Venkateshwara Suprabhatam

Here welcomes your beautiful Dawn…

Sujatha R
7 min readNov 14, 2021

Imagine waking up your dear one in the morning... Your little one, or even a pep talk to yourself… The world is waiting for you. There is hot coffee brewing in the kitchen. Birds are chirping in the background… Arise, Awake O dear one, and begin your beautiful day.

Venkatesha Suprabhatam -A poetic celebration welcoming the beautiful dawn and a grand suprabhatam to the Lord of the Venkatachala hills. Like a cuckoo bird perching on the tree of poetry and cooing a high pitch melody, “kausalya supraja rama” in MS amma’s voice ignites the magical moments of the mornings of the yesteryears. A simplistic outline…

Shri Venkatachalapathi… Tava Suprabhatam
Oh Lord of Hills… Your beautiful dawn unwinds…

Oh Son of Kausalya.. Oh Rama.. The Sun is about to rise in the East. Arise O Tiger among men.. There are divine duties to perform and miles to go..

The saptarishis are chanting their morning hymns by the side of the celestial river.. There blossoms the beautiful celestial lotuses in the river of the sky.

The assembly of planets will walk at your service till the end of time. The entire galaxy wishes you a beautiful good morning.

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The joyful lotuses are blooming by the lake… the betel and coconut plants in your worship, and the air is laden with morning fragrance.

Those excellent parrots in the cage open their eyelids and chant the morning hymns..

There is music in the air. The strings of Narada’s lute is emitting sweet music on your glory.

While your rays bloom the lotus.. a swarm of eager bees dances after consuming nectar.. With horns and kettle drums they buzz.. And steal away some black pollen lustre and your dark colour..

The cowherd maids are churning butter in full fervor.. An intense tussle brewing between the pots and the mortar.

The Sun is rising and the Lotus Flowers are blossoming in the lake.. The mountain Birds are filling the Skyline with their sweet Chirping Sounds. A beautiful bath awaits you with the celestial waters filled in golden pots diffused with fragrant elachi lavanga and camphor.

Oh Daya Sindhu.. Oh Loka Bandhu.. Oh Srinivasa.. Oh ocean of compassion.. Oh wellwisher of all.. You are the Bandhu of all.

O Mukunda.. The lord of Fire, water, air, and other chieftains of the Universe with folded hands and shining crowns have all lined up in your service.

Your caravan of vehicles of Garuda, Adiseesha, Hayagreeva, and Lord of Elephants and Lions, all of them eager to shine and excel in your service.

Oh lord of the seven Venkatachala hills.. Your devotees say you shine there forever… They are contemplating on Your Divine Incarnations.

They are glancing at the shikaram of your temple ready to surrender and attain bliss in this mortal world.

Oh Padmanabha.. Oh Purushottama.. Oh Vaasudeva.. Oh Vaikunta.. Oh Madahava Janardana Chakrapani…

Oh beautiful one.. You burn the pride of the beautiful.. You fulfill the desires of the pure. We seek refuge under your lotus feet. May you bring auspiciousness this day.

Venkateshwara Suprabhatam was composed by Prativadi Bhayamkaram Annan, a disciple of Manavala Mahamuni during the early 15th century. It has 4 parts to it.

Suprabhatam: A beautiful description of the dawn in 29 verses.
Venkateswara Stotram: A stuthi and praise of the Lord in 11 verses.
Venkatesa prapatti and Surrender in 16 verses.
Mangalasasanam or the goodness and auspiciousness associated in 14 verses.

Venkateswara Stotram

O beautiful blue one..May victory be yours..

O son of Vasudeva who attracts the gopas with the magic of his music..

O scion of Raghu dynasty.. Whose pretty hands are held by the daughter of earth.. Who destroys darkness like the sun.. whose arrows never go waste..

I take refuge in you. I am orphaned without you..

O lord of Sesha Saila mountains.. pardon me for all the mistakes done due to my ignorance..

Kamala kucha.. neela thano..
Vijayee bhava venkata shaila pathe..

Vasudeva suthaan na param

Abhirama.. Raghu nayaka rama..
Avanee thanaya.. thamo mihiram..amogha saram

Vina Venkatesam na natho na natha..

Agnaninam maya doshan..

Kshamasva thwam.. kshamasva thwam..Sesha shail shika mane

This part follows the musical la la laaa.. la la laaa.. totaka pattern.

Venkatesa prapatti

Surrender to thy feet (Sounds Like Brahma kadigina paadamu )

Shree Venkatesha Sharanau… Saranam Prapadhye
I seek refuge in Thy feet

Thy feet like a tender lotus blossomming with dense redness,
emanating sweet nectar of bliss and making my eyes awestuck…

Thy feet like a Parijatha tree…

Thy feet where inscribe auspicious symbols like shanka chakra and para tattva chinha

The feet sought by Arjuna
The feet that stood on the hood of Kaliya
The feet that landed on the peak of Venkatachala,
The feet extolled in the Upanishads and in the hearts of the sages

Thy feet emanating luster of sapphires, emeralds, and luster of the moon…

The feet that receive a scintillating neerajanam aarti by the Gods whose gem studded crowns irradiating streaks of colour..

Mangala Shaasanam

( Like a mini Vishnu Sahasranamam enumerating the attributes of the divine)

May grace shower through your eyes Oh beautiful one.. May you help us cross this river of Samsaara.

You are treasure trove of mangalam, Lord of Lakshmi and your feet have chosen these hills.

Sri Venkata nivasaya Srinivasaya Mangalam

You dwell in the heart of everyone and in the minds of the munis.

I join my teachers in wishing Sri Venkatesa all auspiciousness!

Perfecting the Chant

Check out Smt Brunda Karnam of Vyoma Patashala’s chanting lessons if you want to master the nuances of this melody step by step.. A dance of Musical resonance awaits.. Venkateshwara Suprabhatam is very musical. The right chanting style kinds of adds fidelity, immersion and fluidity to the sounds. The poet has provided many sound embellishments which is music to the ear. Let us see a few.

Words are repeated in many places to give them a highlight.

uttista uttista.. dasa dasa.. darpa darpa.. shri shrinivasa,
न नाथो न नाथः, स्मरामि स्मरामि, प्रसीद प्रसीद, प्रयच्छ प्रयच्छ

Frequent words..

tat meaning that.. that eyes.. that shoulder.. it shows the awe in description..

sandHyo.. ardri.. saroruha.. kamala.. paraa..

Dweetwam or doubling of sounds in chanting can be abundantly seen in this chant. When there are consonants one after another, the first consonant is slightly stretched like a gamaka. And this is not codified in the script for readability reasons. Many times we practise it unknowingly. It feels like a resonance gamaka and gives a character to the sounds.

Kausall-ya
supp- raja
poorr-va
supp-rabhata
trivikk- rama
कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वा सन्ध्या

विना वेङ्कटेशं न नाथो न नाथः(s)
सदा वेङ्कटेशं स्मरामि(s) स्मरामि ।
हरे वेङ्कटेश (p)प्रसीद (p)प्रसीद
(p) प्रियं वेङ्कटेश (p) प्रयच्छ (p) प्रयच्छ

Also, there are deep voiced ghoshit sound like ‘dha’ ‘bha’ ‘gha’ giving a resonating effect..

घोषालयेषु दधिमन्थनतीव्रघोषाः
घाटीषु ते विहगराजमृगाधिराज-
नागा
धिराजगजराजहयाधिराजाः

There are verses with alpaprana followed by mahaprana sound
बिभ्रति, शेषाद्रि, विदधते, एलालवङ्गघनसारसुगन्धितीर्थं

Few places where visargas can be skipped with ‘fa’ or ‘sa’ ‘ra’and make it more continuous. When there is a visarga in front of ‘pa’, visarga is pronounced as ‘fa’

भाषापतिः (f) पठतिकेलिशुकाः पठन्ति
मानवाः (f)प्रतिदिनं
वैदिकशिखामणयः (f) प्रहृष्टाः
वेङ्कटपतेर्विष्णोः (f) परां प्रेयसीं

There are verses with abundance of ‘sa’.. A visaraga can be replaced by sa during Sandhi.. Rule of Visarga sakaara..

Also, when visarga followed by ‘pa’, visarga sounds like ‘fa’ for enhancing fluidity.. upadwani sandhi

There are various types of musical Chandas of Anustup, Vasantakokila and simpler 3 step Chandas of totakam and bujanga paryatam in kamala kucha makes it very musical.

REFERENCES

Chanting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCSMImu3LDA
Lyrics: https://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_vishhnu/venkatsp.html
Word by Word meaning:
Suprabhatam: https://greenmesg.org/stotras/vishnu/venkatesa_suprabhatam.php

Stotram:
http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Sri_Venkatesa_Stotram

Prapatti:
https://templesinindiainfo.com/shree-venkatesha-prapatti-in-english-with-meaning-venkateswara-prapatti/

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Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns