#20-Gowrimanohari- The Raga that Steals your Heart !

Gowrimanohari is the 23rd Melakartha which belongs to the fourth Chakra,  the Veda Chakra. Dikshitar school had a different name called Guarivelavali for this raga. Gaurimanohari is a versatile raga which renders a very pleasing effect. The raga gives us unbridled joy and happiness. The raga expresses the feeling of Bhakthi and Sringara and it is an all time raga (sarvakaalika raga).

The meaning of the raga name is interpreted as Gauri(Goddess Parvathy) who steals the heart – (manohari means one who steals the heart). So Gaurimanohari means Gauri who steals the heart. Another version of meaning is ‘one that is as pleasant and beautiful as Gauri'(Manoharam- pleasing)

abhirami thaayar

In Mind, body and soul Chakra – Chakra 4 is the Chakra where one’s self esteem as well as the control around and within one’s life rests.This raga is rich in prayogas that generate a state of well being or sowkhya bhava, decreases stress and tension, and induce peace and tranquility of mind.

Arohana : S R2  G2  M1 P D2 N3 S
Avarohana : S N3 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S

(Shadjam, Chathusruthi Rishabham, Sadharana Gandharam, Suddha Madhyamam, Panchamam, Chathusruthi Dhaivatham and Kakali Nishadam)

This is a sarva swara gamaka vaika rakthi raga. Pratyahata Gamakam (SN ND DP PM ..) lends colour to the raga. Gowri manohari is a Tri-stayi raga. The raga is very beautiful in all the sthayis.This raga expresses a feeling of proclamation or a raga that makes a statement.Swaras of Gowrimanohari undergo melodic gamaka when rendered with imagination. This is a bhava rich melodious raga.The sacred hymns Tevaram sung by Oduvars use this raga in abundance.

Jeeva Swaras and Nyasa Swaras : R and P
Graha Swaras : S, P and D

Murcchanakaraka Mela Raga : R, M and P through Graha Bhedam will Yield Natakapriya (10th mela), Vachaspathi (64th mela) and Charukesi(26th mela) respectively.


P, pm mg gr r,,- rgmpdns- dns,,- sn nd dp pm mg gr r- gmpdn – SRGR,,RGMGRS- SRGRSN dnSSnd-pmgrsr-rpmgr- srgrs- sndnsr..

Immortal Compositions

There are numerous compositions in Gowrimanohari. Sri Lakshman Ragde has estimated 134 carnatic krithis in this raga. Undoubtedly the famous composition Guruleka etuvanti by Saint Tyagaraja takes the first place.Both melodic and rhythmic contents are well balanced and the madhyamakala  pace induces a unique thrill. The song Gowrimanohara by Papanasam Sivan is very soulful with mesmerizing melody. Dr.Balamuralikrishna’s composition Smarare is a majestic Gowrimanohari.The raga has wide expanse and is open for elaborate alapana. The krithi can be handled as a major item in a concert.

Tyagaraja Krithi – Guruleka – A Brief Commentary

In the krithi Guruleka Eduvanti, Tyagaraja has emphasised on the significance and importance of a mentor (Sadguru) in the success of life. The spiritual illumination won through the guru can counter the mental anguish caused by the attachment  to wife and family – thanuvu, suta, dhana, dhaara, dhaayaadhi and bhaandavulu. According to Tyagaraja one can attain the state of pure mind and satvika bhava by the removal of ignorance in the mind. Only with the  help of a Guru’s guidance this is possible. Thus this raga is aptly chosen by Tyagaraja to enlighten us that nobody can succeed without a guru’s grace.

Who is a Guru ?

The Guru Gita (verse 17) aptly describes the guru as “dispeller of darkness” (from gu, “darkness” and ru, “that which dispels”). So the literal meaning of the word Guru is one who eliminates darkness or one who enlightens.Guru is described as one without whom a meritorious person of any caliber remains in the dark. Guru clears the pollution of the mind. In association with a sishya, the Guru comes to know of the weak and strong points of his disciple. The strong points of the student would be highlighted and encouraged and the weak points would be carefully strengthened.Guru touches the mind of a student and transforms an illiterate into a scholar.

Major Krithis

A few are listed below.

Dayamado dayamado-Adi-Purandaradasa
Karunisu narahari -Adi-Purandaradasa
Palise ni enna shri mahalakshmi-Adi-Purandaradasa

Garuda gamana vasudeva -Rupaka    Tyagaraja
Guruleka etuvanti -KhandaChapu-    Tyagaraja
Pancha nadisha – Adi-Tyagaraja

Kaumari gaurivelavali- Adi-Muttusvami Dikshitar
Parashakti ishvari -Adi-Muttusvami Dikshitar

Sarasa sama mrdupada -Adi-Svati Tirunal
Gauri manohari pahi -Misra Jhampai-Jayachamaraja Odeyar
Devi gauri ninna -Jhampa-Muttiah Bhagavatar
Gauri manohara karunakara -Adi-Papanasham Shivan
Brova samayamide -AdiGarbhapurivasa

Arumillada tavamana -K/Chapu-Uttukadu Venkatasubbier
Bhima nadikkaraiyil- -Adi-Uttukadu Venkatasubbier
Pazhamo pazhamo pazham -Adi-Uttukadu Venkatasubbier
Tavam onrum ariyada -Adi-Uttukadu Venkatasubbier
Virundonru agudu -Adi-Uttukadu Venkatasubbier
Visati visati krishna-Adi-Uttukadu Venkatasubbier
Yarum iyalada tavamAna -K/Chapu-Uttukadu Venkatasubbier

Gauri manohari kamakshi-Adi-Mangalam Ganapati
Narayani bhaktajana -Adi-Mangalam Ganapati
Pada malar paninden -Adi-Mangalam Ganapati

Brovavamma shri chamundi-Trisra Rupaka-Mysore Vasudevacharya
Varalakshmi namostute –    Rupakam-Mysore Vasudevacharya

Jagattinai padaitta-Adi-Periasami Tooran
Nenjame ni anjade ini-Adi-Periasami Tooran
Un namam  un peccu-Adi-Periasami Tooran

Gauri manohariye -Adi-Shuddhananda Bharati
Oridam tarayo parama-Adi-Shuddhananda Bharati
Ponnana tirumukhattil-Jhampa-Shuddhananda Bharati

Anbu mayamana ambike undan    Adi    Rukmini Ramani
Aruviyum perugida arum gitam    Eka    Rukmini Ramani
Gauri manohari parashiva shankari    Adi    Rukmini Ramani
Nalla neram vallaiya shollaiya    K/Chapu    Rukmini Ramani
Tani oruvanai ni ninrayo    Adi    Rukmini Ramani

Favourite Filmy Raga

This is a popular raga in the filmy spectrum.When Gowrimanohari is mentioned, the song that comes to my mind is the evergreen hit Paattum Naane in the film Thiruvilayaadal sung by the immortal T.M.Soundararajan. Who can sing this with such bhava other than the legend himself ? One never gets bored even if the song is repeatedly heard or watched for quite a number of times. This famous song stars Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan(another legendary actor par excellence) who acts as Lord Parameswara. Listen to the lyrics. It starts “Paattum Naane Bhaavavum Naane”…. which is a statement/proclamation by Lord Siva that HE is Nada and HE is the Bhava. The music director K.V.Mahadevan has brought out the melodic entity of this beautiful song with all the signature phrases and prayogas in this raga.Or it can be said that this song is an encyclopedia or primer about this raga-Gowrimanohari. The music is an all time favourite and ever green hit. That is the sort of effect K V Mahadevan leaves behind.

I think this is one of the favourite ragas of  Isaijnani Illayaraja. He has composed numerous songs in this raga which are high in melodic content and brings out the raga swaroopa quite well.

Illayaraja hits

Jnaan jnaan paadaNum- PoonthaLir-Jency.
Dooraththil naan kaNda-NizhalgaL-Janaki
Kannan naaLum-ILamaikolam-Janaki
BhoopaLam isaikkum-Thooral ninnu pochu-Yesudass,Uma RamaNan(goes to Charukesi in the last line of the CharaNam)
Sandana kaatre-Thanikkattu Raja-SPB, Janaki (beautifully transcends to ShankarabharaNam in the third line of the charaNams and goes back to Gowrimanohari)
Solaippovil maalai thendRal-VeLLai Roja-SPB, Janaki
Ponvaanam thaNNeer thoovudhu- IndRu nee naaLai naan-Janaki( set to misra chapu taaLam)
ViLakkeththu viLakkeththu vellikizhamai-Per sollum piLLai-Malaysia Vsaudevan & Chorus
Muththamizh kaviye-Dharmathin Thalaivan-Yesudass, Chitra
Adikaalai Nilave-Uruthi Mozhi-Jayachandran,Janaki(set to Khanda Chapu)
Tamizh translation of’Gurlekha etuvanti’ was used in ‘Moga muLL’.

Courtesy for Illayaraja Song list- Rajendrakumar of rajamanjari.blogspot.in

Featured Composition with Meaning

RAGAM-Gowri Manohari
Talam: Khanda Chapu

Guruleka Etuvanti Guniki Teliyaga Bodu

Karukaina Hrdroga Gahanamuna Gottanu Sad- (guru)


Tanuvu Suta Dhana Daar
a Dayaadi Baandha vulu
Janiyinchi Chedarujaa Lini Karunato
Manasunantaka Cheyu Mandanuchu
Tatva Bodhana Jesi Kaapaadu Tyaagaraajaapthudagu


No matter how virtuous one is, without a preceptor, it is not possible for him to know.

No matter how virtuous one is, without a competent preceptor, it is not possible for him to know to destroy the thorny thicket of affliction of the heart.

No matter how virtuous one is, it is not possible for him to know, without a preceptor like (sage nArada) – the benefactor of this tyAgarAja, who protects compassionately by imparting knowledge of the reality which is like a medicine, to keep away from the mind the grief of dissipation of body, children, wealth, wife, cousins and relatives after having attained these.

Enjoy the Sparkling Gems of Gowrimanohari !!

Click Here to Download

19 thoughts on “#20-Gowrimanohari- The Raga that Steals your Heart !

  1. Thanks for continuing with your great work, madam Anuradha. Gurulekha is well known song and I never knew the alltime great Pattum Jnane is in this ragam.
    It is good that more and more people have started spreading the knowledge of carnatic music and sharing carnatic vocal and instrumental songs through their blogs.
    This blog tells that there are other manohari ragams like Isa Manohari, Budha Manohari, Deva Manohari , Saraswathi Manohari etc are rarely being heard.
    Warm regards and best wishes

  2. Madam

    Thanks a lot for your effort coming with another raga with details.
    Awaiting more from you
    Subramanian B

  3. Anuradha Akka,namaskaram!I found your site extremely useful for singers and music lovers.Being a singer myself[Approved singer of A.I.R in ghazals&bhajans] I am grateful to you for this wonderful site.Thanks also for sharing God’s photos.

  4. i am impressed by the information gained about gowrimanohari raga. i am thrilled. it is a good day for me, that i landed into surfing your blog today. om namasivaya

  5. Madam,
    Thanks for your details. recently i heard a film song composed by great illayaja’s son.
    My mind is totally carried and
    i heard it for around 100 times still going. it gives a soothing feel. i could compare the song’s feel with meera’s love towards lord krisha. somehow iam not able to get out from the feel.

    thanks for the info.


  6. Hi Anuradha mam,
    why the download pages are not working. It shows :account suspended:
    Can I get the krithis each raga wise thro some other means like DVD or pendirve etc?

  7. Hi mam
    Very comprehensive information. Good work.
    Can you please provide the lyrics for ‘Pada malar paninden’ by Mangalam Ganapathy.

    Thank you

  8. I listened to a song “Kowsaleya Shree Bhvajalathi Tharana, Janaki Ramana” rendered by Balaji Shankar, which I think is in this raga. Very beautiful ‘sahityam’ and struck very much similar to Thyagabrahmam’s celebrated “Gurulekha”. I don’t know whether I heard the words 100% correctly. Could any one confirm the raga, provide the lyrics and also the lyricst .-

  9. Fantastic ,most lucid and correct discription of raag Gowrimanohari ;music maestro Naushad ..composed a classic gem song ..”anurag lola ghatari.in film DHAWNI malayalam sung beautifully by our legend Yashudas + surely this raag steals the heart..!!

  10. Excellent efforts Mami.. Loved the compilation.

    Is Ethu Sugam sugam athu ( ARR music) based on Gowri Manohari?
    Ammanai adi vidum penmaanai (Sivaji song) ?

    Ram ( Singer)

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