GURUGUHA VIBHAKTHI KRITHIS (3) – SRI GURUNA PALITHOSMI – RAGAM PADI – DIKSHITHAR

Sri Guruna Palithosmi is the third in this series; also in third vibhakthi – instrumental; this is set in a very rare raga, ‘PAdi’; one can clearly see the genius of Dikshitar unfold as he handles a pretty uncommon raga such as PAdi. Characteristic phrases such as "dpmrs" and "pdpns" are quite frequently used throughout the krithi and Dikshitar manages to capture the identity of the raga in its entirety. PAdi is a janya of the mela (15) ragam, Mayamalavagoula, with notes:

Aroh: S R1 M1 P N3 S; Avaroh: S N3 P D1 P M1 R1 S

In the pallavi itself, dIkshitar firmly establishes the fact that Lord Subrahmanya is perhaps the most ideal guru, for He is known to have taught His father, Lord Shiva, meaning of pranava mantra. Once again, Dikshitar is completely justified here in taking such a Lord who dwells in knowledge and consciousness as his own guru. He starts off with the dhaivatham and incorporates the characteristic phrases of "dpmrs" followed by "pdpns" at "shrI gurunA" and "pAlitOsmi" respectively. The highlight of the pallavi is the rAga mudra at "pAli"tOsmi (The letters ‘Da’ and ‘la’ are considered interchangeable and so ‘pAli’ indicates ‘PAdi’).

The greatest beauty of this set of krithis is perhaps the intricate way in which Dikshitar salutes both his guru as well as the Lord, a perfect example of "One stone, two birds", (of course there are times when he hits even 4 or 5 birds with 1 stone). For eg, here in the anupallavi, he refers to the Lord as one who is praised by the Agamas. Agamas are aspects described in the vedas which deal with rituals and their importance. These rituals in the vedas were originally conceived by the great sages (gurus themselves) in the first place and hence the Lord/guru by the virtue of being praised by other gurus attains a "super guru" kind of status. He further establishes this fact by bringing in the "Swaminatha" amsa of Lord guruguha when he defines the Lord as "the one who shines because of Lord Thyagaraja". Also, if one assumes the other meaning of vibhata which is "to respect", Lord Shiva will obviously have a lot of respect for both Lord Subrahmanya as well as any enlightened guru and here Dikshitar scores yet again. He finishes the anupallavi by highlighting once again that by ardently following the guru, a yogi can become one with the supreme consciousness who is beyond the three afflictions of Taapa namely Aadhyatmika (physical and mental pains), Adibhautika (pains caused by other animate and inanimate objects in this world) and Adideivika (supernatural interruptions by spirits existing beyond this plane).

In the charanam, one can clearly see the prasam revolving around the "Ena" and "ENa" scheme. Also, what stands out in the charanam are places where Dikshitar clearly differentiates between descriptions attributed to the Lord and those attributed to the guru. There are descriptions such as "the one who is an incarnation of SadaSiva, the one who is an embodiment of the nine nathas" etc which clearly are descriptions of the Lord. There are other descriptions like "the one who cures the disease of mental delusions" etc which are more appropriate if associated with the guru. Ofcourse, the very essence of this set of krithis is to see the Lord as the supreme consciousness (the goal/final destination itself) as well as the guru (the path/the guide) and to illustrate the fact that Dikshitar has achieved this harmony perfectly.

About ‘nAda-anta vihArENa’ the following is an explanation given by Kanchi Mahaswamigal :

"Nadopasana is a great Sadhana, related to Mantra and Yoga Shastras. It is nothing but Omkara-Upasana. Just as grammarians call the supreme being Shabdabrahmam, music scholars call it Nadabrahmam. Of course Nada is subtly different from Shabda. Shabda refers to the various sounds heard outside, while Nada is the basis of all these sounds, the point where they all culminate. When a singer holds a note in perfect pitch (Shruti) and completes it, it fades and becomes one with the Shruti (this is called Murchana) and this point is Nada. At this point, the singer becomes one with the Nada and experiences joy. This is shared by the listeners as well. This joy is nothing but Brahmananda, the bliss of knowing the self, the final goal expounded by all scriptures".

Please listen to vidushi. Sumitra Vasudev (disciple of the renowned musician vidushi R. Vedavalli), rendering this composition.


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