Sant Namdev’s Abhang - Anathancha Naatha…
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Dakshina Bharata Bhajana Sampradaya is the tradition of ritualistic singing of Bhajans in Tamil Nadu which started from the middle of 18th Century during the reign of Rajah Serfoji, one of the famous Maratha kings who ruled Thanjavur. It is a collection of traditional Kirtans, Abhangs and songs of great saints from all over India. The great masters who started this tradition of Bhajan-singing integrated the traditional Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindustani Bhajans and Marathi Abhangs into this South Indian Bhajan Sampraday – i.e., the established practice or custom or method of ritualistic singing of Bhajans. The sequence of songs that are to be sung as per this tradition is well formatted that it is followed even today without any deviation.
This is a simple Marathi Abhang by Saint Namdev (born in 1270) who was a great devotee of the Lord of Pandharpur and also a prominent religious poet of Maharashtra, one of the earliest writers who wrote in the Marathi language. It is believed that his depth of devotion and talent in delivering Abhangs was of such a high standard that it is said even the idol Lord Pandurang swayed to his tune. He is also a proponent of the Varkari tradition.
The regular pilgrim to Pandharpur is known as Varkari (meaning Pilgrim). Varkaris usually move in groups, irrespective of caste and creed, performing Bhajans and singing songs of saints, associated with Vitthal, the lord of Pandharpur also known as Paanduranga. The full moon day during the month of Kartik is an auspicious day for the Varkaris making Pandharpur Yatra. (Coincidentally for this year day before yesterday was Kartik Purnima).
Anathancha Naatha Deenancha Dayala is a prominent Namdev Abhang chanted in the South Indian Bhajan concerts in its short form. The first part is a Sanskrit verse meditating upon the Lord Vitthal and the second part is the Abhang. It is set in Raaga Vaasanti.
The meaning of both the verse and the Abhang goes like this…
I meditate upon that Lord Vitthala whose pair of feet is equivalent to the lotus flowers,
Who has the complexion of the dense blue cloud,
Who keeps his arms on his hips and who has a jubilant and decorative face,
Who is adorned with a garland of fresh _Tulsi leaves on his neck, and who has lotus-like eyes,
And Who always sports a merciful immaculate smile._
Oh the guardian of the desolates! The protector of the poor!
The benefactor of the devotees! Oh Paanduranga!
Thou art the only lord Vitthal, my parental abode!
Oh Paanduranga, thou art the ocean of compassion!
Having faith on Lord Hari, Namdev says this
Jana (Janabai) says she would be His slave birth after birth.
Please pardon me for the low volume.
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