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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Celebrating "Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma" Durable Link to this BLOG
Every woman that I have fallen love with, I have imagined her to be the goddess Laxmi as described in the great song "Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma" by Purandaradasa. The song never fails to elate me up.

The song, composed some 500 years ago perhaps will not mean much to the future generations -- the generations that will not see the butter churn up as you toil the buttermilk (see translation below),  who didn't have to stand in a line for hours to buy sugar, and who will not imagine Goddess Laxmi as the sexy mistress of Lord Vishnu as painted by Raja Ravi Varma. The meaning of Soubhagya is also no longer relevant.

But what is remarkable is the music and the variety of interpretations the song has inspired -- from the great rendering of Bhimsen Joshi in Hindustani style to M.S. Subbulakshmi in classical Canatic to even tribal-music (see third video below). I just cannot imagine another song that is sung by so many people day after day, and generation after generation as this "The Laxmi of Fortune".

I present you "The Laxmi of Fortune", one of my favorite songs.

Transliteration of the Lyric
Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma
Composition by Purandaradas
Translation to English
by Vikas Kamat
bhAgyada lakShmI bArammA nammamma nee sow
bhAgyada lakShmI bArammA

hejjaya mele hhejjeyanikkuta gejje kAlgaLa dhvaniya tOruta
sajjana sAdhu pUjeya vELege majjigeyoLagina beNNeyante

kanaka vrShtiya kareyuta bAre mana kAmanaya siddhiya tOrE
dinakara kOTi tEjadi hoLeva janakarAyana kumAri Veda

attittalagalade bhaktara maneyali nitya mahOtsava nitya sumangaLa
satyava tOruva sAdhu sajjanara cittadi hoLevA puttaLi bombe

sankhye illAda bhAgyava koTTu kankaNa kaiya tiruvuta bAre
kunkumAnkite pankaja lOcane venkaTaramaNana binkada rANI

sakkare tuppada kAluve harisi shukravAradha pUjaya vELage
akkareyuLLa aLagiri rangana chokka purandara viThalana rANI

Welcome to Lakshmi!
The provider of our fortunes, welcome.

Come goddess, in your small, seductive steps,
With the anklets dangling at every swing
Arriving right on time
As the saints and devotees sing thy glory.

Appear before us like the butter in the buttermilk!

Bring with you the rain of golden threads
And the bliss that excites our minds
Come, the daughter of king Janaka
The personification of Veda
Come with the splendor of thousand suns.

Glittering doll! who blesses the devout and the truthful
Devotees who celebrate thy arrival everyday with festivities and mangalya
Come to us

Your countless blessings and fortunes
Bestow upon us endless giver!
The lotus-eyed beauty, the consort of Venkataramana
The provider of mangalya, Come to us.

Make the sugar and ghee flow in the canals
O the goddess of plenty!
Come, the favorite queen of Purandara Vithal
Come to us


Note: Fortune is just a rough translation, but must be read to include health, children, marriage, and material wealth.

Links to Video Clips

No lyrics, no voice, just instrumental music...

The clip is from a Kannada movie. Voice is Bhimsen Joshi's.

The same song in Carnatic style, sung by M.S. Subbulakshmi.

This I find incredible. Forget the classicists. This is how Indian culture has survived for the thousands of years... being in practice by the most common of the people.

See Also:
• Saint Purandaradas and Carnatic Music
• Introduction to Indian Culture

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, July 26, 2008
Last Modified: 7/27/2008 9:27:14 PM

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