navagraha worshipped as deities

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 7 22:44:29 UTC 1998

Regarding N.Ganesan's comments about the various planets and the stotras
post-dating the Tamil texts, I would be most interested in knowing his
source of information and request him to share it with us.
> From texts that I'm familiar with, S.K.Ramachandra Rao's "Nava Graha
Kosha" traces some of these Samskrt stotras back to the 5th century
A.D.and also talks of a collection of 43 verses which parallel the
Atharva Veda. In addition, Stephen Markel also says something similar in
his PhD dissertation on the Navagrahas, dating some of them to atleast
the 4th century A.D...I'd therefore be more inclined to think that the
tradition of such verses in Samskrt is longer than that of Tamil.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan says:

<<The controversy over the compositions on rAhu and ketu presumes that
the seven others are genuinely muttusvAmi dIkshitar's compositions.
Now,although nobody seems to have brought this up in the Carnatic music
world, the composition on Sukra (SrI Sukra bhagavantam, in Paras)
isquite problematic. The song begins in the accusative case, but shifts
to a vocative case (hE Sukra bhagavan mAm ASu pAlaya, vRshatulAdhISa),
andreverts to the accusative case (daitya hitopadeSam, keSava
kaTAkshaikanetram) immediately after. This happens quite abruptly in the
middle of the same sentence in the anupallavi, which sounds very
unprofessional for a composer of muttusvAmi dIkshitar's calibre.>>

  This is an interesting point; however I should point out that this
is not the only place where this kind of changing of cases( abrupt
change or otherwise being subjective) takes place. Even in the kamalAmba
navAvarNa kr*ti( which is most certainly Dikshitar's) this kind of
vibhakti change  does take place,(in the Ahiri kr*ti) the difference
being that everything from prathamA to sambOdhana prathamA gets covered
in this kr*ti( as opposed to a single change in "zrI zukra
bhagavantam"). If one were to talk about inaccuracies ( which is what
Vidyasankar seems to be refering to), I've seen that the last part of
the Ahiri krti which using sambodhana prathamA with I-karAnta strIlimga
zabdas mistransliterate/ and lengthen the vowel. ( i.e. it is like
saying "hE gaurI" in place of "hE gauri").Such incorrect transmission
has also been noted in the yadukulakAmbhOji kr*ti "abhayAmbikAyai
azvArUDhAyai". I therefore believe that the anamoly of changing
vibhaktis can be explained more in terms of possible incorrect
transmission as opposed to somebody else writing the krti in place of

  I remember reading some place that Dikshitar composed this krti
in the raga Paraju, which was foriegn to Carnatic music in order to
bring out the "foriegn" status of zukra i.e. he was a deva who was
advising the dAnavas. IF one were to accept this argument, it is also
possible that he came up with this sudden switch to the dvitiyA vibhakti
and back ( a grammatical peculiarity)in order to illustrate
the peculiar situation in which zukra had been placed. From what I
remember of the story of yayAti,( not sure though) there was a situation
where zukra tried to approach the devas but was forced to go back to the
danavas.It may have been possible that dikshitar was trying to
illustrate this attempted change of status through this
quick change of vibhakti.


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