Friday, November 20, 2015

Mana Mandira - KaTyaar KaaLjaat Ghusali

KaTyaar KaLjaat Ghusali is a landmark movie in the history of modern Marathi Cinema. Based on a Sangeet Natak by the same name, it is an attempt at portraying the story in a cinematic format, with aesthetics which cannot be possible done in a live musical play. 

It has most of the original songs composed by Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki, one among the very few who helped preserve and popularise Naatya Sangeeta in modern times. The soundtrack contains some new tracks too. It is a beautiful work of art by the composers Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and the singers Shankar Mahadevan, Rahul Deshpande and Mahesh Kale.

Shankar Mahadevan as Panditji
One of the new songs from the sound track is Mana Mandira, beautifully sung by Shankar Mahadevan. There is also a version by his younger son Shivam which is wonderfully done, considering his young age. Shankar ji's improvisations towards the end of the song are very impressive.

In the movie, the picturisation of this song is a highlight. Panditji (Shankar Mahadevan) is leading his young disciple Sadashiva to the forest, with a promise of manifesting fireflies with the help of music. To do that, he sings this divine song and in the process, not only teaches music to his protege but also imparts knowledge about the values of a good Saadhaka. 

The Divine vibrations and ideas expressed in the song inspired me to attempt a translation of its straightforward but philosophically rich lyrics, written by Mandar Cholkar.

मन मंदिरा… 
Based on Raaga Des

Lyrics - Mandar Cholkar
Music - Shankar-Ehsan-Loy
Sung by - Shankar Mahadevan
Translation by - Shrinath Shenoy

मन मंदिरा… तेजाने उजळून घेई साधका
संवेदना… संवादे सहवेदना… जपताना

With Divine Radiance,
A  Saadhaka illuminates the Shrine of his Mind
Cultivating a sensitive and an empathetic demeanour.

तळहाताच्या रेषांनी सहज सुखा का भोगी कुणी

Does one enjoy a life dictated by Destiny alone?

स्वयंप्रकाशी तू तारा...
चैतन्याचा गाभारा
भर पंखातून स्वप्न उद्याचे
झेप घे रे पाखरा

A self-luminous star,
You are the sanctuary of Divine Consciousness.
Full with the dreams of tomorrow,
Take a leap and fly to great heights.

Some thoughts on the term Saadhaka

When i started translating from Marathi to English, i realised that our Indian words capture a lot of information and meaning compared to their so called English counterparts. There cannot be a perfect translation for words like Aatmaa, Dharma and hence, the translations of many ancient Indian scriptures fail to capture the intent and essence of the sacred texts.

At most, i could have used the term Seeker in place of Saadhaka. Now, the imagery created by Seeker is of a person trying to find something. Saadhaka illustrates a person carrying out Saadhanaa - continuous, dedicated practice in order to attain his objective. The term Saadhaka intrigues me, as it brings out the essence of Panditji's character, who, like the singer saints of ancient India, practiced Sangeet Saadhanaa in the pursuit of the Divine. The path to God followed by every artiste in ancient India was about achieving transformation. The song thus speaks about the path of a Saadhaka, which requires cultivating sensitivity, empathy as well as courage, an action-oriented attitude and hope.

The lines that got edited

I had attended Mahesh Kale's concert - 'Sur Niragas Ho', held in Shanmukhananda Saraswati Auditorium in Mumbai, on 15th May 2016. Before performing this song, he sang a few lines which according to his commentary, were written by Subodh Bhave and were originally part of the song, but later got edited out.

Presenting the clip for anyone interested.

My performance of the song

I had performed this song on 18th December 2016 at Nagayakshe Dharmartha Sabhabhavan, Bhatkal, on the occasion of my engagement ceremony. One of the few performances which gladdened my heart like no other. Totally impromptu, no rehearsal, hence kindly pardon my mistakes.

Would not have been possible without support of my co-musicians - Sanjith (Harmonium), Sanketh(Manjira) and Sudarshan on tabla.

Update - 11th November 2018

This post is the most accessed one in my blog. One of my readers, Shri. Sajith Pallippuram, had appreciated this post as it helped him gain and understanding of the meaning of the song, as he was preparing to perform it in an event. He has also been kind to share a video of his performance of this song. I happily share it for all of you to check out.

Shri Pallippuram is a Malayalee. I am a GSB Konkani. And look at the power of this composition, it makes everyone attempt it because it truly is a beautiful one. Music truly transcends barriers of all kinds...:)

This rendition is very unique and I recommend it highly.

Notes - 

a. Marathi lyrics taken from

b. Updated the translation of "तळहाताच्या रेषांनी सहज सुखा का भोगी कुणी" based on the correction suggested by Shri. Sumeet Malshe.

c. Made additional changes in the first stanza, based on translation insights gained from watching the movie for a second time.


Cine Lookout said...

Thanks for mention

Shrinath Shenoy said...


Unknown said...

Hi Shrinath, I first heard this song about a month ago and has now become one of my favorite songs. I'm so glad to see you posted a translation. Thanks a lot - Anand

Chinmay said...

Thanks Shrinath for the translation!! :)
Truely great lyrics,music and singing.

Unknown said...

Simple lyrics with deep meaning. Absolutely amazing composition!

Mandar said...

Thank you so much! Dolyatun pani ala vachtana

Vineet Dravid said...

Any idea who actually composed this? Excellent composition!

Shrinath Shenoy said...

The credits mention Shankar Ehsan Loy. The musical brain is definitely Shankar here, his know-how of classical Indian music is amazing.

CMP Teachers said...

Dear Shrinath,
Very nicely written. Also, your explanation of the certain words is admirable.
Shastriya Sangeet is great.

Shrinath Shenoy said...


Thanks for your kind words..:)


DakshaManish Mistry said...

Тнαทк γ๑บ νεяγ ๓บςн for the translation. I felt the meaning when I first watched the movie, but i now know the powerful message.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the wonderful post..

Anonymous said...

Very well written Shrinath, thanks a ton !

Shrinath Shenoy said...

Thanks everyone for stopping buy and taking out time to share your goodwill.It makes me very happy that this small offering of my time to make a beautiful song accessible has touched so many of you. Shubham bhavatu.

Pranav Mashruwala said...

Excellent translation Shrinath. Wonderful thoughts. God bless!

ajinkya said...

Can i get harmonium notation for this song?

Sajith Pallippuram said...

thanks for the beautiful translation. and you sang well. was preparing to sing this in an event and thought it would be good to understand the meaning..
Liked your version a malayalaee and it would have been difficult to sing this without understanding

Unknown said...

What a wonderful explanation. God bless you.

Shrinath Shenoy said...

Thanks everyone:)

Rujuta said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful translation. Translating lyrics is particularly difficult, but your note on the term Saadhak really helped me gain insight. And the edited part sung by Mahesh Kale was a real treat! He recently sung it on the show 'Sur Naava..' and I had been looking for it every where since! Great job on the translation, really. Made me realize I know Marathi, without really knowing the language.

Shrinath Shenoy said...

Rujuta, honoured by such a comment coming from a native Marathi speaker (i hope you are). Thanks:)

I have seen that even though we know a language, reading its translation helps us appreciate it even more. Seen this happen with a lot of Hindi songs. The new trend of releasing Marathi movies with subtitles encouraged me to do this translation, as I wanted to make this amazing song accessible to those who could not understand the language. But more than non speakers, native Marathi speakers have appreciated it more and this makes me really happy.

I hope more Marathi folks take this up. Its much easier to find translations of Tamil songs than any other language songs online. Marathi songs too should become accessible, just like the recent movies have.

Sajith Pallippuram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.