Importance of Sahitya in Carnatic Music
One of the oft-repeated critical remarks about classical Camatic music is that it is too much kriti-oriented to the detriment of adequate and free raga delineation. The sahitya is said to interfere with the melodic presentation of the raga. Hence, this criticism must be examined in some detail. There is no doubt that real music does exist without any
sahitya in any language. Or else how can we explain the reaction of the sensitive poet, John Keats, to the music of the nightingale: "Pouring forth thy soul abroad in such ecstacy." The innocent infant responds to the lullaby sung by its mother. All instrumental music, whatever be its denomination, is devoid of any meaningful sahitya and yet music of the highest order is produced. Western orchestral music is built upon pure melody and rhythm. But once the composer sets the blueprint of the composition, he leaves no scope for manodharma to the performer, manodharma as we understand in Camatic music.