Devagaanam verses Manushya gaanam

Few hundred years ago   Gangaikonda Chozhapuram a place  in Tamil Nadu ,  was ruled by the Cholas  who  were active patrons of the arts , poetry, drama, music and  dance .  The Chola kingdom grew  into an extensive and well-knit empire, efficiently organized and administered by the King .


One fine day  two courtesans from other kingdom  came  to meet the King for his generosity in encouraging their talents . One of them  could sing according to a  pattern  called deva‐gana (celestial mode) and  the other  could sing in the normal method   manushya gana (human mode). Each thought their music was the best  and   excelled the other. Their objective of having an audience with  the King was to settle the dispute  between them  as the King was well versed in those forms of art .


The king  summoned his  royal artists and ordered  the  council to meet, for them to  perform .  In the process ,  the council of royal artists agreed that the courtesan who sung with manushya gana was better than the deva gana  . Thus   the dispute was decided in favor of  the manushya gana .  Rich presents  was  bestowed on that performer with all the honours  while the other was considered to have failed.


The lady of the deva‐gana thought thus  “My method of singing, cannot be appreciated by normal  humans and hence  I shall  submit  the same to the Devas (celestial beings)” in all the temples . So with  deep concern ,  she went to the temples  from one Holy Shrine to another  displaying her art to the deity and seeking their blessings


 In due course  she reached Viranarayanapuram a place near to Kattumannar koil .  She went to the Shrine of  Lord Veeranarayana Perumal  and  sang her song  among  the  opulence audience of our great  Sage Nathamuni  the torch bearer of Srivaishnavam . Nathamuni  was pleased with her recitation  and as a mark of his appreciation  blessed  her   with the tirtha and prasada of  Perumal and encouraged her  with blessings .


The lady thanked  Swami Nathamuni for his  patience and accepting her song  and blessing  on her . Overjoyed ,  she then went to king Chola and said    Oh Highness !! Atlast  “there is one soul, at least in your kingdom , who can understand the inner truth  of my devaganam .  Swamy Nathamuni,  who is the blessed devotee of Lord Mannanar at Viranarayanapuram is the reason for your country’s prosperity .


The king was curious to know about the sage . He sent  his messengers to  Swamy Nathamuni, begging him to visit his  royal palace .  Swamy  Nathamuni ,  on receiving the invitation, thought  “We have set the blessed Divya  Prabhandhas to exquisite music. Let us visit the king’s court, and take this opportunity of making these holy hymns  known to the world. Thus he went to the king’s court taking it as Lord’s command .


On his arrival, the king rose and welcomed  the Sage with every mark of honor,  and offered him a suitable seat. Whereon the Sage blessed the king, and inquired as to his object in inviting him. The king  submitted  “Holy sage can you distinguish between the  two patterns of ragas sung by these courtesans  ? Can we be enlightened about this inner secret ?


Swamy Nathamuni  requested that the performance be given  once again before the audience .  When this was done, he addressed the king  and said  “You all have ears  to receive the flow of  the manushya‐gana only.  The other one can be understood by  the Devas  only .


 “But”, the king respectfully asked, how can we be made to hear it? There upon  Swamy Nathamuni  directed that the 400 kinds of tala (rhythm) be marked, and explained to the king the rate of each. The king understood from this explanation the  harmonical progression and symphony  in which this  is composed  to the deva‐gana music, which produced in him a bliss never  experienced before  .


 A small demonstration was also shown among the elated arts lovers .A  pair of cymbals was placed near a consecrated post while  the deva‐ gana was sung. Over a period of time , it was found that the post began to melt. The singing was stopped  , and when an attempt was made to lift the cymbals, they stuck to the post  and when the music was once again played they came off.  It is said that Nathamuni directed a number of bronze cymbals of different weights to be sounded together and forthwith described correctly their different weights from a perception of the acute differences in the pitches of the notes. The king went into raptures over this, and falling at the feet of the Sage proposed to reward him abundantly.


But the Sage, to whom even the offer of Lordship over worlds was no temptation, politely declined the presents offered and blessing the king, returned to Viranarayanapuram. Thus with this incident the King  became a disciple of Swamy Nathamuni and spent his time at Kattumannar learning the esoteric truths regularly .


Swamy  Nathamuni set the 4000  Divya prabhandam to tune and music and taught to his dear disciples  Melai agatthazhwAn and Keezhai agatthazhwAn (his nephews) and propagated the divine nectar  in various divya desams. Nathamuni re arranged 4000 into four parts and introduced the same as part of recitation in Divya Desams, as part of worship.  

hare krishna

Once , the King  got down  along with his wives to Viranarayanapuram temple . Looking at the Royal couple  in such great ornaments, crown, and silk cloth,  Nathamuni for a moment lost himself and thought  Lord Krishna with His devis have come from Dwarakai. He fell at the feet of the king to prostrate. The king was shocked and immediately sprung to lift  Nathamuni . The King realised the deep devotion of the Sage and submitted himself .


During  another occasion, the king had  just completed discussing with the Sage about Lordships and  took Acharya’s permission to leave. He started walking towards the chariot. When he was about to board, (as usual, the king used to call the chariot driver on whose shoulder he  used to set  his foot to jump into the chariot), the driver was there for the king to jump in. After he jumped in, he saw below and it was  Nathamuni’s shoulder. The king was shocked . He got down to apologize  for his grave offence . He felt ashamed and said ! Swamin ….  “What have I done! Stepped on your shoulders! I have committed  a great apacharam!”


Nathamuni thought it  was Lord  Rama who had come by the chariot along with Sumanthrar. Hence, he offered his shoulders for Lord  to step into the chariot. That was  Nathamuni’s unalloyed devotion who was always in transcendental bliss always seeing LORDSHIPS everywhere .


One day  Nathamuni was in Samadhi Yoga. The  Chola  king  passed near Veeranarayanpura with his soldiers   after a hunting exercise.  The sage,  interrupted in his meditations by the attendant bustle, opened his eyes and, construing the party to be the divine Lord  Rama and his brother, on whom  his thoughts were wholly bent in meditation, followed the track of the party and walked with weary steps till the very gates of the Chola capital Gangaikondapuram  from Kattumannar Koil  and went searching ..


Nathamuni  already in that bliss  imagined that Lord Rama with his brother Lakshmana and  Mother  Sita is have come to  grace him .


He  fainted  at a place in a divine bliss  and  reached Lord’s abode  on an Ekadasi day.

More details about this great saint can be seen in the appended  linked post below


All glories to Swamy Nathamunigal


Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Google images

4 thoughts on “Devagaanam verses Manushya gaanam

  1. Reblogged this on kazhiyur varadan's blog and commented:

    Nathamuni already in that bliss imagined that Lord Rama with his brother Lakshmana and Mother Sita is have come to grace him .He fainted at a place in a divine bliss and reached Lord’s abode on an Ekadasi day.

  2. Hari Om!
    Oh! To go into raptures & Transcendental Bliss! That’s Spiritual Healing for all afflictions in this KaliYuga….Nathamuni Tiruvadigalae Charanam!
    Adiyen – Ramanuja Dasan – Jai Sriman Narayana!

  3. Thanks for sharing it. The music competition between two was very interesting. I like this line Nathamuni thought it was Lord Rama who had come by the chariot along with Sumanthrar. Hence, he offered his shoulders for Lord to step into the chariot. That was Nathamuni’s unalloyed devotion who was always in transcendental bliss always seeing LORDSHIPS everywhere .
    How Nathamuni could think that it was Rama,did he has so much love with Rama.

  4. On Monday, 22 February 2016, kazhiyur varadans web blog wrote:

    > Kazhiyur Varadan posted: “Few hundred years ago Gangaikonda Chozhapuram > a place near Tanjore in Tamil Nadu , was ruled by the Cholas who were > active patrons of the arts , poetry, drama, music and dance . The Chola > kingdom grew into an extensive and well-knit empire, effic” >

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