Friday, January 30, 2009

Akhilandeshwari - Dwijawanti (Part 2)

Earlier, I had stopped with Anupallavi. (Please go over Akhilandeshwari - Dwijawanti (Part 1) before you continue if you haven't, already)

Lambodara Guruguha Poojithe
Lambala Kodbhasite - Hasite!
Vaak-Devata Aaradhite! Varade!
Para Shaila Raajanuthe! Sharadhe!

Jambhari Sambhavite! Janardhananute!
Jujavanti (Dwijavanti) Raganute!
Jalli, Maddala Jharjara vaadhya 
Naadamudite - Gnaana Prade!

Dikshitar begins charanam by picturesque description of the Ambal Akhilandeshwari Sannidhi in Thiruvanaikkaval. 

Ambal was once said to be in a 'Ugra' (fierce) form. So, to pacify her, Sri Adi Sankara Acharya installed two earrings made of precious stones called 'Taadakam' in her ears. (Sri Acharya installed a Sri Chakram front of the Ambal idol in Maangadu, Chennai) - He also installed idols of Her sons Ganesha (Lambhodara) and Murugan (Guruguha)

So, in the first line, Dikshitar sings, that Ambal is worshipped (poojite) by Lambhodara and Guruguha. Sri Ganesha idol is kept behind Ambal shrine. Lambhodara is split as Lamba + Udhara - Big Tummy. Lord Ganesha is supposed to be extremlely cute and adorable and has a big tummy of an elephant. Who is not enchanted by a small cute elephant prancing around? 

No wonder Mother Ambal lost her Ugram after this! 

Also, there is a sannidhi (installation) of Sri Murugan behind the shrine of Ambal too. Murugan is denoted by Guruguha -> Guru + Guha - The Secret Master! or The Master who resides in the deeply in the caves (guha) of our heart. Guruguha is also the 'mudra' or signature of Sri Mutthuswamy Dikshitar. He signs all his songs with this name and the name of the Raga in which the song is set. 

So, Dikshitar says, 
Lambodhara, Guruguha Poojite! 
Sri Ganesh and Sri Guruguha always offer prayers to You

Lambala Kodbhasite 
In India, it is considered beautiful for women to have long tresses of hair. Here, the author sings that not only does Mother have very long hair (lambala) , but the tresses are shiny! (bhasite!)

Vaak Devata Aaradhite!
The third shrine behind the main Shrine of Ambal is that of Sri Saraswati - She is the Ultimate bestower of Knowledge and hence considered as the Deity (Devataa) of Speech (Vaak) too! Sri Akhilandeshwary is praised (aaradhite) by Sri Saraswati

Bestower of boons (Vara)!  Sri Akhilandeshwari is the ultimate bestower of boons! I want to describe an incident here - One of my closest friend's elder sister, when she was 3 years old, took a few camphor tablets by mistake! It was quite poisonous. Her parents rushed her to a famous Iyer doctor near Thiruvanaikkaval (since it was close to Srirangam, my friend's hometown) - The doctor on seeing the condition of my friend's sister gave up, and said 'If anyone can save her, it is Sri Akhilandeshwari only!' - My friends parents rushed to the Shrine and placed the unconscious kid in front of the Shrine and prayed. And, miraculously, the girl woke up in a few minutes without any problem! (She is a proud mother of two wonderful kids now). I don't believe in false aggrandization and hype - I have only stated what I know is true. 

Vara Saila Raajanute
Vara Saila- Supreme/Mighty  Mountain
Raajanute - Of the King
Ambal, as Parvati took form as the daughter of the Himalayan Mountains (Parvatan) - Dikshitar seems to indicate this part of Shiva Puranam. 

Sharada is a famous name ascribed to Sri Saraswati and also Ambal.

Jambhaari Sambhavite
She is praised (Sambhavite) by Sri Indra (Jambhaari - One who killed the Asura Jambha)

Sri Maha Vishnu (Janardhana) also extolls Her.

Jujavanti Raaganute
She is praised in this Raga Jujavanti (Dwijavanti)

Jalli Maddala Jharjara nada-mudite
Ambal enjoys (mudite) the sound (nada) of the ancient musical instruments - Jalli, Maddala, Jharjara

Ambal grants (prade) the Supreme Divine Knowledge (Gnaana) to all Her children

Dikshitar thus ends the song on Ambal. 

Some learned scholors (including Late Sri TL Venkatarama Iyer (TLV)) seems to contend if the song was composed by Sri Dikshitar. But, to me the presense of the mudra (Guruguha) and the ragam (Dwijawanti) in the text of the song seems to confirm the author. (I consider myself arrogant for commenting on this subject I don't know anything about, though)

So, if you go to Trichy, please don't miss this wonderful temple! It will be interesting to see that the deepam(lamp) close to Ambal's face would be wavering, while the one near the feet is stable. The wavering is supposed to be indicate that Ambal Akhilandenshwari is indeed alive, and actually breathing!

When I went to attend Trichy to attend marriage of cousin (whose name is same of that of the Ambal), I decided to visit the temple early in the morning, about 5:30 am. The Shrine was just opened, and when I stood there, the poojari (gurukkal) suddenly left the shrine, and there were absolutely no one in the temple. I could clearly see Ambal in all glory, wearing the Thaadakam, an in reflection of the oil lamp. I intuitively started singing this song! And the gurukkal did not come till I finished the song! It was an intimate affair between Ambal and me. I'll never forget that transformative experience. 

I thought I'd upload a version of the song sung by me. But, I resisted since it might scare away potential visitors of the blog (already dwindling :-) )


jeyashrisuresh said...

so many times i visited trichy,but never been to the temple. Even i have crossed it several times.Even in ur very hectic office hours,i'm very proud u have time to sit and work on these things.Thank u sriram.Excellent job.

Sriram V Iyer said...

Jeyamma: - Naan chumma vettiya ukkanthrikkarathukka pathila etho exzhutharaen ;-)

I am very glad that you liked it :-)

Bhargavi said...

HI anna

Ore the super!!!! Very nice, thoroughly enjoyed the post! Are reader requests allowed?

Sriram V Iyer said...

I am glad you liked it :-) - You are my boss in music!

Reader requests are definitely allowed! I'll pass the requests to you :-)

Venkatesh said...

Thanks. Very beautiful song but Shri Muthuswami Dikshitar is not the composer. It was composed by one of his disciples and his mudra was inserted to pass it off as one of his own. The prAsam inconsistency gives it away.

The real Dwijavanti/Jujavanti by Dikshitar is Ceta Shri Balakrishnam. The majesty of that kriti is simply out of this world.

Rama said...

Excellent delineation of lyrics.
Keep it up
Here is a rendering of Senkottai Hari at Alangudi Radhakalyanam. The dholak plus mridang with the mystical harmonium and the divine setting adds super aure to this kriti. Please listen.

Sriram V Iyer said...

@Venkatesh: Thanks for your comments! I did not know that (probably we'll never know :-) ) - I'll check out the other song too..

@Rama: Thanks! I'll check it out!

Ram said...

Came across a different meaning for the line "Lambaalagodh baasithe Hasithae"... It means, Ambaal's hair - Kesham which is so round round like a wound spring (barbaraalaka - Lalitha sahasranamam)comes in front of her forehead, when flowers are being changed constantly in her Kesham. Seeing this, she smiles and laughs.. Wow what a meaning. One should seriously imagine this situation.. :)

Sriram V Iyer said...

That comment gave me goose pimples! Thank you so much! I can imagine Her smiling :)