I wanted to finish the abhyAmbA vibhakthi krithis by this weekend, but unfortunately, work has been very interesting and hectic and hence I have not been able to blog for a couple of weeks now :(. Hopefully I will be able to post the last 4 krithis (including this blog) in the coming week and finish the series off before the next weekend. But I must confess that some new things at work have completely engrossed my mind for the past few days and I have made some really wonderful progress. :). Musically, I have been consumed by kannada gOwLa thanks to thalaivar's masterpiece, "nIlOtpalAmbikayA" rendered beautifully by Vedavalli maami. If you have not heard this krithi, please do so immediately. It is perhaps the most mind-blowing kannada gOwLa ever composed.
I will now take up "ambikAyAH abhayAmbikAyAH", perhaps the most grandest composition among the abhayAmbA vibhakthi krithis in kEdAram set to Adi tALam. This krithi is composed extensively in the shashTi vibhakthi (sixth/genitive/possessive case). In this krithi, dIkshithar completely exploits the beauty of this rAgam. In the pallavi itself, dIkshithar brings the essence of this rAga to the forefront. But more than the musical aspect, I would say that it is the grammatical brilliance displayed in this krithi which overshadows musical beauty. The adhyakshara and antyakshara prAsams in the anupallavi build-up to the 86 syllable word in the charaNam which runs for 5 lines. And the esoteric yogic and tAntric references in the charaNam are way beyond description. A careful rasika will be able to completely imagine the highly meditative state of surrender and devotion dIkshithar must have been in when he composed this amazing krithi. As always, I will make yet another humble attempt and try to explain this great work of a genius. If there are any mistakes, please pardon me and correct me. If the explanation is incomplete, please post your comments and help me learn. Moving on to the krithi now,
ambikAyAH abhayAmbikAyAH tava dAso.ahaM AdijagadambikAyAH
dIkshithar sings " I am the servant ("dAso.ahaM") of you ("tava"), Goddess ambikA, the one who provides shelter ("abhayAmbikayAH") and the one who is the primordial mother of the universe ("AdijagadambikAyAH")."
The "PMGP" start for the krithi wakes the rasika up and issues a clear command to get ready for a treat. The typical "PSNP, MGR; SSMG;R" kEdAram phrase at "tava dAso.ahaM" brings out the beauty of this rAgam in its entirety. The pallavi ends with a small madhyamakAla sAhityam. Other than that, there is nothing much to explain here..yet another simple pallavi which provides infinite scope for improvization.
shambarAriharishashikuberapramukhopAsitanavayoginyAH sAMkhyatArakamanaskarAjayoginyAH shivabhoginyAH bimbapratibimbarUpiNyAH bindumaNDalavAsinyAH svarUpiNyAH
dIkshithar describes the Goddess as "the one who is an embodiment of the nine yoginIs ("navayoginyAH") who are worshipped ("upAsita") by great/significant Gods ("pramukha:") like cupid ("enemy of Lord Shiva-shambarAri"), Lord Vishnu ("hari"), the moon ("shashi") and kubera. The one who is beyond the 3 stages of enquiry ("sAMkhya") of the mind ("manaska") leading to liberation ("tAraka") and the one who is established in rAja yOga. The one who delights ("bhoginyAH") Lord Shiva. The one who is of the form ("rUpiNyAH") of the light, image ("bimba") and reflection ("pratibimba"). The one who dwells ("vAsinyAH") in the bindu maNDala and the one who manifests as her"self" ("svarUpiNyAH")."
What an amazing anupallavi. The anupallavi of this krithi itself shows what a masterpiece this is. dIkshithar directly jumps into the yogic and tAntric stuff. For a yogi, dIkshithar depicts the Goddess as the ideal source of light who is beyond all doubts and questions a human mind could ask. dIkshithar follows this up by describing Her as the one who delights shivA. Apart from taking the direct meaning of the dEvi being the consort of Lord shivA, one can also interpret this description of the Goddess as "the one who delights the still mind of the yOgi, the still soul, shivA. To consolidate this, dIkshithar brings in direct advaita vedanta by describing Her as the source ("paramAtmA") as well as the reflection ("jIvAtmA"). dIkshithar finishes the anupallavi by describing Her as the one who resides in the bindu maNDala. The bindu maNDala or third eye is a five pointed star at the seat of the eyebrows. It is supposed to be a blue dot (hence the name bindu) and dIkshithar once again emphasizes that surrender to Goddess abhayAmbikA is a sure step towards jIvana mukthi.
The greatness of this anupallavi, in addition to all the esoteric meanings as explained above, is that it sets a wonderful platform on which dIkshithar builds perhaps the magnum opus of all charaNams ever composed by dIkshithar in terms of grammatical mastery. The charaNam is a monstrous display of dIkshithar's skill in handling meter, grammar, musical succinctness, esoteric vedAntic references and what not. I once again salute him and pray to him to give me the strength to try to interpret this complex charanam.
yamaniyamAdyaSTAN^gayogaviSayAdinigrahakaraNa- mUlAdhAramaNipUrakAdyabjabhedanasphurakuNDalinI- sahasradaLabrahmarandhrasthakamalAntargatashivasammeLana- gaLitaparamAm.rtabindusecanasamujj.rmbhita- nADImukhavikAsakaraNanijAnubhUtiyoginyAH amoghavarashivasArUpyAnandAnubhavapradAyinyAH aprameyaguruguhAdijananyAH brahmAdipa~ncakakAriNyAH
dIkshithar beautifully describes the ways in which one can truly realize and experience the existence of ("nijAnubhUti") the Goddess as the yogini ("yoginyAH"). dIkshitar sings "by contemplating and practicing ("nigrahakaraNa") the essence of ("vishaya")eight fold path of yoga ("aSTAN^gayoga") beginning with yama, niyamA (self-restraint and penance); by awakening the kundaliNi ("coiled snake") and making it pierce through ("bhedana") the quivering ("sphura") chakras/lotuses ("abja") starting with mUlAdhAra and maNipura and going all the way upto the brahmarandra seated at the sahasrAra, the thousand petalled lotus ("sahasra dala kamala) and thereby bringing about a great harmony, causing union ("sammeLaNa") with shiva which causes the oozing flow ("galita") of eternal ambrosia ("paramAmr.ta") which makes the third eye ("bindu") to become resplendent ("secana") and make the energy engulf ("samujrambita") the nerve centers ("nADimukha") and enervating ("vikAsa karaNa") them, thereby making the yOgi experience the truth ("nija") and realizing the divine existence of ("anubhUti") the Goddess as the yogini."; thus ending the 86 syllabled word..perhaps the biggest ever word written in sanskrit.
dIkshithar ends the charaNam by continuing to describe the dEvi as "the one who bestows ("pradAyiNyAH") the rare and immeasurable boon ("amOghavara") of experience of bliss ("Ananda anubhava") by merging and identifying the soul with Lord Shiva ("shivasArUpya"). The mother of ("jananyAH") the immeasurable ("apramEya") guruguha and the cause of the 5-fold acts ("panchaka-kArinyAH") beginning with brahma."
What an amazing charaNam :O :O. I completely surrender to dIkshithar. One can very clearly see the deep meditative state he must have reached and must have been marinating in to express in such great detail, the purpose of a human being and the spiritual progress he should make. dIkshithar explains the essence of the propagation of the kundaliNi through the chakras in the astral body and how one can achieve this by meditating on the Goddess. And how beautifully he explains the dynamics of this practice, enunciating the way and the end result..opening of the 2 million nerves of the body and experiencing the bliss of merging with "the one", the supreme light. And to put such vEdanta in a musical form with unimaginable meter shows the greatness and the genius of the musical yogi, the great nAdhajyOthi. I salute and lie prostrate at the feet of him, shrI guruguhasya dAso.aham.
There is nothing more to write about this krithi. My mind has gone blank because of the exhaustive charaNam and I am vibrating with pure bliss listening to shrI vijay shivA's rendition of this krithi. I have not discussed the musical aspects of this krithi owing to the sheer volume of explanations which would add more complexity to the already convoluted composition. I leave it to the rasika who (I hope) should have been able to understand the krithi better after reading this blog, to listen and appreciate this masterpiece..trust me, it will add more beauty and value to your life..just listen to it.
I will next take up the beautiful "abhayAmbAyAm" composed in sahAna. I am hoping to find time today and tommorrow and finish this krithi and probably the next one, thereby leaving me with only the maNgaLa krithi to write about inorder to complete the set. Signing off with a deep sense of surrender to dIkshithar, shrI gurubhyO namah: