24 August 2011

Jaya Chamaraja wodeyar Keertanas

Biography of Maharaja of Mysore Sri Jayachamaraja Wodeyar

Jayachamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur (July 18, 1919 – September 23, 1974) was the 25th and the last Maharaja of the princely state of Mysore from 1940 to 1950. He was a noted philosopher, musicologist, political thinker and philanthropist.

He was the only son of Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar and Yuvarani Kempu Cheluvaja Amanni. He graduated from the Maharajas College, Mysore in 1938, earning five awards and gold medals. He was married the same year, on Sunday, 15 May 1938. He toured Europe during 1939, visiting many associations in London and became acquainted with many artists and scholars. He ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Mysore on September 8, 1940 after the demise of his uncle Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar.
He signed the Instrument of Accession with the Dominion of India on the eve of India attaining Independence in August 1947. The princely state of Mysore was merged with the Republic of India on January 26, 1950. He held the position of Rajpramukh of the State of Mysore from 1950–1956. After the integration of the neighboring Kannada-majority parts of the States of Madras and Hyderabad, he became the first Governor of the reorganized or unified State of Mysore, 1956–64 and later was transferred as the Governor of the State of Madras (Tamil Nadu), 1964-66.


He was a good horseman and a tennis player who helped Ramanathan Krishnan to participate at Wimbledon. He was also well-known for his marksmanship and was highly sought-after by his subjects whenever a rogue elephant or a maneating tiger attacked their immediate surroundings. There are many wildlife trophies attributed to him in the Palace collections. He was responsible for the famous cricketer/off-spin bowler, Mr. E.A.S. Prasanna's visit to West Indies as his father was otherwise reluctant to send him.


He was a connoisseur of both western and Carnatic (South Indian classical) music and an acknowledged authority of Indian Philosophy. He helped the Western world discover the music of a little-known Russian composer Nikolai Karlovich Medtner (1880–1951), financing the recording of a large number of his compositions and founding the Medtner Society in 1949. Medtner's Third Piano Concerto is dedicated to the Maharaja of Mysore. He became a Licentiate of the Guild Hall of Music, London and honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London, in 1945. Aspirations to become a concert pianist were cut short by the untimely death of both his father the Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wodeyar in 1939 and his uncle the Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV in 1940, when he succeeded the throne of Mysore.
Maharaja was equally a good critic of music. When asked by Legge to pass judgement on recent additions to the EMI catalogue, his views were as trenchant as they were refreshingly unpredictable. He was thrilled to Karajan's Vienna Philhormonic recording of Beethoven's fifth symphony ('as Beethoven wished it to be'), held Furtwangler's recording of the Fourth symphony in high esteem and was disappointed by Galliera's account of the Seventh Symphony which he would have preferred Karajan to record. Above all he expressed serious doubts about Toscanini's recordings. 'The speed and energy are those of a demon', he wrote to Legge, 'not an angel or superman as one would ardently hope for'. One of the reasons he so admired Furtwangler' Beethoven was that it was 'such a tonic after Toscanini's highly stung, vicious performances'.
After becoming Maharaja, he was initiated to the Indian Classical Music (carnatic Music) due to the cultural vibrancy which prevailed in the Mysore Court till then. He learnt to play veena under Vid. Venkatagiriappa and mastered the nuances of carnatic music under the tutelage of Veteran Composer and Asthan Vidwan Sri. Vasudevacharya. He was also initiated in to the secrets of Shri Vidya as an upasaka (under assumed name chitprabhananda) by his guru Shilpi Siddalingaswamy. This inspired him to compose as many as 94 carnatic music kruti's under the assumed name of shri vidya. All the compositions are in different raga's and some of them for the first time ever. In the process He also built three temples in Mysore city: Bhuvaneshvari Temple and Gayatri Temple, located inside the Mysore Palace Fort, and Sri Kamakaameshwari Temple, situated on Ramanuja Road, Mysore. All three Temples were sculpted by the maharajs's Guru and famous sculptor, Shilpi Siddalingaswamy.
Many noted Indian musicians received patronage at his court, including Mysore Vasudevacharya, Veena Venkata Giriyappa, B. Devendrappa, V. Doraiswamy Iyengar, T. Chowdiah, Tiger Vardachar, Chennakeshaviah, Titte Krishna Iyengar, S.N.Mariappa, Chintalapalli Ramachandra Rao, R.N.Doreswamy, H.M.Vaidyalinga Bhagavatar.
The patronage and contribution of Wodeyars to carnatic has been researched in the 1980s by Prof. Mysore Sri V. Ramarathnam,Retired First Principal of the University College of Music and Dance, University of Mysore. The research was conducted under the sponsorship of University Grants Commission, Government of India. Prof. Mysore Sri V. Ramarathnam authored the book "Contribution and Patronage of Wodeyars to Music" that was published Kannada Book Authority, Bangalore.

Literary works

  • The Quest for Peace: an Indian Approach, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 1959.
  • Dattatreya: The Way & The Goal, Allen & Unwin, London 1957.
  • The Gita and Indian Culture, Orient Longmans, Bombay, 1963.
  • Religion And Man, Orient Longmans, Bombay, 1965. Based on Prof. Ranade Series Lectures instituted at Karnataka University in 1961.
  • Avadhuta: Reason & Reverence, Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore, 1958.
  • An Aspect Of Indian Aesthetics, University of Madras, 1956.
  • Puranas As The Vehicles Of India's Philosophy Of History, Journal Purana, issue #5, 1963.
  • Advaita Philosophy, Sringeri Souvenir Volume, 1965, pages 62–64.
  • Sri Suresvaracharya, Sringeri Souvenir Volume, Srirangam, 1970, pages 1–8.
  • Kundalini Yoga, A review of "Serpent Power" by Sir John Woodroff.
  • Note on Ecological Surveys to precede Large Irrigation Projects- Wesley Press, Mysore; 1955
  • African Survey-Bangalore Press; 1955
  • The Virtuous Way of Life- Mountain Path -July 1964 edition

He also sponsored the translation of many classics from Sanskrit to Kannada as part of the Jayachamaraja Grantha Ratna Mala, including 35 parts of the Rigveda. These are essentilly Ancient sacred scriptures in Sanskrit till then not available in kannada language comprehensively. All the books contains original text in kannada accompanied by kannada translation in simple language for the benefit of common man. In the history of Kannada literature such a monumental work was never attempted ! As Late H.Gangadhara Shastry - Asthan (court) Astrologer and Dharmadhikari of Mysore Palace - who himself has contributed substantially in the above works -has stated that Maharaja used to study each and everyone of these works and discuss them with the authors. It seems on a festival night ( on shivaratri), he was summonned in the middle of the night and advised him to simplify the use of some difficult kannada words in one of the books.
The following is a list of books published under this series:
  • RugvEda - in 35 parts
  • shaMkarAcArya's stOtras - in 2 parts
  • mUkapaMcashatI
  • kAmakalpa tarustava
  • tripurasuMdarI mAnasika pUjA
  • gurugItA
  • shivagItA
  • mahAmasta purashcaraNa vidhiH
  • ShoDashI pUjA kalpa
  • bhuvanEshvarI pUja kalpa
  • rudra mahAnyAsa prayOga
  • sUktagaLu
  • dEvI bhAgavata in 5 parts; translated by eDatore caMdrashEKarashAstrI (year 1942-43)
  • shiva purANa
  • shiva rahasya
  • skAMda mahApurANa
  • kALikA purANa- in 2 parts: by hAsanada paMDit veMkaTarAv (28-5-44)
  • vaRAha purANa
  • bhaviShya purANa
  • gaNesha purANa
  • vAmana purANa
  • kaMcI mahAtmye
  • viShNu dharmOttara purANa
  • brahmAMDa purANa
  • nAradIya purANa
  • rAma maMtra mahime, (agastya saMhite)
  • narasiMha purANa
  • sAMba purANa
  • saura purANa
  • Adi purANa
  • kalki purANa
  • matsya purANa
  • kUrma purANa
  • shiva tatva sudhAnidhiH- By vE.bra|| es. sItArAmashAstri (24-6-49)
  • hAlAsya mahAtmye
  • gArgya saMhitA
  • brahma vyevarta purANa
  • brahma purANa
  • shaMkara saMhite
  • padmapurANa
  • viShNu purANa in three parts: Translated by paMDita gaMjAM timaNNayya; year 1948; Total pages (492+460+463)
maMtrashAstra -sahasranAma - upaniShat
  • parivAsya rahasya
  • tripurAtApinyupaniShat''
  • lalitAtrishati bhAShya
  • tripurA rahasya''
  • shrIKAMDa sArArtha bhOdhinI
  • sUta saMhitE
  • vanadurgOpaniShat
  • shAradA sahasranAma
  • gaNesha sahasranAma
  • dakShiNAmUrti sahasranAma
  • shiva pUja paddhati


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