Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sri Naadhadhi Guruguho


It was a wonderful, peaceful day. Being Vaikunta Ekadeshi, I spent sometime praying to the Lord and abstained from eating rice, onions and the like. I finished learning "Jagadhanandhakaaraka" in raga "naatai" and was able to play the complete song on my guitar. I felt like blogging and so here goes..This is going to be a really long blog as the krithi I am going to talk about demands that respect and treatment.

As the title of the blog indicates, I am going to discuss about Dikshithar's first krithi, "Sri Naadhaadhi guruguho" composed beautifully in the raga "MaayamaalavaGowlai". I will try my best to explain the meaning of each line of the song and some intricacies I observed. Being Dikshithar's first krithi, it is pretty simple though filled with a lot of references to vedas and upanishads. Dikshithar basically portrays Lord Subrahmanya as the Lord of the Universe in this krithi. Alright..enough talking..lets get down to business..

Pallavi:
Sri Naadhadhi Guruguho Jayathi Jayathi
Sri Chidaananda Naathohamithi
Santhatham Hridini Bhaja

Meaning:
Victory("Jayathi") to Lord Guruguha, who is adorned("bhaja") by all Gods("Santhatham") beginning with Lord Vishnu("Sri Naadhadhi"). Oh mind!!("Hridini"), constantly contemplate("Bhaja") that("ithi") you are the infinite consciousness and infinite bliss("chidaananda").
Anyone who learns carnatic music will be taught "Maayamaalavagowlai" as one of the first ragas as it is a simple and symmetric raga and will be easy for a beginner to grasp. Sri Dikshithar aptly composes his first krithi in this raga. Further, the first line of the pallavi is a simple "Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Ri", that is, the ascending and descending parts of the raga(aarohanam and avarohanam) itself and covers 3 kaalams(3 speeds)..This is the essence of all Dikshithar krithis..simple yet extremely powerful and soulful.


Anupallavi:
Naanaa Prapancha Vichithrakaro
Naamaroopa Pancha Bhoothakaro
Agnyaana Dhvaantha Prachandha Bhaaskaro
Gnyaana Pradhaayako Maheshwaro
Madhyamakala Sahithyam:
Dheenavanodyuktha Divyatharo
Divyaughaadhi Sakala Deha Dharo
Maanasaanandakara Chathuratharo
Madh Guruvaro Mangalam Karothu

Meaning:
He is the originator of different (“naana”), diversified (“vichithra”) forms (“aakaro”) of the worlds (“prapancha”). He manifests (“roopa”) as the five (“pancha”) elements (“bhootha”) and as the named (“naama”) and famed ones. He is the mighty sun (“bhaaskaro”) destroying (“prachandha”) the darkness (“dvaantha”) of ignorance (“agnyaana”). He is the bestower (“pradhaayako”) of spiritual knowledge (“gnyaana”). He is the almighty("Maheshwara").
He is the divine (“divya”) Kalpaka Vruksha (“vanodyuktha”) for the afflicted (“dheena”) ones. He bears("deha dharo") the sacred rivers("divya ugaadhi"). He is adept in granting happiness to the heart("manaasaanandhakara") of His devotees. May my Guru("Madh guruvaro") bless me (“mangalam karo”).

Charanam:
Maaya Maya Visvaadhisthaano
Maathmakathadhi Mathaanusthaano
Maalini Mandalaantha Vidhaano
Mantraadyajapaa Hamsa Dhyaano
Maayaakaarya Kalanaa Heeno
Maamaka Sahasra Kamalaasino
Maadhurya Gaanaamruta Paano
Maadhavaadhyabhaya Vara Pradaano
Maayaa Sabalitha Brahma rupo
Maarakoti Sundara Svarupo
Madhimathaam Hrudaya Gopura Dipo
Matthra Suraadi Jayaprataapo
Madhyama Kala Sahityam:
Maayaamaalavagaulaadidesha
Mahipathi Pujitha Pada Pradesha
Maadhavaadyamara Brunda Prakaasha
Maheshasya Mahaarthopadesha

Meaning:
He (who) is the substratum (“adhisthaano”) for this illusory (“maayaa maya”) world (“vishwa”). He (who) is to be invoked through mantra (“mathaanusthaano”) beginning with “Ka” (“kaadi”), ending with “ma” (“maathmaka”). He (who) resides (“vidhaano”) in the center (“mandalaantha”) of the Malini-Chakra. He (who) is to be meditated (“dhyano”)upon as the swan (“Hamsa”) representing the Ajaapa Mantra. He who is an expert in obliterating (“hino”) the result (“kalana”) of Maaya, the illusion. He resides in my heart which is like a thousand (“sahasra”) petalled lotus (“kamalaasino”). Who enjoys the nectar (“amruta”) of mellifluous (“madhurya”) music (“Gaana”). He provides (“pradhaano”) sheltor (“abhaya”) and boons (“vara”)to Maadhava and others. Whose Brahmasvarupa is veiled (“sabalitha”) by Maaya. Whose beauty (“sundara svarupo”) excels that of crores (“koti”) of Cupids (“mara”). Who shines as the light (“deepo”) atop the tower (“gopura”) like the heart (“hrudaya”) of his devotees (“mathimathaam”).He who vanquished the proud (“matta”) sura and others (“adi”). His place of abode is worshipped by the kinds (“mahipathi”) of Mayamalavagowla Desha. Who shines (“prakaasha”) as surrounded by Vishnu (“maadhava”) and other Gods (“brundha”). Who impounded (“upadesha”) the real truth (“mahaartha”) of Pranava to His father, Mahesha.

We can clearly see the Raga mudhra in the madhyamakala sahithyam of the charanam. Also, one can notice the numerous references to upanishads, veda parayanas and yoga shaastras. Especially in the charanam, he talks about the paramaathma(Lord) residing in the astral body of the humans(Jivaathma), thereby enforcing the thought of advaitha. By the reference to the Swan("Hamsa") in the charanam, Dikshithar alludes to the yoga shaastras.
The Hamsa represent perfect union, balance and life. A constant repetition of the word "hamso" changes it to "Soaham", which means "That I am". Hence the hamsa is often identified with the Supreme Spirit or Brahman. The flight of the Hamsa also symbolizes the escape from the cycle of samsara. The bird also has special connotations in the monistic philosophy of Advaita Vedanta - just as the swan lives on water but its feathers are not wetted by water, similarly an Advaitin tries to live in this material world full of Maya, but is unsoiled by its illusionary nature. Also, Dikshitar refers to the "sahasradhaara chakra", the thousand petaled lotus which is believed to be the chakra near the heart/mind of the astral body, which when enlightened with the energy from the kundalini("coiled snake") enrichens the soul and elevates the person to realise the God within himself(him"self").

Thus, we can see the richness and puranic lore incorporated into dikshithar's krithis. I have tried my best to explain the meaning and the content of dikshithar's first krithi. I am sure there is much more meaning and depth in what "thalaivar" wants to convey. But being a mere mortal(unlike Nadhajyothi) and not being fortunate enough to be steep enough in knowledge, this is the best I could do and I hope my fellow mortals reading this are satisfied.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

My Pranams to the Mortal and Masters there.
I simply worship Guruguhar and often pray that I least be blessed to atleast learn all his songs .I feel HE is a mystic composer and that his songs convey more than one meaning like Thirumoolar's ThiruMandhiram.

I wanted to know more abt the krithi "Sri Naadadhi Guruguho" and discovered your blogsite .
Many thanks for all your effort to let Layman like me learn the meaning and the flawless compositions of Sri guruguhar .

Thanx again .
Archana

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Archana,
Thanks a lot for your wonderful words. I am, simply put, a huge bhakta of dIkshithar and just like you feel that we have done some puNyam to even be listening to his compositions. I pray to him to forgive me for any misinterpretations that I may have given. Please visit my blog again and share your thoughts. Thank you!

-Sai.

Anonymous said...

Pranams Sai ,
"avan arul lale Avan thaazh Vananghi "- Shivapuranam.
You are rite in mentioning tht we r blessed by HIM to even know his name .
and in that sense you are more blessed than us all .

I have just started reading your article on " Kamalambha Nava Varnams ".
I have a question to ask .
GuruGuhar and Shyama Sastri often Praises Ambal as "Raaja Maathanghi " in their compositions .
Not long back when I was in India , I saw a stunning and most beautiful paiting of Raaja Shyamala in Kanchi Kamakshi temple .
But can you please throw more light on "y these great saints often refer to Ambal as Raaja Maathanghi "?

many thanx again .

Musical Scientist said...

Hi,
That was a very nice quote from the shivapurANa..thank you :). I am very glad to note that you have started reading my posts on the navAvarNams.

Regarding your question, as you would know, both dIkshithar and shyAmA shAstri were big dEvi upAsakAs. In the scriptures, there are 10 different mahAvidyAs that are delineated. Out of this, the shrIvidyA upAsAka is supposed to be the most highly developed and metaphysical wise, the most organnized. dIkshithar was a srIdEvi upAsaka.

Not every amsha of ambAl is addressed as rAjamAthangi. rAja mAthangi or rAja shyAmaLa is a specific term used only to refer to Goddess mInAkSi. She is essentially a shakti of the shrIkula and was born from lalitAmbika. It is said that when sage matanga was successful in his penance, Goddess mInAkSi appeared before him and asked what boon he wanted. He wished for Her to be born as his daughter. She was called as Laghu shyAmaLa. It is said that 34 daughters were born to Laghu shyAmaLa and these are the 34 matanginis that we know of(some names I know are sangIta, sphOtika, niralAmbA, samvEdini, hasanti etc). Since all these matanginis were born off Her, Goddess minAkSi is the head/queen of all of them and hence She is called as "rAja mAthangi".

It is extremely important to get Her grace before obtaining shrIvidyA. Hence dIkshithar and shyAmA shAstri, as part of their upAsana, would have got the blessings of Her and hence use the term rAja mAthangi in their krithis (mAmava mInAkSi in varALi for eg). There is a really wonderful statue of rAja mAthangi at the kAnchIpuram kAmAkSi temple that you must visit.

I hope I made some sense but there is so much to explain and I couldnt restrict it to this comment space :). Probably we should have a chat session or mail interaction.

-Sai.

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V.S. said...

Dear Sai,

We just read your blog on Sri Nathadi Guruguho. It was very good and informative. All the Charanams startwith "Ma". What is the significance of this?
"Mantraadyajapaa Hamsa Dhyaano" - Ajapa mantra i.e., un uttered mantra - So ham or Ham sa is called Ajapa mantra - it corresponds to the sounds of breathing in and out. When one keeps practicing Japa slowly it leads to the Ajapa state.
He has so beautifully incorporated this concept in the sahityam.

Thanks once again,

Sumathi and Sridhar
vssridharan@gmail.com