens and has composed more than 3000 songs in many languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, etc.[5] He composed different musical forms such as Geetham, Varnam, Krithi, Javali, Padam, Thillana, Ragamalika and Harikatha compositions.[2] The first edition of his compositions are published in Tamil in the book 'Sangeetha Ratna Mala'.[2] Sambasiva Bhagavatar's musical discourse of Muthuswami Dikshitar charitram, Sri Ramana Maharshi Charitram, Sri Purandara Dasa charitram and Seetha Kalyanam are brought out in CD's.[2][6] His compositions (Sahityams) are released in cassettes and CD's.[3][7]

His composition "Neerajadalanayana" in raga "Maand" was popularised by his guru Sri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer.[2]

Early years[edit]

Sambasiva Bhagavatar was born in Mannargudi in the old Tanjavur district in Tamilnadu, India in the year 1912 to Rajam Iyer and Meenakshi Ammal. He spent his early years in Mannargudi and later moved to Madras (now Chennai).He studied in Sri Ramakrishna Mission in Mylapore. He then had his carnatic music training through the traditional Gurukulam from Sri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. He imbibed the spirit of musical style of his Guru Viswanatha Iyer. He was then known as Sambasiva Iyer. He switched over from Carnatic Vocal music to Harikatha Kalakshepam and became known as Sambasiva Bhagavatar.

Family[edit]

Sambasiva Bhagavatar has three sons Rajaraman, Balasubramanian and Madhavan and two daughters Balasaraswathi and Chandra.[4]

Awards and Titles[edit]

Bhagavatar was a recipient of the Government of Tamil Nadu's "Kalaimamani" award. He received many other awards and tiles such as "Harikatha Kalakshepa Jyothi", "Katharathnakara", "Sangeetha Sahithya Jyothi", "Sangeetha Ratnam", "Harikatha Sironmani", "Sangeetha Kala Sikhamani", "Nadakkanal", "Harikatha Ratna", "Kalaseva Nirata", "Sangeetha Harikatha Bhusanam", "Sangeetha Harikatha Kala Praveena", and the Madras Music Academy's "Vaggeyakara Award" in the year 2001 [8] and the special honour in the category of Musician and Musicologist "T.T.K. Award" in the year 1999.[2][9]

He served as a lecturer in Kathakalakshepam at Tamil Nadu Government College of Music, Chennai and as an inspector of Music and Dance schools for the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram, the cultural wing of the Government of Tamil Nadu.[4] He trained many students in the art of Music and Harikatha Kalakshepam. His prominent disciples included the violinist M. Chandrasekaran, K.V. Krishnan, Lalitha Alladi Ramakrishnan, Jaya Krishnan and others. In Harikatha his disciples include Susheela Achudaraman, Gowri Rajagopal, Shyamala Ramachandran and others.[2]

Compositions[edit]

A few of his Sahityams or compositions [5] are listed below

Composition Form Raga Tala
Sarasamanaiya [10] Varnam Sriranjani Kandajathi Triputa
Manjubhashana [10] Varnam Kannada gowlai Adi
Ekadantham Krithi Hamsadhvani[5] Rupakam
Vallabha vallabam Krithi Nata Adi
Samajathi pananam Krithi Harikambhoji Rupakam
Saarasa Sambhava Krithi Pantuvarali[5] Adi
Sri Rajagoplam Krithi Kharaharapriya Adi
Engum niraindha Krithi Bhairavi Adi
Neevanti Krithi Sowrashtram Kanda chapu
Sama gana lola Krithi Kunthala varali Misra chapu
Nijamukha nammithi Krithi Begada Adi
Nannu brovara Krithi Shuddha Dhanyasi Adi
Namagiri Sadhana Krithi Huseni Misra chapu
Sari evarunaanura Krithi Ramapriya[5] Adi
Venkateshwara Krithi Kambhoji Misra chapu
Devaki vasudeva Krithi Senchuruti Misra chapu
Paavana pavana Krithi Simhendramadhyamam Adi
Amba Dharmasamvardhini Krithi Yadukula Kambhoji Adi
Guruvai Ninaindhurugu Krithi Poorvi kalyani Adi
Kapaleeshwara Krithi Sahana[5] Adi
Intha thamasamu Krithi Naatai kurinji Adi
Ambikaye Krithi Arabhi Adi
Kamakshi Kalyani Krithi Kalyani Misra chapu
Purandaradasa Krithi Abheri Adi
Sri Thiagaraja Krithi Atana[5] Rupakam
Maruthi mahimalu Krithi Hindolam Adi
Maname maravadhe Krithi Mandhari[5] Adi
Nandagopa nandana Krithi Mohanam Tisra nadai Adi
Saravanabhava Krithi Shuddha Saveri[5] Adi
Chinthayami Shanmuga Krithi Shanmukhapriya Adi
Dhakshinamurthim Krithi Surutti Misra chapu
Valli deva Sena [11] Krithi Abheri Adi
Jalaja Sambhava [11] Krithi Kalyani Adi
Sri Ramadasa Krithi Vasantha Rupakam
Neerajadala nayana Krithi Maand Adi
Varalakshmi Krithi Madhyamavati Adi
Nyaayamukadhura Javali Dhanyasi Adi
Valachi vachi Javali Saveri Adi
Varaadha dhadi sakiye Padam Kamaas Adi
Cheliyarammanave Javali Behag Adi
Ivaraaradi sakiye Padam Surutti Adi
Thadhara thani dheemtha Thillana Hindolam Adi
Thaanitha dheemtha Thillana Behag Adi

Service to Thiagaraja sangeetha Vidwath Samajam[edit]

Bhagavatar dedicated a major portion of his life to the growth and development of Sri Thiagaraja Sangeetha Vidwath Samajam in Mylapore, Chennai.[7] He was the Treasurer, Secretary, President and finally Chairman and executive trustee of the Samajam.[1][2] He served the institution for over six decades. As per the advice of His Holiness Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Swamigal, he installed a Panchaloga Vigraham of Saint Thiagaraja at the Vidhwath Samajam Premises.[1]

References[edit]