KAMALAMBA NAVAVARANA KRITHIS – 9th AVARANAM – “SRI KAMALAMBA JAYATHI” – RAGAM AHIRI

“Sree Kamalamba jayathi” – Dikshithar krithi on the 9th and last Avaranam; the Bindu of the Sri Chakra – “Sarvanandamaya chakra”- where Mother is called mahA tripura sundari as also parAparAti-rahasya yOgini. This composition is set to ragam Ahiri; the raga mudra is hidden in the charanam as “sEvita ram’A harI’Sa vidhAtrE” (also meaning “the one served by Lakshmi, Vishnu, Sarasvati and Brahma”) . As regards Ahiri, the Raga of the krithi associated with the ninth avarana, there is a view, the raga has all the twenty-two notes in the octave; and such a fusion of all melodic and temporal elements in the same krithi is rather unusual especially when the pallavi has distinctive prose sections put together, seamlessly. Also, this composition contains all the vibhakthis; the pallavi employs Prathama vibhakthi, the anupallavi - the Dwithiya and Thrithiya vibhakthis, while the charanam has one line each in Chathurthi, Panchami, Shashti and Sapthami vibhakthis. The line set in Chathurthi vibhakthi also incorporates the Sambodhana (Ashtama vibhakthi), while the two lines sung in madhyamakala return to the Prathama vibhakti (*Please see below for full details)..

The avarana is the Bindu and the Chakra is Sarvanandamaya chakra, (replete with bliss), the supremely blissfull one. It is independent of the intersecting triangles. This, in a temple, would be the sanctum sanctorum, with all the other circles or enclosures representing various parts of the temple as you move inwards. It is this Bindu that is in reality the Sri Chakra; it represents the mother goddess Maha Tripura Sundari, Lalitha or Rajarajeshwari herself; and everything else is a manifestation of her aspects. The yogini is parathi para Rahasya; the Mudra is sarva yoni; and the Siddhi is Prapthi. The mental state is Savikalpa Samadhi. The presiding deity is her Transcendent Majesty Lalita Maheshwari Mahatripurasundari. Her vidya is Kamaraja vidya. The Shakti is Maha Tripura Sundari the personification of Brahman. This avarana corresponds to Brahma_randra on the top of the head of the mother goddess.

The goddess is nothing other than the devotees own self. The self here refers to individual consciousness (buddhi) which is beyond the body-mind complex. It is filled with all bliss (sarvananda maya). This constant, abundant bliss is the expression of the union of Siva (consciousness) and Shakthi (power of deliberation Vimarsha). It is the very basis of existence. The significance of this avarana is the complete harmony (samarasya) of principles of pure consciousness (Siva) and the principle of energy as deliberation (vimarsha shakthi). It signifies a state of non-duality, where all tendencies of approach and withdrawal become nonexistent, dissolve in a state in which the devotee ultimately rests. Bliss, in Tantra, is explained as resting in oneself (Swarupa pratishta). Dikshitar bursts forth into a fountain of divine ecstasy and sings the glory and the celebration of the Supreme Mother Goddess in highly lyrical and sublime poetry. The krithi is also rich in Sri Vidya lore. He describes the Mother as the very personification of the Bindu, the pure consciousness at the centre of Sri Chakra (ChidbimbA Pratibimbendu BimbA); and as one who resides as the Bindu, in a mansion of ruby (ChintAmani Mandirastha), at the heart of the Sri Chakra (Shreepura Bindu Madhyastha).Here the expression bimbendu, refers to the moon and the point. As per the Tantric ideology the mother goddess is the moon; and the fifteen phases of the moon are her individualized aspects, kalas. She resides in the lunar orb.

The seat of Lalitha or Maha Tripurasundari is Yoga pitha, in the form of red lotus, impressed with the Sri Chakra design, symbolizing the very heart of the devotee. The symbolism of this appears to be that Mother goddess worshipped in Sri Chakra is indeed the universe in all its aspects; and the devotee has to identify this principle in his body; and again his body too is Sri Chakra and the universe in miniature. It is explained further, Siva and Shakthi should not be viewed as mere male or female principles. They are indeed neither male nor female; nor even neuter. They represent the unity of consciousness and energy the very basis and the essence of all Universe. In the line “KAmAdi – DwAdashabhir-upAsita KAdi – HAdi- SAdi – Mantra-rupinyAh”, Dikshitar is recalling the twelve gurus and the traditions of the Sri Vidya. The Sri Vidya tradition which centres on the worship of Sri Chakra considers the following twelve gods and sages as its gurus: Manu, Chandra, Kubera, Lopamudra, Kama (Manmatha), Agasthya, Nandisha, Surya, Vishnu, Skanda, Siva and Durvasa. It is said; each of the twelve gurus propagated a school with regard to the worship and significance of Sri Chakra. Of these, only two schools have survived to this day; one is the school started by Manmatha (also called Kamaraja) known as Kadi-matha. The Kadi tradition was continued by sage Agasthya. The other school is Hadi-matha started by Lopamudra wife of the Sage Agastya. There is also an obscure third school called Sadi-matha. Dikshitar belonged to the Kadi Matha School, started by Kamaraja.

The concluding phrase “SAmarasya Nidarshini” suggests the complete harmony (samarasya) of the principle of pure consciousness (Prakasha, Siva) and the principle of energy, as evolution or expansion (Vimarsha, Shakthi). It signifies (nidarshini) a state of non-duality, a state in which the devotee ultimately rests (Swarupa pratishta).

This song employs all eight vibhaktis. The pallavi is in the nominative case, the first three lines of the anupallavi are in the accusative case and the rest of anupallavi is in the instrumental case. The first line of the charaNam is in the dative case, and also incorporates the vocative (in the word cinmAtre). The consecutive lines are in ablative, genitive and locative cases. The last two lines, meant to be sung in the madhyamakAla, are again in the nominative case, in order to return to the main pallavi line.

Please listen to a sublime rendition of the Ahiri raga composition of Sri. Dikshithar, by Ranjani – Gayathri sisters.


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