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

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 10 23:24:11 UTC 1998

I wrote:
<< situation where Dikshitar says "vilayatu [mAm
>>implicit]" followed by the four qualifiers of kamalAmbA which would
>then >have to be in the sambodhana prathamA resulting in i-kAram.>>

Vidyasankar says:

>If so, shouldn't the prathamA be more apt than the sambodhana? kA
>vilayatu? brahmamaya prakASinI vilayatu, etc. In the previous
sentence,the quesion is kim vilayatu, and the answer is maccittam

Some time ago, I had the pleasure of listening to D.K.Jayaraman sing
dIkshitar's "zrI subrahmaNyO mAm rakshatu" in tODi. The first thing that
struck me was the pronounciation which continuously changed the
prathamA to sambOdhana prathamA i.e. in his rendering the kr*ti came out
"zrI subrhamaNya mAm rakshatu! sannutAvatAra shaktirUpa!

 "bhAsamAna vallidEvasenA! bhAratIzAditattvabOdhana!......"

  I pointed this out to somebody as a case of un-grammatical singing.
i.e. the lOT lakAr being sung with sambOdhana prathamA and recieved the
reply that this was not always true. The person who told me this then
refered the matter to a paNDit whom he knew in Benares, apparently a man
who is considered an authority  on samskrt grammar in Benares circles.
The paNDit's opinion was that while it was common to
see the tu ending go with prathamA there ARE examples of it being used
in conjunction with sambOdhana prathamA too. This surprised me but I
accepted it since it came from an expert. I therefore would like to say
that the construction being used here cannot be ruled out.
(I am not sure if this is a feature of Benarasi grammar but if so, it
can be said that this was Dikshitar's "wink"/acknowledgement towards HIS
stay in Benares). It was pointed out to me  that it is possible to have
constructions like "rAma! namastey!" ( part sambOdhana, part chaturthI)
and "rAmaya namastey!"( pure chaturthi) and therefore one could have
grammatically valid constructions where there is an apparent vibhakti
change halfway through the sentence.

  I would also like to make another comment regarding a posting
yesterday saying that it would be fairly un-Dikshitar like to leave
something hanging without a verb i.e. if we assume that the last four
words are in ikarAntam, then one would have to find a verb to go with
the 4 words. If the above theory isn't convincing:-), it is possible to
come up with dIkshitar kr*tis where he has written a whole composition
(pallavi+anupallavi+caraNam) in sambOdhana prathamA without using a
verb! A good example is "kaumAri gauri" where there
is no verb; infact the online version that I've seen also makes this
comment. I have also seen a nOTTusvaram run the same way though I cannot
recollect the details now. I therefore believe that he could have
written a part of a krti in sambOdhana prathamA without assigning it a

  The circumstancial evidence which bolsters this theory is that there
are atleast 3 or 4 words in each vibhakti in the kr*ti; so why would
there be a sudden imbalance in the weightings of the prathamA and
sambOdhana prathamA? If one were to accept the theory of the last two
lines being prathamA, one would get 8 or 9 words in prathamA and just 0
or 1 word( assuming cinmAtrE is sambOdhana) in sambOdhana prathamA.
Dikshitar is supposed to have been very careful in terms of the finer
points of grammar even in his ordinary kr*tis, I don't think he would
have set up such imbalances in the navAvaraNA kr*tis, which are very
high quality, even by his standards!

>I've heard that the bangAru kAmAkshI temple was established in Tanjavur
to house a vigraha that was brought from the Kanchipuram temple, notfrom
Kurnool. Around the end of the 18th century, during the wars of the
British with Tipu Sultan, most temple idols from Kanchipuram were
shifted to Tanjavur via Udayarpalayam. The idols from the ekAmreSa
andvaradarAja perumAL temples were also hidden and taken away to
Udayarpalayam, and returned to Kanchipuram later in the 19th century.
And of course, Syama Sastri's compositions are
>themselves full of references to kAmAkshI at Kanchipuram.
>Did the Nawabs of Arcot have a great reputation for persecution of
>Hindus? I thought they made many donations to Hindu religious
>institutions. Those who fled from the Arcot/Kanchi region to Tanjavur
>were probably more apprehensive of the outcome of the war with Tipu
>Sultan, than about their local ruler's persecution.

I read this story of migration from Kurnool in Prof R.Srinivasan's
works; I also believe( though cannot vouch for it) that Smt Vidya
Sankar, the musicologist who studied with Annasvami Sastri( the
descendant of Syama SAstri) has made this comment. As far as the
references to the temple in KAnchi are concerned, I agree with you but
would like to add that there are lots of references to the temple in
Tanjavur; the varALi kr*ti "bangAru kAmAkSi" being a good example. I am
also told that the migration from Kurnool was the reason for his telugu
corresponding to the rAyalaseema/ceded district style of Telugu.


 As far as the hindu baiting tendencies of the Nawabs of Arcot are
concerned, this seems to have been a highly time variant phenomenon.
If they were unkind towards the temple in Cidambaram, they went to the
other extreme and helped the Hindus at the cost of the Muslims in
the kapalIsvarar temple in Mylapore.( or so I'm told). In general, the
behaviour of the Muslim kings towards the Hindu temples seems to have
been highly time variant; Tipu Sultan endowed the Chamundeswari temple
while destroying other temples in Northern Kerala. I'm told that even
Aurangazeb actually endowed a few Hindu temples!!! So, my own impression
is that they seem to have had a "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" kind of
personality where it came to interaction with Hindu temples.


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