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Krishna Leela Tarangini - a musical beauty
Tarangam is the name given to the musical composition "Krishna Leela Tarangini" composed by Narayana Theertha in the form of Gaya Nataka (musical play). Narayana Teertha was an ardent devotee of Sri Krishna. He had composed several songs on Krishna, delving into Madurya Bhakti. It is synonymous with a Yakshagana, having 12 tarangas consisting of darus, gadyas, padas, viruttams, keerthanas and slokas. Even Astapadi of Jayadeva consists of twelve cantos. Krishna Leela Tarangini is based on bhakti rasa. Astapadi, however, is full of shringara Rasa.

The pranks of Krishna appeared to Narayana Theertha as Taranga (waves) and, hence, the name Taranga. Taranga is taken from Dasamaskanda of Srimad Bhavatha Puranam. It covers the entire story of Krishna - from his avathara (incarnation) to his marriage to Rukmini. The divine qualities are brought out while singing these tarangas. The 12 tarangas are set to carnatic music ragas.

These compositions are in ragas such as Ahiri, Manjari, Dvijavanti, Karnataka Saranga, Darbari Kanada, Gauri, Malavi et al. In all, 36 ragas figure in this work. Taranga is rendered in Harikatha performance, Bhajans, Divya Nama Sankeerthanams in addition to Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi.

History had it that when he sang songs pertaining to the eighth canto of "Rasakrida Varnanam" in his work, the tinkling of anklets and bangles were heard from inside the temple. These sounds, it was stated, emanated from the anklets and bangles worn by Lord Krishna and Gopikas.

Krishna Leela Tarangini is an outstanding work, and filled with songs with literary beauty and high musical value. It is composed in Sanskrit. The composer concludes with a mangalam sung for the marriage of Lord Krishna with Rukmini at Dwaraka.