Devagitam design
Sri H. Yoganarasimham

Upcoming Event

Fifth Anniversary of
Devagitam Charitable Trust(R), Mysuru
1st and 2nd October, 2016

1st October 2016, ಸಂಜೆ: 5.30 PM
ಡಾ|| ಶೈಲಜಾ ವೇಣುಗೋಪಾಲ್

2nd October 2016, ಬೆಳಗ್ಗೆ : 11.00 AM
ವಿಚಾರ ಸಂಕಿರಣ
ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸಂಗೀತ ಎತ್ತ ಸಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ ? ಯುವ ಕಲಾವಿದರ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಲ್ಲಿ

Sangeetha Kalanidhi Vasudevacharya Bhavana
J.L.B. Road, Mysuru

Welcome to Devagitam

Welcome to the world of chaste Karnatak music of the modern composer Sri H. Yoganarasimham!

Yoganarasimham (1897-1971) is a composer of rare merit in whom musical excellence and lyrical beauty find a happy union, as do classicism and modernity.

This website – Devagitam – is dedicated to preserving and propagating his compositions. It is like a modern equivalent of a dedicated internship with a guru, getting to know him and his music as inseparable parts of a whole. To this end, the website is developed with the following features:

Yoganarasimham used the ankita Deva in his compositions. The name of the website is based on the word Devagitam that occurs in one of his songs.

Once again, welcome to Devagitam!

Sri H. Yoganarasimham

Sri H. Yoganarasimham of Mysore was a musician of impeccable taste, a highly refined and evolved man to whom music was a means of spiritual ennoblement and inner fulfillment. All his life he pursued music, as an ardent upasaka, despite an active life as an educational officer in the erstwhile Mysore State. He was a composer, musicologist, critic, author, and editor of musical works.

Born in 1897 to H. Naranappa and Lakshmidevamma as the last of four children, Yoganarasimham grew up in Mysore in an atmosphere that was suffused with good music and art. The royal patronage for arts, particularly for music, was so famous that musicians from all over India sought an opportunity to sing or perform at the Mysore Palace. The Palace itself could boast of such luminaries as Veena Sheshanna, Bidaram Krishnappa, and the great Vasudevacharya, an eminent composer, perhaps the last link in the chain of outstanding composers of Karnatak music; and then there was the great actor-singer Varadachar. The Maharaja of Mysore, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, also used to invite celebrated musicians like Muthaiah Bhagavatar, Ustad Karim Khan, Ustad Faiyaz Khan Saheb, and the singer Gauhar Jaan, as court musicians for short periods. Maharaja College As a keen and sensitive student of music, Yoganarasimham absorbed a great deal of what he heard. As a scholar at Maharaja’s College in Mysore he was inspired by eminent teachers such as Prof. M. Hiriyanna, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. C.R. Reddy, N.S. Subba Rao and Prof. Wadia. He was an outstanding student and obtained his B.A. degree with distinction (gold medalist) Sri H. Yoganarasimham at University of Mysore in all three areas of study - Sanskrit, English and Philosophy. He continued to study under Prof. Hiriyanna and obtained his M.A. degree in Sanskrit.

Govt. Maharaja Sanskrit College Yoganarasimham began his career in the Mysore Educational Service as Inspector of Sanskrit Schools, which took him to places like Sringeri, where he met with outstanding scholars and came under the grace of Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati, the pontiff of the Sringeri Mutt. At Mysore, as the Principal of Sanskrit Mahapathashala (Sanskrit College), he mingled with such stalwarts as Mahamahopadhyayas Virupaksha Shastry and Lakshnipuram Srinivasacharya. Sanskrit PathashalaWhile during the day he, as Principal, was officially their superior, as evening came he would go to those masters as a humble student to learn from them. Sri Virupaksha Shastry was very fond of him and often visited him at home. The great master took sanyasa toward the end of his life and his Samadhi can be seen on the premises of the Sanskrit Mahapathashala in Mysore.

Shishya of Sri Vasudevacharya

In a homely atmosphere – Yoganarasimham with the maestro Sri K. Vasudevacharya,(centre) brother  Lakshminarasimhayya . Taken at the wedding of HY’s eldest daughter Lakshmi’s wedding, Dec 1952. It is not clear under whom Yoganarasimham had his early musical training. Very likely he learned a great deal from his mother (who belonged to family of well known Harikatha vidwans) and his brothers, Sri Lakshminarasimhaiah (to whom he owed much in more than one way) and Sri Vijayanarasimhaiah. With elder brothers: The Holenarasipur brothers, sitting Lakshminarasimhayya and Vijayanarasimhayya; standing H Yoganarasimhayya His sister Gouramma was also a good singer of traditional songs. He also seems to have imbibed a great deal indirectly by listening intently to great artistes of his day. In any case, by the time he came under Sri Vasudevacharya’s mentorship, he was already an advanced student. An intense period of discipleship followed. It was an extremely fulfilling association for him that lasted nearly four decades. In his essay on Sri Vasudevacharya, he recalls:

“As guru, the Acharya was the very personification of grace. Instead of the pupils going to the guru, it was the guru who came to the pupils’ homes. His teaching consisted of sustained demonstrations rather than actual instruction. It was my great good fortune to learn under him, especially from 1928 to 1935. The Acharya regarded his pupils as his good friends!”

imageIn the book of his compositions that Sri Vasudevacharya presented to Yoganarasimham the inscription refers to him as manya sanmitra, respected good friend.

Having spent a lifetime in the pursuit of the Muse, Yoganarasimham started composing toward the end of his life, giving shape to the extraordinary musical experience he had amassed. His compositions are not large in number, only thirty-five in all, but each one of them excels in its class. He has composed in Sanskrit, Telugu and Kannada, languages in which he had great scholarship and felicity of expression. His compositions consist of a svarajati, tanavarnas, kritis, raagamalikas, tillanas, padams and javalis.

Yoganarasimham’s compositions came to national attention when the queen of music, M.S. Subbulakshmi, drawn by their beauty and excellence, rendered some of them in a cassette tape brought out in 1986. She subsequently sang them in many of her concerts. She particularly made the Ranjani kriti ‘sada saranganayane’ a favourite of listeners and musicians not only in India but wherever the Indian diaspora has spread. Since then many eminent musicians have sung his kritis in their concerts.

Back row: HY couple with son Narayan Dutt, middle row: neighbours and daughter Neeraja Achutarao, front row : son HY MukundaYoganarasimham passed away in 1971, at the age of 74, surrounded by a large circle of family and beloved friends. He was a great rasika, and had won the respect of musical cognoscenti. A life long friend, Professor V. Sitaramayya, HY in the centre, in front of Veda Patha shala one of the most renowned scholars and teachers of Mysore University, recalls him as one who seemed to have been born on this earth only to pursue music and literature.