The term Pancharatna in Sanskrit means five gems. The Pancharatnas are known as the five finest gems of carnatic music. All the Pancharatnas are set to adi thalam. They are set in perfect sarvalaghu and contain all the musical and mathematical wonders of carnatic music.So far as Pancharathnas are concerned, fortunately a stable text has been handed over by the earlier musicians to the present day generations.Several musicians have brought out editions of Pancharatnas.Howeve Veenai Sundaram Iyer’s edition is the most detailed and comprehensive one.
All the compositions of Tyagaraja show the way for the systematic development of the respective ragas.However in the Pancharatnas Tyagaraja has given full, exhaustive and complete treatment as to how to systematically and scitifically develop a raga. The Pallavis and anupallavis of the Pancharatnas are absolute musical and rhythmic beauties and an earnest practice of the Pallavis and anupallavis of the Pancjaratna will reveal as to how to develop a raga in a methodical and systematic manner. The two fundamental conditions that must be satisfied for a systematic development of a raga are the arrangement of the solfa swaras in the natural order of Arohanam and Avarohanam of the Ragas so as to satisfy the sound principles of harmony and continuity . Pancharatnas satisfy these scientific principles in an unparalleled manner. The Pancharatnas are composed in perfect sarvalaghu swaras.
The next is Duduku gala in the raga gowlai set to adi talam. In this song Tyagaraja takes the blame upon himself for all the misdeeds of men and ruminates as to who would come and save him from this deplorable situation
The Third is Sadhinchene in the raga Arabhi set to adi talam. In this song Tyagaraja lovingly cricises Lord Krishna for his cleverness in getting what he wants to be done. Sadhichene is a breathtaking lullaby.
The fourth song is in the raga varali set to adi talam.In this song Tyagaraja describes the infinite beauty of Lord Rama.
The fifth pancharatna is Endaro Mahanubhavulu.It is said that a great musician from Kerala,Shatkala Marar visited Tygaraja and performed before him. Tyagaraja was enchanted with his performance and then was born Endaro Mahanubhavulu, the unparrallelled rhythmic beauty in Carnatic music.