KAMALAMBA NAVAVARANAM – DAY 1A – VINAYAKA STHUTHI – “SRI MAHAGANAPATHIRAVATHU MAM” - GOULA

We begin the ‘Kamalamba Navavarana krithis’ of Sri. Muthuswami Dikshithar; the first day is only for the (1) Vinayaka Sthuthi and (2) Balasubramanya sthuthi. LORD GANESHA is glorified as "VIGHNESWARA" (Lord of all obstacles) or "VIGHNA NASHAKA" (destroyer of all obstacles). Hence it is only natural that Lord Ganesha is worshiped at the commencement of every venture, whether it is a household duty, a religious worship, an academic pursuit, or a business adventure. Even while jotting down something on a small notepad, many people start by inscribing a pillayar chuzhi at the top of the page! The music concerts are no exceptions in this regard, and it is no wonder that the Carnatik music scene is flooded with literally hundreds of songs in praise of Lord Ganesha. Every composer has made a contribution, some in large numbers, and some in a handful. A krithi on Lord Ganesha is mandatory at the beginning of every concert for its success.

Among all Carnatic composers, Muthuswami Dikshithar was the most widely traveled, and this accounts for the large number of Kshetra krithis he composed on numerous Gods and Goddesses located in various temples - from north to South India. Since he spent a great deal of time in the mammoth Temple of Lord Thyagaraja at Tiruvarur, we find quite a number of Ganapathi krithis in praise of shrines in and around this location. So far, 27 of his compositions on Ganesha are available to us, and a bulk of them is on various Ganapathi shrines in the inner courtyard of the Tiruvarur temple. There are different forms of Ganapthi worshipped, like Shodasha (16 forms), Ganesha purana gives 32 forms, Skanda puranam has descriptions of 56 Vinayakas, and Sharada tilaka tantra describes 51 forms. There are icons of these 16 forms in the courtyard of the Tiruvarur Temple, and Dikshithar has sung in praise of some (perhaps all) of them. Of the 27 available krithis, eight are on temples outside the Tiruvarur area, two have unknown locations, thus leaving us with 17 krithis on Tiruvarur. These already include four krithis on the maha Ganapathi form, leaving us with 13 krithis to account for the remaining 15 forms of Ganapathi. Hence it is impossible that we have a krithi on each of these 16 forms. Except for maha and ucchista forms, the textual tradition does not match the description in these Tiruvarur Ganapathi krithis. Again, some of the krithis like "Ganesha kumara" with a samashti charanam are merely generic epithets - which lead us to no conclusion regarding exact locations. Thus, the Shodasha Ganapathi theme (a set of 16 Dikshithar krithis in Tiruvarur, one for each of the 16 different forms) could be a myth. There might have been a set of 16 krithis composed by Dikshithar on Shodasha Ganapathis of Tiruvarur, but all of them have not come down to us at this time.

Sri. Dikshithar always took a fancy to composing group krithis on a unified theme, numbering eight, one in each of the eight vibhaktis. Again we can see that all the five Ghana ragas have been used by him in composing these, in addition to other ragas. “Sree maha Ganapathiravathumam” is composed in the Ghana ragam Goula, and is in the first vibhakthi. The wording, “gaura varNa vasana” gives the indicative raga-mudra; again, “suvarNa-AkarshaNa” (meaning one who assays gold or ‘maatturaitha Vinayakar’): it is in praise of “maattruraitha Vinakayar” whose shrine is on the banks of the Kamalalaya Tank. The Peria Puranam narrates the incident of Sundaramurti Nayanar getting some gold from the Kamalalaya tank and taking the help of this Vinayaka to assess its purity. Hence the name Maattruraitha Vinakayar (Vinayaka who assayed) and the mention in the Charanam of this Krithi.

Now let us listen to the one and only Sri. Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar rendering this Dikshithar krithi.


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