The last few weeks have been terribly hectic and bad for me. My bicycle gave me huge problems resulting in a nice cycle shop at my house and after taking the cycle apart down to the last bolt, I ended up with a perfectly black baniyan :). To add to the misery, I fell ill with stomach upsets, headache, body pain and what not(thanks to the 1.5 hour walks I made each day to office). It felt like I had caught janma shani or something like that as problems came one after the other. Neverthless, the walks to my office were not so bad because of 2 reasons. Firstly, I used my i-pod extensively when i walked and this resulted in me learning some wonderful krithis like tyAgarAjAya namaste in Begada and sri panchanAdIsham in sahana. :) Secondly, I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend, Laura, a noble soul who stopped on her own on a beautiful friday morning and gave me a ride to my office. During that 10 minute drive, I enlightened her on the existence of this musical genius-dIkshithar the phenom. I even had the pleasure(and hopefully not a pain for her ;)) of singing ishAnAdi shivAkAramanche to her. She really loved the bhAva with which i sang and she loved the madhyamakAla sAhitya and remarked "Oh..thats so jazzy!! :)". And upon her request, I have sent her two krithis-vAthapi to start with followed by mahAganapthim in nATa. I dont know how much of it she is going to relish though I would say it would be impossible for her to understand the grammatical or the esoteric beauty of the nAdhajyothi. But I am sure there are some foot-tapping numbers of thalaivar that she would probably love :). As i mentioned to Aishwarya the other day, "vAzhga Laura, valarga dIkshitharin pugazh" :).
I have recently become an addict to a TV show called "Prison Break" which is a beautifully scripted show about how a man(who actually is the man who constructed the prison) busts his brother(innocent but wrongly convicted for murder and hence sentenced to the electric chair) out of prison. More than the action, it is the screenplay and the intelligence of the script that has got me hooked. If you are someone who likes intelligent stuff, this is a must watch. Go to http://joox.net for all the TV shows you want to watch. Apart from that, the weekend has been kind of quiet.
I will now continue with the kamalAmbA navAvarNams by taking up the Ahiri navAvarNam which in my view is perhaps the best of the lot. Be it rAga bhAva, bhakthi rasa, sanskritha pAndithyam..dIkshithar has just overloaded this krithi with all of these and much more. dIkshithar must have been in a trance and in perhaps the highest bliss a human being could experience, in communion with God and only his sub-conscious mind could have composed something so powerful as this krithi. The first time I heard this krithi was on April 1st, 2007 at around 4 am EST thanks to SK(the wonderful fool's day session which lasted for 8 hours straight from 11 pm to 7 am) and I could not hold back my tears. I have never been moved so much by anything in my life and I truly felt the power of dIkshithar's genius. My hair stands even now as I am typing these lines. The feeling of bliss is inexplainable.
Moving on to the krithi, shrI kamalAmbA jayathi is the last AvaraNa and it is about the sarvAnandamaya chakram which is the bindu(dot) at the centre of the srI chakra signifying the supreme bliss..the chakra in which resides parApara rahasya yogini..which can be reached only by the highest of the yogis who strive for constant God communion and this was perhaps what dIkshithar reached and felt when he scripted this masterpiece. This krithi employs all the eight vibhakthis. The pallavi is in the nominative case, the first 3 lines of the anupallavi are in accusative case and the rest of the anupallavi is in the instrumental case. The first line of the charanam is in the dative case with each of the following lines employing the ablative, genetive and locative cases. The madhyamakAla sAhitya is once again in the nominative case inorder to smoothly transition into the pallavi once again. The pallavi starts off as below:
shrI kamalAmbA jayati amba shrI kamalAmbA jayati
jagadAmbA shrI kamalAmbA jayati
sh.rNgArarasakadambA madambA shrI kamalAmbA jayati
chidbimbA pratibimbendubimbA shrI kamalAmbA jayati
Since some of my friends told me that they had font issues in the browser while reading my previous post in which I had used the sanskrit fonts, I am reverting to the old style of transliteration. dIkshithar sings "Goddess kamalAmbA is victorius("jayathi"). Hail("jayathi") my mother("amba") Goddess kamalAmbA. Hail the mother of the universe("jagath+amba"). Hail Goddess kamalAmbA, my mother("madambA") who is the essence("rasa") of flower("kadambA") of love("sh.rNgAra"). Hail Goddess kamalAmbA who is of the form of pure consciousness("chidbimba") and who is the reflection("bimba") of the original ("pratibimbendhu")consciousness residing in the bindu. She is seated on the throne("mancha") which is a form("AkAra") of shivA, in the embrace("ANkasthA") of shivA, the Lord of desire and she resides("astha") in the wish fulfilling gem("chinthAmani") temple("mandira")-the bindu chakra which is the center("madhya") of auspiciousness("shrI")".
First of all, we can clearly see right off the bat that this is no ordinary krithi. It by far has the biggest pallavi among the navAvarNams and perhaps even among all of dIkshithar's krithis. Secondly, we can see a sense of urgency..a flow of thoughts which seem as if dIkshithar just saw the Goddess while he was meditating, woke up from a trance and let his subconscious mind script what he saw. He hails the Goddess proudly as his mother and the mother of the universe which is yet another indication that he reached the supreme bliss state and maybe his kundalini rose and touched the sahasrara chakra in the astral body prompting him to burst out with this praise. On the whole, the pallavi is a masterpiece of its own and if you keenly listen, you can feel the pulse of dIkshithar in these lines and that very feeling makes your soul tingle and a chill runs down your spine resulting in tittilations. Going on to the anupallavi,
chakravAsinIM suvAsinIM chintaye.aham
divAkara shItakiraNa pAvakAdi vikAsakarayA
bhIkara tApatrayAdi bhedana dhurINatarayA
pAkaripu pramukhAdi prArthitasukaLebarayA
prAkaTaya parAparayA pAlito dayAkarayA
Dikshithar beautifully describes the Goddess as "mahA tripurasundari, the one who is worshipped("archita") by varAhi, the goddess with the boar face("shUkara") and others("anAdhi") and the ruler of all rulers("rAjarAjeshwari"), who dwells in the auspicious("shrIkara") sarvAnandamaya chakra and the auspicious one("suvAsinIM")" and he says "I meditate("chinthaye") upon you". dIkshithar continues to describe the Goddess as "the one who is the reason("karayA") for the manifestation("vikAsa") of the sun("divAkara"), moon("shItakiraNa") and fire("pAvaka"). She is adept("tarayA") at removing("durIna") the three("thraya") terrible sufferings("thApa"),namely,the physical, mental and supernatural. She is the one with the beautiful form("sukalE bharayA") taken in order to grant the prayers("prArthitha") of Indra("pAkA") and other("Adhi") important Gods("pramukha"). She is manifest("prAkatya") as both the supreme("apara") and empirical("para") objects." And finally dIkshithar says "I am protected("pAlitho") by the ever compassionate("dayAkarayA") one."
As always, the rich gait of the madhyamakAla sAhithya stands out. dIkshithar describes the devi in her entirety and he offers himself in total surrender which he indicates in the very first line of the krithi by saying Goddess kamalAmbA wins. dIkshithar says we all lose..we lose ourselves and our souls in the Goddess finally and that is the purpose of a human's birth in this world of mAyA. What can be more truer than those beautiful opening lines of the krithi. When the anupallavi is sung in the pace that it is supposed to be sung in, the feelings one gets and the experience of bliss for the rasika are just indescribable. Anyway, life has to move on and here comes the charanam.
shrImAtre namaste chinmAtre sevita ramA harIsha vidhAtre
vAmAdi shaktipUjita paradevatAyAH sakalaM jAtam
kAmAdi dvAdasha-bhirupAsita kAdi-hAdi-sAdi-
mantra rUpiNyAH premAspada shiva guruguha jananyAm
prItiyuktamaccittaM vilayatu brahmamayaprakAshinI
nAmarUpavimarshinI kAmakalApradarshinI sAmarasya nidarshinI
He sings "I bow to Her ("namaste"), the auspicious ("shrI") mother ("mAtre"). You are the pure ("mAtre") consciousness ("chin"). She is worshiped by Lakshmi ("ramA"), Vishnu ("hari"), Rudra ("Isha"), and Brahma ("vidhAtha"). Everything ("sakalam") is born ("jAtam") of the supreme ("para") deity ("devatAyAH") who is worshiped ("pUjitha") by the Shaktis such as Vama, etc ("Adi"). She has the form ("rUpiNyAh") of the Mantra which begins ("Adi") with the letters Ka, Ha, Sa, ("kaadi, haadi, saadi") etc., the mantra which is worshiped and meditated upon ("upAsita") by the twelve ("dvAdasha") savants ("bhir"), Kama and others. Let my ("mA") mind ("chiTham") with pleasing grace, be dissolved ("vilayatu") in Her, whose beloved ("prema") is Shiva, and who is the mother ("jananyAm") of Guruguha. You embody the light ("prakAshini") that is Brahman, are the divine omniscience ("vimarshini") that reveals all forms and their names ("nAma"). You reveal ("pradarshini") KAmakala and the insights ("rasya") revealing ("nidarshini") one's perfect identity ("sAma")."
Wow..I never knew that writing about something beautiful can get you so excited. I am basically shivering now..just beauty!! First of all, one can evidently see how much dIkshithar is into what he has written about. He was a yogi for sure..I have no doubts about that. It is not just pure bhakthi that is seen here, it is more of a gnAna that I can feel too. Just too much. In the musical aspect, see how he has beautifully fused the rAga mudra in the phrase "ramAhari". He wants his mind to dissolve in Her..yet another indication of total surrender. He calls Her the embodiment of Brahman and finally says She reveals one's own true identity. dIkshithar has seen his samAdhi in her at this point. A state of sabikalpa or even perhaps nirvikalpa samAdhi. He is in complete equilibrium with his own self("sama+Adi"). What a noble, liberated soul dIkshithar must have been to have had such an experience and to have penned it down to be preserved and cherished for posterity.
Just Amazing..and ofcourse, the madhyamakAla sAhityam just floors you. By the time the charanam ends you are on total high and I can bet that a true rasika wont be able to hold back tears at this stage. To kill you more, the way the pallavi starts after the charanam with a chatshruthi deivatham is just too too much to take. I have no words to describe what I experience each time I hear this. It is a must hear. Long live dIkshithar and ofcourse "shrI kamalAmbA jayathi" indeed. And obviously dIkshithar wins too..I have surrendered myself and merged so many times with the nAdhajyothi. I lose for the good :)!!
I will take up the shrI rAga navAvarNam next and that will conclude the epic navAvarNam series. So till then..keep listening and enjoy the bliss..shrI gurubhyo namaha!!