GURUGUHA VIBHAKTHI KRITHIS (5) : GURUGUHADANYAM NA JANEHAM – RAGAM BALAHAMSA – DIKSHITHAR

Muthuswami Dikshitar exclusively uses the Panchama vibhakti (fifth/ablative case) to beautifully continue the Lord/guru theme while employing a rare raga. The fact that Dikshitar uses a raga such as Balahamsa in only his 5th composition ever speaks volumes about the great genius. Ragam Balahamsa is a janya of mela (28) ragam Harikambhoji; with notes:

Aroh: S R2 M1 P D2 S; Avaroh: S N2 D2 P M1 R2 M1 G3 S

In this composition, Sri. Dikshitar seems to have dwelled in a slightly higher meditative realm than the first four krithis of this series. Also, one can notice that he successfully manages to further erase that thin line of demarcation between the Lord and the guru. In the pallavi itself, he extols the Lord/guru by addressing them as perhaps the most knowledgeable people he has come across. He clearly makes use of the tale in which Lord Subrahmanya teaches his own father Lord Siva and thereby highlights the Acharya amsha of the Lord. And if you see from a disciple's view point too, it is the guru who unravels the mysteries of the sacred texts and enlightens the student about the shastras.

The Agamas are basically sacred texts giving details of certain techniques and modes of worship of Siva, Shakti and Vishnu. Each Agama consist of 4 parts. The first part deals with philosophy and spiritual aspects. The second part usually talks about yogic techniques for controlling the mind and senses. The third part extensively deals with rules that need to be followed for construction of temples and sculpting idols and statues. The final part talks about rules one needs to observe while performing rituals and other ceremonies. So, Dikshitar clearly chalks out the idea behind this krithi while he attributes the "dispeller of ignorance" status to the Lord and the guru simultaneously.

Dikshitar clearly shows his inclination to advaita vedanta in the anupallavi. He takes the Lord/guru theme to a new high when he describes the Lord as the embodiment of that universal truth which pervades everything right from the supreme consciousness (Siva) to all the creations in this world and beyond, a clear allusion to the jeevatma-paramatma concept. The guru too becomes a representation of that universal truth/consciousness which a disciple wishes to reach through continuous God-union and having attained a divine high position, the guru too resonates with the supreme consciousness and traverses everything from that paramatma to individual jeevatmas. Dikshitar further compares the resplendent form to the lustre of crores of sunrises. It makes us wonder as to the high levels of consciousness which Dikshitar must have ascended in order to give such a wonderful description.

In typical Dikshitar-ish charanam style, he directly jumps into the yogic aspects and further establishes the idea and the importance of a guru in a soul's spiritual progress. Dikshitar once again shows the meditative realm in which he exists by clearly describing his spiritual experiences in the charanam. He describes the Lord as the one who dwells in the sahasrara cakra and as the one who loves His devotees and their unconditional love. And simultaneously he weaves this magical fabric by employing phrases like "snpds" at "sakaLa candra" and "rgsr" at "prakASinO". It is with phrases such as this that Dikshitar brings out the jeeva rishabha beautifully. He choreographs the ending of each line in the charanam with delicate precision as he continues to employ some eye-popping phrases like "Spdnp"..amazing brilliance yet again from the genius.

The madhyamakala sAhityam is a stroke of genius once again. How else can anybody explain the way he embeds the raga mudra balahamsa as “aharahaHprabala haMsa” without distorting the meaning? Dikshitar then uses vedanta paribhasha when he refers to jahallakshana and ajahalakshana in order to further establish the advaita philosophy of union of the supreme soul and the individual soul. vedanta paribhasha is basically a treatise which discusses the origin, nature and validity of the knowledge as expressed in advaita vedanta. So, it basically is in-depth grammar. Dikshitar beautifully captures the essence of the raga and sort of gives a complete picture of this "rare" raga. To further emphasize the delicate structure of the scale, Dikshitar caps it off with an awesome citta swara section (request to kindly look into the SSP and follow the chitta swarams). The wording “cidAnanda nAtha-AtmanO” refers to the Deeksha Nama of Muthuswamy Dikshitar.

Now, it is time to listen this composition from one of the greatest legends, musician and guru, vidushi R.Vedavalli, the singer who extolled classicism and musical grammar.


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