This composition, ‘Hiranmayim’ set to Raga Lalita was composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1775-1835). It is one of the shorter kritis composed by the youngest trinity of Carnatic music. Pioneering Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam brings her distinctive style to this hymn in a majestic rendition highlighting the karuna (compassion) rasa of the raga.
Jyotsna Srikanth’s melodic support on the violin is particularly commendable for the way she underpins Sairam’s reposeful, sustained notes with her long, breathy bowing. Patri Satish Kumar (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam) provide rhythmic accompaniment full of unexpected moments of vigour, placidity and a keen sense of teamwork.
Maintaining sheer simplicity in her execution of the kriti, Sairam makes the bhava (emotions) and lyrics, the highlight of her performance. The cadence of the lyrics is set to a lilting metre in Adi talam which sparkles with Sairam’s rich, weight-laden voice and her ability to bring dynamism in the tonal movements within the song.
Lalita is an upannga janyai of the 15th meḷakarta Mayamalavagoula. It is a sadava raga. The swaras present in this raga are sadja, suddha risabha, antara gandhara, suddha madhyama, suddhaa dhaivata, kakali nisada. Its arohana and avarohana are
S R1 G3 M1 D1 N3 Ṡ - Ṡ N3 D1 M1 G3 R1 S.
In Western music notation, if C is taken as the base or tonic note, then the scale is
C C# E F G# B C – C B G# F E C# C
Lalita is a rakti raga or a raga which pleases instantaneously. Risabha and madhyama are ragachaya swaras. Other than sadja, madhyama and dhaivata are nyasa swaras. R-D are vadi-samvad swaras (consonant notes).
It can portray rasas like sringara (romantic), karuna (compassion), santa (tranquil) very effectively, just as it can convey the feeling of devotion or bhakti bhava.
Aruna Sairam (vocals)
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Patri Satish Kumar (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Priya Parkash (tanpura)
Raga Lalita, Composition by Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1775-1835) in Adi talam