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". :)


Aparna said...

Nice post :)
Am an inspirationlaam konjam over ;)

"No dIkshithar, No fun; Know dIkshithar, Know fun"
Wow! Super lines! :)

Musical Scientist said...

Thanks a lot for the quick review!! And ya..inspiration have been posting for the last 8 months or so I guess and you have so many posts,comments appidi :) Anyway..did you read the explanation for your name in the end of the krithi?

Aparna said...

Yes I did :)

chitra said...

Thank you for such wonderful details...are you in Canada? In Toronto? Your explanation creates a vivid imagery for me..

Musical Scientist said...

Hi Chitra,

Thanks :). I am in Bangalore, India.

Venkatesh said...