Wednesday, June 27, 2007

shrI kamalAmbikAyAm-sahAnA

I am drowning myself in supreme bliss as I am typing this. I am listening to Seshu's version of soundararAjam, perhaps the best ever krithi composed in brindAvana sArangA, and I am achieving that state of samAdhi in every sangathi and every word of this wonderful dIkshithar krithi. I find myself incapable to explain in words the feeling, which is mostly the situation i find myself in while listening most of dIkshithar's krithis. The grandeur just gets to me. Last week was wonderful. I had the pleasure of having 4 music sessions with the dIkshithar gumbal.. a set of uncompromising dIkshithar fanatics. SK's(our AsthAna vidwan) renditions of the kalyANi, ghaNTA, Ahiri and punnAgavarALi navavarnams are still ringing in my ears. I had to fight back tears while listening to these beautiful and powerful krithis sung with manOdharma and bhakti. As I always say, at some point of time in all dIkshithar krithis, I get this feeling of helplessness and "Oh..let this life end right now" kind of thoughts and I surrender myself completely to the genius. That is the power he enforces on a rasikA. And he overpowers you into complete submission with the sahAnA navAvarNam too..the grammar, the musical and the vedantic precisions become too much to handle for a mortal like me.

I love is my favourite rAga and I have heard almost all krithis ever composed in the rAgA and I would say shrI kamalAmbikAyAm is perhaps the best krithi I have heard in sahAnA. The krithi, composed exclusively in the seventh case("sapthami vibhakthi/locative case") is yet another masterpiece from the grandmaster of all composers. dIkshithar seems to emphasize his devotion to the Goddess in this krithi with the central idea being "ahaM kamalAmbikAyAm bhakthim karomi"(I offer my devotion to Goddess kamalAmbA"). The chakra addressed in this krithi is the sarvarogahara (destroyer of all miseries and illnesses) which consists of 8 triangles. The pallavi begins as,

shrI kamalAmbikAyAM bhaktiM karomi
shritakalpavATikAyAM chaNDikAyAM jagadambikAyAm

Dikshithar surrenders and sings "I offer("karomi") my devotion("bhakthiM") to Goddess kamalAmbA, the auspicious one("shrI"). She, who resides in the garden("vATikAyAM") and is fulfilling the wishes("shritakalpa") of all the devotees who take refuge in her. She is the fierce one("chaNDikA") and the mother of the universe("jagadambikAyAm")."
Quite typical of all the navAvarNams we have seen so far, in this krithi also, dIkshithar starts off with a pretty simple pallavi. But this is where the performer can excel and improvise. The pallavi has so much scope that I have heard atleast some 10 sangathis of the first line itself. The first line captures almost all of the characteristic phrases of the rAga which makes it the most beautiful opening lines of a sahAnA krithi according to me. Moving on to the anupallavi,


rAkAchandra vadanAyAM rAjIva nayanAyAM
pAkArinuta charaNAyAM AkAshAdi kiraNAyAm
hrIMkAra vipina hariNyAM hrIMkAra susharIriNyAM
hrIMkAra taruma~njaryAM hrIMkAreshvaryAM gauryAm

Dikshithar beautifully describes the Goddess in the anupallavi. He says "Her face("vadanAyAM") is like the full moon("rAkAchandra") and her eyes("nayanAyAM") are like the lotus bud("rAjiva"). Her feet("charanAyAM") is worshipped("nutha") by Lord Indra("pAkAri") and she radiates("kiranAyAm") as the five elements such as sky("AkAsha") and others. She is the deer("hariNyAM") that roams in the forests("vipina") of the HRIM sound and her form("kAra") is the embodiment("sushaririNyAM") of the hrim sound. She is the beautiful bunch of flowers("manjaryAM") in the tree("tharu") of Hrim. She is the Goddess("EshwaryAM") of HrIm and she is gowri, the fair one."

What a beautiful anupallavi. Everytime I hear this krithi, I listen to the anupallavai atleast twice before i move on to the charanam. It is wonderful as it encompasses all the major phrases of sahAnA. Further, we can evidently see the supreme state of bliss in which dIkshithar must have been when he composed these lines. Apart from his usual way of using beautiful similes to describe the Lord, he starts to describe the devi as different forms of the hrIm sound(for which I will write a separate blog soon) and finally he says she is Ishwari of the hrIm sound itself implying Her to be the creator of all that is available today. He also tries to emphasize the formless and boundless nature of the Goddess in these lines. Really beautiful :). Anyway, life has to go on and so I will move on to the charanam now.

sharIratraya vilakShaNa sukhatara svAtmAnu bhoginyAM
viri~nci harIshAna harihaya vedita rahasya yoginyAm
parAdi vAgdevatArUpavashinyAdi vibhAginyAM
charAtmaka sarvarogaharanirAmaya rAjayoginyAm
karadh.rtavINAvAdinyAM kamalAnagaravinodinyAM
suranaramunijanamodinyAM guruguhavaraprasAdinyAm

Dikshithar beautifully sings "She rejoices ("bhoginyAm") in Her own ("swa") self ("AtmAnu") of supreme bliss ("sukhatara"), the self which transcends ("vi-lakshana") the three ("traya") states of existence ("sharIra"): the casual, the subtle, and the gross. She who is the secret ("rahasya") yogini, known only ("vedita") to Brahma ("virinchi"), Vishnu ("hari"), Shiva ("haya"), and Hayagriva ("harishana"). She is distinguished ("vibhAginyaam") as the Shakti Vasini, etc ("para-Adi"). and as the deity ("devata-rUpa") of pure speech ("vAk"). She is the healing Raja Yoga which destroys ("hara") all ("sarva") transient ("nirAmaya") illnesses ("roga"). She, who plays ("vAdhinyAm") the Vina, which She holds ("druta") in Her hands ("kara"). She who resides and delights ("vinodinyAm") in Kamalanagara. She charms ("modhinyAm") the Gods ("sura"), men ("nara") and sages ("munijana"). She grants Guruguha the boon ("prasaadhinyAm") of Her grace ("vara")."

For a navAvarNam, I would say that this charanam is very very simple. As he does in all the other navAvarNams, dIkshithar describes the chakra and how the Goddess is the real yogini residing in these chakras. He finally describes Her as the raja yoga itself. There is a partial rAga mudhra in "harIshAna". The madhyamakala sahithyams are really beautiful in this krithi and they just follow suit one after the other in great grandeur and finally fall exquistely in place leading to the pallavi. On the whole, It is yet another masterpiece from the great man. My personal advise is, If you are someone who loves sahAnA, then you must listen to this krithi. It is by far the best defining krithi for the rAga.

Thanks to my friend Vijay Bashyam, I am now in possession of a software which enables me type text in sanskrit. So most probably from the next post, I will be posting the lyrics in sanskrit. I will take up the majestic ghaNTA navAvarNam in my next blog and try to do as much justice as I can. If you have not listened to this krithi yet, I would highly recommend you to do that as early as possible. :) I am feeling terribly sleepy today..I dont know why..anyway, passing on from one bliss to to sleep :). Take care all of you and keep listening to dIkshithar krithis inorder to make your life more colourful and meaningful :) shrI gurubhyo Namaha indeed!! :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

kamalAmbikAyAH thava-PunnAgavarALi

First of all..congrats to my dear friend Aishwarya on successfully graduating from UCLA..Really proud of you Aishu!!! :) and second of all, I am really missing home after reading the reviews of thalaivar's film Sivaji and my inability to watch it in theaters :( :( But nevertheless, yesterday was the most enchanting evening of my life in the US. I was obsessed with mukhAri yesterday..just totally captured by the beauty of the rAga and I was fully experiencing the feelings it stirs within you. Listened to 4 krithis in 3 different languages-"KshInamai" sung by Sikkil Gurucharan, "Endraikku Shiva kripai" and "kAru bAru" rendered by Sanjay and ofcourse the wonderful dIkshithar krithi "pAhi mAm rathnAchala" sung by DKP. What i observed was that mukhari evokes a sense of deep longing for love and people. It reminds you of a lot of things in your life. Sometimes, it evokes happiness too. So, a kind of extremely versatile rAga. And today has been a complete sAveri day..I have drowned myself in the authority the rAga imposes. I am listening to a beautiful "karikaLaba mukham" rendered by GNB(another thalaivar). Meanwhile, I have also been wondering about why would dIkshithar choose rAgAs like Ghanta and punnAgavarALi for his navAvarNams. We all know that he composed in various "rare" rAgas like "nArAyanagowla" and "gurjari" and he wanted to revive these rAgAs. So choosing ghanta could be because he thought this would be the best way to revive giving it that much identity as a kAmbhoji or a bhairavi by composing a navAvarNam in it and thereby obviously displaying his greatness and versatility once again. If someone can think of a better reason, please tell me.

I just have one word to describe the punnAgavarALi navAvarNam..exquisite. dIkshithar could not have chosen a better rAga to compose this navAvarNam because it perfectly conveys and carries the devotion in the central idea of the krithi "kamalAmbikAyAH bhakthA"("I am the devotee of Goddess kamalAmbA"). The krithi, written in sixth case("shashti vibhakthi") deals with the sarvarakshAkara chakra("the one which protects all") in the srI chakra.It consists of the inner set of ten triangles("anthardashAra").

kamalAmbikAyAstava bhakto.ahaM
shaNkaryAH shrIkaryAH saNgItarasikAyAH shrI

Dikshithar sings "I am("aham") the devotee("bhaktho") of Goddess kamalAmbika. She, the beloved("aryAH") of shaNkara, is the one who bestows auspiciousness, prosperity("shrIkaryAH") and She is the one who enjoys("rasikA") divine music("sangItha")".
A majestic opening to this krithi which aptly evokes the bhaktha rasa is visible. In these lines dIkshithar seems to request the Goddess to accept his devotion in the form of the divine music he is composing in Her praise. Moving on to the anupallavi,

sumasharekShu kodhaNDa pAshANkusha pANyAH
athimadhuratharavANyAH sharvANyAH kalyANyAH
ramaNIyapunnAgavarALi vijitha veNyAH shrI

Dikshithar starts to beautifully describe the Goddess as "She is the one who possesses flower("suma") arrows("shara"), sugarcane("kodhaNDa"), the noose("pAsha") and the goad ("ankusha") in her four hands("pANyAH"). Her speech("vANyAH") is excessively sweet("athimadhura"). She is the wife("ANyAH") of shivA("sharva") and she is kalyANi, the eternally auspicious one. Her braided hair("veNyAH") is superior to("vijitha") the lovely("ramaNIya") black bees("varALi") that swarm around the puNNaga tree".

The highlight of the anupallavi is the beautiful "slesham"(double meaning) employed by dikshithar to fuse in the rAga mudhra and at the same time use a simile to directly compare the Goddess's beauty to the black bees. It is these small(or large-depends on the way you see it) things and intricate details about dIkshithar's pAndithyam that makes him so special and he yet again proves that he is the undisputed king of sanskrit grammar. As usual, the charanam that follows is intricately woven and it clearly reverberates with that "dIkshithar effect" and leaves you amazed as usual.

dashakalAtmaka vahniswarUpa prakAshAntardashAra-
sarvarakShAkara chakreshvaryAH tri-dashAdhinutha-
kachavarga dvayamaya sarvaj~nAdhi dashashakthi sametha-
mAlinIchakreshvaryAH tridashaviMshadhvarNa garbhiNI kuNDalinyAH
dashamudrA samArAdhitha kauLinyAH
dasharathAdhinutha guruguhajanaka shiva bodhinyAH
dashakaraNa v.rtti marIchi nigarbhayoginyAH shrI

Dikshithar goes into the kundalini yoga mArga and talks about the vedanthic and spiritual aspects governed by the Goddess in the charanam. He sings "She is the one whose essential nature("swarUpa") is the light of the ten-fold("dashakAla") fire("vahni"), manifest("parAkAsha") in the sarvarakShAkara("all protective") chakra consisting of the inner ten triangles("anthardashAra"). She is the goddess governing the mAlinI chakra, worshipped("nutha") by the thirty deities("thridasha") residing in the chakra which has the ten shakthis including sarvAj~nya and others("Adhi") representing the ten alphabets("dvaya maya") of the "ka" and "cha" groups("varga"). She is kundalini, encompassing the 50 letters("thridasha vimshadh varna"). She is Goddess kaulini who is worshipped("samArAdhitha") by the ten("dasha") mudhrAs. She is worshipped("nutha") by Dasharatha and others and is the one who imparts knowledge("bOdhiNyAH") on the nature of Shiva, the father("janaka") of guruguha. She is the one who is hidden("yOgiNyAH") in the manifestations("nigarbha") which constitute the functioning("vr.tti") of the ten senses and motor organs("dashakarana" 5 j~nanendriyAs and 5 karmendriyAs)."

Apart from the kundalini yoga and scriptural references, the beauty of the charanam lies in the exquisite meter dikshithar employs with the sAhithyams falling nicely in place for the rUpaka thAla. Also, one can notice the intelligence of dIkshithar as he refers to rAmAyanA implicitly(or explicitly-depending on how one sees it) in one line when he says She is worshipped by Dasharatha and beautifully brings in the word "janaka" which stands for father here but in rAmAyanA, king janaka is the father of Seetha. On the whole a charming krithi for any artiste to render and ofcourse a real treat for the rasikA.

I am now listening to a beautiful Abhogi varnam played by guitar prasanna which is inspiring me to take my ax and start playing right now :). But before that I would have to shop for groceries to keep me running for the coming week. In my next blog, I will take up my second favourite navAvarnam("first being the Ahiri navAvarnam"), the scintillating sahAnA navAvarnam-perhaps the best sahAnA defining krithi i have heard. Till then, keep singing the praise of the Nadhajyothi and ofcourse his krithis!! Shri gurubhyo namaha.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

shri kamalAmbikAyAH-Bhairavi

For a change, I felt that time was going slowly. Last week seemed unusually long and dragging. However, I would be really happy if time were to slow down as it would give me a better chance to listen to and learn more dIkshithar krithis :) . Afterall what more would one need except to cook and eat good food(for the body), good stuff to read, interpret and work on(for the mind) and divine dIkshithar krithis for the soul. At the risk of sounding gay, I declare myself to be completely in love with dIkshithar. :) No one or no thing can give me the pleasure of listening to a beautiful brindhAvana sArangA in the form of "soundararAjam" or a majestic sAveri in the form of "Shri rAjagOpala". Today morning I had a really nice session(2 hours) with Shrutika ananth, to whom I had the pleasure(hopefully not a pain for her) of singing and playing around 10 or 12 dIkshithar krithis. Then I sang a few more krithis to Shambhavi a few hours later and discussed with her some key dIkshithar krithis. And now..this post on the bhairavi navAvarNam. So it has been more of a dIkshithar day..but then, which day hasn't?? ;). As i am typing this, I am listening to an amazing rendition of "shri kAnthimathim" in hemAvathi by mandolin Srinivas.

Today I am going to try to interpet the 5th Avarna of the navAvarNams, "shri kamalAmbikAyAh param" in Bhairavi. The krithi is written exclusively in the fifth case("panchama vibhakthi"/Ablative case). The central theme of the krithi is "kamalAmbikAyAh param nahi re, re chiththa"("Oh mind!!there is nothing greater than Goddess kamalAmbA"). The krithi is about the "sarvasiddhi pradha" chakra which gives all powers to the human soul. In the Sri chakra, it is the outer set of 10 triangles and is hence also known as "bahirdashAra chakra". As you would have observed in all of the navAvarNams, the charanams are completely loaded with grammar, esoteric references, raga mudhras..everything. This krithi is no different..infact I would say it is by far one of the most tongue-twisting charanams I have ever heard. This is where you must appreciate and understand the pristine quality of grammar in dIkshithar's krithis. All the different words fused in such exquisiteness that it makes one's soul reverberate with reverance and love for the man behind the music.

shri kamalAmbAyAH param nahi re re chiththa
kshithyAdhi shivAntha tathva swarUpiNyAH

DIkshithar starts off in a simple manner. He sings "Oh mind!!("re chiththa"), there is nothing greater than("param nahir re") the auspicious Goddess kamalAmbA. She is the quintessence("tathva swarUpam") of all the principles, from the earth("kshithi") to the ultimate("antha") Lord shivA."

In this pallavi, I love the way he commands his mind. He just calls upon it and instructs it that Goddess kamalAmbA is the ultimate thus sending out a message to all of us. On the musical aspect of things, I would say the krithi builds up beautifully from here. It is a majestic bhairavi and there is ample scope for a qualified musician to sing the pallavi alone for 10 minutes or so. Moving on to the anupallavi now,

shrIkaNTa viShNu virinchAdhi janayithryAH
shivAthmaka vishwakarthryAH kArayithryAH
shrIkara bahirdashAra chakra sthithyAH
sevitha bhairavi bhArgavI bhArathyAH

DIkshithar pays her the ultimate compliment by calling her "the divine creator/mother("janayithryAH") of shivA("shrIkaNTa"), viShNu, Brahma("virinchi") and others." He further describes her as "the one who created("karthryAH") the universe("vishwa") of which Lord shivA is the essence("shivAthmaka")" and as "the one who is responsible for("ithryAH") all the actions("kAraya") which take place here." DIkshithar sings "She resides("sthithyAH") in the auspicious("shrIkAra") chakra containing the outer 10 triangles("bahirdashAra") and she is served by Bhairavi, bhArgavi and bhArathi(Parvathi,Lakshmi and Saraswathi)."

From this wonderful anupallavi one can see that dIkshithar must have been at heights of bliss while composing it. He has attributed the creator, protector, destroyer and their respective consorts to being the creations of Goddess kamalAmbA indicating that she is the basic reason for the universe's existence. He beautifully embeds the rAga mudhra in the anupallavi itself. I guess this serves as a warning for the coming earthquake of a charanam..a ground shaker. So here goes..

nAdhamaya sUkShmarUpa sarvasiddhipradAdi dasha shaktyArAdhitamUrteH

shrotrAdi dashakaraNAtmaka kuLakauLikAdi bahuvidhopAsitakIrteH

abheda nitya shuddhabuddhamukta-saccidAnandamaya paramAdvaitasphUrteH

Adi madhyAntarahitAprameya guruguhamodita-sarvArthasAdhakasphUrteH

mUlAdi navAdhAra vyAv.rtta dashadhvanibhedaj~na yogib.rnda saMrakShaNyAH

anAdi mAyAvidyA-kArya kAraNa vinodakaraNa paTutarakaTAkSha vIkShaNyAH

First of all I must apologize for the non-readability of the charanam in the format as posted above. The sandhis are so intricate that splitting them in other fashion would lead to misinterpretations and dangerous results. :) So bear with it..this is the best I could do. Well..if someone wants to learn how to compose krithis of infinite meter and unimaginable vedantic and adwaithic references, I would say this is the best possible
6 lines one could get. If you think singing such a charanam is difficult, imagine the mind that should have composed this..what can you say except fall at his feet. Anyway, I will try to split the sandhis to the best of my abilities and explain..hope it is satisfactory.

Dikshithar sings "Sound("nAdha") is the subtle("sUkshma rUpa") form of her and she is worshipped("ArAdhitha") by the ten shakthis-sarvasiddhipradha and others. She, who is famous("kIrthe") for being worshipped("upAsitha") in distinct forms
("bahu vidha") such as kuLa, kauLa and for being the embodiment("Atmaka") of the ten organs("dashakaranAthmaka"-(five sensory and five organs of action)). She who is the manifestation("spurthe") of the supreme non-dual("advaita"), non-differentiated("abheda") ,eternal("nitya"), pristine ("shuddha"), enlightened ("buddha") and liberated self ("muktha"), characterized by existence("sadh"), consciousness ("chidh") and bliss ("Anandham").
She who is an integral whole ("a-prameya") without ("rahita") any beginning ("Adhi"), middle ("madhya") or end ("antha"). She who is knowledgeable and is entertained ("moditha") by Guruguha, she manifests ("spUrthe") as the Sarvartthasadhaka Chakra, achieving ("sAdhaka") all ("sarva") purposes ("artha"). She who protects ("samrakshanyA") the yoginis ("yogi brindha") residing in the nine ("nava") centers ("AdhAra") of the astral body such as Muladhara, etc ("Adhi"). and who, surpassing these ("vyavr.ttha") are adept at how to pierce them through the knowledge of the ten sounds ("dashadhwani"). She, who with her mere glance ("aksha") is capable ("paTutara") of dispelling ("vikAsinyAH") beginningless ("anAdhi") delusion ("mAya") and ignorance ("avidhyA") and the laws of cause ("kArana") and effect ("kArya")."

Now was thats what i call the biggest monster charanam ever..but isn't she a wonderful monster..a real beauty :). dIkshithar sings of Her praise and establishes her presence in the physical, astral and the causal planes. The fact that he describes Her as the "paripUrna", as the one without a beginning or an end and attributes Her to the ten sensory and motor organs(physical plane), the nine chakras(astral plane) and as the one who destroys "mAya", "avidhya" and the "kArana-kArya" cycle(causal plane) establishes Goddess kamalambA as the God. I would even go as far as saying that dIkshithar is sure to have meditated and loved Her as his God..the divine romance which finally took him to salvation and beyond. This and the Ahiri navAvarNams are testimonials to this fact.

How can one not notice the beauty and authority of this krithi..filled with musical, vedanthic, grammatical grandeur and what not..what more can one want from a krithi? With all due respect to all the other composers, how can one not sing/play this krithi as the main piece when he/she sings/plays bhairavi in a concert. I have heard it being sung very few times and it is a disturbing fact. So if some artist is reading this post, I kindly request you to sing this as your main when you sing bhairavi in concerts. I feel that it is the duty of each soul which learns and listens to carnatic music to popularize these masterpieces which cannot be eroded by trivial factors such as time.(feeling really really emotional as i write this)

I will continue on this noble endeavour to try to shed light on these beautiful krithis by the greatest composer ever!! It is my birthright. So I will blog about the punAgavarALi navAvarnam in my next post..yet another gem from the great God of music..Shri gurubhyo namaH!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

kamalAmbikAyai-kAmbhoji navAvarnam

Having a nice relaxing weekend I must say. I started off the sunday with the beautiful sUryamUrthe in sowrashtram, watched Rafael Nadal and Lewis Hamilton write their names in history books, cooked a nice burrito for lunch and now am sitting in my patio(not a great view though) and typing this. One of my friends recently chided me saying "Dont give reasons like not having internet connection for not blogging over the last month. Its not that you blogged that regularly when you had the connection either". :) I must say thats a very valid point. But jokes apart, it takes me a lot of time to sit, analyze and explain each krithi partly due to the beautifully complex stuff by thalaivar and partly due to my musical handicaps and limited knowledge. Further I think a lot before putting it across this forum and so it usually takes me atleast a week to post one krithi. But only yesterday night I noticed that the same friend of mine(Aparna) blogs pretty frequently and her blogs were fun to read. So she serves as an inspiration to me now and from now will try my best to post as frequently and as beautifully as possible.(Thanks Aparna!!..I cant wait for your comments after you read this post. Actually your name comes in the do read it :)). So I spent the afternoon usefully(after watching chennai 600028-a film picturized in the area where i spent 21 years of my life) by working on the next navAvarnam in the series..the beautiful krithi filled with the gait and grace of kAmbhoji.

The best way to describe kamalAmbikAyai would be to call it as a majestic krithi. Written exclusively in the chathurthi vibhakthi(dative/fourth case), the central idea of the krithi is kamalAmbikAyai namasthe("salutations to kamalAmba"). Hence all the phrases in the krithi end with "yai" addressing the Goddess. The chakra being referred to is the sarvasowbhAgyadhAyaka chakra. As the name indicates, it grants all auspiciousness. It is also called "manukoNa" consisting of the 14 manu triangles and it enshrines 14 shakthis.


kamalAmbikAyai kanakAmshukAyai
karpuravITikAyai namasthe namasthe


Its a simple start to this beautiful krithi, more of a calm before the storm I would say :). DIkshithar shows his respect for the Goddess by singing "Oh kamalAmba!! I salute you again and again("namasthe namasthe")." He beautifully describes her as "one who is clad in golden("kanaka") robe("amshukha") and one who chews betel leaves flavoured with camphor("karpUravITikAyai").

An exquisite slow and beautiful kAmbhoji is all i see in these opening lines of the krithi. The sAhithyam just fuses in. As usual Dikshithar displays his brilliance and authority in this simple pallavi. The DKJ/DKP version of the krithi is highly recommended for listening pleasure :). The anupallavi is again a passionate description of the Goddess talking about her different attributes and capturing folklore.

kamalAkAntha anujAyai kAmeshwaryai ajAyai
himagirithanujAyai hRImkArapUjyAyai
kamalAnagaravihAriNyai khalasamUhasaMhAriNyai
kamanIyarathnahAriNyai kalikalmshaparihAriNyai


Dikshithar addresses the devi as "the younger sister("anuja") of Vishnu, the husband("kAnthA") of Lakshmi("kamalA")". He sings "You are Goddess kAmeshwari and you are not born of anyone("ajAyai"). You are the daughter("thanuja") of the mountain("himagiri") and are worshipped("pUjyAyai") by the mystic sound("akAra") "hRIm"

. The one who dwells("
vihAra") in the lotus("kamalAnagara") and the one who destroys("saMhAriNyai") the entire group("samUha") of dishonest people("khala"). You wear a garland of beautiful("kamanIya") jewels("rathna") and you dispel the sins("kalmsha parihAriNyai") committed by the poison of this kali yuga."

The first thing one notices about the anupallavi is the subtle cum glaring oxymoron employed by the genius. He refers to the Goddess as the daughter of the mountain and at the same time says she is not born of anyone. This is a direct implication that Gods do not suffer or gain from karma. They are beyond the birth-death cycle, the ones running the show actually. But in different incarnations come down to earth in human form to solve problems by being one among us. The hRImkAra mantra is an extremely powerful sound about which I should write a separate blog soon. As for now, I would just like to say that if Om is considered as the silent divine father, then hRIm is the active divine mother. It is basically a bIja mantra which encompasses all our sorrows and questions about the ultimate truth..basically a call from the creations to the creator addressing the purpose of creation. As i said, I will write a separate blog on this mantra once I finish with the navAvarnams and will try to explain the deep meaning of this mAya mantra and how it has been effectively used by dIkshithar. Moving on to the charanam, I am in tears now listening to this absolutely soul-stirring version of kamalAmbA samrakshathumAm by TMK..aahaa..the Anandabhairavi is killing me..>--<-0 @thalaivar.

samkshobiNyAdhi shakthiyutha chathurthyAvaraNAyai
prakata chathurdasha bhuvanabharaNAyai
prabala guruguha sampradhAyAnthaH karaNAyai
akalankarUpa varNAyai aparNAyai suparNAyai
sukharadhruthachApabANayai shobhanakaramanukoNAyai
sa kunkumAdhi lepanAyai charAcharAdhi kalpanAyai
chikuravijitha nIlAghanAyai chidhAnanda pUrnaganAyai

As i told you the pallavi and anupallavi are the calm before the storms. The charanam is a monster but neverthless the most beautiful part of the krithi. It is just mind-boggling for me to even read and interpret such quality grammar..think of the brilliant brain that should have composed this. Anyway..coming back to the krithi, Dikshithar beautifully fuses the rAga mudhra in the first line by addressing the Goddess as "one who possesses lotus-like("ambhoja") feet("charanAyai") which grant("dhAyaka") all auspiciousness("sakala samkshobhana")." What a beautiful way to employ the rAga mudhra as "dhAyakAmbhoja charana". He continues to describe Her as "one who resides in the fourth enclosure("chathur yutha") consisting of shakthis such as samkshobhina and others." He sings "you rule("bharaNAyai") the fourteen("chathurdasha") created("prakata") worlds("bhuvana"). You are at the cause and the main reason("anthah kAraNAyai")of the well-known("prabala") tradition("sampradhAyai") to which Lord guruguha belongs. You are the one who possesses blemishless("a+kalanka") beauty("rUpa") and complexion("varna"). You are the one also known as aparNa and also the beautiful swan("suparNAyai")." Please refer to my previous posts for information on how the swan is a mystic bird. He continues "Your lovely hands("sukara") hold("dhrutha") the bow("chaapa") and arrow("bANAyai"). You are the one who resides in the effulgent"shobhanakara") chakra consisting of the fourteen manu triangles("koNA"). You are besmeared("lepanAyai") with red kumkum etc. and you are the reason("kalpana"-creator) for the existence of movable("chara") and unmovable("achara") objects. Your black hair("chikura") is resplendently superior("vijitha") to the blue-black clouds("nIlaghana") and you are the full("pUrna") essence("ghanAyai") of consciousness("chith") and bliss("Ananda")."

As i mentioned, its a huge, complex charanam which is loaded with facts, folklores and allusions. For example, the Goddess is also called aparNa because there is a story that inorder to please the Lord, She, in deep penance, did not take any food, not even consuming the fallen leaf and hence the name "a-parNa". On the whole its a defining kAmbhoji which is a sheer bliss to listen to. I am feeling a little hungry now and so will cut it here and run for cooking dinner. I am listening to "Shri kAnthimathi" in hemAvathi now..another beautiful krithi. I guess the word guruguha itself stands for sheer paramAnandam :). I will take up one of my most favourite dikshithar krithis next, the bhairavi navAvarnam-"Shri kamalAmbikAyAh paramnahi re". The krithi has yet another monster of a charanam. I have to go to work for the next 5 days and so it will take me sometime to post it i guess. Till then take care ppl..have a wonderful week and spend your life listening to dikshithar krithis if you have not so me..its the best bliss you can give this human form. "No dIkshithar, No fun; Know dIkshithar, Know fun". :)