GURUGUHA VIBHAKTHI KRITHIS (6) : SRI GURUGUHASYA DASOHAM – RAGAM PURVI – DIKSHITHAR

Sri Guruguha dasoham is the 6th composition in the vibhakthi series; it is also in the sixth vibhakthi – genitive; written at Tiruttani. The ragam Purvi is a janya of mela (15) ragam Mayamalavagoula (the raga is said to be of North Indian origin and resembles Panthuvarali in some books; also uploaders confuse it with Purvikalyani). The notes are:

Aroh: S R1 G3 M1 D1 N3 S; Avaroh: S N3 D1 P M1 G3 R1 S

The highlight of this krithi is perhaps the clear demarcation that dIkshitar draws between the disciple and the guru. The other fascinating aspect is the way dIkshitar describes the guru as an embodiment of the shrIcakram itself. The raga Purvi itself is a very special janyam of MMG and the fact that Dikshitar has handled this scale in just his 6th ever composition speaks volumes about his genius.

In Sree Vidya, the guru is not just a concept but has well-defined role as an individual. The guru is considered the most exalted individual and he is believed to be the supreme guide to a disciple. The guru always sits on top of the sahasrAra cakra, the thousand petaled lotus and devotion to the guru strengthens the mind and purifies it. This idea is well-established by dIkshitar in the first krithi of this series itself, shrI nAthadi guruguhO in which he sings "mAya kAryA kalanA hInO; mAmaka sahasra kamalAsInO". However, Dikshitar clearly states on many occasions that there is advaita bhavam with the guru and that the disciple and the guru are never the same. The disciple shares advaita bhavam only with the supreme consciousness and not with the guru. The guru is hence that enlightened soul which initiates the disciple into contacting the supreme consciousness and helps the disciple realize his/her own essential reality. Hence just to emphasize this, Dikshitar sings in the pallavi that he is either a servant of his guru or else he is the form of the supreme soul, guruguha himself. Dikshitar identifies himself with the supreme soul in many krithis.

Anupallavi. The Lord (actually Goddess Ambal, because it is Sree Vidya upasana) as well as the guru are both capable of giving enjoyment and salvation. There are actually quite a few occasions where the guru has been known to show the disciple the supreme soul and give him enlightenment. However, one should clearly understand that the guru can only show his disciple a preview of what it is to enjoy samadi and in order to stay in nirvikalpa samadi forever, it is ultimately the disciple who has to put in his own efforts, progress spiritually and find God for himself. Dikshitar further pays rich tributes to the guru soul and sings in the anupallavi that beginning with the bhUpura (the outer square), the 9 layers of the shrI chakra are itself the form of the guru. This is in sync with Bhavanopanishad (articles about the Sri Chakra and Human Body), which says "shrI guru sarvakAraNa bhUta shaktiHtEna navarandha rUpO dEhaH navacakra rUpam shrI cakram" which in essence says that the guru's body itself is the Sri chakram and all the yoginis guarding each strata are identified in the guru himself.

The first thing that strikes the rasika about the caraNam is the adyakshara prasam employed while still sticking to the genetic case using words ending with "asya". When this combines with the beautiful mishra chapu, the experience is something indescribable and the charanam is a must listen even from the musical point of view. The second thing to be noted is the pun which Dikshitar employs while incorporating the raga mudra; to refer to the ancient sages as "pUrvika munigaNa" while bringing in the raga mudra. Except for a brief reference to the samadi nishtha, for a change, this is a not a typical Dikshitar type charanam loaded with yogic and thantric references. It is quite simple in that aspect but he doesn't compromise on the usual grandeur that a Dikshitar krithi is filled with.

Today, I have selected a great musician from the younger generation, vid. Ramakrishnan Murthi, to render this composition.


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