KAMALAMBA NAVAVARANA KRITHIS – 2nd AVARANAM – “KAMALAMBAM BHAJARE “ - KALYANI

Muthuswami Dikshithar has composed “Kamalambam bhajare re manasa” in ragam Kalyani, on the second Avaranam. This is evidenced by the usage, “nitya kalyANIM kAtyAyanIM” (the ever-auspicious one, the daughter of Sage Katyayana) to contain the raga-mudra, as well as describing Goddess as ‘ever-auspicious’. This is, as mentioned in the preface, a very rare quality of Dikshithar, to include raga-mudra giving a meaning also for the same.

The Second Avarana is Shodasa Dala, and the Chakra is Sarvashaparipuraka chakra (fulfiller all desires and expectations); the yogini is Gupta Yogini; Mudra is Sarva Vidravini; the Siddhi is Laghima; and the mental state is Swapna and the presiding deity is Tripureshi. The Shaktis are the sixteen starting with Kamakarshini. This avarana corresponds to the Savdhistana chakra of the mother Goddess. Sri. Dikshithar describes in the charanam as:

“sarvASA-paripUraka-cakra svAminIM parama-Siva kAminIM

durvAsArcita gupta-yOginIM duHkha dhvaMsinIM haMsinIm

nirvANa nija sukha pradAyinIM nitya kalyANIM kAtyAyanIM

SarvANIM madhupa vijaya vENIM sad-guru guha jananIM niranjanIm

garvita bhaNDAsura bhanjanIM kAmAkarshiNyAdi ranjanIM

nirviSEsha caitanya rUpiNIM urvI tatvAdi svarUpiNIM”

The second avarana krithi is in the Dwithiya (accusative) vibhakthi and in Adi taalam. The sixteen petaled lotus(shodasha dala padma) called sarva asha paripuraka chakra , the fulfiller of all desires , is the second enclosure. In the sixteen petals, the sixteen vowels of Sanskrit alphabet is inscribed.These symbolize sixteen kalas or aspects or phases.This Avarana is about the self protection of the devotee (atma raksha); and liberation from discontent by seeking identity with Shiva the ever complete and content. He calls upon his mind to meditate on Kamalamba and cast aside attachments to illusory existence (kalpita maaya) .The craving Asha springs from discontent; and is quenched when discontent is eliminated. That is possible when devotee identifies himself with Shiva.

Dikshithar worships the presiding deity of Sarvasaparipuraka chakra, the fulfiller of all desires and expectations (Dukha Dhvamsineem); the beloved of Parama Shiva; the bestower of true and everlasting bliss (Nirvaana Nija Sukha Pradaayineem). She is the manifestation of attribute-less supreme spirit (Nirvishesha Chaitanya Roopineem). She is also the representation of the world and its principles (Urvee Tatvaadi Svaroopineem). When he calls her “she who is worshipped by Durvasa (DurvAsArcchita)”, he is referring to the Kaadi matha tradition to which he belonged. The sage Durvasa is one of the gurus of the Kaadi matha. Dikshitar also refers to the Gupta Yogini, the yogini of this avarana; the sixteen, Shakthis starting with Kamakarshini (kAmAkarshiNyAdi ranjanIM). They are also called nithyas and named Kamakarshini (fascinating the desires), Budhyakarshini (fascinating the intellect) etc. They relate to powers in the Five Elements, the ten senses of perception or Indriyas (being further divided into five organs of action and five sense organs) and the Mind. “nija sukha pradAyinIM

nitya kalyANIM kAtyAyanIM” refers to the sixteen Devis of this avarana, called Nitya Kala or Nitya Devis.

As we can see, most of the names attributed to Goddess are from Lalitha Sahasranama; again Dikshithar, while he wanted to describe all the above without losing any of the details, was also very particular in beautifying all his compositions with prasams and anuprasams (usage of very similar words at the beginning and end of each line) – highlighting his genius.

The composition is set in accusative case (dvitIyA vibhakti). The basic sentence unit (anvaya) is “kamalAmbAM bhaja re re mAnasa, kalpitamAyAkAryam tyaja re” (Oh mind, worship the Goddess Kamalamba and renounce worldly desires, which are illusory), and the remaining phrases qualify the dvitIya noun “kamalAmbAM''. All these adjectives end in the “m'' sound. The word ``kamala'' has been used several times with several different meanings here. The Goddess Kamalamba is conceived of as being served by Lakshmi and Sarasvati in this composition. It may be noted that the phrase ``sacAmara ramA vANI savyadakShiNa sevitA'' appears in LalitA sahasra nAma. Dikshitar also begins the nASamani rAga kriti with the words ``shrI ramA sarasvatI sevitAm shrI lalitAmbAm bhAvaye''.

By reciting this mantra, one shall achieve

i. The entire mercy of Sri Lalita Mahatripurasundari

ii. The entire satisfaction of all desires

iii. All auspicious things

iv. Ambal’s protection.

This is by far the best krithi ever composed in kalyAni,defining in entirety the beauty of this rAgA and I am sure all rasikas will agree on that. It is a simple beginning stating the basic purpose of one's birth..to realize that this entire world is a mAyA and move on to the higher astral plane. it is a nice pallavi and acts as a good platform on which he builds the anupallavi in which he describes the beauty of the Goddess; and it is the most beautiful part of the song. It is exquisite with characteristic kalyAni phrases and the sAhithyam just fuses amazingly with the tAlam. Dikshithar sings of the true beauty-portraying Goddess KamalAmbA as the mother of all mortals. One can vividly imagine the KamalAmbA sannidhi at the TiruvArUr temple listening to this anupallavi; which is yet another characteristic feature of all Dikshithar krithis. In the charanam, as usual, Dikshithar delves into the deeper esoteric part of the krithi combined with some beautiful references to mythology. Things to look out for in the charanam are the mention of the chakra on which the krithi is composed and the mudhras.

Now, let us listen to Sri. Neyyattinkara Vasudevan, one of the greatest musicians from Kerala, rendering the above Kalyani raga composition.


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