Tyagaraja's Nauka Caritramu   -  A Musical Play

Tyagaraja's Nauka Caritramu - A Musical Play

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Author: Tyagaraja
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): C Vasundhara
Publisher: Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Year: 2004
Language: multilingual
Pages: 219
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8179860493


The Nauka Caritramu is a brilliantly conceived ‘Geya Natika’ or musical play by Tyagaraja (1767-1847), the great saint-composer of Carnatic (South-Indian) music. Written in the Telugu language, the mother tongue of Tyagaraja, it is a ‘Sarvya-samgita-rupaka’, a musical play for recital. A beautiful, allegorical ensemble of a musical motif, it can also be studies as a poetical classic. As a musical play, it is greatly popular because of its fascinating and imaginative theme, in which Tyagaraja has ingeniously combined the most captivating episodes of the Mahabhagavatapurana, viz, the ‘Gopikavastrapaharanam’ and the ‘Rasalila’.

In this transliteration and translation of the Nauka Caritramu, Dr. C. Vasundhara has done the transliteration in Roman script in strict accordance with the Telugu orthography; and, in the translation she has made a sincere attempt to render into English idiom the literary beauty (Sahitya Saundariya), the musical excellence (samgita vaisistya) and the philosophical allegory (vedamta amtarartha), the three essential characteristics, which the Nauka Caritramu consists of.

In the ‘Notes’ classical allusions in the Nauka Caritramu are elucidated and attentions is drawn to narrative episodical parallelisms between the Nauka Caritramu and the Mahabhagavata.


Frontispiece-Sadguru Tyagarajasvami
The Glory of Sain Tyagaraja
Savants on Tyagaraja’s Nauka Caritramu
Scheme of Transliteration
Transliteration and Translation


Appendix I
Tabular Analysis of Ragas used in the Nauka Caritramu, with the Tala and the Arohana, and Avarohana of each.

Appendix II: Transliteration into Devanagari (Hindu) Script of Songs No. I to 21 of Nauka Caritramu