Athisaya Raagam Lyrics and Translation

This raagam, called Mahati, has only 4 notes. In Karnatic music, all raagams have either 5, 6 or 7 notes. But Balamurali Krishna invented this one and was critisised for his non-traditional innovation. The fact that such a lovely song could be made from it goes to show that while it is limited, it is still a viable Raagam. Thanks to my dad for helping with the meanings.

**Athisaya raagam aanandha raagam azhagiya raagam apporva raagam

Athisaya raagam aanandha raagam azhagiya raagam apporva raagam

Vasantha kalathil mazhai tharum megam

Antha mazhai neer aruntha manathinil moham

Isai yenum amuthinil avalaoru baagam

Indira logathu chakkaravaakam**

Magnificent raagam, blissful raagam, beautiful raagam, rare and wonderful raagam.

Magnificent raagam, blissful raagam, beautiful raagam, rare and wonderful raagam.

The cloud which gives rain in the spring time

As (I) drink of the rain water, my heart feels amorous

In nectar of music, she is a part

In Indiras world (heavenly kingdom), the musical scale

**Pinniya koonthal karunira naagam

Penmayin ilakkanam avalathu dhegam

Dhevargal valarthidum kaaviya yaagam

Antha dhevathai kidaithal athu yen yogam**

Her braided hair is a black serpent

Feminine elegance is her body (Her body is according to the grammar ‘ilakkanam’ of what femininity should look like)

The gods nurture this poetic sacrifice

That goddess, if I get, it would be my fortune

**Oru puram paarthaal mithilayin mythili

Marupuram paarthaal kaviri maadhavi

(Innuma purila?)

Mugam mattum paarthaal nilavin yethiroli

Muzhuvathum paarthaal aval oru bhairavi**

If you see one town, it is Mithilay (in the province of Behar) and Sita’s birth place

The next city/tower you see is Kaveri river’s Madhavi

(Don’t you understand yet?)

If you see only the face it is the reflection of the moon

If you see it all, she is a Bhairavi.

Explaination of the last verse:

The song is straightforward until the very last verse. There, the Raagam itself changes. He says, at first sight she may seem as virtuous as Sita (from Ramayanam), if you examine more closely she seems to be like Madhavi (from Silapathigaaram who tempts away a married man with her dance). If you take her at face value, she is as beautiful as the reflection of the moon (yethir oli literally translates to an echo though) but if you see her for what she is, she is Bhairavi: a fierce and frightful form of the goddess Durga, similar to Kali. Bhairavi is also the name of the raagam from which Mahati is derived. It is a line loaded with layers of meaning.

Also, to understand the concept of a Raagam better, please see:

See also