muttusvAmi dIkshitar (was Re: navagraha worship ...)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 8 06:43:06 UTC 1998

S Krishna <mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM> writes:

>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
>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
>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

There is a big difference between the change of case in the Ahiri
composition in the navAvaraNa set and in the Pharas composition on
Sukra. In the former, the change of case is in proper order, with a
steady pattern to it. In the Pharas composition, the change seems
uncalled for.

Also, in the Ahiri composition, each change of case is done in a
separate clause/sentence, which can stand by itself. There is kamalAmbA
jayati, followed by mahAtripurasundarIm rAjarAjeSvarIm cintaye'ham,
pAlito dayAkarayA and so on. In the Pharas composition, the rest of the
anupallavi and the caraNam have no separate verb, so that they have to
be connected to the pallavi, in order to make sense. Therefore, the
sambodhana sticks out in the middle of the dvitIyA. There can be no
doubt about the Ahiri composition being muttusvAmi dIkshitar's, but the
Pharas one remains debatable.

>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

In the Ahiri navAvaraNa composition, the portion "brahmamaya prakASinI,
nAmarUpa vimarSinI, kAmakalA pradarSinI, sAmarasya nidarSinI" has to be
connected with the sentence kamalAmbA jayati (in the pallavi), so the
I-kArAnta is justified. It is effectively a final return to the
prathamA, in order to round off the composition. The sambodhana is
present in the word cinmAtre, which occurs in the sentence which uses
the dative case - SrI mAtre namaste cinmAtre. And if you notice the SrI
composition which uses sambodhana throughout, the i-kArAnta has been
transmitted by musicians quite properly.

>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

It can also be explained in terms of an interpolation into an original
composition by muttusvAmi dIkshitar.

>  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
>and back ( a grammatical peculiarity)in order to illustrate
>the peculiar situation in which zukra had been placed. From what I

Well, mythology can be used in myriad ways. But we must remember that
Pharas is mentioned even in the cilappatikAram (if its identification
with the takkeSi paN is correct), so it is not all that foreign to
Carnatic music. In any case, UttukkADu venkaTasubbaiyar, a pre-dIkshitar
composer has also composed in Pharas. In contrast, dvijAvantI is a more
'foreign' rAga, which was first introduced to Carnatic music by
muttusvAmi dIkshitar.


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