Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
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#401 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »

What does naadabindu mean I don't know the meaning of bindu.

On navagraha krithis did dikshitar visit each of the 9 Navagraha temples which are there around mayavaram kumbakonam

Did he take up rahu kethu after possibly seeing thirunageshwaram.

Just asking nadopAsaka . Lovely posts
Last edited by rajeshnat on 23 Sep 2020, 18:47, edited 1 time in total.

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#402 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Dear Rajeshnat, your comments are appreciated.

Also, your questions are serious and since this is not a Twitter type forum I will take the liberty to respond with some mild elaboration, so this is a mouthful-of-a-post. I break into two topics based on your questions, reversing order in response below.

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

1. Are the Navagraha kritis connected to specific sthalas or ksetras i.e. temples ?

One thinks at first that for the Graha kritis , Dikshitar's eyes were more on the heavens rather than on the ground.

But there are clues supporting the latter.

In the Angarakam-Tuesday graha kriti , -"pujita Vaidyanatha ksetra" is cited, which is supposed to be in Tanjore could very well be the Mayavaram /Kumbakonam ksetra per how districts were drawn up 250 years ago ? They are only a (bumpy) bullock-cart ride away from each other..

In another Ramamanohari kriti, "Shrngara Shaktyayudha", Dikshitar treats the Angaraka graha as emblematic of all the navagraha saying "aHNgArakAdi navagraha vanditasya".

So this Vaidyanatha ksetra likely is the MD Navagraha site (and hence your conjecture on Mayavaram complex is correct). Corrections welcome of course..

2. Tantric and Sri-Vidya aspects in Dikshitar kritis.

Bindu itself appears to be a sort of focal point or center.

As a novice myself, I have tried to understand this as follows....By all accounts Dikshitar was a Sri-Vidya upasaka (likely even Syama Sastri was....although the differences of their approaches can be a separate discussion topic !).

In this Sri-Vidya, this bindu is at the center of the Sri-Chakra, itself formed as a geometrical arrangement of triangles in different groups also called chakras..

It is not clear to me (yet) whether there is a relationship between the number/organization of these triangles and the number/organization of melakarta ragas, or what other connection may exist. As an aside, I note that a way of organizing the 72 melakarta scheme in a spiral with vaadi ragas in the core and vivaadi melas on the outside produces interesting geometric shapes too !

Back to the Sri-Chakra, each triangle or trikona has individual meaning. Some of Dikshitar's Ganapati kritis e.g. MoolAdhAara Chakra Vinayakam , -chosen not surprisingly in Sri-Raga ! , or the VAtApati kriti etc. make reference to these aspects.

For his application to nAda (as I see it) it represents a focal point of union or balance of shiva and shakti, for e.g. referred to as "shripura bindu madhyasta" - in his crowning Ahiri Kamalamba Navavarana kriti where this union is consummated, or in the YamunaKalyani Jambupate as "anirvacaniya nadabindo", a state of consciousness or stillness where all distractions (including from sound itself, cease !)

Tantric aspects in Dikshitar kritis abound. The Ucchista Ganapatau kriti in KashiRamakriya is a good example.
One such feature is considering Word=Shiva and its Sound=Shakti.

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#403 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis with shRHNgAra references))

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Mutthuswamy Dikshitar's shRHNgAra referencing kritis.

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

There are limited but unambiguous shRHNgAra rasa references in the MD kritis
referring uniquely to kameswarim, kamakshim and/or gauri/gaula forms of the devi.

1. Dhavalangi - shRHNgArAdi navarasAHNgI
fine example ! noting that dhavala is synonym for gauri (#49 Dhavalangi in Dikshitar school drops the nishadam on descent so at times can sound like close-by-mela #51 Kamavardhani, ref. in particular "Ucchista Ganapatau" if slowed down)
2. Gauri - gauri girirAjakumAri
3. Gauri -shrI mInAkSi gauri
4. RasamaHnjari - shRHNgAra rasamaHnjarIm shrI kAmAkSIm gaurIm
another fine example
5. Kalyani - ShivaKameswarim Chintayeham
6. Ahiri - shrI kamalAmbA jayati
7. sALaHNganATa - avyAja karuNAkaTAkSi anisham mAmava kAmAkSi
8. kamalamanOhari- kAncadalAyadAkshi
9. nArAyaNa gauLa -nIlOtpalAmbA jayati
10. sahAna - (gaur)-IshAnAdi shivAkAra maHncE...gauri (which is an example also of "wrap" music)
11. kalyANi - bhajarE rE citta

Some other kritis using this word like the Saveri Srirajagopala , Shankarabharanam Tarakeswara etc. etc. are not addressed to the Devi. Curiously the Angarakam graha kriti is also one of these. Both the Dhavalangi and Rasamanjari kritis above also cite the angAra-ka, mainly, I surmise, to take advantage of rhyming with shrngAra !.

It seems to me that Dikshitar is relying on this specific 'rasa' for this set, particularly to irrigate the less-well-tilled rarer ragas e.g. Dhavalangi, Rasamanjari.

Their pace is slow and cautious too as if he doesn't want to make any mis-steps/impulses !, whereas in the Kalyani's and Kamalamanohari he is in full flight !

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#404 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (AkshayaLinga Vibho Swayambho ! )

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Akshayalinga Vibho Swayambho ! & Akshaya Tritiya Chaitrottsava : Musical Sculptures versus Physical Sculptures

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

Shankarabharanam, one of the giant ragas of the Carnatic system, is fittingly recognized by Dikshitar, with at least a dozen or so kritis, and in addition the so-called “English notes”, the entire body addressing many different deities.

As expected, Dikshitar reserves his inspiration to specifically adorn the Shiva deity of many Shiva-sthalas he visited, with major kritis in this raga, typically also changing the talam for each such kriti !.. and so to create a comprehensive landscape of this important raga.

One of these, the grand “AksHaya Linga Vibho”, is sung to the Shiva of the Akshaya-lingeswara temple in Kivalur, which is a few miles from Nagapattinam.

This kriti has always been popular with major vidwans and shines in the Misra Chapu talam, a talam ordinarily considered the preserve of Syama Sastri !

I can recollect recordings for example , among others, by DK Patammal or Ramnad Krishnan launching neraval from the serene “Badari Vanamula Naayika” charanam phrase and also other phrases.

Here for example are the broad shoulders of MDR's honeyed baritone doing able justice (note that the pakka-vadya are also greats !) to the kriti and the raga

The story goes that Dikshitar had some time to meditate/brood at Kivalur, since he did not get access to the Shiva sanctum immediately ! It looks like he put this time to good use, for e.g. building into the anupallavi an alliteration tour-de-force that uses the “sHa” sound no less than 13 times !! in the line I reproduce here… “ak-sHa-rasvarUpa amita pratApa ArUDha vR-sHa vAha jagan mOha dak-sHa shik-sHa-Na dak-sHa-tara sura lak-sHA-Na vidhi vilak-sHa-Na lak-sHa-ya lak-sHa-Na bahu vicak-sHa-Na shudha bhak-sHa-Na gurukaTAk-sHa vik-sHa-Na”..

Since Chaitrotsava (Hindu New Year month) is also mentioned in the kriti, it would appear the use of the word “Akshaya” is inspired by the “Akshaya Tritiya” Pooja of this same month, which also seeks an “undiminished” prosperity.

As I see it, Dikshitar intends both with this word Akshaya-Linga and with this kriti to convey a sense of the indestructibility, indivisibility and undiminishable nature of this Shiva (and by extension this faith).

I am a bit surprised this particular aspect of this important deity is not more widespread in other temples ? Although In some kritis the concept of "Akhanda" is introduced "chintaya mA" Bhairavi, no other Dikshitar kriti carries the "akshayalinga" reference...An “Akshaya-vata-vriksha” is cited in his equally weighty “Dakshinamurte” Shankarabharanam kriti. Also, the Akshaya Tritiya pooja doesn't appear to be limited to any particular deity.

Elsewhere on this very web-site, a discussion had ensued some years ago, where a recorded tsunami /flood is believed to have been recognized in some Carnatic kritis written around other temple sites also close to Nagapattinam. Separately, a research article (from 2010) shows that the entire region has rift like zones of at least moderate activity potential. ... 1&type=pdf
I am no geoscientist or tectonic technical quality data assessor, but the arguments and information presented seem interesting , maybe even persuasive.

Is it possible ? that the Kivalur site was similarly subject in past to some kind of natural disaster like earthquakes or landslides etc. and that this Shiva linga/shrine managed to stay intact, leading to a unique legend of indestructibility. This is usually the kind of specific temple story that Dikshitar likes to commemorate in his musical travels/tirtha.

Perhaps the real question is whether exceptional Musical Sculptures such as the Dikshitar Kritis are the eternal legacy long after these Physical Sculptures/structures have crumbled into ruin and are lost in the sands of time.

To me it is the sincerity of Dikshitar's homage to the great traditions/faiths that make his kritis shAshwata.

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#405 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (ambA nIlAyatAkSI ! -Nilambari)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

"ambA nIlAyatAkSI"-Nilambari – an example of Dikshitar at his reflective ! and poetic best

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

Nilambari is often considered a lullaby type melody sung by a mother to soothe a child to sleep…..
(Tyagaraja may have something to with this idea)

Leave it to Dikshitar to reverse Nilambari into a cry from a child to a mother !
and into a cosmic, philosophical reflection that can keep you awake,
wondering why/how such perfection is achieved !!

The “reflective” element of this kriti (about 10 pairs of words are actually repeated !!!
katakshi/shankari/bimbadhari/vasini etc. etc.) is also quite suggestive and the repeated words
enable superbly plumbing the depths of beautiful Nilambari.

It could be surmised ? that Dikshitar developed this particular “reflective” element by observing the
reflection of (blue) sky in the temple tank of the great Nagapattinam Shiva-sthala complex..
He further crystallizes this “eye of the sky” as Devi’s attribute namely “akhila-loka” sakshi.

A fine vocal example to illustrate
And a splendid instrumental version

Interestingly, a few years after Dikshitar died, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist,
described, in 1841, the eye as the first circle in his book "Circles" ! No connections here, just an observation..

Justifiably such a magnificent kriti has spawned an equally magnificent Nilambari !!
(there, I said it, and I know it is true !)..the masterpiece “Amba Nilambari” by Ponniah Pillai,
descendant of one of Dikshitar’s own students (the PP of Tanjore quartet).
Perhaps there is no better example of Guru Dakshina ! although it comes from a later generation.
To me it seems Amba Nilambari seems also to have some influences from Syama Sastri Brovavamma.

Some good Amba Nilambari examples , although only a true villain could hurt this raga/kriti
fine modern example Priya sisters
DK Patammal classic

Of course other great Nilambari kritis also exist (Maharajas Pada Varna.. sArasa Shara Sundara etc. etc.)
but here I wanted to highlight the sensitive imagery invoked by Dikshitar in this kriti..
.something he is not usually credited with, given the formality of his style.
Last edited by nAdopAsaka on 28 Sep 2020, 16:55, edited 2 times in total.

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#406 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »

Akshayalinga Vibho Swayambho ! & Akshaya Tritiya Chaitrottsava : Musical Sculptures versus Physical Sculptures
- In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar

Thank you nAdopAsaka. Posts are simply too good . Keep them coming.Thanks for accepting my suggestion of having a title too. Just one last suggestion , try underlining with a tag , just half a second extra work like above . You can see reply and see how i have used the underline tag just in case you are not familiar.

Thank you keep moving slowly and steadily and most importantly contextually with some unique angle that you give for each of your posts. For a change ,I am wide awake despite hearing the neelambari. :P. I Have no connections with either you or definitely Dikshitar, only observations .

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#407 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (some aspects of Pancha Bhuta Linga Kritis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Pancha Bhuta Linga Kritis: Dikshitar’s tribute to the Shiva who pervades all consciousness !

In the footsteps of Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

The Pancha Bhuta Linga Kritis are another important tribute of Dikshitar to the Shiva who pervades all consciousness thru the five (pancha) elements.

It has been questioned/debated in the past whether such a grouping was a formal one "premeditated" by Dikshitar.

In my opinion, given the organization and care with which the other known groups have been constructed (Graha kritis, Kamalamba NVVrna, Gowla-antya, Multiple Vibhakti series etc), it is extremely likely this was also a planned and deliberated set.

I give below some additional reasons, which I think could be new to this discussion/approach.

For one, Dikshitar picks ragas across the set that have some sort of equivalent in the Hindustani system (this does NOT mean that all the ragas chosen by him are so-called “deshya=deshiya” , although Yamuna Kalyani and Huseni certainly are “deshya” ). Perhaps a nod by Dikshitar to the presence of the Shiva faith outside the range of his travels ?! We can also speculate if he intended these kritis to be sung by a wider set of devotees ? Kedar, Bhairavi and Saranga are of course known in rest of India and do not resemble, much or at all, their corresponding Carnatic named ragas. It also seems likely that Dikshitar heard or was made aware of these Hindustani ragas while an intern at Benaras for Sri-Vidya training or from other traveling musicians.

Further, I observe that for 3 of these kritis, the word “liHngam” is directly/overtly used in the kriti as in “tejomaya liHngam”, “Prthvi liHngam” and “Apa-liHngam” .

However, Dikshitar is careful NOT to use this word liHngam in the other 2 kritis !!

This particular fidelity to the details is indicative of his consideration of these kritis as a group.

The 2 kritis are
[1] AkAsha liHngam (ether/space) where he chooses to refer to this only as “daharAkAsham”
[2] VAyu liHngam (air/wind) where he uses instead the somewhat ghostly-sounding “SamirAkara” –
which literally means "of the form of air“ !! separately "Anila” is also cited as god of wind etc..

My understanding is there is no true physical form (at these two sites) that is associated with these “conceptual” liHngams, and Dikshitar is merely being his rigorous self. In one case it's an empty chamber with only a flickering lamp as evidence and in the other it's just plain empty. This rigor suggests to me there was some prior contemplation of the shrines and their historical and other details, before generating this kriti-set.

Contrast the ultra-careful use of this specific word in these “heavy” kritis with, for example “NagaliHngam Namami satatam” a somewhat playful Mohanam set in Tiruvarur where Dikshitar uses the liHngam word no less than 10 times !!

Some other curious (to me) features also emerge when one also looks at Dikshitar’s choice of raga/consort at these liHnga sites.

I made a list giving also the name chosen for the Devi by Dikshitar as they appear in each LiHnga kriti. It can be seen that these ragas (i.e. in the kritis to the consorts) also have Hindustani counterparts, again while not being true deshya ragas (just as before).

[1] Ananda Natana –Kedaram-“apIta kucAmbA”-
“Shivakameshwarim Chintayeham” –Kalyani
(here the “apIta kucAmba” Devi has , by definition, not (yet) given birth to a child but seemingly the union has been consummated as in “shrngara rasa sampurna karim” described in the Kalyani !!)

[2] Sri Kalahastisha -Huseni -“ jHnAna prasUnAmbikApatE” ,
“jHnAna prasUnAmbikE”-Kalyani

[3] Cintaya Makandam-Bhairavi-“bhairavi prasaHNgam”,
“Kamaksheem kalyanim bhajeham” in Kalyani

[4] Arunacala Natham-Saranga-“ShivaKamavallIsham”
I am tempted to say the corresponding “devi” kriti here should be “ArdhaNareeswaram Araadhayami” ? in Kumudakriya , a janya of Pantuvarali..due to the Parvati etc. legend of Arunachala-Sthala, noted in this lihnga kriti as “apramEyamaparNAbja bhRHNgam” etc. I cannot find another devi kriti that fits.
Also Kumudakriya has a Hindustani counterpart , the counterpart is considered an offshoot of Pooriya.
(I have also read that the Ardhanariswaram kriti may have different site entirely, but I cannot confirm that)

[5] JambuPate-Yamuna Kalyani-“akhilANDEshvarI ramaNa”
“akhilANDEshvari rakSamAm: in JujAvanti (which obviously is deshya)

For completeness or from a "holistic" viewpoint, the Shiva of these liHnga sites is therefore not viewed in a vacuum, rather his consort has also to be propitiated...accordingly Diskhitar has given us these Devi kritis as well #devitoo !

I thank Rajeshnat for comments and continued interest.

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#408 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (usage of formal Namaste in Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Usage of the word “Namaste !” as a symbol of Dikshitar’s formality.

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

Dikshitar is completely unique as a vaggeyakara in the high degree of formality with which he addresses his deities.

But this “distancing” in no way diminishes the bhAva of his kritis.

No other word illustrates this better than his use of the word “Namaste !”…
. I have considerable difficulty finding this particular word much in non-Dikshitar kritis…

indeed, it can be argued that since all the other great, historical composers (Tyagaraja or the Maharaja or Syama Sastri etc.) are already in the embrace of their individual deities, any such “folding hands“ gesture is out of the question, mentally or ergonomically ! (perhaps some more recent composers could have used but I think not with the frequency of Dikshitar)

Clearly, to all these vaggeyakaras, the deities are not strangers, requiring or deserving such an introduction, whereas Dikshitar uses this particular salutation with just about every one of the deities he sings to !

The word appears in about 60 kritis of the total 400 or so, of which about 18 end up using it 2 times in succession
(some famous examples are shrI subrahmaNyAya namastE namastE in Kambhoji
tyAgarAjAya namastE namastE in Begada , kAdambari priyAyai in Mohana, KamalambikAyai in Kambhoji, AbhayambikAyai in Yadukula Kambhoji)
and in one unique case, the staccato-like Devarahnji kriti “Namaste paradevate..” actually ends up using it 3 times successively, when the pallavi wraps around !

Separately I think this kriti (along with English notes, aka the klunky sounding Nottu-Swaras) may well have been inspired by his brother Baluswami’s western-violin experiments. We could look for other kritis that show the influence of violin on the vainika-gayAka.. Maybe look at how LalgudiJ composed versus how MSG plays the gAyaki style as well.

Here is an electric SuddhaDhanyasi by this great master !!

Also, as foremost accompaniment of vocalists for several decades, TNK approach could give some insight as well. but this is a topic for another day.

It can be observed also that Dikshitar carefully avoids using words like “NamaskAram” or even “praNAm”, maybe only a couple of times “pranaumi” shows up. I surmise the preference for Namaste is also driven by poetic/rhyming reasons but there could be other reasons. 15 % of all kritis and almost 100 % of deities (only pavanatmaja misses out) is certainly indicative of the composers formality.

Of course, Dikshitar is also completely unique as a “vainika-gAyaka” vaggeyakara. The structure of his kritis and musical phrases within them, reflects the many resonances and overtones that the veena produces naturally. Although some other composers may have reportedly played the veena, in my opinion none of them is vainika-gAyaka in the manner in which Dikshitar has developed this approach.

Repeating words such as Namaste is not just for lyrical emphasis, it seems to allow adding emphasis
to the sangatis and the melody...see the Begada for example

Namaste usually includes the folded hands gesture i.e. “Anjali mudra”, but it could also just mean simply bowing one’s head. The latter makes more sense for the vainika-gAyaka whose hands are occupied with the veena !

An exceptional example of Kamalamba navaravana illustrating the repeated Namaste, among other things

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#409 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (rAma-chandra as deity Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

The only kritis of Dikshitar that are worth singing !! —according to Tyagaraja !!

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

In at least two kritis, the incomparable Tyagaraja asserts that if a song is NOT sung to Rama, it is irrelevant !!

(in Rama Kodanda Rama in Bhairavi as “rAma nIpAtE pATa !!”
And in
Samayamu Telisi in Asaveri as “nIpai gAnidi pADi Emi pAdakuNDE nEmi” !!!)

Of course Tyagaraja wasn’t too serious because otherwise we would not have, just for example,
his Tiruvotriyur Tripura Sundari Devi kritis.

(here is the sweet voiced NC Vasantakokilam (a bird of spring who was unfortunately always in the shadow of the year-round nightingale MSS ?) rendering his “Sundari-nannindarilo” in crackling Begada !! ).

But it seems there is a connection between this zeal for Rama and DIkshitar, the professed Advaitin/Sri-vidya Devi upasaka.

Apparently both these great vaggeyakaras had individual contact in first part of 1800’s or so, with Upanishad Brahmendra/Brahmam of Kanchipuram, an important spiritual figure and intense Rama bhakta who was
some twenty years older than Tyagaraja.

It has been suggested that this Upanishad Brahmendra convinced Dikshitar to include the Rama deity in his vibhakti sets.

Whether this is true or not, it can be noted that unlike the other Vibhakti sets, the Rama Navavarana of Dikshitar is hard to link to a specific temple complex (unlike Tiruvarur for Tyagaraja and 2 devis or Mayuram for devi).

A list can be made of Dikshitars Rama vibhakti focused kritis..
Sri RAma Chandro Rakshtu MAm Sri Ranjani
RAma Chandram BhAvayami Vasanta'
RAma Chandrena Manji
RAma ChandrAya Namaste Todi
RAma Chandradanyam NajAneham Kalyani
RAma Chandrasya Dasoham Dhamavati
RAme Bharata PAlita Jyoti
RAma RAma Kali Kalusha Virama Ram Kali

Only one of the kritis, the Manji “rAmachandrena samrakSatu mAm” , specifies Kamakoti (Kanchipuram), the seat also of Upanishad Brahmendra..
Also 6 of these Rama vibhakti kritis start with grammatical variations (the declensions or vibhakti) on the name Ramachandra. It should be noted that Upanishad Brahmendra was named Ramachandrendra Saraswati !

Perhaps the “site” or shrine for this Rama deity was not Kanchi or any physical location but symbolically what Dikshitar “saw” in Upanishad Brahmendra !!

Other than this so-called Rama Vibhakti set, there are only a handful of other kritis by Dikshitar to the Rama-Chandra, but some are popular and heard often such as mAmava PattAbhirAma in ManiRangu, sri RAmam Ravi KulAbdhi Somam in Narayana Gowla, ksitijA ramana in Devagandhari, dAsarathe-NottuSvara in Shankarabharanam, ..also SantanA RAma SwAminam in Hindola Vasanta and mAmava raghu Vira martyAvatara in Mahuri which are not as widespread.

Finally it is observed that Dikshitar's kriti in KokilaRavam “Kodanda RAmam Anisam BhajAmi” seems to be motivated by Tyagaraja's "Rama Kodanda Rama" where Tyagaraja advanced his notion of the supremacy of Rama !!

So a total of only about 16 Dikshitar kritis to the Ramachandra..just for comparison Dikshitar has 27 kritis to Ganapati and about 37 Nottusvaras !!

Good thing all around that Dikshitar did not take Tyagaraja too seriously either on the latter's Rama-edict !!

And also that he heeded Upanishad Brahmendra to produce this fine, although limited, set of kritis on RamaChandra.

here is a fine violin version of the timeless Vasanta, where the ecstatic spirit of the vaggeyakara dances in rupaka talam

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#410 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »


When you say dikshitar rama vibhakthi krithis is it some thing you or may be some closed group that has logically grouped with you analyzing and finding that pattern. I have not heard this logical dikshitar rama vibhakthi at all till this post or did I miss this grouping

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#411 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Dear RajeshNat, I appreciate the is an acute one !

The grammar based set for a Dikshitar Rama Vibhakti set is clearly identifiable...the question is whether this set was conceived by Dikshitar as a “unified” set (i.e. composed at about the same time and/or the same place, or as I tried to infer in my post , based on the same “symbolic” idea i.e. UpanishadB !).

Dikshitar typically gives raga mudra and his own signature/mudra but fails to give a time-stamp !! so not easy to confirm. I do not know if respected textbooks (e.g. Sangita sampradaya pradarshini etc.) define this group. To me it's more of a personal interaction with the body of work and other evidences that we may uncover.

For parallel example, the Madhuramba Vibhakti set (which is actually missing a couple of kritis) is formally set to the Madurai Devi so there is less ambiguity.

However whether this Madhuramba set (and the Rama set) also ascend to the level of the accepted Navavarana vibhakti sets is indeed debateable ! I tend to think they do not, given Dikshitar's "strict" hierarchies ! kind of like Tyagarajas hierarchy and preference for Rama ..

I tried with my post to highlight a (somewhat romantic) connection between known figures i.e. Upanishad Brahmendra, Tyagaraja and Dikshitar and the Rama-idea which is slightly out-of-place in the typical thinking of Dikshitar (or not in the same place as the Tiruvarur/Mayuram/Madurai deities who are traditionally associated with his Vibhakti kritis) . I do not believe this connection is new/original... but maybe some of the arguments I am presenting could be fresh.

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#412 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by Lakshman »

nadopasaka: Did you participate in the Forumhub (mayyam) discussion group?

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#413 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Dear Lakshman Sir ! Namaste Namaste !!!
I remember you from several years ago....Glad to see you are still guiding discussions.

I wanted to ask if you knew (or could point to) timeline for Tanjore quartet moving to Maharaja's court ?
Is the TQuartet mentioned in Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini etc. ?
Did any of them specialize in the violin, which they would have learned from BaluswamiD ?
It seems likely since they were intimate with dance etc.

ps. This question is only connected to a Dikshitar thread because they were reportedly students of Dikshitar at some point.

thanks and best regards

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#414 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »

How we primarily associate Trinity with each Primary God:
Thyagaraja indeed had most of the krithis based on Lord Rama . Since Shyama sastri had to be a third trinity we generally associate most of Devi and primarily SS with Goddess Devi . With respect to Dikshitar , atleast based on lecdems and primarily this and previous generation of performers when crafting pallavis on Trinity they generally associate Dikshitar with Lord Subramanya. As an education usually lot of focus is given to this naathadi guruguho krithi and that being Dikshitar first krithi where there is anecdotes of how Lord subramanya blessed Dikshitar etc , we generally map Dikhsitar to Lord Subramanya .

So in Trinity, this Vageyakkara - Primary God Association stays as T-Rama, SS-Devi and MD-Subramanya . But a just basic cursory look reveals Dikshitar has composed mostly on Devi and then possibly Lord Shiva next. If i club Goddess Devi along with Goddess Ambal primarily MD -Devi is the primary association . But that may leave a difficult foot print of not being able to match Shyama sastri to one primary deity. So I make a calculated guess with three in mind, every historian, prominent vidwan/vidushis all created this primary known mapping of T-Rama, SS-Devi and MD-Subramanya by possibly working backwards.

There is a mention of Rama -vibhakthi krithis of Dikshitar in wiki. Possibly only you or some one known to you authored this in wiki ... _Krithis[4]. All said sabhas can celebrate organizing ramanavami series with MD krithis also which is what i learnt from you few days back.

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#415 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

Dear RajeshNat, Yes of course you are correct !....I had forgotten to mention the important Tiruttani Guruguha Vibhakti set of Dikshitar...and of course mudras give away the composers "ishta devata"..

No, I don't have any input to any wiki's....What I was trying to understand and highlight was that the very "distancing" and formality employed by Dikshitar in his approach to his sources of inspiration, likely gives him enough flexibility to allow creating kritis to other deities.

The Maharaja (Swati Tirunal) shows this same capability being, at the same time , Padmanabha-focused but also having great depth for the Devi with Navaratri kritis set etc etc.

As lovers , but not composers ! of classical Carnatic music, this is the great boon given to rasikas, the ability to enjoy ALL kritis and ALL ragas. It would surely have been a great pity if Tyagaraja had only composed Rama kritis say in one tala and one raga.

But the vaggeyakaras "are what they are" , I think we cannot predict them or pigeon-hole them too much, we can only bask in the glow they are reflecting..

ps. In the context of "crossing-over" deities , it occurs to me that in the terrific Surati "Shri VenkatagirishamAlokaye", Dikshitar is being mildly tongue-in-cheek (or just plain cheeky ?). ?

In the kriti he uses one descriptor of ViSnu as "VinAyaka TuragArudham".

The word obviously means the rider of garudA which is the vi-nAyaka..(king of birds)...but the deliberate use of a name more often used for the cute elephant-headed deity in a kriti to one of the more important shrines to ViSnu, i.e. Tirupati ! is to say the least a bit odd....Probably something in the history of this place that provoked this usage...this descriptor is not found again in any of his other kritis !

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#416 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by shankarank »

nAdopAsaka wrote: 04 Oct 2020, 16:50
In the kriti he uses one descriptor of ViSnu as "VinAyaka TuragArudham".
Sri Rangaramanuja Iyengar has a paranthesized expression in the meaning that goes like "takka sAturyam gavanikka" for this very thing!
rajeshnat wrote: 04 Oct 2020, 13:08 As an education usually lot of focus is given to this naathadi guruguho krithi and that being Dikshitar first krithi where there is anecdotes of how Lord subramanya blessed Dikshitar etc , we generally map Dikhsitar to Lord Subramanya .
mAtmaka kAdi matAnuSHTAnO , mamaka sahasra kamalAsInO - he seats lord Subrahamanya in the SrI cakra there and also a upaska of Sri vidya himself. And many Siva kritis also he has done that. Which confirms the SrI vidya upAsaka impact on his compositions. I don't know if this falls under a iSHTa dEvata framework. SrI vidya is a larger all encompassing framework.

SrI tyAgarAja is a composer of dharma, as he also had social commentary! RamAvatara is to establish dharma and right conduct.

Dikshitar is a composer of tatva ( including tantra and bramha tatva) as a focus.

SyAmA Sastri had a bhakti focus - surrender to divine Mother.

But we cannot make them or their kritis just one of the themes of music. The kritis are sangIta themselves. Which is an all encompassing framework.

Indian civilizational existence recognizes Shakti (feminine divine) - by implication it's counter part as well. Whose traces are also identifiable only in the archaeology of older civilizations . It has impacted everything from vAk, bhAsha, kala, sangIta, Shilpa, Agama, vaastu and samskaras.

Just recently was listening to Brahmasri Hari (Smt. Visaka Hari's husband). bhAgavata purANa is a SAstra that is bhagavAn himself in Sabda rUpa! So this concept of embodiment is unique!

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#417 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

In the footsteps of Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

I appreciate the thoughtful linking made of vAggeyakAras to broader themes and core bhAvas, and the Hindu understanding of consciousness, sound, music and nAda.

In this context it seems to me the Maharaja’s theme is very likely SrngAra,
Pannagendra shayanA rAgamalikA is a good example of this, being also an 8 raga set possibly inspired by JayaDeva’s ashtapadis, but a lot tamer lyrics of course..

Here is an exceptionally sweet voice from 1980’s (SeetamaniS) now lost forever ? illustrating this ... iE&index=1
ps. Her PadmanAbha SuprabhatAm is also very good ! ... iE&index=2

Back to the main discussion.. I note that syamA SAstri, also considered a sriVidyA upAsaka, makes no reference to either SubrahmanyA or the Ganapati in any of his mostly Devi-focused kritis (this is based on what I have read so far) or even if he might, certainly not in the manner in which Dikshitar elevates these two deities.

In my opinion, this incorporation is something Dikshitar is quite deliberate about.. .

I am not sriVidyA initiate or student and do not know further details. Is it likely this is an aspect of the sriVidyA or Tantra that was unique to Cidambaratha Natha yogi school ?

If so, then Devi is still the over-arching Deity for the sriVidyA upAsaka Dikshitar..

In two intriguing kritis, one each to SubrahmanyA and the Ganapati Dikshitar gives further clues of his insistence on this connection..

[1] The Udayaravichandrika kriti “shrI guruguha mUrtE cicchakti sphUrtE !”
which is much heavier in content than the raga chosen to convey the ideas !!, I think

Also, this is the 8th vibhakti of Tiruttani Guruguha vibhakti set


[2] The kASi-RAmakriyA (aka PantuvarAli for civilians) to the Ucchista Ganapati of the great Tiruvarur complex..

This is the anupallavi of this kriti where word and sound are described as inextricable from each other..(ref. Bhagavat purana cited below)

sacchabda vAcA svarUpiNi !! shabaLIkRta brahmasvarUpiNi
cicchakti sphUrtti svarUpiNi !! cidAnanda nAtha svarUpiNi !!

…the words do pour out in a rhythm even without any music ,

Also both these kritis refer to “cidAnanda nAtha”

kASi-RAma-kriya is itself interesting as a raga name as the choice in this case..

This latter kriti also describes Ganapati as “BheriVinAVAdane”, which is a term used elsewhere by Dikshitar
ONLY for the Devi (ref. Abheri - vinAbheri and the Shanmukhapriya abhayAmbA kriti).

Also the gender used in this anupallavi is interesting !

It suggests that to the sriVidYA upAsaka , at least in the Tantra school specific to Dikshitar,
gender and other distinctions are washed away/purified in what is left-over after the point of realization is realized…

It may be noted in passing that Tyagaraja's own UdayaRavichandrika kriti
disparages travels/tirthas and blind scholarship “enta nErcina enta jUcina”
and of course he disdains Mantras-Tantras as in "Manasu svadhinamai" sung in , of all things, Shankarabharanam !

the completely adorable, bhAva laden personality of Prof. SRJ is useful to delineate this raga
how lucky we are to listen to these voices
Tyg Urvchndrka
Dikshitar Urvchndrka

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#418 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rshankar »

nAdopAsaka wrote: 05 Oct 2020, 20:20 This is the anupallavi of this kriti where word and sound are described as inextricable from each other..(ref. Bhagavat purana cited below)
sacchabda vAcA svarUpiNi !! shabaLIkRta brahmasvarUpiNi
cicchakti sphUrtti svarUpiNi !! cidAnanda nAtha svarUpiNi !!
Did I miss the Bhagavat Purana reference? I did not get the word/sound association.

This is the meaning (provided by Rajani) in the Guruguha Vaibhavam Blog

sacchabda vAcA svarUpiNi – (unto him) who embodies the words that describe the supreme truth (i.e. the Vedas),
SabaLI kRta brahma svarUpiNi – who personifies the (pure, formless) Brahman that is variegated (with the power of its Maya),
(madhyama kAla sAhityam)
cicchakti sphUrti svarUpiNi – who embodies the throbbing of consciousness (in every sentient being),
cidAnanda nAtha svarUpiNi – who is the lord of the bliss of awareness,

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#419 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Svarupini as used in the anupallavi is feminine
( just like Mohini, Yogini, or vAsini as in kamalA-nagara-ni-vAsini etc. etc)

So the anupallavi is referring to the Devi , but from a unique Tantric view-point.

As I understand it the phrase "Sabali krita Brahma svarupini" is itself borrowed/modified by Dikshitar from
Tantric texts (e.g. VAmakeswara Tantra)

In this Tantra, word = Sabda and vAca = sound are united as which point they are indistinguishable.
further in this Tantra, this "union" is represented also by the (Ucchista) Ganapati..
Last edited by nAdopAsaka on 07 Oct 2020, 03:55, edited 1 time in total.

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#420 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Anomaly in the GauLa-anta NilotpalAmbA Vibhakti Krithis ?!)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

A possible Anomaly in the GauLa-anta NilotpalAmbA Vibhakti Kritis ?!

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

The NilotpalAmbA Vibhakti set is a beautiful, highly premeditated set of kritis , with most of them arranged to have Pallavi start at NishAdam but which all use ragas whose names end in Gaula.

The Nilotpala Devi’s aspect is different from the KamalAmbA Devi even though both shrines are in Tiruvarur. It seems that various other aspects unique to each Devi, for e.g. including lotus vs. blue-lily, time of blossoming etc. appear to have been considered. Of course this attention to details and nuances is to be expected from a serious devi-UpAsaka like Dikshitar. And it is obvious that this supreme musical Pooja has been rewarded every time !, based on the beauty of his kritis.

From the sacred then to the mundane..

A list of these NilotpalAmbA Vibhakti kritis can be made ,
as has been done for last 200 years ever since Dikshitar first sung them.

In the list , however I have also included the way in which each raga mudra of the Gaula-anta names
is given in each kriti.

I want to point to an anomaly that arises when this list is made (and then examined) !

How kriti gives raga mudra Starting line of Kriti Pallavi Gaula-anta raga name
chAyA-gauLa-rAgamOdini NilotpalAmbikE Nitya Suddhatmike Chaya GauLa
nArAyaNa gauLa rAga mOdinyAm NilotpalAmbA Jayati Narayana GauLa
guruguha mArga rIthi kaulini NilotpalAmbAm Bhajare Nari Riti GauLa
kAshI kannaDa-gauLa dEshAdi NilotpalAmbikayA Nirvana Kannada GauLa
kAmEshvara mOhita kaulinyai ?? NilotpalAmbikAyai Namaste Kedara GauLa
kuLa-kauLa mArgayOginyAh NilotpalAmbikAyAh Param Nahi Re GauLa
mAyAmALava gauLAdi dEsha NilotpalAmbikAyA Tava Dasoham MAya MAlava GauLa
pUrvagauLa-prakAshinyAm NilotpalAmbikAyAm Bhaktim Karomi Purva GauLa

It is first to be agreed that the feature of using raga names ending in Gaula is a key aspect of this set.

Once we accept this, the appearance of raga mudra in this set is now expected
(i.e. even more so than Dikshitars usual inclusion in most kritis)

It appears from the list made that indeed all-BUT-ONE raga mudra are faithfully recorded by Dikshitar.

I suggest that the missing "kedara-Gaula" mudra is an anomaly !

The line "kAmEshvara mOhita kaulinyai' suggests some more or less awkward remedies ..

[1] "kAmEshvara mOhita kedara-kaulinyai' which puts some stress on the existing gait but may be relieved due to madhyamakala tricks ?
[2] "kAmEshvara kedara-kaulinyai' which may fit with known meter/gait but makes a little bit less sense lyrically
[3] "kAmEsha mOhita kedara-kaulinyai' - a workable ?? compromise of sorts
Or finally
[4] "kAmEsha mOha kedara-kaulinyai' – which seems a little better for existing gait/notation ??

It is noted that the usage “Saila rAjAtmajA moHa kArena” is seen in the Kamboji "KailAsanAthena.." ..

In the above “Kedara-kauli” for Devi has same basis as “Kedara-Nath” name for the Shiva..

So ??!…have we been getting this wrong for last 200 years, including in hoary textbooks such as Sangita sAmpradAya pradarshini !

Or is it more likely that Dikshitar deliberately did not use only the KedaraGaula mudra in this Vibhakti set perhaps to bring some added attention or emphasis to the Gaula set ??!

In any case it was a good excuse to refresh myself with hearing this set of ragas/kritis again (and again..)..

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#421 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (A Re-take/Re-org of Dikshitar's Ganapati Group kritis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

A re-take/re-organization of the Ganapati (Group ?) kritis of Dikshitar

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

After having delved in several previous posts into logical and distinct groups of kritis that capture Dikshitar’s profound inspiration for each unique deity, we are left with the pleasant task of taking up cudgels for perhaps the most controversial, namely the Ganapati !

As I have already discussed in another post below, the Ganapati occupies a unique position in Dikshitar’s pantheon , including from the Tantric viewpoint.

In these typically left-handed Tantras or vAmAcharyam, the original conception of this deity i.e. as created by the Devi
(as most stories tell) confers on Ganapati a status on par even with the primordial Shiva !

Indeed ! a nAyaka, the Ganapati’s first task was to protect the Devi and he lost his (human) head for stead-fastly performing this task, …of course getting it back as an elephant’s, with some cosmic cross-species surgery.

Only after that does he become the Gana-NAyaka/Gana-Pati.

(ps.. I do not seek to disparage such tales, I believe the sweetness of such stories is key to the strength of the faiths they have engendered. I note in passing the tale of an innocent Sabari tasting fruit before offering them half-eaten to ViSnu as RAma as another moving example, which triggered the immortal “Entaninne varnintunu” of Tyagaraja..)

The status of Ganapati as “nAyaka” or “consort to a specific goddess” is actually exploited by Dikshitar in several of his Ganapati kritis ! and is an enduring feature of the Tantric traditions..

Whereas Ganapati is considered as having perhaps even two consorts in some traditions, in others he is a bachelor
( see in Arabhi GanarAjENa the descriptor “kAnana sthita brahma caryENa”) , but admitting of extracurricular activities !!

The Tantrics go a lot further as we will see below and Dikshitar's fidelity to the icons illustrates some of this, quite graphically !

The illusory vallabhA devi referred to as “MAyA-maya vallabhApate” in the Nata-Narayani appears
also as
vallabhAmbA-ramana in Bilahari,
vallabhA-sametam in Shvetaganapatim
vallabheSam in Rakta Ganapatim
vAmAHNka sthitayA vallabhayAsZliStam – AthAna which also manages to point to the left-handed traditions or vAmA-charyam ! and here the VallabHA-devi sitting on Ganapati’s left lap is fully in his embrace “AsZliStam”.

And it is Not a motherly embrace..

It is noted that these 4 kritis are linked to sites outside Tiruvarur.

However two important kritis commonly considered as linked to Tiruvarur also carry this aspect.

The most well-known is in the Begada appearing as vallabHA-NAyakasya. I used to think there was some ambiguity here since “Vallabha” could also be merely “beloved” or “esteemed” etc..but the longer A sound in bhA has been used by most teaching traditions without much question…it also fits with the poetry of rest of the anu-pallavi, in my opinion..

In the Ucchista Ganapatau kriti , Dikshitar leaves no doubt (or room for imagination) opening the charanam with “yoni-mukhA svAdane”, which is Tantric iconography for the elephant trunk of Ganapati reaching the lap (and beyond !) of the Devi who is in his embrace. Of course Dikshitar is merely being factual to the idols he may be observing, not salacious.

The appearance of this Tantric reference to Ganapati's commonly known to be in or ascribed to Tiruvarur (the so-called Tiruvarur Shodasha or 16 kriti set) is a bit odd because these sects of Ganapatyam are believed to be anchored at other locations..Something to follow up on.

Post 66 from about 14 years ago ! gives the conventional view of so-called Tiruvarur Shodasha (16) set.

I differ and present what I think is a more suitable set below using notes in red/bold to clarify as needed..

[AA] First I believe all ~27 known kritis should be in different ragas !

So the seemingly duplicated Malahari and Athana kritis have to be “addressed”…I give below how raga mudras given by Dikshitar support other ragas for each of these duplicated kritis !!

Also I think Chakravaka and Vegavahini are different ! one being sampurna and the other asampurna
so they are OK as is because in each case Dikshitar has given the respective mudra !

[BB] I have assigned the Varali Lambodaraya to Tiruvarur, so that now all 5 Ghana Panchaka ragas are identifiable !!

in below lists Kriti start – Raga Name are given.

According to me the following ordering is more consistent for Dikshitars Ganapati kritis..

The 5 Ghana Panchaka ragas in set of 16
[1] gaNarAjEna-Arabhi
[2] lambOdarAya-varALi
[3] mahAgaNapatim manasA smarAmi-nATTai
[4] shrI mUlAdhAra cakra vinAyaka-shrI
[5] shrI mahAgaNapatiravatu maM-gauLa

Janya ragas in set of 16
[6] mahA gaNapatE pAlaya-naTanArAyaNi
[7] vAtApi gaNapatiM bhajEham-hamsadhvani
[8] vallabhA nAyakasya-begaDa

[9] hErambAya- should be in Nayaki instead of athANa

Dikshitar gives the line “prasiddha gaNanAthAya vi-nAyakA-ya”

notably nAyakA is also used as mudra for Nayaki in another kriti “praNatArttiharam namAmi”

Surely a kriti to vi-nAyaKA in nAyaKi raga should not be surprising !!

[10] gaNEsha kumAra-junjhUThi
[11] pancamAtanga mukha gaNapatinA-malahari

Common Mela ragas in the set of 16
[12] siddhivinAyakam-cAmaram
[13] mahAgaNapatiM vandE-tODi
[14] ucciSTha gaNapatau-kAshirAmakriya

( I am ignoring “Ganapate mahAmate” in Kalyani for now, there has been doubt cast on it )

Final 2 in set of 16 are Closely related to mela ragas
[15] hastivadanAya-navarOj
Navaroj is Sankarabharanam with different starting/ending point
[16] gaNanAyakam-rudrapriya
this raga is perhaps as close to Kharaharapriya as Shri ragam ..Shri S. Rajam has argued convincingly on this point... Dikshitar actually has as many as 5 kritis in Rudrapriya which elevates it considerably, of course neither Shri or Rudrapriya is identical to Kharaharapriya !!

Nottu-svara is not being considered in set of 16. I show it here for completeness..

[17] shakti sahita gaNapatim-shankarAbharaNam-noTTu svaram

Notes on the remaining 10 Ganapati kritis considered to be outside Tiruvarur

[18] vighnEshvaram- Hamir Kalyan ! not malahari which is already described in Pancha-mAtanga mukha

Dikshitar gives a line in "Vighneswaram" as “anisham vIr-Adi vinuta vighnarAjam” which identifies possible Hamvir !!
Notably this is same as in Dikshitars other kriti in Hamir Kalyani "Parimala RanganathAm" where he gives the
line “parimaLa raHNganAtham bhajEham vIr-anutam”

[19] shvEta gaNapatim-rAgacUDAmaNi
Exceptional example !! the singer shows that the acorn does not fall from the tree !!

[20] rakta gaNapatim-mOhanam
[21] vAmAnkasthitAyA vallabhAya-athANA

Dikshitar gives the line “aStAHNga yOga vara haThANa vAdi”

[22] vinAyaka vighnanAshaka-vEgavAhini

Dikshitar gives the line “dEvarAjapuratOSita vEgavAhinIvardhita” identifying the specific raga

[23] kari kaLabha mukham-sAvEri
[24] shrI gaNeshAtparam-ArdradEshi
[25] gajAnanayutam-chakravAkA

Dikshitar gives the line “caturatarakaram guruguhAgrajam praNavAkAram” which embeds as a pointer the inferrable mudra of ChakravAkA (and not vegavAhini !)

[26] Ekadantam bhajEham-bilahari
[27] shri gaNanAtham bhajarE-IshamanOhari

As far as I can tell, the re-org/re-take presented above is new and consistent with the kind of "order" Dikshitar has sought to impose on his massive talent, to channel it fruitfully across the sthalas and deities.. and ragas.
Last edited by nAdopAsaka on 10 Oct 2020, 18:24, edited 1 time in total.

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#422 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »

Brilliant post about reorg with Ganpathi. Very very analytical. I had to read twice few sections to understand better . This had to do with only my grasp not your lucid writing.

I particularly like your virtual grouping of the same pancharatna ragas a set of MD ganesha krithis .WIth that a famous temple outside of Southern state like siddhi vinayak temple in Mumbai can hold a sanskrit based pancharatna ganapthi paapa Moriya festival competing with tiruvaayaru having more viewership with doordarshan live telecast. When we have dikshitar with sanskrit we should all logically think carnatic music is only north Indian music.

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#423 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Dear RajeshNat, I appreciate your comments and interest.

minor follow-up
The so-called "Ghana" ragas (Arabhi, VarAli, Shri, GaulA and NAta) are themselves also associated by some as
particularly auspicious for the start of performances..

So having a Ganapati kriti in each is an added good omen....
...seems to be just the kind of detail that Dikshitar keeps track of..

However, the Hamsadhwani kriti may have trumped the above ?!

I venture to say that " vAtApi ganapatim" probably has the highest count (or in top three) as
invocatory kriti at start of ALL kutcheris sung to date..

..the zippy peppy quality of this kriti has a crowd-pleasing effect that vidwans figured out long ago which
belies the rather heavy status being defined for the Ganapati in this kriti..

e.g. MulAdhara ksetra sthitam etc. or
e.g. parAdi chatvari vAgAtmakam i.e. the Ganapati as of the form of all sound !!

The ending is also fascinating, where Dikshitar is decorating this
Heramba deity with (swan) sound itself !!!
as in Hamsadhwani Bhushita Herambam....

I suppose the word HamsaNAdam was already taken

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#424 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »

nAdopAsaka wrote: 11 Oct 2020, 00:38 I venture to say that " vAtApi ganapatim" probably has the highest count (or in top three) as
invocatory kriti at start of ALL kutcheris sung to date..
I have to disagree here. Concert durations where with musicians deciding to sing submain and main even for 2 and half hour concerts just does not give them time to accommodate this significant lengthier hamsadhwani krithi vathapi. Vathapi is structurally a near submain .For sure in the last 18 years i have not heard that much vathapi at all in live concerts.

But among ganapathi krithis of MD , possibly this hamsadhwani and nattai may finish slightly behind and I am conjecturing siddhi vinayakam in shanmughapriya or vallabha nayakasya in Begada or gajananayutham in veghavahini/chakravakham may be the front runner . I am assuming invocatory krithi can be either 1 drop or even 2 drop after the first varnam.

All said vathapi is the most popular krithi of ganesha words are distinct . No confusion with say uninitiated who generally get foxed and think both mahaganapathim in nattai and also mahaganapathi ravathuma in gowlai is the same mahaganapathi krithi of the movie sindhubhairavi.

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#425 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

some thoughts on mis-attributions etc. in Dikshitar etc. kritis

This post is a version of a post originally placed elsewhere (in a gopikA manoharam related thread)
Per RajeshNat it is being placed here..

In the footsteps of NadaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

I think the inherent organization and structure underlying the majority of the Dikshitar kritis offer some clues on possible “outliers” or “contested” kritis ? I also think this applies to the Maharaja’s kritis.

Misattributions could be the result of over-zealous shishyAs, particularly of the 2nd or later generations or they could be motivated by groups anxious to propitiate a particular deity, that such groups feel is perhaps less covered by Dikshitar.

Regarding the latter, for example, it has been suggested in past that Upanishad Brahmendra was instrumental in getting Dikshitar to elevate the Rama deity to a Vibhakti set.

Sticking just with the kriti “gopikA manoharam” , it can first be asserted that there are 6 other accepted Mohana kritis of Dikshitar, ALL of which carry the Mohana raga mudra, namely “nAgalingam namAmi”, “kAdambari priyAyai”, “narasimhAgaccha”, “pAhimAm pArvati”, “rakta ganapatim”,
and lastly and most interestingly “rAjagOpAlam bhajEham”.

This last kriti to viSnu also describes him as “gopijana mAlolam”. So Dikshitar is not oblivious of this key aspect of
krSnA as the amorous “cow-herd” !

However the kriti "gopikA manoharam" curiously does NOT carry reference to Mohana as raga mudra or otherwise.

Giving the raga mudra is NOT an absolutely necessary element of Dikshitar, however its appearance in all 6 known Mohanas by him , suggests a trend.

I note in passing that there is another kriti to viSnu, "vAsudEvamupAsmahE vasudEvAtmajam harim"
in the much-less heard raga “mALava paHncamam” .

This kriti also does not give any clear mudra (unless it should have been in Kambhoji !! based on that word appearing in the kriti) . It should be noted that four separate descriptors of krSnA given in the “gopikA manoharam” kriti also appear in this “vAsudEvamupAsmahE vasudEvAtmajam “ verbatim !!

Along those lines , the towering (and still unchallenged in authorship) Bhairavi of Dikshitar “bAlagopAla” ends with the words “gopikA manohara”. Similarly the Kamas also to the viSnu “sArasa daLa nayana” ends with the phrase “gOpikA manOhara gOvarddhanadhara”. A reference to “GopikA Vasantam” in the kriti BalakrSnam bhAvayAmi is also noted.

Is it possible that Dikshitar felt that this particular aspect of krSnA (as the amorous cowherd pursuing gopis ) needed further exposure in a separate Mohana kriti ? The words in the rest of the kriti do not however focus on this aspect.

Which leads to a discussion of individual Mohanas (covered by Dikshitar) and relative musical content of each Mohana versus that in this kriti. I will leave that discussion for later.

At this time I only wish to point out that all of Dikshitar’s Mohanas which are uniformly of high quality (to me) have worthy competitors in two other Mohanas [1] the padam Vadiga Gopaluni (of MuvvaGopala ?) and [2] Seve Sri Padmanabham of Maharaja. There used to be a fine version of the latter on the web by SeetalakshmiA. one of Semmangudis leading female students but I cannot find it. However some weaker renditions may be seen.

In my opinion, Dikshitar's formality may be the reason for this, which doesn't let him unlock some available features of Mohana that I believe are seen in these two kritis..

I give an excellent example of the padam here which is from the 80’s-90’s.
The lyrics may not be for the faint-hearted but Mohana is in full bloom..

ps I think this padam is a creation of the MuvvaGopala (simply because of the terrific way it opens, however there is some doubt in regard to this authorship ! )…in the unmistakable way that it captures at once the charm of the raga Mohana and the gopi’s desires within the first breath !!.

Some fine examples of how padams open and then hold attention/interest are found in this demo...
.see the ghanta at minute 9.30 for example..

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#426 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

In post 405 of this thread Muthuswamy Dikshitars NilAmbari "AmbA nilAyatAkshi" has been noted..

As far as I can tell, Maharaja's pada varna "sArasa Sara sundara"
is the only NilAmbari kriti by him to carry the NilAmbari raga mudra.. via "NiLAmbarIHarsha" in last charana

Maharaja has multiple other beautiful kritis in this raga such as Anandavalli, kalakanthi,
kAminiha, satatam sam smAramI plus utsava prabandham kriti etc etc but they do not carry this word..

In my opinion this is the influence of the Dikshitar kriti ! which may ?? have been transmitted to the Maharaja by the
Tanjore quartet , when they migrated to his court..

The gait of this pada varna is also reminiscent of the Dikshitar kriti...

a fine rendition of this pada varna is available too ..

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#427 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

In the footsteps of Muthuswami Dikshitar..

In an earlier post (# 391) the phrase "ga-ma-pa-dha dinuta" had been identified
in the Yadukula Kamboji (YK) to the horse-riding devi AbhayAmba devi.

This is both svarAkSara as well as Dikshitar employing it to point out gAndharam in
YK arohana as per Dikshitar school, which is not usual.

Turns out such a phrase "ga-ma-pa-dha dinuta "
is also used in short/sweet "GaneSa kumara" in Senjuruti/Jinjhoti/Janjhuti..(there are some nuances in these)

notably gandharam (but in avarohana) is a bhAshanga svara for Jinjhoti in some treatments

I found a nice rendition,

ps GaneSa kumara seems to have been written with a Twitter like word limit in mind...but 200 years ago !!
seems to be one the shortest kritis around...barely 10-11 words..and also uses the word gajamukha twice

Another JaHnjuti "gajAmbA nAyako" is also super short..

probably Dikshitar was responding to (ADD) attention deficit disorder

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#428 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Use/placement of the guruguha mudra in his kritis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Some observations on the use/placement of the guruguha mudra in Dikshitar’s kritis

In the footsteps of nAdaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar...

Dikshitar’s use of his ‘guruguha’ mudra /signature in Pallavi or Anu-Pallavi is another unique feature that
appears to set him apart from most of the other great composers.

Typically most vAggeyakArAs place their mudra (signature) in the charanam
or in its very last line/phrase..…not unlike most painters who sign unobtrusively (but un-failingly ?) in some corner of the canvas..

While this conventional use of mudra in charanam is also true for Dikshitar (in about 350-400 kritis),
in about 50-60 kritis the guruguha mudra appears in the anu-Pallavi, including the so-called SamaShti charana (an awful sounding term) kritis and in about 20-30 kritis the mudra appears in the Pallavi.

As is to be expected, the 8 Tiruttani Guruguha vibhakti kritis give the Guruguha mudra right at the start of the kriti ,
i.e. in the Pallavi..all have a distinct Anu-Pallavi and charanam.

In two of these, the sAma and the Purvi, the mudra word is actually used twice.
In the sAma “guruguhAya bhaktAnugrahAya” the word/phrase appears both at pallavi start and in the anu-pallavi start. I feel the re-usage is quite suitable/justified, the phrase captures the pathos of sAma quite well !

illustrated by a leading vidushi ..

Separately an Arabhi kriti “shivakAmEshvaram cintayAmyaham” set at the Cidambaram shrine, also gives the guruguha word twice.

In addition in the caturdaSa rAgAmAlika, the guruguha word appears twice, notably in suitably chosen locations in ascent (at Mohana) and descent (at BhuPAlam) structure of this complex kriti, where raga sequence reverses.

Some of the mAhArAjA’s (i.e. swAti tirunAl) kritis also distribute his mudras throughout the kritis including placing at the start..…PadmanAbha pAhi also in ArabhI is one example of many…..

.In contrast I do not find any kriti of tyAgarAja starting with his mudra or for that matter any of the other great composers..(maybe Muvva GopAlA is a possibility ?) this merely (yet) another idiosyncracy of this great mind ?

I think it reflects the overriding poetic instinct demanding optimal usage of the chosen mudra, driven by both melody and lyrical context and quite possibly also gait.

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#429 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »

Lovely post nadopasaka. I was wondering for some time why 3 or 4 great posters are excessively breaking their head in blueberry and cranberry thread.

Dikshitar apart from him being a spiritual monk who visits religious temple was perennially experimenting . He must have been a top 0.1 percent datascientist

In tirutani vibhakthi days he was young he placed his mudras at the pallavi. By any chance is there a chance he did 4 of those vibhakthis and then thirty years later being at tiruvarur with his experiences in his mind , is there a possibility of MD revisiting and completing rest of his tirutani vibhakthis.

In short was there a definite time wise chronicling being done for all these uttama vaggeyakkaras.

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#430 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

In the footsteps of nAdaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

Another interesting question from Rajeshnat !…..

“do the Dikshitar group kritis imply a grouping in “time” as in time of origin akin to a grouping in “space” as in place of origin..”

We of course do not know how long Dikshitar resided at any shrine (the bullock cart journeys to and fro would have given his back and kidneys a rough time, so he may have had to rest quite a bit ) or if he went back several times ..

As you say there is no record of these details..

From poetic impulses, some group kritis (like KamalAmbA navAvaranA or abhaYAmbA set) seem likely to have emerged in one convulsion, as an uncontrollable expression of the Dikshitar's devotion to Devi and Sakti-SaktA union.

It is noted that (supposedly) “Sri NAthAdi guruguho” is Dikshitar's very first composition as a vAggeyakArA.

This is the first vibhakti of the Tiruttani set.
As homage to his personal deity i.e. Subrahmanya it could seem at first that the Tiruttani set also comes all at once..

If so, the choice of rAgAs the (debuting) Dikshitar makes becomes interesting … while Ananda Bhairavi seems quite ready-made the other kritis in rAgAs like pAdi, pUrvi and bhAnumati are intriguing to say the least.. and dilute the argument that they appeared all at once....unless Dikshitar was subconsciously already paving the way for the major rAgAs to be chosen for the Devi and Tiruvarur Siva vibhakti sets !

I tend to agree with you though.... I think Dikshitar more likely perfected the Vibhakti approach with the Devi group kritis then later completed the Tiruttani set, there is no necessity to have most of the other grammar based Vibhakti sets/kritis generated near-simultaneously....It also of course depends on emotional fervor and also the kinds of memories (of temple details etc.) that Dikshitar would have to record or remember for future development…

The grammar-based approach (Vibhakti) conveniently allows the Dikshitar to expand and diversify his emotions (e.g. addressing the same deity in different ways) and distribute them with great variety across the rAgAs…..

he has made a virtue out of the formality of the language !

This extent of this clever usage is not seen with the other vAggeyakArAs.. even the mAhArAjA has shied away from adopting this approach although his skills at wielding words are undeniable

ps once in a while wild-goosebheri or cranbheri/bluebheri are to be sampled

bhakthim dehi
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#431 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by bhakthim dehi »

This extent of this clever usage is not seen with the other vAggeyakArAs
You need to learn more and get enough maturity to understand the work of other competent composers.

Your views are much biased and shows your liking towards Muthuswamy Deekshitar kritis.

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#432 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by RSR »

A sumptuous feast on the day of 'festival of lights'. Thank you. For a lay-rasika like me , it takes time to absorb all the points made by you . Reading all the posts one by one recursively.
A few queries ( once again, I am only a lay rasika having heard and loved some three dozen MD kritis sung by DKP, MS, NCV,and MMI)

1) May I know if English translation of the Sanskrit kruthis of MD are available in the web ?

2) I feel that it would have been better if you had not brought in Swathi ThiruNaaL kruthis in this thread on MD. especially since you are contributing in swathi thriruNaaL thread.

Maharaja is not mentioned in the same breath as the Trinity. I agree with you that Shyama Sastry was a Devi Upsaka . and Thyagaraja was primarily a devotee of Lord Ramachandra though he has sung on Devi and Siva.
occasionally toward the closing years of his life during his travel to Kanchipuram and Chennai, ( My reference is the exhaustive and lovely blog posts by srinivasaraos on Thyagaraja, MD and ShyamaSastry).

MD was primarily a Devi Upasaka of the Thanthric cult. Srinivasa Rao blog has two very detailed posts on the Thanthric aspects of the MD kruthis...look for part-8). Neither Thyagaraja nor Shyama Sastry had Tantric orientation by their own admission. They laid stress on devotion only. Purely from the theme of lyrics aspect, I have gone through the meaning of quite a few songs of Thyagaraja in Thyagaraja Vaibavam of Sri.V.Govindan and also Shyamakrushna Vaibavam of the same scholar for SS kruthis .and also his blog 'guruguha vaibavam'. I would like to know if there are other translations.

3) MD though primarily a Tantric Devi upasaka, was a pilgrim and so has sung on all the deities of the Hindu pantheon.

4) Besides the wonderful series of blog posts on MD and his music by srinivasarao, ( the link Is available in the page on Subburama Dikshitar), there is an exhaustive and informative shodhganga research publication. I have given it in the site on NCV
---------- ... araos-blog
shodhganga publication on MD ... hikshithar

5) I still feel that the Trinity, unlike Maharaja, did not give us any kruthi with srungara rasa motif.
Perhaps under the influence of one of the Tanjore Quartet, Maharaja created quite a few kruthis in tillana style. I am not aware of any such from the Trinity. to the best of my limited knowledge.

6) I have already differed with you in your interpretation of the gopika. It just means the womenfolk of the cowherd settlement. Balakrishna was adored by all especially by the womenfolk. MD's famous kruthi in Dwijavanthi speaks of Balakrushnan only.
Lord Krushna is venerated for his battlefield exposition to Arjuna -Gitaacharyan'. -how to perform one's assigned duties without any personal desire for benefits.
It holds Karma yogam and still better bhakthi yogam to be better than ganana yogam and rajayogam, as the former are accessible to all irrespective of one;s varNa and gender. Silaappathikaram of Ilango adikal treats the practice of dance and music in aaychiyar kuravi so very nicely not at all from any amorous angle.
Gita has inspired all the three major streams of Hindu philosophy and in turn, the CM composers were devotees of one or the other of the three great teachers. Not to mention the inspiring interpretations by Lokamanya, Barathy, and Vinoba.

7) In the Trinity's treatment of Lord Krushna , the Jayadeva Ashtapathi approach is totally absent. Not that they did not know about it. but avoided it. consciously. So, even when understanding MD kruthis on Ganesa from tantric point, it is better to avoid it
Perhaps, as MD was basing himself on sthala purana and sculptural representations, he faithfully records them. ( Here also, srinivasaraos long blog series on Temple architecture and sculptures can help )
According to common lore, Vigneswara is a bachelor.
I am tempted to mention a very popular slokam here.
gajaananam bhootha ganaathi sevitham, kapistha jaboopala saara bhakshitham,
uma sudham, sokavinaasa kaaranam nammami vigneswara paadha pankajam.

Granting that MD kruthis have the reputation of great literary merits, it also means lack of spontaneous outpouring as in the case of SS and Thyagaraja.

His knowledge and practice of Astrology and tantra-mantra things , shows that Devotion to deity is not as focused as in the creations of the other two.
Not being a scholar in Sanskrit and Hindu mythology and Tantric practices, I can only voice my reservations. More erudite people will either approve or reject.

Are you an R&D writer? Have you contributed to guruguha ?

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#433 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Dear RSR sir
I appreciate the patient interest and comments.

As per your reference to Deepavali, let me also suggest that perhaps the "Naraka chaturdashi" (Nov. 14 ??) is referenced by Dikshitar in the shri RAjagopala sAveri, via the line haridrAnadi tira mahotsava..? ..satyabhAma etc. also noted in this kriti..

per our older discussion ..Could it be that instead of "conventional" shrngAra, this sAveri kriti is referring to the "adoration of young children" that you note is the norm in some southern parts via "bAla shrngAra lila" ! Dikshitar is known for keeping track of these details..

I do not use any website for translation or contribute to any R&D website etc. TKG textbook has translations but as it is written by musicologists there are gaps and weaknesses possible/likely.

Tanjore quartet were students of Dikshitar before migrating to mAhArAja's court. It is hard to imagine Dikshitar or his students not thinking of dance aspects while working out their music...after all shiva, the natarAja, is the dance-giver .

Dikshitar is a vyAkarana pandit (i.e. grammarian) unlike the others....the closest in terms of sanskrit usage is the mAhArAjA so it seemed relevant (I think mAhArAjA is actually a more agile wordsmith .....dikshitar relies mostly on names of deities in his kritis)..

In my opinion, Dikshitar is commemorating ALL the faiths that he witnessed in his travels, instead of being too focused (narrow-minded ??) like the others.....has this detracted from his musical output or its quality/breadth ?? ... I do not think so but this of course can be debated.....I do think I am better off that Dikshitar had broader scope....for example...I would miss the navagraha kritis if he had been single-minded !

Between DKP, MSS and NCV you have covered all voice gravity and sweetness regimes !

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#434 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (the year-round musical pilgrim !)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

Dikshitar – the year-round musical pilgrim !

In the footsteps of Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

Several utsavas/maHA-utsavas are noted in Dikshitars kritis…

The month of these festivals/utsavas is given by him in these..

It suggests he travelled year-round and also maybe coincided his musical trips
with the festivals at these locations..

kriti/raga and line from kriti with bold for specific month is given below

hAlAsyanAtham smarAmi-darbAr-ASAdha
navAdyASADha mahOtsavam

praNatArttiharam namAmi satatam-nAyAkI-mESA
vasanta Rtu mESa mAsOtsavam

subrahmaNyEna rakSitOham-suddha dhanyAsI-visAkha
vicitra vishAkha mahOtsavEna

sArasa daLa nayana saHNkaTa haraNa- kamAs-mAgHa

In the vAtApI Hamsadhavani kriti it is possible Dikshitar makes an oblique reference to Kumbha (or mAgHa) mela/month

akSaya liHNga vibhO svayambhO-sankarabharanam-caitra
bhava ratha gaja turaga padAdi samyuta caitrOtsava

shAlivATIshvaram bhajEham-devagandhArI-griSma
vAlipUjita grISmamahOtsavam

sOmasundarEshvaram bhajEham–shuddha vasanta-vasanta
nitya shuddha vasantOtsava

kumbhEshvarENa samrakSitOham- kalyani-kumbha
kumbha mAsa makhA mahOtsavEna

some other references to festivals/ceremonies

kumbhEshvarAya namastE- kalyAni
nityashuddha buddha muktAya nityOtsava

shrI mAtRbhUtam trishiragri nAtham-kannada
mAsa varSa pakSOtsava

shrI rAjagOpAla bAla shRHNgAralIla-sAveri
nIrasampUrNa haridrAnadItIra mahOtsava

tyAgarAja mahadhvajArOha-SrI
yAgashAlAdyutsava cOdyam yamAdyaStAHNga yOgamAdyam
aSTasiddhi dAyakAmbikOtsavam

tyAgarAjEna samrakSitOham-sALaga bhairavi
yagashAlAdi mahOtsevena

shrI rAmacandrO rakSatu mAm Sriranjani
sItA kalyANa mahOtsava

shrI vAHncchanAtham bhajEham-surati
dhUrjaTim Aditya vArOtsavam

shrI sundara rAjam bhajEham-kASirAmAkriya
maNDUkAnAmAgama mahOtsava

bhaktavatsalam abhiSEkavallIyutam-vamshavati
lakSmI vivAhOtsavam

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#435 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (maHNgalAmbA devi kriti set)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

An inferred ?! maHNgalAmbA devi set

In the footsteps of nAdajyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

An ongoing discussion on the fascinating ghantA rAga (in another thread) has shaken loose (at least to me)
some interesting nuggets concerning Kumbhakonam/srivAnchiyam sites..

Dikshitars compass (which is perhaps as refined as any GPS today) gives reference to a srivAhnchiyam site.

All his maHNgaLAmbA devi kritis are based in Shri vAhnchiyam (which is about 5-10 miles from Kumbhakonam)

-shrI maHNgaLAmbikAm cidgagana candrikAm
in charanam via vanajAsanaprabhRti vAHnchitaphalapradAm vanamAlisOdarImvaratripurasundarIm

-maHNgaLAmbAyai namastE shrI vAHnchaliHNga
in the interesting raga mALavashrI

-shrI maHNgaLAmbikE shrI vAHnchIsha nAyikE-kalyani

-shrI vAHncchanAtham bhajEham shrI maHNgaLAmbA samEtam-surati

Likewise the parallel Kumbhesvara kritis refer to mahngalAmba devi as consort.

-kumbhEshvarENa samrakSitOham-kalyani charanam via indu dhara maHNgaLAmbAyutEna

-kumbhEshvarAya namastE shrI maHNgaLAmbAsamEtAya namaste namaste
one of the multiple namaste ! kritis of Dikshitar which I have discussed elsewhere (in post # 408of this thread)

At cursory glance it would seem like this is an effort to create a maHNgalAmbA Vibhakti set that is interspersed with the Kumbheswara Shiva deity as well...!! complete with mangalam in surati !

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#436 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »

There is a place called thirumangalakudi near suryanar koil . In that place prAnanaadeshwarar and mangalAmbika are the presiding dieties.

It is for you to have a deeper study of that temple and possibly connect one other yet to be connected MD krithi

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#437 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by Vakulabharana »

shrI maHNgaLAmbikAm cidgagana candrikAm
This Ghanta kriti has a clear reference to Mangalambika enshrined in Kumbakonam - mahat-Adi-kumbha-ISa mAnasa-ullAsitAm occuring in caranam of this kriti proves this without a doubt. ... -raga.html

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#438 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by SrinathK »

I have visited Sri Vanjiyam once. The Ambal is known as Mangalanayaki IIRC. There is a "vAnchita phala pradam" line in the ghaNTA kriti, but it is on the mangaLambika of Kumbeshwara temple. Of course it can be sung to the other managalambal's as well, but here there is mention of kumbhesha.

I must also see the vigraha of Govinda Dikshitar there which I am told is opposite the deity.

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#439 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (maHNgalAmbA devi kriti set)

Post by SrinathK »

Now we need you to look at the ranganatha kritis. I only know two of them - ranganayakam and ranga pura vihara. I could be asking for trouble, but the subject of ranga pura vihAra ambiguous unlike the nAyaki kriti, which is rather uncharacteristic of MD. Is the kriti is on ranganatha or rama?

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#440 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

I appreciate the comments so far in this regard. I make some responses..

The ghantA kriti describes the mangalAmbA devi specifically as “sadAshiva nAyikAm” in the opening line.

sadAshiva is a special embodiment of shiva/parama-shiva with reference also to a primordial lingam.

sri vAnjiyam site is one of the classical shiva linga sthalas, perhaps even with some claim to being the oldest. It is a site associated with desires and prayers for their fulfillment.

There are repeated sun/gold motifs in this ghantA kriti. Part of sri vAnjiyam legend is the ‘desire’ of Surya to rid himself of Daksha yagna curse. The ghantA or bell is described as part of puja paraphernalia associated with such prayers.

Further to this subjugation of the sun, which is placed at the feet of the Devi in the ghantA kriti, the Dikshitar opens with a rather pointed reference to the moon as in “cidgagana candrikAm”. One of the other sri vAnjiyam kritis (in Surati) describes an Aditya-vArotsava as well.

As I see it, the description of the devi’s consort in the Pallavi noted in context given above supersedes the later reference to the kumbheSwara deity. It is possible the latter was made due to geographical closeness of the two sites.

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#441 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat »

nAdopAsaka wrote: 13 Nov 2020, 23:05 In the footsteps of nAdaJyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

Another interesting question from Rajeshnat !…..

“do the Dikshitar group kritis imply a grouping in “time” as in time of origin akin to a grouping in “space” as in place of origin..”

We of course do not know how long Dikshitar resided at any shrine (the bullock cart journeys to and fro would have given his back and kidneys a rough time, so he may have had to rest quite a bit ) or if he went back several times ..

As you say there is no record of these details..

From poetic impulses, some group kritis (like KamalAmbA navAvaranA or abhaYAmbA set) seem likely to have emerged in one convulsion, as an uncontrollable expression of the Dikshitar's devotion to Devi and Sakti-SaktA union.

It is noted that (supposedly) “Sri NAthAdi guruguho” is Dikshitar's very first composition as a vAggeyakArA.

This is the first vibhakti of the Tiruttani set.
As homage to his personal deity i.e. Subrahmanya it could seem at first that the Tiruttani set also comes all at once..
Just an extension to my earlier thought. Apart from Grouping in space vs Grouping in origin which you have clarified , I am wondering on few things

1. A young monk like kid who had the diksha from chidambara yogi can indeed get ragas and usuallly talas like aadi and rupakam are say easy for anyone . WIth dikshitar apart from him being a great intellect . How does he also bring in a tala dimension to his krithis, possible all this came in divine fashion . But if you strip the divinity for a minute , For eg how suddenly one of the vibhakthi krithis is composed in a difficult talam like Khanda eka, khanda triputa ,mishra jhampa. Also in abhayamba krithis where i wrote some time back a review, pay attention to Vidushi Jayalakshmi Sekhar (viewtopic.php?t=23138) , there are complexities like even grammatical cases that was taken care of by Dikshitar. I am assuming There could always be some mentors who may have assisted MD and all this could have undergone quite a few iterations in years or even few after MD's passing away.

2. Also when was this grouping like abhayamba, navavarna krithis of Tiruvarur done and known to people . DId all this first come from Subbarama dikshitar or did it come bit later. Which is the first known time . manuscript that gave this grouping.

Take your time and proceed . I prefer you focusing on this thread as it is dense and you may lose out your content working parallel on other threads. Take MD to near completion please,

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#442 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

I think deliberate tAla variation is , (like Vibhakti usage, temple/deity specific approach and planned tirthas), Muthuswamy’s way to deal with supply/demand balance. i.e. the supply of available (and appropriate) rAgAs and the demand of his imagination.

Generally within a rAga it can be seen there are limited/disciplined number of Dikshitar kritis and also for a deity (at a particular shrine) there are a limited/disciplined number of kritis.

For Navagraha kritis (or sapta-vAra) which we have discussed earlier in this thread, tAla variation was almost a certainty, since the graha/planetary transits are governed by time, and Dikshitar is careful to recognize and honor such hor-ological details. So all 7 SulAdi tAlas are used in these.

Regarding his mentors/influences, it also cannot be overlooked that MuthuswAmy’s father rAmaswAmy was a tAlam super-expert. Some historians/sites (e.g. etc.) “speculate ?” that rAmaswAmy Dikshitar lived 1735-1817 and Muthuswamy Dikshitar 1775-1835, so that MuthuswAmy likely had access to his father’s legendary tAlam understanding for about 35 years per some more speculative ? algebra. As they say, Sruti – mAta, laya - pitA.

I think lineage of Dikshitars immediate students such as Tanjore quartet could also have proliferated some aspects of his kritis (apart from well-known later Dikshitar descendants). Their application to dance/tillanas in later generations (say within the mAhArAja’s court) indicates an emphasis and an appreciation of laya aspects.

The navAvarana's appear to be a deeply personal upAsanA of the Dikshitar. We are of course fortunate vidwans and musicologists have gotten their hands on them.

The choice of a tAla for a particular kriti is of course dependent on so many things and intertwined with the words being used, and in turn therefore the mood/aspect of the vAggeyakAra. SyAmA sAstrI’s works could throw some light on this question too since he has produced parallel kritis in the same rAga but in different languages/words.

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#443 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by Vakulabharana »

Also when was this grouping like abhayamba, navavarna krithis of Tiruvarur done and known to people . DId all this first come from Subbarama dikshitar or did it come bit later. Which is the first known time

You can listen to this lec-dem by my friend Dr T R Aravindhan. It is a pure research work presented in a much coherent manner. He really gives you the evidences so that you can check it by yourself.

Of course this also feature the kritis of Tyagarajar and you need to be patient till you get your content.

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#444 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (sumadyuti and indrAkila shrine)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

the rAgA sumadyuti and the ksetra indrA-kila -kanaka durga temple of Vijayawada

In the footsteps of nAdajyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar..

While the kAnCI-based kriti "kAmAkSI kAmakoti pithA vAsinI" seems more popular (likely even pAmarajana is)
Dikshitar has also a kriti in sumadyuti (i.e. mela aka simhendra-madhyamam) to the Siva of NIlACala.

i.e. nIlACalanAtham bhajEham where a nIlAmbikA devi is quoted in the anupallavi.

niLACala is a word used in Assam or Orissa-Jagannath (but the deity doesn't match) so maybe Dikshitar
is referring to a location in the nilgiri ghAts ??
additionally I believe the goddess nIlAmbikA is worshipped in regions of karnataka..

The textbooks lamely give "indraprastham" as a location but back off confirming.

The charanam of the kriti cites blue sapphire (mines/hills? ) via indra-nILa as a gemstone but I think this is a "blue" herring ?

"indra-nIla-parvata-sthita-prasiddham indrAdi pUjita vara pradam" in TKG book

From what I can tell Karur in Tamil Nadu is a possible site for such gemstones..

However I discovered a more legitimate connection can be made to an IndrA-kilAdri hill near Vijayawada (the kanaka durga temple) via the reference to Arjunas tapasya in charanam the pAshupatAstra......whether there are gemstone hills at this site not sure..

It seems to me there may be an error in the historical texts , referring to the indra-NiLA instead of to indrA-kILa...
however blue-Nila theme presented in opening lines is quite clear..

oh well... the (musical) travels continue...

M Santhanam has given rousing rendition of the kAnCI kriti, sure there are other versions as well..

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