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The greatness of Rama's name is attested in the sacred Vedas, Sastras and Puranas. If it could transform an illiterate hunter into a great Saint-poet (Valmiki), what wonders will it not work on us? It is the 'Taraka Nama’ that destroys the cycle of birth and death. Many great composers have sung the glory of this nama, comparing it to a boat that carries us across the ocean of samsara. The numerous compositions in praise of Rama by Tyagaraja, composed spontaneously in the ecstasy his bhakti-bhava (devotion), are well-known. In addition, we have hundreds of songs on Rama by Purandaradasa, Bhadrachala Ramadas, Annamacharya, Muthuswami Dikshitar, Swati Tirunal, Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar, Mysore Vasudevachar, Papanasam Sivan and others.

Nama Sankeertana (singing in praise of the Lord) is considered the easiest way to salvation. Take for example the kriti ‘Rama Rama Rama Rama Rama enniro’ by Purandaradasa. When we learn, practice, sing or teach such songs, we unknowingly utter the Rama nama hundreds of times. Ramanatha (the Lord of Rama, Siva) himself preached the greatness of this nama to his consort Parvati, as follows:

Sri Raama Raama Raameti rame raame manorame |
Sahasranaama tat tulyam Raamanaama Varaanane ||

Here, the utterance of Rama nama just once is said to be equal to reciting the entire Vishnu Sahasranama (the thousand names of Vishnu). In this fast moving world, even if we have no time to sit and do ‘japa’ (meditation) or ‘tapa’ (penance), just singing or uttering the word 'Rama' during the course of our daily routine is sure to give us immense moral strength and peace of mind.

In the popular Balaji Pancharatnam cassette series, M S Subbulakshmi has rendered the simple but beautiful Rama-namavali, which encompasses the entire Ramayana.

Download the lyrics here.




Muthuswami Dikshitar, the great Vaggeyakara, has composed twenty songs on Rama. Out of these, eight form a set of Vibhakti (case ending) kritis, with no particular reference to any Kshetra. These are however, not as widely known as his Vibhakti kritis on Guruguha, Abhayambika and Tyagaraja. Perhaps the only exception is the composition in the second Vibhakti, Ramachandram Bhavayami (Vasanta, Roopaka tala). The seventh and eighth Vibhakti kritis, in ragas Jyoti and Ramakali respectively, are very rare compositions. Six of his Note swaras in Sankarabharanam are also in praise of Rama. The popular composition, Mamava Pattabhirama (Manirangu, Misra Chapu tala), is considered a Mangala kriti, meant to be sung at the end of Puja. The remaining five compositions can be identified with specific kshetra-s or pilgrimage centres.

Given below is the list of these twenty compositions. You will find the lyrics for these in our Composition Bank

Dikshitar’s Srirama Vibhakti kritis

Composition Raga Tala
Sri Ramachandro Sriranjani Misra Chapu
Ramachandram bhavayami Vasanta Roopaka
Ramachandrena samrakshitoham Manji Roopaka
Ramachandraya namaste Todi Misra Chapu
Ramachandradanyam Dhanyasi Khanda Chapu
Ramachandrasya dasoham Dhamavati Adi
Rame Bharatapalita Jyoti Khanda Chapu
Ramarama Ramakali Roopaka

Note Swaras in raga Sankarabharanam

Composition Tala
Ramachandram Chaturasra Eka
Rajeeva lochanam Tisra Eka
Dasarathe Adi
Rama janardhana Tisra Eka
Deenabandho Tisra Eka
Pahimam Tisra Eka

Kshetra kritis on Rama

Composition Raga Tala Kshetra / place
Mamava Raghuveera Mahuri Misra Chapu Devipatnam
Kothandaramam Kokilaravam Adi Navapasanam, Ramanathapuram
Santana Ramaswamim Hindolavasantam Adi Needamangalam
Sriramam Narayanagowla Adi Tiruppulani, Ramanathapuram
Kshitija Ramanam Devagandhari Adi Vaduvoor

Mangala kriti

Composition Raga Tala
Mamava Pattabhirama Manirangu Misra Chapu

In our next update - Sadasiva Brahmendra's kritis on Lord Rama


By Sarasa Rangaswamy


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