Tuesday, February 12, 2008

girijayA ajayA-shankarAbharaNam

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
girIshajAyayA rakSito.aham

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!!


Padma said...

Wish i could listen to it. But what a beautiful krithi. Dikshitar's every krithi mesmerizes me..I bow to him..But i should mention that you are doing an yeoman service by not only writing about his krithis but also explaining grammar involved in it..Just moving away from the topic, even i love singing(screaming) in the bathroom and once was caught by a violinist who had come to my neighbor's house...:P..Last India lost very badly to the Lions :(

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Padma,
You can listen to around 400 dIkshithar krithis at http://www.sangeethapriya.org/~dikshithar
Please make use of this website. Thanks to the support of some wonderful friends, my friend Sunil and I, we are running this website for dikshithar bhakthas. You can listen to this krithi and many more there..enjoy :)
It is our duty to spread this bliss we experience thanks to the great nAdajyOthi. I am extremely glad that you are liking my blog a lot. Thanks a lot for your kind words :).
Singing in the bathroom and caught by a violinist a...hahaha..sooper :).
btw..I am posting this comment on one of your blogs so that you dont miss using the website anymore..an abs treasure trove it is :). Enjoy!!

ಹಂಸಾನಂದಿ Hamsanandi said...

Musical scientist,

I am enjoying reading the posts on Abhayamba vibhakti series. I should confess that I have not listened to most of the kritis in this series ( except chAmara, kEdAragouLa and Sri kritis I think). Good opportunity to go to the MD page, and listen to these gems as I am reading.

And, why don't you post audio of your 'sessions' :) we might also enjoy them like your neighbor !


Musical Scientist said...

Dear hamsanandi,
Thanks a lot for your comments..really happy to note that you are enjoying reading my posts :). Please do make use of the website and listen to all of these krithi. Hopefully, we will have a recording of all the krithis soon. Regarding posting audio of the "sessions", I will see what I can do..maybe I can get a podcast site or a soundclick site and upload some stuff :). Thanks for the idea :). please keep posting your comments


Padma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Padma said...

Sai, I think i don't update my blog frequently...May be laziness is just an excuse...Thanks for commenting in my blog.BTW i don't know how many GB's i would have downloaded from Sangeethapriya. Also you are indeed lucky to have music sessions almost everyday with your friends... :)

Musical Scientist said...

Padma, I saw that you dont update your blog regularly. Please write more when you get time..I really liked reading thru it. And yes..as I told you, almost all of dIkshithar krithis in circulation have been collected and uploaded in our website..so please make use of it.
And regarding sessions with friends, you are most welcome to join us..we would be very happy :). Let me know how to contact you and we will session together :)

mayth!! said...

Its one thing reading what you write Sai. Its another feeling it.

As I listen to nAgAbharanam by 'Mister.Who-Else', I'm almost reduced to pulp as to how enchanting a song can be made.
You were right. Bliss cant be strong enough a word.

(Back to trance)

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Mayth. I totally agree with you. It is indeed bliss on a totally different plane :). And you have very appropriately talked about nAgAbharaNam and posted it as a comment for my blog on a shankharAbharaNam krithi :). Extremely glad that you are enjoying the same/perhaps even more bliss that I experience mayth :)..extending a very warm welcome to you :)

ಹಂಸಾನಂದಿ Hamsanandi said...

May I ask where can I listen to this kriti in nAgAbharaNam :-)?

Musical Scientist said...

I have a recorded version of the krithi sung by my wonderful friend Shreekrishna(SK). It is a 59 min epic..you wouldnt need anything more for this krithi or rAga. If you can give me your e-mail id, I will be more than glad to upload it somewhere and send you the link. It is definitely a must listen :)

ಹಂಸಾನಂದಿ Hamsanandi said...

Please please do :) so!

You can reach me here:

Musical Scientist said...

Done :). Just sent it to you. I am sure you will love it :)