Monday, December 24, 2007

cEtah shrI bAlakRSNam-jujAvanti

On this beautiful Sunday, I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas :). I went to yet another blissful sunday morning meditation session at the Self-Realization Fellowship and we all payed our respects to the great guru, Jesus Christ. I spent most of last week looking forward to this weekend. But I must say it was a kind of weird situation because, I wanted a break but had nothing to do during the break anyway. Even though I have no one to talk to or have fun with here at Round Rock, a nice long weekend such as this one always opens up avenues for listening to and playing/singing more music :). Ofcourse, there are some wonderful friends with whom I have had the pleasure to catch up over the last 2 days :).

I started off on Saturday morning with a very peaceful skype session with my good friend(more like a kutti sister), Shambhavi in Chennai. The afternoon and the evening were well-utilized in practicing and learning stuff from Hari, to whom, I am grateful for life. He is a wonderful friend and a great guru :).
But by far, the best thing that happened in the last 2 days is that my close friend, Shreekrishna a.k.a. SK is coming here and is going to stay with me in what promises to be a magical 3 days of pure, unadulterated carnatic music with 2 dIkshithar maniacs entertaining each other with discussions on music, life and everything else :).

Coming back to jujAvanti and dIkshithar's treatment of this rAga, cEtah shrI bAlakRSNam is perhaps the best ever krithi composed in this rAga. The way dIkshithar employs the scale of the rAga and fuses it with the sAhityams is so unbelievably carnatic that a rasika would not even know it is an hindusthAni rAga. The slow, chouka kAla composition just exudes with soukhya rasam and the bhakthi and beauty are indescribable. Lord Krishna, the shyAma sundaran he already is, his beauty is further embellished by this wonderful krithi. I dont know at which kshEtra dIkshithar composed this krithi. If anyone who reads this does, please share the information with me. I personally recommend the extremely slow and sweet version of the krithi sung by TMK to feel the beauty of the krithi. Also, simply because of the amazing swarams, I recommend rasikas to listen to the version by SSI. Both these krithis are available at our dIkshithar website. The pallavi goes like:

cEtah shrI-bAlakRSNam bhaja rE rE
cintitArttha-prada-caraNAravindam mukundam

dIkshithar instructs every human soul- "Oh mind("cEtah"), worship and sing the praises("bhaja") of Lord bAlakRSNa. He is Mukunda("the bestower of freedom") and by worshipping his lotus-like("aravindam") feet("caraNa"), his bhaktAs will be bestowed with("prada") all the boons they can think of("cintita-arttha")."

The "R, R ,R" start for the krithi in itself tells you what a masterpiece you are looking at. The "m p d S" prayOgam at "prada-cara" exposes the beautiful link existing between jujAvanti and yadhukulakAmbOji. Look at the words dIkshithar uses to command..the sAhityams obviously demand an esoteric interpretation. Here, he is addressing Lord Krishna as Mukunda, the one who gives his devotees freedom from this cycle of birth and re-birth. The slEsham here is that mukunda is the name of a precious gem. The third eye located between the eyebrows is sometimes referred to as Mukunda maNi, the blue bindu encompassing the penta-pointed star which the yOgi sees when he meditates. This is why dIkshithar addresses the citta(consciousness) and the cEtah(mind) here and in these few lines of the pallavi, stresses the importance of bhakthi and yOga and how discipline and devotion are keys to the path of kaivalyam. The pallavi sets it up nicely for the vocalist/instrumentalist to buckle up and be ready for the amazing rides in the form of the anupallavi and the charaNam.


nUtana-nIrada-sadRsha-sharIram nanda-kishOram
pIta-vasana-dharam kambu-kandharam giri-dharam
pUtanAdi-samhAram puruSOttamAvatAram
shItaLa-hRdaya-vihAram shrI-rukmiNI-dAram

dIkshithar describes the physical beauty of the Lord by using metaphors. He says that the Lord's body("sharIram") is as dark("sadRsha") as a new("nUtana"), rain-bearing cloud("nIrada"). He sings "The young boy("kishOra") of the nanda clan is adorned("dharam") with yellow("pIta") silk robe("vasana"). He has a conch-shaped("kambu") neck("kandharam") and He lifted the govardhana mountains("giri")". Time and time again, I have always wondered what kind of a pure soul dIkshithar must have been to be able to visualize the Gods and Goddesses and describe them with such pristine depictions and to do that in their own language("dEvanAgari-Language of the Gods"). He definitely was a puNya Atma. The smooth transition from keezh Shadjamam to mEl shadjamam at nUtana nIrada is pure bliss to sing/play and the slow " n s d" at sharI"ram" is amazingly beautiful.

In the madhyamakAla sAhityam, dIkshithar sings "He destroyed("samhAram") the demon pUthana and others. He is an incarnation("avatAram") of the supreme soul, the most supreme among men("purushOttama"). He resides("vihAram") in the tender and soothing("shItaLa") hearts("hRdaya") of his devotees and He is the spouse("dAram") of the auspicious Goddess Rukmini".

Even in the madhyamakAla sAhityam, dIkshithar beautifully preserves the traditional gait he introdoced at the starting of the krithi. The similarity in structure between "nUtana" and "pUtana" with respect to prAsam as well as the swarasthAnas is a classic example of dIkshithar's mastery. He once again brings in the yadhukulakAmbOji effect by using the "p d s" phrase at "shrI" rukmini and perfectly blends the end of the anupallavi "r m g s" at "dAram" and the rUpaka tALam thattu to take-off at Rishabham for the pallavi. Just amazing. The Rishabham at "cEtah" is as if dIkshithar is cajoling the soul. These effects must be heard, felt and experienced and cannot be described in limited language. The "am" prAsam continues to flow through the charaNam and it acts like a beautiful thread embroidering the already well-printed silk cloth.


navanIta-gandha-vAha-vadanam mRdu-gadanam
naLina-patra-nayanam vaTa-patra-shayanam
nava-campaka-nAsikam atasI-sumabhAsakam
natEndrAdi-lOka-pAlakam mRga-mada-tilakam
navatulasI-vana-mAlam nAradAdi-muni-jAlam
kuvalayAdi-paripAlam guru-guha-nuta-gOpAlam

Actually, whenever you think of Lord Krishna as a kutti kid, what instantly comes to your mind is a physical form which is young, beautiful, energetic, mischievous and all that sorts. Hence, very appropriately, dIkshithar continues to talk about the physical beauty of the Lord and describes Him as "the one whose face("vadanam") smells("gandha") like("vAha") fresh butter("navanIta") and one whose speech("gadanam") is soft and tender("mRdu")". The physical descriptions becoming extremely descriptive as dIkshithar sings "His eyes("nayanam") are like petals("patra") of the graceful lotus("naLina") and he rests("shayanam") on a banyan("vaTa") leaf("patra"). His nose("nAsikam") is like a fresh champaka flower("nava-champaka") and a wonderful fragrance("suma bhAsakam") of tuLasi("athasI") emanates from his body. He is worshipped("nata") by Indra and other lOkapAlakAs. He wears the kastUri("mRgamada") tilakam."

The madhyamakAla sAhityam goes like "He is adorned with garlands("vana-mAlam") of fresh("nava") tuLasi leaves and he is served("jAlam") by nArada and other sages("muni"). He is the protector("paripAlam") of all the worlds("kuvalayAdi") and He is worshipped("nuta") by guruguha and He is gOpala."

The charaNam is, for the lack of better words, beautiful and very soothing. If you observe, he describes the tender features of the Lord so beautifully with all the tender and soft phrases of jujAvanti. The " s n d p" at "mRdu" is in itself so mRdu and touching. The "r g m p" phrase at "naLina" is just too much to take and your heart melts there and the dIrga "g r s" complementary phrase at "vaTa" shows how smooth the rAga flows while going up as well as going down the scale, just like how soft and smooth the Lord's body is. The "p p G R" take off at "nava-champaka" is perhaps the best transition to the tAra sthAyi ever..aahaa..what beauty. And ofcourse, the "nd,dp,pm,gmr" at "mR-ga-ma-da" is the epitome of beauty. The madhyamakAla sAhityam begins with the incorrigibly goosebumping "r g m p d" phrase and ends with yet another beautiful pattern of " rs, nd, dp" at "guru-guha-nuta".

On the whole, it is a krithi to be submerged in and the exquisite beauty is beyond description. The krithi leaves you haunted and wanting for more. As a rasika, I am just spellbound each time I listen to this krithi. I am not able to comprehend how it is humanly possible to compose such masterpieces and as ever, I console my mind with the "dIkshithar is God" funda. I am going to end this post abruptly because I find myself at an absolute paucity of words. If you have not heard this krithi, you are missing something wonderful in life and hence I request you to please listen to it at the earliest. I will now peacefully take up the abhayAmbA vibhakti krithis and over the next month, I will try and complete the entire set. Happy Holidays to everyone..stay warm and have fun.
vAzhga dIkshitharin pugazh, vaLarga karnAtaka sangIthathin mahatthuvam!!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Its been really long since I blogged on consecutive days. :) Hopefully this is just the beginning of such happenings :). I had a really nice, kutti session with Hari yesterday night and we played a couple of rAgAs together :). Today morning, I finally heard the voice of a very close online friend, Sujatha from Mumbai. We had an hour long arattai and it was really nice talking to her :). I have been in major jujAvanti/dwijAvanti mood since the time i woke up today morning. I was trying to play akhilANDEshwari on my guitar and have been looping TMK's cEtahshrI for the past 4 hours..just amazing. I find that this rAgA exhudes a kind of intimacy and has a romantic, soft feel. I experience the same feeling when I try to play or sing kAnaDA.

Since, I was in total juju/dwiju mood today, I thought I will take up this krithi and blog today. Further, I was chatting with my good friend Aparna in the morning and incidentally she asked me to take up this krithi and to her surprise I told her that thats exactly what I plan to do today :). I found a new friend in Maythini Sridharan (a disciple of TNS) and have been some really nice discussions with her over the past few days. She too told me that she just finished singing akhilANDEshwari. Hence, I declare today akhilANDEshwari day and it is only appropriate that I take up this krithi today and pay my tributes to the divine mother.

First of all, there are many controversies surrounding this krithi and the rAgA. The rAgA as mentioned in most of the texts including the SSP is pronounced as jujAvanti. Since the rAga mudrA in this composition goes as jujAvanti, I will hence refer to it by that name. Most purists say that this krithi was not composed by dIkshithar simply because of the way he has handled jujAvanti in his masterpiece, cEtah shri-bAlakrishNam. A lot of other musicologists claim that there are some grammatical imperfections in this krithi and such errors could not have been committed by the nAdajyOthi. I tend to believe otherwise. Though I am in no way qualified to make such a statement, I firmly believe that akhilANDEshwari is a dIkshithar krithi simply from some of the observations I have made.

Proof by theory: I am using some stuff quoted by V.V. Srivatsa in one of his lec-dems.
If you notice, dIkshithar has effectively used many hindusthAni rAgAs such as lalithA, hindOLam(mAlkauns), karnATaka dEvagAndAri(bhImplAs), kAsirAmakriyA(pUrya dhanashrI) etc. In all these rAgAs he has composed two krithis, one showing the adapted carnatic version and the other showing touches of its hindusthAni counterpart and Dr. Srivatsa calls these as the maDi and ammaDi versions respectively. He sights examples like
gOvardana girIsham and nIrajAkshi kAmAkshi in hindOLam (mAL kauns), pancAshaTpITa rUpiNi and kAyArOhanEsham in karnATaka dEvagAndhAri (bhImpLAs), rAmanAtam bhajEham and srI sundara rAjam in kAsirAmakriyA (pUriyaA dhanasrI) and 'hiraNmayIm lakshmIm' and 'agastIsavaram' in lalitA as the 'maDi' and 'ammaDi' pieces respectively. From this point of view I tend to believe that jujAvanti which is again a hindusthAni rAgA, has been handled in the same way and 'cEtahshrI bAlakrishnam' and 'akhilANDEshwari' are the maDi and ammaDi pieces respectively.

Proof by Contradiction: Let us assume that cEtahshri is the only krithi in jujAvanti composed by dIkshithar. Again, if you notice, dIkshithar has incorporated rAga mudrAs in all of his compositions except those in tODi, asAvEri and erukulakAmbOji. Further, if dIkshithar has composed only one krithi in a rAga, he most certainly puts the rAga mudhra in that krithi.(this, I think, applies all his one rAga krithis) Hence, if cEtahshri is the only jujAvanti krithi composed by dIkshithar, then it should have the rAga mudra; but it doesnt. This leads us to believe that either akhilANDEshwari(which has the rAga mudra) is a dIkshithar composition or dIkshithar composed some other krithi in jujAvanti which was lost over time. I have to give the benefit of the doubt to the former case and accept it.

Anyway..irrespective of whether it is a dIkshithar composition or not, whether it is dwijAvanti or jujAvanti, it is an amazing krithi filled with some beautiful prayOgams. That intimate feeling and devotion it evokes is beyond words. So, I shall stop with the argument here and move on to the krithi itself. This krithi has been composed in praise of the Goddess at tiruvAnaikkAval near trichy. A beautiful temple where jambukEshwara(varuNa lingam) is the presiding deity and akhilAndEshwari is the Goddess. I have had the pleasure and have been fortunate enough to visit this temple a couple of times when I was studying at REC,trichy. An absolutely mesmerizing experience which everyone must experience. The pallavi goes like:


akhilANDEshwari rakSamAm Agama sampradAya nipuNE shrI

dIkshithar sings "Oh auspicious("shrI") Goddess akhilANDEshwari(akhila(every)+aNDa(world)+Ishwari(ruler/queen)), the scholarly expert("nipuNE") in all traditions("sampradAya") and vEdAs and scriptures("Agama"), please protect me("rakSamAm")."

I love the start to this krithi and I adore the N N D D P phrase at rakSamAm. Over the years, the sangathis that I have listened to have increased by many folds and after mahAgaNapathim in nATa and vAthApi in hamsadwani, perhaps this is the third most popular dIkshithar krithi. The smooth transition from "s s s" at Agama to "S S S"(mel sthAyi) at sampradAya is awesome and the kick I get when i play it on the guitar is indescribable. A very simple pallavi which when subjected to improvisation yields some amazing prayOgams of the rAgA.

Characteristic of most dIkshithar krithis, the anupallavi contains some beautiful descriptions of the dEvi.


nikhila lOka nityAtmikE vimalE
nirmalE shyAmaLE sakala kalE

dIkshithar describes the Goddess as " the one whose form completely pervades("nityAtmikE") all("nikhila") the worlds("lOka")." He further embellishes her physical form by describing her as "pure("vimalE"), sublime and blemishless("nirmalE"), dark complexioned("shyAmaLE") and adept in all("sakala") arts("kalE")". Feel the prAsam that runs through these few lines of the anupallavi. dIkshithar has used really simple words to describe the Goddess and this might be one more reason for the purists to believe that this is not a dIkshithar krithi. I love the "N D, D P, P M, M G" start to the anupallavi and look at how beautiful it blends with the sAhityams as "ni, khi, la, lO". The "R G R S" at shyAmaLE is very cute and soothing :). Moving on to the charaNam,


lambOdara guruguha pUjitE lambAlakOdbhAsitEhasitE
vAgdEvatArAdhitE varadE varashailarAjanutE shAradE
jambhAri sambhAvitE janArddananutE jujAvanti rAganutE
jallI maddaLa jhar jhara vAdya nAdamuditE jHnAnapradE

The charaNam incorporates both the composer mudra and the rAga mudra. dIkshithar refers to Lord Ganesha as lambOdara here, ("lamba+udara=big+belly") and sings about the dEvi as "She is the one who is worshipped("pUjitE") by Lord Ganesha and guruguha". dIkshithar then describes the beauty of the Goddess as "the one with lustrous("bhAsitE") long plaits of hair("lambAlaka") and a beautiful smile("hasitE")". dIkshithar continues as " She is the one worshipped by vAgdEvi("Saraswathi-the Goddess of speech"), the bestower of all boons("varadE") and the daughter of the mighty("vara") God of the mountains("shaila rAja"-HimavAn"). She is shArada and the one worshipped by Lord Indra("jambhAri"-enemy of JambAsura) and Lord janArdhana. She is praised through rAga jujAvanti and she delights("muditE") in the music("nAda") produced by instruments like jallI, mardara and jharjhara. She is the bestower of all knowledge("jHnAnapradE")."

The "M D P M M G M G G R G S" phrase for the start of the charaNam is fabulous. One of my most favourite phrases is the plain "R G M P M G M R G S" at "shAradE". Extremely beautiful..what else can i say. And the madhyamakAla sAhityam just overflows with exquisite beauty and takes the rasika to a totally different plane. The "R M R G R, S N D P R" pattern at jambhAri sambhAvi, the "P S P R R" at jallI madhala and flat " R G M P M G M" notes at jharjhara are just overwhelming and pure ecstasy. On the whole, the krithi exhudes soukhyam and is rich with bhakthi and beauty. akhilANDEshwari forever will remain one of the sweetest krithis and I can perhaps say that this krithi was one of the very first dIkshithar krithis I heard..hence it is special :).

Now, since I talked about the maDi and ammaDi versions of rAgAs and since I knowingly or unknowingly already handled one such pair("hiraNmayIm" and "agastIshwaram"), I am going to push the abhayAmba vibhakthi krithis a little more and instead take up The most brilliant and beautiful composition in jujAvanti ever, cEtah-shrI bAlakrishNam. in my next post. I cried 3 times today listening to cEtah-shrI..some prayOgams are just mind-blowing and the beauty and bhakthi is too too much to take. Before you read my post, if you have not heard the krithi, I request you to go to our dIkshithar website and listen to the SSI and the TMK versions I have uploaded there..a must listen. I will try to squeeze in time during the weekdays after I come back home from work and hopefully I will post it by this weekend. Till then, keep drowning yourselves in the ocean of bliss. shrI gurubhyO nama:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

ambA nIlAyatAkshi-nIlAmbari

I feel extremely bad to say this but I accept with a lot of shame that I have become too lazy these days :(. I have blogged just two posts in the last 2 and half months :(. This is absolutely unpardonable and I will make it up by being more regular in my posts from now on. The last month in short was punctuated with a trip to the beautiful west coast and some amazing fun with a few friends of mine at Sunnyvale, California. We went to the livermore temple where I had the pleasure of singing a few krithis at every sannidhi :). Work has been going good. A little hectic, but nothing out of the ordinary. Music has suffered a bit because of my laziness mainly. I dont know the reason, but I suddenly am missing home and people a lot more than usual which makes me less enthusiastic to sing or do anything useful. Anyway..I hope it is just a passing phase and I will revert to my usual self soon :).

Speaking of laziness and sleep brings me to the krithi I am going to discuss about today, the slow, serene and beautiful ambA nIlAyatAkshi in nIlAmbari. A masterpiece that is one of the best krithis in nIlAmbari showcasing some amazing and unbelievable prayOgams of this beautiful rAgA. The richness and the divinity pervading the krithi is indescribable. It is to be sung/played and experienced. I highly recommend listening to the TNS and DKJ versions of this krithi to get an idea of how beautiful dIkshithar has composed it. This krithi was composed by dIkshithar at the famous kAyArOhanEsha- nIlAyatAkshi amman kovil when he visited nAgapattinam as he clearly mentions in the krithi at "shivarAjadhAni" in the starting of the charanam. Please click here for more details on this puNyasthalam. Lord Shiva is called kAyArOhanEsha at this temple because of a story according to which, pleased by a sage's penance, Lord Shiva embraces him and liberates him of worldly bondages-kAya(body)+arohana(embracing)+Esha(Lord). A must visit temple filled with pure vibrations which cannot be explained.

Coming to the krithi, the already beautiful nIlAmbari (the one covered in resplendent blue) is embellished beyond words in this krithi by dIkshithar. To describe the shAnthaswarUpam of nIlAyatAkshi ambAl, dIkshithar aptly chooses the slow-flowing, peaceful nIlAmbari rAgA and portrays the shAntha and bhaktha rakshaka characteristics of the Goddess. The pallavi goes like:

ambA nIlAyatAkShI karuNAkaTAkShi
akhilalOkasAkShi kaTAkshi


dIkshithar addresses the Goddess as Mother("ambA"). He describes her eyes("akshi") as filled with mercy and compassion("karuNA"). Making full justice to the "ambA" he used in the first line, referring to the Goddess as the mother of all creations, he describes her as " the one who bears witness("sAkshi") to all the happenings in the worlds("akhilalOka")." dIkshithar seeks the blessings and the refuge of such a Goddess and asks her to shower her blessings("kaTAksha") on everyone.

Musically speaking, he starts off with this beautiful "s r M p m g m" phrase which sounds like falling at the feet of the Goddess and induces a feeling of complete surrender. Some of the prayOgams are extremely intricate and I unfortunately dont have the technical expertise to write them down. It is a krithi to be experience and a rAgam to be imbibed. The prAsam dIkshithar brings in at the pallavi continues and grows in strength through the anupallavi and the charanam.

Coming to the anupallavi,

bimbAdhari citpratibimbAdhari bindunAdavashaHNkari shaHNkari
ambujAramaNasOdari Adhari ambari kAdambari nIlAmbari


As I mentioned in the beginning itself, this krithi is completely describing the beauty and the compassionate nature of the ambA. dIkshithar beautifully describes the Goddess as "one with sweet lips("Adhari") which are red like the bimbA fruit". bimbA also means moon. So, it could also be interpreted as "the one wearing("dhari") the moon". Looking at the esoteric aspect of this line, if we can imagine the human souls to be images("bimba") of God
, then we can interpret this word as "the one who is responsible for these bimbas". dIkshithar further describes the Goddess as "the consciousness("chit") and its reflection("pratibimba")". I think dIkshithar is referring to the knowledge that accompanies consciousness when he says "pratibimba".

This is where dIkshithar brings in the deep, yogic text references when he says that the Goddess is "captivated("vashankari") by the sound("nAda") and the blue dot("bindu")". The first sound to have ever resonated on this earth is the mantra "Om". Thus, we associate this sound with God, the blessed supreme spirit Himself. The third eye between your eyebrows is the doorway thru which the yogi looks within himself and finds him"self". This third eye is represented as a 5 pointed star in a blue dot called the bindu. The Om mantra is the bIja mantra of the bindu which activates this third eye. Thus, when dIkshithar says that the Goddess is captivated by the nAda and the bindu, he is telling us that the only way to reach and captivate the heart of the Goddess is by using the nAda to activate the bindu. Now this is the beauty of dIkshithar's compositions.. It has taken me nearly ten lines to "try" to explain what dIkshithar is saying in one word and even after these ten lines, I am pretty sure I have not even scratched the surface..just amazing.

Ofcourse, since the Goddess is the consort of shankara, dIkshithar addresses Her as shaHNkari. The small madhyamakAlam employed in the anupallavi adds more beauty. dIkshitar describes Her as "the sister("sOdhari") of Lord viSHNu("ambujA("Goddess Lakshmi")+ramaNa("husband")") and the cause and reason("Adhari") for this world."

dIkshithar continues to describe Her beautifully as "ambari- the one who covers(pervades) all universe", "kAdambari-the one who loves the fragrance of the kAdambara flower and is garlanded with it" and "nIlAmbari- the one who is adorned with blue silk("nilAmbara")." dIkshithar thus effortlessly brings in the rAga mudhra here while describing the Goddess's beauty. It is just mind-boggling when you wonder how he chose his rAgams to sing on a particular deity..a topic which in itself deserves a few doctoral researches. The "G, m P sn P M - M P M, R G" phrase at "kAdambari nIlAmbari" is just too much to take.

As I mentioned in the pallavi, the prAsam keeps flowing throughout the krithi. The pallavi is filled with all "KShi"'s, the anupallavi is embellished with "ari" rhyme scheme and now comes a monster of a charanam adorned with "ini" patterns.

shivarAjadhAnIkSEtravAsini shritajanavishvAsini
shivakAyArOhaNEshOllAsini cidrUpavilAsini
navayOginicakravikAsini navarasadarahAsini
suvarNamayavigrahaprakAshini suvarNamayahAsini
bhuvanOdaya sthitilaya vinOdini bhuvanEshvari kSipra prasAdini
navamANikya vallakI vAdini bhavaguruguha vEdini sammOdini

In the first line of the charanam, dIkshithar names the place where he composed this krithi, nAgapattinam as "shivarAjadhAnIkSEtra-the place under Lord Shiva's rule" and describes the Goddess as the one who lives("vAsini") here. To portray the trust of Her devotees which She always upholds, dIkshithar sings "the one who protects those devotees("Ashritajana") who take refuge in her("viSvAsini")". dIkshithar once again employs a beautiful portrayal of the Goddess as "shivakAyArOhaNEshOllAsini". This can be interpreted in two ways. One is the physical, gross meaning as " the consort of kAyArOhaNesha". The other( in my mind a better) interpretation would be to see this description as "the one who shares her body("kAyA") with Lord Shiva(the supreme spirit) and shines in resplendence("rohanE") as his consort and power(the shiva-shakthi concept which is the quintessence of all creation)". What perception and devotion dIkshithar should have had to write this word..aahaa.

dIkshithar continues to praise the Goddess as the "form("rUpa") in which consciousness("chit") dwells("vilAsini")". Further yogic references (characteristics of most charanams of dIkshithar krithis) ensues when he describes the ambA as "the one who is seated("vikAsini") in the shrI chakra along with the nine yOginis". For detailed explanations on the yOginis, the shrI chakram and how the divine mother is the embodiment of all this, please refer to my posts explaining the navAvarNams in general and on the 11 navAvarNams themselves in particular. dIkshithar, in my opinion gives the highest compliment to the Goddess by describing the beautiful smile ("hAsini") She wears("dhara") on her face as one that reveals all the 9 rasAs(aesthetics) of shrngAram(love), hAsyam(pleasantness), karuNam(compassion), raudram(anger), vIram(valour), bhayAnakam("terrifying/fear inducing"), bIbatsam(odious/hate), adbutam(wonder/marvel) and shAntam(peace/tranquility). dIkshithar further describes this smile("hAsini") as resplendent as gold("suvarnamaya") and he describes the Goddess's beauty by saying that her form("vigraha") scintillates and shines("prakAshini") like gold.

Till now, the guruguha mudra has not come in the krithi. The madhyamakAla sAhityam delivers that final punch to this krithi which leaves you in tears and on your knees yearning for more. dIkshithar continues to describe Her as "the unique one("vinOdhini") who is responsible for the creation("udaya") and sustenance("sthithilaya") of this world("bhuvana") and thus the Queen/ruler("Ishwari") of this world". dIkshithar portrays the sweet, motherly love which She gives to all her children by saying that "she is very easily("kshipra") pleased and delighted("prasAdini")" and thus shows how compassionate and merciful She is.

dIkshithar possibly recalls a divine vision when he describes the Goddess as "the one who is playing("vAdini") the vallakavINA which is adorned with nine gems("navamAnikya")." dIkshithar incorporates the composer's mudra in the last word of the charanam by singing " She is understood completely("vEdini"-possible to interpret as the one from whom the vEdAs originated??) by the supreme spirit("bhava") and guruguha and she is always happy and at peace("sammodini")".

The phrases employed in the charanam are just beyond words, especially phrases like "G M P N D N" at bhava guruguha is just too much to take as a rasika. You practically give up on whatever you have imagined as beauty till that instant..just amazing. Yet another masterpiece and somehow, this blog post seems to leave me with that incomplete feeling as usual. I hope dIkshithar, looking down from the heavens is pleased with whatever small explanations this mere mortal is trying to give to his gems such as this. If not, I beg for his forgiveness.

After listening to and researching on the abhayAmbA krithis, I feel that I am now equipped with decently enough knowledge to take up the abhayAmbA vibhakthi krithis which are marvellous creations of the genius. I will start off with the dhyAna krithi in my next post and with God's will and Gawd's blessings, I will be able to go through the entire set pretty soon. Since I have been very lazy in posting only 2 krithis(now 3) in the last 3 months, I am going to start off with the abhayAmba krithis tomorrow itself. Till then, keep singing/playing/listening and learning the divine art. shrI gurubhyO nama: