GURUGUHA VIBHAKTHI KRITHIS (4) : GURUGUHAYA BHAKTHANUGRAHAYA – RAGAM SAMA – DIKSHITHAR

The fourth in the Guruguha vibhakthi series; this composition in ragam Sama (Shyama) is in the Fourth vibhakthi – dative and on the deity of Tiruthani. For little time, I was confused by poet’s usage of his “Guruguha” mudra at two places consecutively, which is never again found in his compositions (Dikshithar uses the same line for beginning the Pallavi and Anupallavi). The manner in which Dikshitar addresses the Lord as "kumArAya" in the pallavi melts ones heart.

Dikshitar starts off with that hanging dhaivata note that straight away rings bells in your brain to qualify the status of this composition as a masterpiece in this raga. He neatly captures the entire essence of the raga by employing the "s R r" phrase at "anugrahAya" followed by the "dsrmgr" phrase at "kumAraya". Other than that, there is nothing much to explain about the pallavi. The simplicity of the pallavi encourages musicians to embellish and improvise with their own sangathis and over a period of time, the pallavi of this krithi has undergone some transformation with additional sangathis.

The Anupallavi also begins with the same phrase, ‘Guruguhaya bhakthanugrahaya’; musically, dIkshitar clearly justifies the usage. Just like how he uses the sAhityam "guruguhAya bhaktAnugrahAya" in the pallavi to capture the beauty of the avarOhaNa prayOga of "dpmgrsRr", he uses the same sAhityam to exhibit the majestic ArOhaNa prayOga of "srmPpDPM". Sri Dikshitar could have used a different set of words all together but the very fact that he uses the same sahityam to incorporate two different kramas not only shows his genius but also the flexibility of this raga Sama, which surprisingly is an extremely classical and traditional raga believed to have originated from the songs and hymns sung in villages.

Dikshitar once again emphasizes the Advaita doctrine by describing the Lord as the embodiment of Hari, Hara and Virincha all combined. It is extremely clear that Dikshitar was a strict advaitin in the fact that irrespective of whether it was his beloved Lord guruguha or Goddess Shakti, the principal deity of ShrI Vidya upasana, there are many instances in which he sees the divine supreme consciousness. There are quite a few instances such as the reference in this krithi and the bhairavi navavarnam in which he describes Goddess Kamalamba as "shrIkaNTa-viSNu-virincAdi-jananyitrAyAH" for instance to reinforce this belief. To further establish the supreme state of bliss in which Dikshitar was meditating, he describes the Lord as a unified consciousness whose natural self shines forth as sachidananda. Dikshitar explains a massive concept such as advaita in very few words in the Anupallavi; and to do something like this in just his fourth ever composition clearly shows that Dikshitar was a phenomenal genius.

Charanam: Dikshitar pretty much describes Lord guruguha as the supreme soul residing in all creations, living and non-living. Here, he once agains uses adjectives and descriptions that could be in reference to his guru as well as the Lord himself. There are some descriptions such as "satsampradAya" and "sAmarasya sampradAyakAya" which would more aptly suit the guru (of course, the same words can indeed be used to describe the Lord Himself since the guru himself is a subset of the Lord). Perhaps the highlight of the charanam is the way in which Dikshitar uses the raga mudra by referring to the yogic path of Samarasa. In his own inimitable style, he embeds the raga mudra not only without disturbing the flow of the krithi but by conveying a doctrine which clearly expresses the emotions he was going through. Those unique blissful experiences a yogi visualizes when the kundalini shakti moves through the chakras and reaches the sahasrara - these experiences are granted and governed rightly by guruguha (the Lord as well as the guru). Dikshitar portrays the Lord/guru as the path and ultimate destination that grant mukti. Here also, Dikshitar uses the names of the sages Shuka and Vamadeva twice in the last lines of the charanam.

The madhyamakala sahityam is pure bliss to listen to. Especially, the 4-2-2 akshara split of Adi talam in the madhyamakala creates a rich, majestic gait. And as a final measure to establish the clear usages, Dikshitar has appended a beautiful chitta swaram to this krithi which unfortunately has got lost over time and has disappeared pretty much. He embellishes the swarams with jarus and janta prayogams in sync with the pattern he follows in the madhyamakala sahithyam. Altogether, this krithi is yet another masterpiece that adds more beauty to this already mind-blowing set of krithis.

Here is an excellent rendition of this very rare composition by Dr. S.Sowmya.


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