Thursday, April 12, 2007
The twelfth night aptly begins by saying "If music be the food of love, play on". If you want to progress spiritually in life, professionally in music or just drown yourself in the infinite sAgaram of music, just listen to the stuff this man/God has given us. But then, I feel you dont need a reason to listen to thalaivar's krithis. The purpose is created automatically once you start listening to his krithis :)..such is the greatness of him. Further, he was by far the most dynamic of all the composers. The man has travelled as far as kathmandu in Nepal to compose music(PashupathIshwaram in shubhapanthuvarali). As I was telling Aishu the other day, He must have been the strongest dude ever to compose such brilliant music in all those kshetras :). I am currently in a state of total high listening to karikaLabhamukham in saveri rendered by my brother..thalaivar is the best!! :) I am really excited today as I am leaving for the cleveland aradhana in a few hours. I am going to listen to a concert live after 2 years. TMK,Seshu sir..aahaa..cleveland here I come :)
I will continue my attempt to explain in detail the wonderful Nava Avarna krithis . Today, I will handle the beautiful second Avarana krithi in kalyAni, kamalAmbAm bhajare written in the dwithiyA vibhakthi(accusative case) on the "sarvAshA paripUrnaka chakra". Hari says this is by far the best krithi ever composed in kalyAni,defining in entirety the beauty of this rAgA and I am sure all junta will agree on that. The pallavi starts off beautifully with a Ga Ma Pa phrase :). When listening to this pallavi, one realises that Dikshithar must have been in high spirits of union with God when he composed this krithi as he starts off by asking the mind to renounce worldly pleasures.
kamalAmbAM bhajare re mAnasa kalpithamAyAkAryaM thyaja re
As I mentioned earlier, Dikshithar sings " Oh("re") mind and heart!!("mAnasa") worship("bhajare") Goddess kamalAmbA and hence please abandon("thyaja re") the attachment to worldly desires which are illusory("kalpitha"+"mAyA"+"kAryam")."
It is a simple beginning stating the basic purpose of one's birth..to realize that this entire world is a mAyA and move on to the higher astral plane. Apart from the spiritual meaning, the wonderful NDMG DMGRS phrase of kalyAni is showcased while singing "kalpithamAyAkAryaM" sahithyam. On the whole, it is a nice pallavi and acts as a good platform on which he builds the anupallavi in which he describes the beauty of the Goddess.
kamalAvANisevithapArshvAM kambujayagrIvAM nathadevAM
kamalApurasadhanAM m.rdhugadhanAM kamanIyaradhanAM kamalavadhanAM
Dikshithar describes the Goddess as "She is flanked on both sides("pArshvAM") and served by("sevitha") Lakshmi("kamalA") and Saraswathi("vANi"). The beauty of her neck("grIvAM") surpasses("jaya") that of the conch("kambu") she holds. She is worshipped("natha") by the devAs("devAM") and resides("sadhanAM") in the lotus("kamalApura"). She is characterized by tender("mrdhu") speech("gadhanAM"), has charming and beautiful("kamanIya") teeth("radhanAM") and has a lotus-like("kamala") face("vadhanAM")."
I love this anupallavi..I personally feel it is the most beautiful part of the song. It is exquisite with characteristic kalyAni phrases and the sAhithyam just fuses amazingly with the thAlam and is a treat to sing/play. :). Dikshithar sings of the true beauty-portraying Goddess kamalAmbA as the mother of all mortals. One can vividly imagine the kamalAmbA sannidhi at the thiruvArUr temple listening to this anupallavi; which is yet another characteristic feature of all dikshithar krithis. In the charanam, as usual, Dikshithar delves into the deeper esoteric part of the krithi combined with some beautiful references to mythology. Things to look out for in the charanam are the mention of the chakra on which the krithi is composed and the mudhras. The second Avarana of the Sri chakra consists of a circular arrangement of 16 lotus petals. The sixteen yoginis residing in this chakra are called the gupta yoginis(hidden yoginis) and Dikshithar alludes to all this in the charanam.
durvAsArchithaguptayoginIM dukhaddhwamsinIM hamsinIM
nirvANanijasukhapradhAyinIM nithyakalyAnIM kAthyAyanIM
sharvAnIM madhupavijayavenIM sadhguruguhajananIM niranjanIM
Dikshithar describes kamalAmbA as the "Goddess of the sarvAshAparipUraka chakra". This is the second chakra in the sri chakra and on a word to word translation means the fulfiller of all the wishes("sarva"+"AshA"+"paripUraka"). He continues to describe Her as "the beloved("kAminIM") of the lord paramashiva". He says "She is the mystic("gupta") yogini worshipped by sage durvAsA. She destroys("DhwamsinIM") all sufferings and miseries("dhukka") and one who rides the swan("HamsinIM"). She is the bestower("pradhAyini") of true("nija") bliss("sukha") in the form of salvation("nirvANA"). She is forever("nithya") auspicious("kalyAnIM"-hence the rAga mudhra). She is the daughter of sage kAthyAyanA("kAthyAyanIM") and the consort of Lord shiva("sharvAnIM"). The beauty of her black hair("venIM") surpasses("vijaya") the blackness of a swarm of bees("madhupa"). She is the mother of the great guruguha("sadhguruguhajananIM"-also the mudhra) and one who is unblemished and unattached("niranjanIM"). She is the one who destroyed("bhanjanIM") the demon BhANDa, the one who was obsessed with vain glory and arrogance("garvitha"). She is the one who delights("ranjanIM") kAmAkarshini and other shakthis. She is the embodiment("rUpinIM") of the unqualified("nirvishesha"), infinite and supreme("chaitanya") consciousness and is the manifestation("swarUpinIM") of the elements of the earth etc.("urvi thathvaadhi").
The charanam is by far the most complete description of the Goddess I guess. The beautiful fashion in which he incorporates the raga mudhra referring to the Goddess as nithyakalyAni shows his skill at the language. The reference to the Goddess as "Hamsini"(the one who rides the swan") has deep meaning. As I once mentioned in my previous blogs, repeatedly uttering the word "hamso"(the root of hamsa), we get "so-ham" which stands for "I"(or the self). Goddess kamalAmbA hence rides the "hamsa"(soul) and is on top of the astral plane which is the final destination of a human being's soul. Personifying Her beauty by comparing Her tresses to the blackness of the swarm of bees shows Dikshithar's abilities to visualise and employ similes and metaphors once again displaying his vivid imagination and grasp of the sanskrit grammar. I love the "nirvisheshachaitanyaroopam" phrase in the charanam. On the whole a beautiful krithi embellishing the kalyAni raga. To conclude, I quote from the "Dikshithar kIrthana mAlA" which says that by singing this krithi, "one shall get the entire satisfaction of all desires, all auspicious things and ambAL's protection."
I am listening to the beautiful kotIshwara Iyer krithi in rishabhapriya called "Ghananaya Desika" rendered by my brother..one of my personal favourites. kotIshwara Iyer is another brilliant dude who has composed in all the 72 melas just like our thalaivar :). I love the charanam in this song which goes like "Shadja Rishabhapriya gAndhAra madhyama panchama deivata nishAdha priya" thereby incorporating the rAga mudhra with each word being sung in the corresponding swarasthAna. A wonderful composition indeed but there can be only one Dikshithar I guess :). The greatest ever. I will take up the beautiful third Avarana krithi in shankarAbharanam-"Shri kamalAmbikAyA katAkshithoham" in my next post. I will also blog about my cleveland experience and hopefully upload some mp3s too :). Till then, may Goddess kamalAmbA protect the entire world as she has been for eternity and let some sanity return to the Indian cricket team. Shri Gurubhyo Namaha!!