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:


sthitapragnya said...

You are just incredible! Awesome analysis! I loved the 'viduviDambanavadanE' part! Beautiful! If Deekshitar is deified for composing it, then you should be deified for explaining it so beautifully! Thanks a lot! Waiting for 'kanjadaLAyatAkshi'! :)
PS: Sorry for being rude, but a little correction. It should be 'naraka chaturdashi', the fourteenth day of the lunar cycle, 'chaturthi' is the fourth day of that cycle. deepAvaLi falls on an amAvasyA, hence, it should be 'naraka chaturdashi' and not 'chaturthi'. :)

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Stithapragnya,

Thanks a lot for your kind words. I am not worthy of such lofty praises. Extremely glad that you liked the post. Thanks a lot for pointing out the error..I have corrected it :). Please keep reading and sharing your thoughts.

Padma said...

Awesome is just one word sai...We were just talking about this krithi and the eduppu of the song..A perfect pallavi...everyother word is so beautifully woven..In fact just few days before my guru passed away i learnt it from her...As it is its a heavy krithi with so beautiful prayogas but alas this was the last master piece of Dikshitar i learnt from her..My namaskarams to both MD and my guru...

Musical Scientist said...

Every person is somehow always uniquely associated with this krithi Padma. I know many people who are in one way or the other connected with this krithi. Salutations to MD indeed!!

Shreekrishna said...

Your best post till date.

You say life's more than complete now. By virtue of conservation of completeness, is there incompleteness elsewhere? You know what I mean.


Musical Scientist said...

Dear SK,

I know exactly what you mean. I hope the next few years fly off and you come home very soon.


thiagu said...

Beautifully analysed and written on a krithi which has always been close to my heart, having sung it myself only once on my wedding day Nalangu function 29 years ago!!
Will be grateful to get a commentary, whenever possible on Sadachaleswaram, unless you have already posted and I have missed.
Best wishes on your return to India

Musical Scientist said...

Respected Thiagu sir,
Thanks a lot for your kind words. Extremely happy that you liked reading my post. I will surely blog about sadAcalESwaram when I take up the Tiruvarur Panchalinga krithis :).

revanth said...

wonderful Simbly superb...!!
I have too muc of love for this song....This was the first song i heard sung by my goddess DKP Amma...
And this song is composed on my favourite goddess,Meenakshi... and this song made me love the raga Gamakakriya[Poorvikalyani]....
Thw way you have explained the krithi was really amazing...The krithi is a real masterpiece.. I just just love each and every line of the krithi...Specially the lines meenalOchani pashamOchani...simply superb...!! really glad to see this krithi in your posts...
Plss keep blogging...coz your blog is like a text book to many learners like me


Musical Scientist said...

Dear Revanth,
Glad that you liked the post so much :). Thanks as always for your kind words :). I will surely post the next krithi tomorrow or day after.

Srividya said...

Hi there! Wonderful analysis! :) Meenakshi is one of my favourite kritIs! Especially the part 'Meena lOchani pAsa mOchani' ... it looks like someone's wringing your heart and playing your soul... beautiful song...

On the same note, could you tell me whose song this is? 'Bhajana Seyave O manasa praNatArti haruni (Rama)'
I found a site ( which says it is an annamayya keertana. The thing is none of the charaNas mentioned in that site have the 'venkateswara' mudra of annamayya, so I really wasn't too convinced 'bout it. Could you help me out here?

Musical Scientist said...

Dear Srividya,

Thanks a lot for your kind words..extremely glad to note that you liked my post :). It is indeed an amazing song by dIkshithar (as always).

Regarding your query, this is a common confusion. Bhajana Seyave in kEdAram is a composition of Anai ayya and not annamayya. Anai ayya were actually 2 brothers, Anai aiyer and ayyavaiyer. They used the mudra "umAdAsa" and you can see this in the charaNam of Bhajana seyave as "umAdAsu kuladhanamai". Some of their other popular krithis are intaparaka in nAdanAmakriya and amba nannu brovave in tODi. Hope this helps :).

Srividya said...

Hi! Thanks a TON for that! You know I did see a site which mentioned Anai ayya, but I think I mistook it to be a typo. Close mindedness without even realizing it eh?

Are you planning to analyze DAkshAyini? That's a beautiful song too! I think its in tOdi.

And thank you once again for your help!

Musical Scientist said...

Hi Srividya,

You are most welcome. I have already discussed the abhayAmba vibakti krithis. You can read dAkSAyaNi at .It is an absolute charm of a tODi :). Please continue to read my posts and share your thoughts. Thank you!!


Mathavan said...


I am fully happy for you. Have a wonderful time.


Musical Scientist said...

:) Thanks a lot Maddy. Just came back from my trip. Had a wonderful time.

kstar said...

How right you are about the tear-bringing nature of "mIna lOcanI pASa mOcanI"!
I read on another site that "madhumadamOditahRdayE" translates to "whose heart is pleased by honey", and I feel that is more apt.
Is there any significance connected with the 'E' and 'I' prAsas? Could it be connected to the bIja mantra for Goddess saraswatI? From a bit of Sri R K Sriram Kumar's lecdem at IITM Music Club that I heard, there's a lot of significance to every bit of dIkSitar's kRtis.

Musical Scientist said...

I too have heard of that interpretation of "madhumadamOditahRdayE". Since dIkshithar immediately uses "sadayE", I felt that this was more apt. And surely the prAsas have some hidden thread running in common. As you would know, dIkshithar has composed exclusive bIja mantra krithis like "shrI rAjarAjESwarIm" in madhyamAvati. He definitely does everything for a reason.

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Giri Guevara said...

I was reading about how sri Dikshitar wrote this Kriti in Madurai.
Brilliant and simple to undertsand analysis of this Kriti.

Musical Scientist said...

@Nagaraj anna..thank you :)

@Giri sir..glad you found the post useful sir :). PLease keep sharing your thoughts.

Venkat said...

It is a sheer pleasure and magical to read through your post. Looking forward for more such master pieces. Thanks for enlightening us..It is indeed a great service to humanity.

Venkat said...

It is a sheer pleasure and magical to read through your post. Looking forward for more such master pieces. Thanks for enlightening us..It is indeed a great service to humanity.

Meena said...

Just discovered your blog:)) Wonderful exposition of the kriti. I love Dikshitar's songs, especially this one:) Thank you:)

Krishna Moorthy Sankaranarayanan said...

Dear Musical Scientist sir, wonderful exposition, enjoyed reading it while listing to D. K. Pattammal's rendition of the kriti.

Diskshitarval has always fascinated by his masterful and supple use of Sanskrit that makes his music more accessible to me compared with Thyagarajas in terms of the language. I am equally fascinated by his variations of kaala.

I am but an infant in music and language and do hope that you are continuing your expositions since the date of the most recent blog appears to be 2914.