Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
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#751 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (The Dikshitars telescope - The Dikshitars Srirangam panCa-ratna and its panCa bhuta pujA)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

The Dikshitars telescope - The Dikshitars Srirangam panCa-ratna and its panCa bhuta pujA

In the footsteps of nAdajyOti Mutthuswamy Dikshitar..

To paraphrase "another trinity", the vAggeyakAra comes to the nAda-upAsaka like a summer breeze, knowing how deep is my love.

Why ?

Because we are permitted a view through yet another powerful "telescope" operating at Srirangam !

(An analogy of the Hindu vAggeyakAra and Hubble the astronomer finding the "red/blue shifts" has been made in post # 511 of the tyAgarAja thread)

That the Dikshitar ALSO has a panCa-ratna set of 5 kritis , (albeit to both the Srirangam deities viSnu and lakSmi) cannot be ignored.

Since the Dikshitar Srirangam panCa-ratna also has a panCa-bhuta aspect, just like the tyAgarAja (as will now be illustrated), it is relevant to make this post in this thread to follow-up post # 511 of the tyAgarAja thread.

The panCa bhuta elements associated with each of the 5 Dikshitar kritis at Srirangam are identified ALONG with the basis for the rAga selection.

rangapura vihAra - brndAvana sAranga

The rAga choice is fairly obvious, capturing the sAranga aspect of the deity name (noted also for the tyAgarAjas karuna jUda-vayya) as well as the sArangEndra = king-elephant motif of "gajEndra mOkSa" in the forest.

The bhuta/element = agni/vahni appears in "ravi nayana" where ravi , the sun, is the fire symbol.. Of the five kritis here this is also the only one to refer to kAma, the fire of desire as in "jitakAma raghurAma".

It bears noting too that the formal agni lingam/tEjOmaya linga kSEtra kriti "arunACala nAtham" is in sAranga.

ranganAyakam bhAvayE - nAyaki

As "SrI ranga nAyakI samEta" the lord here is naturally addressed with the nAyaki rAga. Pretty obvious.

The bhuta/element = vAyu/air appears in "pranava-akAra", where pranava is life breath, the utterance OM and the breathing yOga.

shrI bhArgavI bhadram mE dishatu - mangaLa kaiSiki

In this kriti, the prosperity giving goddess is described as "saubhAgya lakSmi". The word mangala is exactly this auspicious welfare/bhadram. There are not many rAgas with the word "mangala" in their name, perhaps none other ?! And the thick haired (kaiSikA) tresses of the goddess reinforce the choice.

The bhuta/element = prithvi appears in "dharani-varanuta" where "dharani" is the icon for the earth.

varadarAja avAva - gangA-tarangini

The bhuta/element = salila/Apa/water appears as the sacred river name "gangA". This word also gives the rAga choice since gangA-tarangini is the only rAga carrying the word gangA.

Sri ranganAthAya namastE - dhanyASi

The benevolent lord of the prosperity-giving-goddess "saubhAgya lakSmi" of Srirangam is indeed the fulfiller of wishes (ASa) for wealth (dhana) and prosperity as in dhana + ASa = dhanyASa.

The bhuta/element = gagana/sky appears as the word "Sri-ramA-antaranga" where the lord is antara = "between" Sri-dEvi (the spiritual lakSmi) and bhu-dEvi = ramA dEvi (the material/earth/sensual lakSmi).

Of course the sky is what separates (antara) the firmament of the celestial from the earth.

Note that in "rAmaCandrEna samrakSitOham", the mAnji kriti, BOTH the consorts of viSnu are named as Sri and ramA (i.e. SridEvi and bhudEvi) with the phrase "Sri ramA bhArati gauri ramana swarupEna"

Coincidence is merely the lords way of staying anonymous, as Einstein puts it.

It only remains to complete the Srirangam panCa-bhuta pujA with fine audio led by the superlative MSS.

rangapura vihAra - brndAvana sAranga

In post # 511 I had erroneously indicated that MSS sang "O rangaSAyi" at the UN in 1966. Instead it was "rangapura vihAra" ..


ranganAyakam bhAvayE - nAyaki

shrI bhArgavI bhadram mE dishatu - mangaLa kaishiki
gAyAtri G

varadarAja avAva - gangA-tarangini
vid. amruta M

Sri ranganAthAya namastE - dhanyAshi

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#752 Re:Muthuswamy DikSitar (santAna rAmanavami for santAna rAmasvAmi-hindOlavasanta to saguna-nirguna rAma of needamangalam)

Post by nAdopAsaka »

santAna rAmanavami for the santAna rAmasvAmi -- the hindOlavasanta on the celestial swing at spring-time to the saguna-nirguna rAma of needamangalam

In the footsteps of nAdajyOti Mutthuswamy Dikshitar..


There are 2 kritis, one by the tyAgarAja and one by the Dikshitar where each vAggeyakAra appears to reference his father !

In the bilahari "dorakunA ituvanti sEva", the tyAgarAja calls himself "rAma brahma tanayu-dau"

And in the hindOlavasanta "santAna rAmasvAminam", the Dikshitar "perhaps" is hinting at his own father.

I say "perhaps" because the needamangalam rAma temple does not seem to have the long = typically 1000-2000 thousand year history of most of the other kSEtras where the Dikshitar trained his fantastic "telescope".

So the Dikshitars attraction for this somewhat off-the-beaten-path shrine might be related (in part) to the specific name of the deity "santAna rAmasvAmi" and its personal appeal as reflecting his own lineage.

There is actually another common aspect to "dorakuna" and "santAna rAmasvAminam".

Both of them rock the supreme lord (viSnu/hari/rAma) on his celestial swing !

The tyAgarAja describes this as the "kanaka-pu totla" , the golden cradle and also the "phani-talpambu" , the swaying serpent-couch, where incidentally he also gives the embedded rAga mudra as "phani talpambuna nelakona hari-ni kanugona".

Which brings us to the needamangalam hindOlavasanta.

The rAga word "hindOlavasanta" = the celestial swing at springtime is how the majestic Dikshitar imagination pictures the "dOlOtsava" of the vasanta = spring time celebration of the birth of the santAna rAma, the rAma navami.

And the rAga mudra itself is delivered by the word "hindOlavasantam Adhavam", where "Adhavam" implies the deity shaking/swinging/trembling excitedly .

Clearly (ONCE AGAIN) the rAga choice here is NOT random, to the continuing dismay of the corrupt notation-mongers.

"santAna" as representing the continuation of a dynasty

Although "santAna rAma" is correctly associated with rAma navami (as the Dikshitar does by celebrating the vasanta time festival), the shrine is also intimately connected with a childless king and his queen who worshipped here to acquire progeny.

In fact the word "santAna" is indelibly linked to lineage as in succession to a throne.

The lords own santAna !!, the twins lava and kuSa were born under the auspices of the ASram of the sage vAlmiki , to whose ASram the sitA dEvi had been banished, as per the uttara-kAnda of the rAmAyana.

Indeed, the Dikshitar pays tribute to this sAdhu with the pointed reference "santAna saubhAgya vitarana, sAdhujana hridaya sarasija Carana" !

Most of the above points (which are presented for the first time) might seem obvious, once they are comprehended.

But it would be a disservice to the "Dikshitars telescope" i.e. this wondrous kriti (like all the others) bestowed on the nAda-upAsaka by the Dikshitar in his boundless compassion, if one does not seek and discover its deeper intent.

the saguna-nirguna swarupa of the lord

Immediately from the first line itself, the Dikshitar outlines the grand theme !

santAna rAma svAminam saguna nirguna swarupam bhajarE

As far as I can tell, this is the ONLY Dikshitar kriti to the lord rAma where the all-pervading aspect is described specifically as "saguna nirguna".

Now the nAda-upAsaka begins to glimpse the vision of the swaying lord, who encompasses (and holds sway) on all that is of "form" and also on all that is "formless" and naturally anything else in between.

And the Dikshitar is using the proximity of the 2 deities that flank the lords idol at needamangalam to crystallize the imagery !

Why ?

Because in the scripture, lakSmana is regarded as the epitome of saguna bhakta. Likewise , the sitA dEvi is the complete embodiment of nirguna bhakta.

At needamangalam, the idols of lakSmana and sitA dEvi that are on each side of the lord represent his saguna swarupa and his nirguna swarupa, respectively.

And in this manner the all pervasive nature of the lord who is resident on the swing, who is "hindOla -ni-vasantam" is described, with carefully picked song and word.

The Dikshitar illustrates further !

For he gives in the anupallavi the saguna (what IS) and in the Caranam the nirguna (what IS NOT) .

How.. you ask ?

In the anupallavi, the lord IS described as "sat-Cit-Ananda".

And in the Caranam, the lord is NOT (NOT (sat-cit-Ananda)) as he says "anrta jada dukha RAHITA"..

Where anrta = untrue is "NOT sat", jada = dull is "NOT cit" and dukha = sorrow is "NOT Ananda" ! and RAHITA is NOT.

What a profound way of gauging the 2 extremes and also an early form of nested Boolean logic.

The lord is infinite but the Dikshitars "telescope" is equal to the task of assessing his grandeur.

To the untrained eye, ear and soul, it might seem at first that the Dikshitars own prayer at needamangalam to "maintain the santAna of MutthusvAmi", did not succeed. But as the nAda-sampradAya pradarSini shows, the Dikshitars "off-spring" are legion and growing, being of course, all the nAda-upAsakas.

The nAda-upAsaka revels again and again in the blessing of the Dikshitars vision.

santAna rAmasvAminam - hindOlavasanta


s rAjam

A vidya r

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