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Pithukuli Murugadas (25 January 1920 - 17 November 2015) is an eminent religious singer from Tamil Nadu. He is best known for his compositions on the Hindu deity Murugan.

Background

Pithukuli Murugadas was born as Balasubramanian in Coimbatore to Alamelu and Sundaram Iyer in a devout Brahmin family. At the age of seven, he went to practice yoga in Palani under the tutelage of Nadayogi Brahmananda Paradesiar. He was also called "Pittukuli" by his teacher. In 1931, at the age of eleven, he participated in the Salt Satyagraha campaign and spent some days in prison. During 1936, while participating in the nationwide Satyagraha to protest against the Jalianwalla Bagh massacre he was imprisoned for six months. He was released later as Government's gesture on the occasion of the wedding of Mysore Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar.

In 1935, at the age of 15, he relinquished his house and started his pilgrimage. He began wandering around the country. In 1939, he visited Swami Ramadoss of Kanjangadu Ashram in South Kanara and Mata Krishnabai. He was named as Murugadas by Swami Ramadoss as he sang on Lord Muruga. In 1940, he spent a few days with Avadhudha Swami Swayam Prakash at Sendhamangalam and then went on a pilgrimage by foot and traveled throughout India. He learnt various renderings of Brahmananda Paradesiar and Ramana Maharishi. In 1946, he joined Thirupugaz Mani in popularizing Bhajans praising Muruga. After Independence in 1947, he became the patron of the orphanage known as Dhinabandhu Ashram at Walajapet. In 1978 he married Devi Saroja who is an accomplished artiste in dance, music, Tala Vadya and painting.

Awards

 Sangeetha Samrat (1956) by Swami Sivananda
 Kalaimamani (1984) by Government of Tamil Nadu
 Guru Surajananda Award (1989)
 Madhura Gana Mamani (1994)
 Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award (1998)
 Thiagarajar Award by The National Cultural Organization of New Delhi





Free Download collection of   Pithukuli Murugadas
12
01_ Kai Thalam Nirai Kani :

01_ Kai Thalam Nirai Kani
 Posted on 23/08/2016
02_Om Gurunatha Jaya Gurunatha :

02_Om Gurunatha Jaya Gurunatha
 Posted on 23/08/2016
03_Vellai Thamarai Poovil Iruppaal :

03_Vellai Thamarai Poovil Iruppaal
 Posted on 23/08/2016
04_Kandhan Endra :

04_Kandhan Endra
 Posted on 23/08/2016
05_Kamalanayana Vasudeva Janardhana - Jaya Jaya Deva Hare Krishna :

05_Kamalanayana Vasudeva Janardhana - Jaya Jaya Deva Hare Krishna
 Posted on 23/08/2016
06_Aadathu Asangathu vaa Kanna :

06_Aadathu Asangathu vaa Kanna
 Posted on 23/08/2016
07_Kamala Vallabha Govinda Pahi Kalyana Krishna :

07_Kamala Vallabha Govinda Pahi Kalyana Krishna
 Posted on 23/08/2016
08_Makara Kundalam Aadudhe :

08_Makara Kundalam Aadudhe
 Posted on 23/08/2016
09_Radha Lola Chinni Krishna :

09_Radha Lola Chinni Krishna
 Posted on 23/08/2016
10_Madhura Madhura :

10_Madhura Madhura
 Posted on 23/08/2016
11_Nandala Nandala :

11_Nandala Nandala
 Posted on 23/08/2016
12_Gopala Gopala :

12_Gopala Gopala
 Posted on 23/08/2016
12_senthur kariyoram :

12_senthur kariyoram
 Posted on 23/08/2016
13_Alaipayuthe Kanna :

13_Alaipayuthe Kanna
 Posted on 23/08/2016
14_Pal Vadiyum Mukham :

14_Pal Vadiyum Mukham
 Posted on 23/08/2016
15_Jai_Jai _maruthi :

15_Jai_Jai _maruthi
 Posted on 23/08/2016
16_Nadariyum :

16_Nadariyum
 Posted on 23/08/2016
17_Karunaiya uruvana :

17_Karunaiya uruvana
 Posted on 23/08/2016
18_Anandha Guru Om :

18_Anandha Guru Om
 Posted on 23/08/2016
19_Ram Krishna Hari :

19_Ram Krishna Hari
 Posted on 23/08/2016
20_Kandaswamyya :

20_Kandaswamyya
 Posted on 23/08/2016
21_Om Jaga janani :

21_Om Jaga janani
 Posted on 23/08/2016
22_Engum Unn Adal Adi Thaya :

22_Engum Unn Adal Adi Thaya
 Posted on 23/08/2016
23_Velmuruga vadi vel muruga Part 1 :

23_Velmuruga vadi vel muruga Part 1
 Posted on 23/08/2016
24_Vel muruga vadi vel muruga part 2 :

24_Vel muruga vadi vel muruga part 2
 Posted on 23/08/2016
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Comment by : Subramanian B, Chennai
Comment on : Aug 29 2016 3:04AM

Thanks a lot for this upload.  A very great legand.



Comment by : soumya, edison
Comment on : Nov 17 2015 12:18PM

பக்திப்பாடகர் பித்துக்குளி முருகதாஸ்(95) சென்னையில் காலமானார். இவர், கோவையில் 1920ம் ஆண்டு ஜனவரி 25ம் தேதி சுந்தரம் ஐயர், அலமேலு தம்பதியருக்கு மகனாக தைப்பூச திருநாளில் பிறந்தார். இவரது இயற்பெயர் பாலசுப்ரமணியம். பக்திப்பாடகரான இவர் தென்னாப்ரிக்கா, இலங்கை, அமெரிக்கா, இலங்கை, சிங்கப்பூர், மலேசியா, ஆஸ்திரேலியா ஆகிய நாடுகளில் இசைக்கச்சேரி நடத்தியுள்ளார். தமிழ், தெலுங்கு, ஆங்கிலம், கன்னடம், மலையாளம், இந்தி ஆகிய மொழிகள் தெரிந்த இவர், கலைமாமணி, சங்கீத சாம்ராட், தியாகராஜர் விருது உள்ளிட்ட பல விருதுகளை பெற்றுள்ளார்.

Great singer He had the art of keeping large crowds spell bound Melodious voice He has reached the feet of Lord Muruga on shashti and also the first day of Karthikai month.,He has attained the lotus feet of Lord Murugan on this auspicious sashti. Such a blessed soul.

Comment by : soumya, edison
Comment on : Nov 17 2015 12:22PM

More Articles about Pithukuli Murugadas available in
http://legendsinmusicpedia.com/Articles/130.html

Comment by : Rangarajan g, hosur
Comment on : Nov 18 2015 9:50PM

Sir,


I remember the days when my uncle (chittappa) stayed in his Ambatthur Prithivipakkam house during the year 1975-76.  He used to visit Prithivipakkam where about four families resided on rent.  He was so simple and kind to every body.  My grand mother used to order him to arrange for cleaning of the outside area and jaladharai.  He himself immediately attend to those problems and used to got blessings from my grand mother.  Further after his marriage in the age of about 60, he visited during the Deepavali day.  He informed all the residents that he got married only to look after his health and day to day living not more than that.  He was very jovial and always says jokes and make every body happy.  May his soul be rest in peace.   D V Sundaresan

Comment by : soumya, edison
Comment on : Nov 19 2015 7:05AM



The dark glasses, the grey beard, a maroon shawl tied around the head, a prominent ‘tilak’ on the forehead; that completes the picture of Balasubramanian, popularly known as “Muruga Das”.  There is yet another important part of his personality, the harmonium, which accompanies him wherever he goes.   Just as Karna was born with armour and earrings stuck to his body, it would appear that Murugadas and harmonium are the two inseparables. Even while climbing the footsteps of Marudha Malai, the annual ritual he was following for many years on his birthday, the harmonium used to be hung around his shoulders, adding concordant notes of music.   Born with a deep, resonant and golden voice, Murugadas has dedicated his life to sing the glory of Muruga.  Wherever he does his concert, at Erode or Edinburg, he gets overwhelming response from devotees.     Fans kept demanding to sing their favourite numbers on Muruga or Krishna and the servant of Muruga always obliged them with his characteristic smile. 

 

It was on a ‘Thai Poosam’, the most auspicious day of Lord Muruga, in the year 1920, this disciple of Muruga was born to Alamelu -Sundaram Iyer couple at Coimbatore.  At the age of 7, when Balasubramanian was being led to the sanctum sanctorum at Palani, the articles for Puja offerings carried by the escort suddenly fell on him.   Seeing the Balasubramaniam fully immersed in Vibhuti (the sacred ashes) the escort yelled: “Oh! Saravana Bhava”!   That Sadakshara Mantra, the young lad realised, was the message for him.  That name, like a flash of lightening, brought him the realization that Muruga alone would give him fulfillment in life.    Then on, singing the glory of Muruga became his life-long mission; the mission which he carried on with devotion and dedication. 

 

Gifted with a powerful voice, it was natural that he had chosen the medium of music in accomplishing his goal. He received basic lessons in music from Nadhayogi Brahmananda Paradesiyar.  This teacher then conferred him the title ‘Pithukuli’.  While staying with his sister at Bangalore he started rendering Kritis himself.   The harmonium connection came now.  He met saint Ramadas at the Kanhangad Ashram and received blessings from Him to carry forward his mission.  It was Sri Ramadas who conferred him the title ‘Muruga Das’, the Servant-Devotee of Muruga.  He also received the blessings of Matha Krishnabhai at Bangalore.

 

He set out his journey to visit holy places in search of enlightenment. He traveled extensively in India, visiting holy temples and hailing the glory of Muruga through his songs.   Wherever he performed he received standing ovation.     His journey took him to many places to Somnath in the north, Nepal in the east and Pandaripuram in the West and almost the entire stretch he covered by foot only. He considered this as a blessing because he could carry the message of Muruga all over the country.   During the Digvijaya, he met and received blessings and inspirations from great saints and intellectuals like Sivananda, Swami Gjnanananda, Ramana Maharshi, Brahmananda Paradesiyar to mention a few.

 

Though devotion is the foundation on which his personality was built, he committed himself to work for the national goal. That was the time when freedom was the need of the hour and moved by the ideals of Gandhiji, he joined the independence movement. The historic Avadi session of the Congress got started with a prayer by Murugadas.  He wore only Khadi and invariably done songs of Subramania Bharati.   When imprisoned for taking part in Sathyagraha at Mysore, one of his eyes, damaged during childhood, was lost.    But he got his vision very clear, the enlightened vision of Lord Muruga. 

 

The meeting of Vallimalai Sri Sachidananda Swamigal was a turning point in his life.  He stayed with Swamigal at Vallimalai for over one year. He drew enormous inspiration from Vallimalai Swamigal and considered him as his ''Thiruppugazh Guru'' and carried the message of Thiruppugazh through music.   A Muruga Das performance was never complete without few numbers from Thiruppugazh. The powerful Mantra of Thiruppugazh is melodiously blended in the voice of Murugadas. Sri Murugadas found common cause with ‘Thiruppugazh Mani’, Sri T.M. Krishnaswamy Iyer, another Muruga devotee and exponent of Thiruppugazh.  Both of them visited Ceylon number of times.  Muruga devotees of Jaffna and other cities still cherish those melodious moments.  He saw Thiruppugazh as the way to reach Muruga.  In recognition of the contribution he made for the propagation of Thiruppugazh he has been conferred with titles like "Thiruppugazh Innisai Selver" "Thiruppugazh Isai Thenral" "Thiruppugazh Gjnana Jyothi" "Thiruppugazh Gana Isai Per Arignar" "Thiruppugazh Adiyar" and the list goes on.   

 

Sri Muruga Das has formed a distinct style of his own.  His bhajans were always interspersed with commentaries.  In the midst of a song, he would start explaining the meaning and as the message slowly sinks in, he would start again from where he left, giving the audience a treat both for the soul and intellect.    Starting in a slow leisurely pace, his bhajan would gradually progress, creating a divine atmosphere and kindling the light of Bhakti in the mind of listeners.   When his ‘Namavali’ reached the crescendo, he used to invite the audience to join him.  When the recital was over, he would have created an everlasting impression on the audience.   When Erode District was caught in an extreme spell of draught in the 80s, he came and rendered a song invoking the rain God which received tremendous audience appreciation. 

 

Oh Mother, bless this earth with rain,

When it rains, the water level in the field rises

and the nurseries leap up,

The young plants grow up and so the paddy fields.

As the vast stretch become greener,

The face of poverty disappears.

 (“Konjam Mazhai Kodamma, Maariyamma,  …Kalathuyara Neeruyarum, Neeruyara Nelluyarum, Nelluyara Varumai Neengum)

 

Needless to say, 3 days later, a good part of the district was inundated with rainwater. When he started singing, the entire atmosphere was surcharged with devotion and the audience was transcended to a state of oneness with the God. 

 

He received the Kalai Mamani Award of the Tamil Nadu Government, Sangeet Natak Academy Award of the Government of India, for the sake of Honour Award of Rotary Club, title of Sangeerthan Samrat from Swamy Sivananda of Rishikesh, title of Sangeerthana Kala Sagaram from Bharathi Yuva Kendra, Madurai and the tittle of Madura Gana Mamani from London Tamil Sangam.  He recently received Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi National Eminence Award instituted by South Indian Education Society and Shanmughananda Fine Arts Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai.    Above all, he felt that the title “Pithukuli” suited him most and preferred to retain it with his name.  The word ‘Pithukuli’ loosely translated means “one madly obsessed by bhakti.    Murugadas took the message of Muruga to many foreign countries like UK, USA and France.   He participated in the World Hindu Conference held at Durban and Nelson Mandela who was the Chief Guest highly appreciated his views and songs.   He had many occasions to perform at Rashtrapthi Bhavan.  

 

He believed that service of humanity as part of devotion. One who has no concern towards his fellow being cannot be a true devotee.  He founded the Valajabad Deenabandu Ashram and pioneered a movement for social awakening.    This Institution has been working with the objectives of establishing inter-religious harmony and various social welfare activities. Wherever he was called to perform, he made only one request that the poor be fed.  He believed that there is no greater satisfaction than feeding the hungry.  The social welfare initiatives carried out by him through this Institution were greatly appreciated by Rajaji, Kamaraj, Kalki Krishnamurthy etc.

 

When this writer asked him how he felt  looking back the path he traveled, he said:   “From the age of ten I have been singing the glory of Muruga.  Wherever I performed, the audience, cutting across all barriers, joined the chorus.   "As they listened to the glory of the Lord and engrossed in the singing, a sense of joy was visible in their face.  I was happy that I was instrumental in bringing this smile on their face..”  He continued:   ”When a devotional song is heard, the notion of ‘self’ disappears and one is able to identify himself with the God.  I believe in equality of all religion and the need to cultivate the spirit of tolerance among different faiths.  Only then peace will descend on earth".

 

In the modern age when life has become hectic, according to Muruga Das, Bhakti Marga, the path of devotion is the easiest way to reach the God.  Citing the example of Jaya Devar, Chaithanya and many such saints, who had dedicated their life to the singing of the glory of Lord, Muruga Das extols the modern day youth to spare few moments for Nama Sangeerthanam. Our mind normally gets accumulated with dusts like lust, anger, greed and ego and he believes that Nama Sangeerthanam helps one to transcend from this emotional level to a high level of consciousness.  According to Muruga Das, one should develop an outlook of detachment from the material world.  As one thinks high, he becomes free from likes and dislikes, passion and sentiment.  “I did not try to own anything that I liked or I did not try to disown anything that I did not like.  If we have complete faith in God, no harm can befall us”.  He continued:  “I have an unshakable faith in the Thiruppugazh lines.  “While walking alone, I walk with confidence because to my left and to my right, in front and back, night and day, Muruga is there guiding me.” (Thanithu Vazhi Nadakkum Ena idathum Oru Valathum Iru Purathum Arukaduthu Iravu Pakal Thunai Akum, --Vel Vakuppu)

 

Ponnammal Sisters are connoisseurs of music and arts.    Murugadas married Saroja, the younger sister of them and the life boat of Muruga Das and the gifted artist Saroja was sailing smoothly.  As years passed by, old age has set in.  Though age has restricted his movements he continued his divine mission with determination.  Then, the call came from Muruga.  Muruga had sent him to earth with a mission to fulfill and mission having accomplished, Muruga desired on draw him near Him.  It was on an auspicious day of Thaipusam, he was sent to earth and it was an auspicious day of Kanda Sashti that he attained the Lotus Feet of Muruga.  Though the voice that captured the heart of all Muruga devotees became silent, there is no doubt that the voice had merged with Muruga.  Now, when the time for departure came, he would have been feeling confident and courageous to face death because he knew that Muruga’s Vel would accompany him on his left, right and all sides to protect him.  Though his voice has become still, it would reverberate in our ears for generations to come.  Devotees would never forget the lively songs he rendered like ‘Alaipayuthe’, ‘Pachai Mayil Vahanane’.


 - Article by Sri. V.S. Krishnan

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