Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
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Sachi_R
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#1 Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 31 Mar 2018, 14:35

Ok, some wise guy or scholar may have said it before. But I say it now. Among the Trinity, Sri. Dikshitar is by far the composer for these times. Wait! Don't agree so readily. Give me the pleasure of elaborating my reasons, please!

A. Dikshitar compositions are not ones learnt and delivered easily, especially by those with iffy musical training with iffier pronunciation. Luckily, in present times (abbreviated henceforth as IPT), the lyrics in various scripts are available, even with word-by-word meaning, on the Internet. Also a number of renditions. So one can negotiate the learning process more easily.
B. IPT, so many lec-dems are available illustrating the esoteric compositions of Sri. MD. This whips up curiosity and learning interest.
C. Dikshitar kritis are lyric dominated rather than sangati dominated. If you take Tyagarajayogavaibhavam, you will see the beauty of the composition that unfolds step by step, leaving little by way of sangatification to the singer.
D. Since the language is Samskrita, all Indian language speakers can relate to the meanings more or less.
E. IPT, Google and Wikipedia are a finger tap away. It's easy to see the lyric and meaning as you listen to a Sri. MD kriti. That makes it more enjoyable.
F. The raga debates, the scheme debates, the kshetra and Srividya etc. debates,seem appealing to the techie- and debate-oriented lot that fill 30-40% of the audience these days. So a winner here, too!
G. Bhakti ideas of surrender, helplessness, argument with God etc. are relegated and descriptions and cataloging of epithets takes front stage. Story and legend. This strikes a chord with the NEW Carnatic audiences who read Pattanaik and listen to TMK.
H. Nottuswaras have more appeal these days than Dasar padas!

So I think we need to celebrate the modernity or contemporaeinity of Sri. MD IPT!

Please look up and listen to a recent lecdem of Sri. TMK on Dikshitar.
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Sachi_R
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#2 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 01 Apr 2018, 00:31

I want to report that a dear and respected friend of mine here at Rasikas and outside of it has accused me of being under the influence of hallucinogenics and imagining this lec-dem by Sri. TMK.

I remonstrate vehemently and share here the video (please click on the pic with due reverence to Sri. Dikshitar).


Image



Owing to some machinations of a recalcitrant mic-man, the discourse lapses into inaudibility on many an occasion. But be strong. Stay the course. A full two and half hours.

By the way, I missed mentioning the treatise सङ्गीतसम्प्रदायप्रदर्शिनी, the huge guide to the world of Sri.Dikshitar's music. I don't think any other composer's body of work is illumined by such a treatise.
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Ranganayaki
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#3 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Ranganayaki » 01 Apr 2018, 06:55

Thank you for the video!
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kvchellappa
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#4 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by kvchellappa » 01 Apr 2018, 07:17

Thanks for the link. I knew of his work on SSP in collaboration with several artistes, Smt. Vedavalli, Sri RSK, etc. and changing the ragaswarupa of some ragas like sahana to what it was (would have been?) to start with.
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parivadini
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#5 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by parivadini » 02 Apr 2018, 10:39

Dear Sachi,

Since the recording didn't come out as desired the organizer had requested me not keep the video in public. Hence it was kept as unlisted. I realize that keeping unlisted is "unsafe". I have no option but to make it private.

Thank you for your understanding.
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Sachi_R
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#6 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 02 Apr 2018, 11:08

Uhho. Sorry I defeated the purpose of the posting by commenting on the recording quality.

Just shows there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.

Apologies to all. Will find another lec-dem and post a link here.
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Sachi_R
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#7 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 02 Apr 2018, 11:16

Here are four lec-dems!

https://youtu.be/roHNLlykjZQ

https://youtu.be/K83dNbItH0k

https://youtu.be/hHPsish23CA

https://youtu.be/znhNZ7sm24g

The fourth link is to the first of a set of three 🙂

The total duration of these lec-dems is over 4 hours.

And there are MORE lec-dems on You Tube!
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parivadini
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#8 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by parivadini » 02 Apr 2018, 13:18

Sachi_R wrote:
02 Apr 2018, 11:08
Uhho. Sorry I defeated the purpose of the posting by commenting on the recording quality.

Just shows there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.

Apologies to all. Will find another lec-dem and post a link here.
Sachi,

the decision was not after you had posted the links. This was right after the day of webcast. The link was "always" unlisted. I'm not sure how found the link in the first place :-)
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Sachi_R
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#9 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 02 Apr 2018, 15:16

I can find MANY things. My speciality.
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vijay.siddharth
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#10 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by vijay.siddharth » 03 Apr 2018, 14:20

Sachi_R wrote:
02 Apr 2018, 15:16
I can find MANY things. My speciality.
Rather, I found it by accident while surfing the 'Lec Dems' playlist on the Parivadini channel and then sent it to you via WhatsApp :twisted:
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Sachi_R
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#11 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 03 Apr 2018, 14:33

I find that there was no accident in my finding either you or your whatsapp and then clicking the link to the old demo.. Which I had tuned in to during the livecast anyway!
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vgovindan
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#12 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by vgovindan » 27 Apr 2018, 08:50

........"Bhakti ideas of surrender, helplessness, argument with God etc. are relegated and descriptions and cataloging of epithets takes front stage. Story and legend. This strikes a chord with the NEW Carnatic audiences who read Pattanaik and listen to TMK."......

bhakti is of two types - SAnta bhakti and rAga bhakti. tyAgarAja is the example of rAga bhakti and MD is the example of SAnta bhakti. tyAgarAja in his kRti SAntamu lEka ends it with 'upa' - upaSAntamu lEka. This upaSAnta is the same which is stated by tirumUlar also. upaSAnta is the ultimate tranquility that emanates when the bhakta - as jIva - has realised jIva's oneness with the paramAtma and he (jIva) ever feels the divine presence and all-pervasiveness and, therefore, no demands.

In order to appreciate SAnta bhakti one needs to transcend ordinary human emotions. While rAga bhakta's anguish and cry are easily relatable to general population, it requires a much more sophistication and poise to understand and appreciate SAnta bhakta's outpourings - which are totally diiferent, but both leading to same goal.

Therefore, MD's compositions are no less outpourings than tyAgarAja's. Atma-nivEdana is the hallmark of both SAnta bhakti and rAga bhakti.

These are not word-plays - but pregnant with profound meanings, understanding which requires a lot more than musical knowledge.
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vgovindan
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#13 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by vgovindan » 27 Apr 2018, 09:11

tyAgarAjE kRtyAkRtyam arpayAmi;
vidEha kaivalyam yAmi

If only one could understand - not intellectually - these statements - 'kRtyAkRtyam arpayAmi' and 'vidEha kaivalyam yAmi' the atmosphere could be made electric.

https://youtu.be/nNupD16tNYI
Last edited by vgovindan on 27 Apr 2018, 11:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Sachi_R
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#14 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 27 Apr 2018, 10:46

Sir,
Wonderful!
This forum is not ideal for these specific discussions. So I desist from writing more than just giving a link to Swami Vivekananda's easy translation of the Narada Bhakti Sutras, considered to be the definitive source material for discussing Bhakti.

PS:
My Go-To source for everything is the Bhagavadgita! That contains extensive discussions of Bhakti and Jnana.
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rajeshnat
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#15 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by rajeshnat » 27 Apr 2018, 11:15

Sachi
YOu can always give a gist of what you think in terms of specific agreements and disagreements . Giving another url is way too taxing .You are always a gifted communicator give a gist please.

Govindan Sir,
This kind of compartmentalization of this is more shantha bhakthi and this is more raga bhakthi does not resonate with me that well (for sure my ignorance in language is a factor). At your leisure please look at the comparison of T and MD by SRJ which is along your lines.
http://carnatica.net/special/dikshitar2.htm - This one is really good
http://carnatica.net/special/dikshitar1.htm
If Dikshitar had written say 25 compositions in telugu and Thyagaraja had written 25 compositions in sanskrit then will our view point be the same . My call is possibly we are attributing to sanskrit vs telugu word semantics and word structure of consonants/vowels here.

Any case donot spend too much time in this post. I am awaiting on your response of composition vs Outpouring where you are going to surely write a long post in that thread.
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vgovindan
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#16 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by vgovindan » 27 Apr 2018, 12:08

Rajesh,
I am afraid whether I could live up to your expectations - be ready for a damp squib.
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Sachi_R
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#17 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 27 Apr 2018, 13:26

Rajesh,
I gave that link after due thought to whether it complicates matters.

Anyway, I feel the best way is to paraphrase Narada (according to S. V) :
Bhakti is intense love for God.... When all thoughts, all words, and all deeds are given up unto the Lord, and the least forgetfulness of God makes one intensely miserable.
Bhakti is an end in itself. In that state one experiences God, or Ultimate Bliss. One no longer remembers oneself. In other words one dissolves into God.
That is what Meera, Andal, Chaitanya, etc. reached.

The ideas of Dikshitar, eg. "vidēhakaivalyaṃ yāmi" ("I reach the state of bodyless aloneness") describes according to me the same state of Bliss.

But the paths are radically different.

One takes the aspirant to God=Bliss through worship and surrender.

The other follows the path of "Neti, Neti" and eliminates everything else, including external elements and objects of worship, through negation to achieve the final affirmation of one's Self alone. That Self is the only remaining thing, and it exists with no material dimension.

When the aspirant descends from that state of Bliss into body consciousness, (such a possibility is given to people like Ramana or Ramakrishna or Shankara or Ramanuja), they describe it in terms of what path they took and what other contexts and conditions they operate in. These differences appear to differentiate the paths, but both lead to the same Bliss.

When a Bhakta describes God, he or she will use "personal" "roopa-nama" epithets. When the other aspirant describes it, he uses abstract condition descriptions.

Dikshitar: vidēhakaivalyaṃ yāmi

Thyagaraja:karuṇājaladhē ḍāśararathē!....

Now interestingly, except in compositions like the "nirvāṇaṣaṭkam" "tadvajjīvatvaṃ", you will find also lines of appeal and prayer to a personal god eg, Devi, Shiva, Subrahmanya, Ganesha, Guru etc.
The way to interpret such songs (for me) is that the aspirant is willing to pray and appeal to a higher source for strength, wisdom and grace, but eventually he wants to reach that state of "videhakaivalyam" wherein that being or source has no role.

This post is already too long for my liking.



I sincerely appeal to you and everyone else to read the Bhagavadgita. It is not a complex book. Take any translation. The best one according to me is by Swami Tapasyananda, published by the R K Math, Mylapore.
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Sachi_R
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#18 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 27 Apr 2018, 13:29

Postscript:
The Narada Bhakti Sutra is an instruction to an aspirant. The initial part describes that end point. Then the sutra describes the path and the method.

Paramabhaktas like Dhruva, Prahlada, and even I think Thyagaraja, had their Guru in Narada.
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vgovindan
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#19 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by vgovindan » 27 Apr 2018, 14:54

Sachi,
A nice explanation. I will add this much -
No upAsana is possible at nirguNa level. Therefore, till one is embodied, even one who has attained jIvan mukti will continue to perform saguNOpAsana - yadyat Acarati SrEshThaH tattadEva itarO janaH. Even avadhUta sannyAsi like sadASiva brahmEndra performed saguNOpAsana.
Last edited by vgovindan on 27 Apr 2018, 16:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Sachi_R
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#20 Re: Muthuswami Dikshitar - The composer for 21st century

Post by Sachi_R » 27 Apr 2018, 16:02

Good.
For others:
The shloka Sri. Govindan quotes is from BG 3.21.
It translates thus:
Whatever a great man does, so do the others. Whatever he does becomes a role model for the world to follow.
In this context, it is to be applied thus:
A jivanmukta, although he does not need to do any worship or prayer, may resort, or does resort, to prayer and song, so that people like me may emulate him and reach God through prayer.
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