Monday, October 27, 2008

mInAkSi mE mudaM dEhi- gamakakriyA

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous deepavali. I apologize for not being able to post for a long time now. As most of my friends reading this blog know, I wound up my operations in the US and came back home to India on October 20th. Hence, the last month or so has been a little crazy because of packing up and travelling. Now that I am back at home, I should be able to post a little more frequently. It feels awesome to be back home, bathing in amma's love and good food and drowning in anna's wonderful music, going to temples and meeting up with friends- Life has never been more meaningful.

This past sunday, I went to my good friend Shreekrishna (SK)'s house and spent the whole day with his parents, his sister and Vasumathi Sridharan (perhaps the best akka I ever had :)). After getting to learn more about SK and his musical and academic achievements (to write about these, an entire new post will not suffice), I feel even more honored and privileged to share this blogspace with him and to have moved in close quarters with him. SK's mother showered me with more love and good food :). As I mentioned before, life seems to be much more complete than ever before.

Moving on to the krithi for the day, I will take up mInAkSi mE mudaM dEhi in gamakakriyA. Today being naraka chaturdashi (dIkshithar's samadi day), it is most appropriate that I will be blogging about this krithi. As most of you would have heard, it is said that dIkshithar shed his mortal coils on narakachaturdashi while his disciples sang the lines "mInalOcani pASamOcani" in the anupallavi of this krithi. Saluting the great guru,


mInAkSi mE mudaM dEhi mEcakAngi rAja mAtangi


dIkshithar directly addresses the Goddess " O Goddess mInAkSi, give ("dEhi") me ("mE") bliss ("mudaM")". He describes Her as "The one who wears golden ornaments ("mEcakAngi") and the one who exists in the form of rAja mAtangi."

As I mentioned in my previous blog, there is a lot of folklore associated with this temple. Please refer to my prior post on the significance behind the term "rAja mAtangi" used by dIkshithar to describe the Goddess at Madurai. The antyAkshara prAsam set in motion in the pallavi pervades all through the krithi. The krithi starts off with "S, rssd" and dIkshithar immediately starts weaving the ArOhanam with the "Srgrgm" phrase at mI"nAkSi mE". The "Snd" phrase at "kA"ngi melts the rasikas' heart. Moving on to the anupallavi,


mAnamAtRmEyE mAyE marakataccAyE shivajAyE
mInalOcani pASamOcani mAnini kadambavanavAsini

dIkshithar gives Her the ultimate description in the anupallavi. He describes the Goddess as "the concept/knowledge ("mAna")(of the ultimate truth), the one who knows ("mAtR") (the ultimate truth) and the measurable/known part ("mEyE")(of the ultimate truth)". He continues to describe Her as "the one who creates delusion ("mAyE"), the one who has the color of emerald ("marakataccAyE") and the one who knows ("jAyE") Shiva." dIkshithar continues to describe Her as "The fish-eyed Goddess ("mInalOcani"), the one who destroys the bond of worldly attachment ("pASamOcani"), the venerated one ("mAnini") and the one who resides ("vAsini") in the kadamba forest ("kadambavana")".

What a beautiful anupallavi. dIkshithar pays huge respect to the Goddess in these few lines. He clearly states that She is the embodiment of ultimate truth, and that by worshipping her, one can be liberated from all the worldly attachments. dIkshithar, being the yogi he was, shook off his mortal coils and attained Sripuram while making his disciples sing these very lines. When rendered properly with bhakti, these lines combined with the beautiful retta kalai Adi tALam makes one's hair stand and the rasika in me always has that tear rolling down his cheeks while saluting this great soul ;(.

Grammatically, the alliterations in the first line of the anupallavi and the antyAkshara prAsam makes the rhyme scheme gallop at a steady pace. Musically, dikshithar uses swarAksharams for the "ma" shabda in the first line of the anupallavi. Personally, I love the "m, dmgrg" phrase at "mAnamAtR". The entire last line is beyond description. "Ss, srsn" at mInalOcani followed by "dd, sndp" at pASamOcani promptly melts the rasika's heart. And he caps it all off with a brilliant "ga da" swarAksharam at "kada"mba. What a genius ;(. Since life must move on, I will continue with the charaNam,


madurApurinilayE maNivalayE malayadwaja pANDyarAja tanayE
viduviDambanavadanE vijayE vINAgAna daSagamakakriyE
madumadamOdita hRdayE sadayE mahAdEva sundarESapriyE
madumuraripu sOdari SAtOdari vidiguruguha vaSankari Sankari


dIkshithar sings "She is the one who dwells ("nilayE") in madurApuri. The one who wears gem-studded ("maNi") bangles ("valayE") and the one who was born as the daughter of ("tanayE") of King Malayadwaja Pandya. The one whose beautiful face ("vadanE") outshines ("viDambana") the moon ("vidu") and the one who is victorious ("vijayE"). The one who created ("kriyE") the ten gamakas associated with vINa music. The one who brings delight ("mOdita") to one's heart ("hRdayE") which is as sweet as honey ("madumada") and the one who is compassionate ("sadayE"). The one who is dear ("priyE") to Lord SundareSa. The sister ("sOdari") of Lord Vishnu, who is the enemy ("ripu") of the asuras Madu and mura and the one with a slender waist ("SAtOdari"). The one who captivates ("vaSankari") Lord Brahma ("vidi") and Lord guruguha. She is Shankari, the ever auspicious one".

dIkshithar packs one big punch in the charaNam as he brings in the name of the kSEtra ("madhurapuri), describes the lineage of the Goddess ("malayadhwaja pAndyarAja"), incorporates the rAga mudra and the composer mudra. As you would recollect from my previous post, I had mentioned that Goddess rAja mAtangi is the yogic counterpart of Goddess Saraswati and is often described as holding a vINa. dIkshithar brilliantly brings in this amsha of the dEvi while at the same time incorporates the rAga mudra at "vINAgAna dasagamakakriyE"..what a genius. >--<-o. Grammatically, If you notice, throughout the krithi (pallavi, anupallavi and charaNam), dIkshithar uses the "yE" and the "I" prAsams. He employs similiar words to describe different things in the charaNam, for eg, he uses madu for both "honey" as well as the demon and uses vaSankari and Sankari one after the other..yet another display of his brilliance. Overall, a great masterpiece that has had a huge impact on me and I am sure many rasikas would share the same belief. As I conclude this post, I once again wish everyone a very happy deepavali. The best way to celebrate, as always, would be to listen to dIkshithar krithis and eat amma's food :). Continuing with dEvi krithis, as one of the readers had requested, I will take up kanCadalAyatAkSi in kamalAmanOhari in my next post. Until then, shrI gurubhyO namah: