Its been a long time since I blogged on consecutive days. Yesterday, I had a nice music session with bala sir, Ramaa Ramesh (dearest RR) and Maythini sridharan. While RR made my morning with her entha muddo and divAkara tanujam, Maythini came along later in the afternoon and sang an amazing marivEra in shanmukhapriyA following a divine meru samAna. Bala sir sang a very very nice amrithavarshini. For my part, I sang shrI sugandhi kuntaLAmbikE in kunthalam, ranganAyakam in nAyaki and soundararAjam in brindAvana sArangA. It was one of those sessions which I will remember for a long time. Thanks a lot junta :).
Another funny incident happened two days back. I was in major ramAmanOhari mood and I sang "mAtangI shrI rAjarAjEshwari" in the shower followed by some neraval and swarams at ramAmanOhari rAkEnduSEkari. When I got out of my shower, I heard a loud knock on my door. It was my neighbour Brett (I met him for the first time). He came in and introduced himself and told me that he has been hearing my singing and guitaring for quite sometime now and he thought that "my music was cool" (quoting him). I thanked him and explained to him about the great nAdajyOthi and told him how dIkshithar had gone around the country composing these masterpieces at all these puNya kshEtrams. Brett then responded amazingly by saying "Oh man!!he must have been one cool dude"..hilarious :D :D. He then invited me home to sing something for him and his wife Brenda. I went over on saturday evening and gave them a sample of both thyAgu and thalaivar by singing kEdAragOwLa krithis "vEnugAna loluni" and "abhyAmbikAyAH". They were really happy and so was I :). More significantly, this also gives me the license to scream at the top of my throat from now on :D :D.
Continuing with the legendary abhayAmbA vibhakthi krithis, I will now take up the majestic shankarAbharaNam krithi "girijayA ajayA" composed exclusively in the tritIyA vibhakthi (third/instrumental case) set to Adi tALa. dIkshithar very aptly chooses the rAga to describe Lord Shiva's AbharaNa, His consort, Goddess abhayAmbA. Once again in this krithi, the caraNam comprises of extremely lengthy words thereby making it a challenging task to explain in English. I will as usual try my best but the 86 syllable first word of the caraNam which runs for 4 lines is going to be really tough. dIkshithar starts the krithi off with a bang as he plays with the words straight away. The pallavi goes like:
girijayA ajayA abhayAmbikayA
dIkshithar shows his grammatical expertise in the opening lines of the pallavi by describing the Goddess as "The one who is the daughter of the mountain God ("girijayA"), himavAn. The one who is birthless ("ajayA") and the one who is the consort ("jAyayA") of the Lord of the kailAsa mountains, Lord Shiva ("girIsha")"; and he sings "I am protected ("rakSito.aham") by Her".
The "yA" prAsam runs throughout the krithi. The adhyAkshara prAsam witnessed in these two lines starting with "giri" is also preserved throughout the krithi. The simple yet beautiful "SRGM" start for the krithi followed by the typical shankarAbharaNam phrase of "SRG; GMdP; GmRS" at "rakSito.aham" completes the exquisite pallavi. I highly recommend kalpagam maami's rendition of this krithi to listen to and learn from. Apart from that, there is nothing much to explain in the pallavi. Moving on to the anupallavi,
harihayAdidEvatArAditayA AtmaswarUpa prabOditayA
hariharaguruguha sammoditayA AdiSAntavarNa vEditayA
dIkshithar continues to describe the dEvi as "The one who is worshipped ("ArAditayA") by Indra's horse ("harihaya") and other dEvAs. The one who displays and brings forth ("prabOditayA") the form ("swarUpa") of the supreme self ("Atma"). The one who is delighted ("sammoditayA") by Lord viSNu, Lord Shiva and Lord guruguha. The one who is the origin and embodiment ("vEditayA") of all the alphabets ("varNa") from "A" to "kSA"."
I am a little confused about the first line whether harihaya is to be taken as a reference to Indra's horse or if it is to be split as hari and haya referring to Lord viSNu and Lord Indra respectively. dIkshithar once again employs the "SRGM" start for the anupallavi. The madhyamAkAla sAhityam beautifully caps off the anupallavi, ending with "GPGRS" phrase thereby beautifully fusing into the pallavi once again. :). dIkshithar once again stresses on how the Goddess can be worshipped to attain mOksha by describing Her as the form of supreme self and the embodiment of everything. I am taking a small break here before going on to the caraNam because, simply put, it is going to be tiring for me to explain :). I am going to split up the words and write for better readability and better understanding.
samaya visESa niryANa mukhabIja nirbIja dIkSA viSaya karaNa
samayAcaraNOpayOga pUjAsAmagrI sangrahAnta karaNa-
samayamata pratipAdyAnusaraNa sAmAnya visESa prajAcaraNa-
mamatva nirAkaraNa kriyAyuta sadbhaktAnAm dharmArtarUpa-
samatvavritI vitaraNa nipuNatara sAmrAjyapradAruNacharaNayA
dIkshithar sings "She is the one, who bestows upon Her devotees, the special power ("visESa") to depart from this life ("niryANa") when desired ("samaya"). She is the one who initiates them in the techniques ("viSaya") of mukhabIja (uttering the bIja mantras by verbally) and nirbIja ("without the bIja but contemplating about it") dIkSA. She, who shows the samaya path ("caraNa") equipped with yOga in which, the entire pUjA vessels ("sAmAgrI") are considered to be within ("sangrahAnta") the spiritual aspirants themselves."
dIkshithar once again describes the devotees who will attain mOkshA in these lines as "those who follow ("anusaraNa") the path ("pratipAdaya") of the samaya doctrine, those who exhibit both the normal ("sAmAnya") and special ("visESa") codes of virtues. These citizens ("praja"), these noble devotees ("sadbhaktAnAm") who are thus engaged ("kriyAyuta") in removing ("nirAkaraNa") their ego ("mamatva") and possess the righteousness ("dharmArtarUpa") to choose ("vRti") equally ("samatva"-between virtues and material pleasures alike); the red-hued ("aruNa") feet ("caraNayA") of the Goddess, which is adept ("nipuNatara") in bestowing ("vitaraNa") the kingdom of kaivalyam ("sAmrAjya") are always ready for these bhaktAs."
What an amazing caraNam..I have no words. How beautifully dIkshithar has constructed these words. He very cleary elucidates the virtuous things a true devotee should possess in order to attain mOksha. dIkshithar once again strikes parallelisms from advaita when he describes the samaya doctrines according to which, the kingdom of God ("paramAtma") is believed to be within oneself ("jIvAtma") and hence consider the body of these devotees to contain the instruments of pUja. What dikshithar does in these lines is give hope to the ones who want to tread this path to salvation. He asks each one of us to follow these ideals and finally reach the goal, the source and the destination. Musically, the "sa ma" swarAksharams which dIkshithar employs repeatedly in the first 3 lines of the caraNam first in the madhya sthAyi and then in the tAra sthAyi are yet another display of dIkshithar's brilliance and competance.
As I conclude this krithi, I am listening to Sanjay sir's rendition of "sAmbasadAshivAya namastE", an amazing kAmbhOji that has completely consumed me over the last few weeks. The India- Sri Lanka one day game at Canberra is about to begin and hence I am in a rush to watch it :). Continuing with the series, I will next take up "abhayAmbikAyai", one of my most favourite yadhukulakAmbhOji compositions.The caraNam of this krithi is going to take us back to normalcy in terms of word lengths :). Ofcourse, the bliss experienced is pretty much the same..indescribable!!