navagraha worshipped as deities

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 9 02:01:13 UTC 1998

>        There is also some talk of manuscript evidence in this regard,
>        none of the contemporary Indian musicologists seem to have the
>        requisite training to say much about this.
>Are you thinking only of Srivatsa here ?
>Since it seems to me that the problem is more of scholars
>not having all the necessary access !

Mainly him, but mine was also a general statement about musicologists in
India today (except for a very small number of people).

>        The controversy over the compositions on rAhu and ketu presumes
that the
>        seven others are genuinely muttusvAmi dIkshitar's compositions.
>        although nobody seems to have brought this up in the Carnatic
>        world, the composition on Sukra (SrI Sukra bhagavantam, in
Paras) is
>        quite problematic. The song begins in the accusative case, but
shifts to
>        a vocative case (hE Sukra bhagavan mAm ASu pAlaya,
vRshatulAdhISa), and
>        reverts 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
>        unprofessional for a composer of muttusvAmi dIkshitar's
>This is quite a flimsy reason for doubting the authorship of
>this composition (I am reading between your lines here).

Well, yes and no. I'm more inclined to doubt only the current form of
the anupallavi, instead of the entire composition.

>First of all, the phrase is only "daitya hitopades'a" in many
>renditions that I have heard...and in the SSP, in both the
>original 1904 edition in Telugu script and in the Tamil script
>edition put out by the Music Academy, Madras.  So there is no
>change in the middle of the "musical" sentence.

I seem to remember renditions from Madurai Mani Iyer and S. Ramanathan
as daitya hitopadeSam, but if SSP says otherwise, fine, that is

And yes, musical criteria and grammar may lead to different conclusions.
If the only argument about the kRtis on rAhu and ketu is that they are
not included in the SSP, that sounds valid enough to me. However, the
authenticity of these two compositions has also been recently doubted,
purely on the basis of mistakes in language usage, especially in the one
on ketu. But I couldn't find any obvious errors. Moreover, if the
presence of jyotisha/mantra lore is evidence of dIkshitar's authorship,
then the compositions on rAhu and ketu seem to pass the test. So, if
these two were not composed by muttusvAmi dIkshitar, we cannot say that
a later composer was not learned in jyotisha and mantra SAstras. I guess
the status of the compositions on rAhu, ketu and Sukra mirrors that of
the demons and their guru!


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