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Sri Shyama Shastry (1763-1827) – Part Nine

Continued from Part Eight

Sri Shyama Shastry – Music-Continued

Sarasvati by Dr. Bks Varma

 

Language

Most of the works of Sri Shyama Shastry are composed in Telugu. Apart from Telugu, he chose Sanskrit and Tamil.

Of the known number of his compositions (72), those in Sanskrit are 15 (10 Kritis +4 Gitas+1 Varnam); and, those in Tamil are 5 (4 Kritis +1 Gita). The rest 52 compositions are in Telugu.

Sanskrit Composition

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Sri Shyama Shastry’s compositions in Tamil include four Krits and One Lakshya Gita

Tamil Compositions

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The Telugu used in the Kritis is simple, direct spoken-Telugu, as commonly used in the day-to-day conversations. It is not pedantic or too bookish.

The language here is marked by tenderness, affection and Love of a child towards its Mother. He calls out to the Mother Goddess repeatedly as Talli, Mayamma, earnestly imploring her to come to his rescue (Nannu brovu) and relieve him of the earthly agonies. He affirms his deep-rooted abundant  faith in the Mother over and over again, exclaiming: nammiti; Ninne Nammiti; Nammiti-namma Mayamma, Talli ninnu nera namminanu, Brovave; Krupajudu and so on.

Though the spoken language is employed, Sri Shyama Shastry adopted the traditional poetic idioms that came into use prior to the beginning of the eighteenth century. Similar modes of poetic expressions were adopted by other composers of his period.

The Telugu words, as used by Sri Shyama Shastry, though often are informal and colloquial expressions nevertheless are infused with emotion trying to express the natural feelings of tenderness, love and affection of a child reaching out to its Mother. Many of his songs are a sort of conversations, pleading with the Mother, questioning her why she is not paying attention to him, not responding to his desperate appeals and so on.

And, in such Kritis, though he has mostly employed the spoken form of Telugu language, either as verbs (Akhyata) – say like brovu, vinu, matladu etc. or for addressing the Mother Deity (Sambhodana) as Talli, Mayamma etc., the string of sweet-sounding names and eloquent, picturesque adjectives he uses for describing the beauty, splendour and the countless virtues of the Supreme Mother Goddess are all in delightful Sanskrit phrases.

And, he addresses her spontaneously with varied epithets as: Amba, Janani, Jagadamba Triloka-matha, Meenakshi, Manini, Bhavani, Bhamini, Bhairavi, Shambhavi, Shiva Shankari , Himagiri-sute, Kumara Janani and so on.

Thus, in his Kritis, which technically, are classified as Telugu works, the essential and the prime body of the lyrics of his Kritis are in chaste, refined classical Sanskrit-based terms.

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The Telugu-Sahitya of his Svarajatis, when compared to the simple colloquial style adopted in the Kritis, is more poetic; scholarly and, is often interspersed with philosophical expressions.

Here in Svarajatis, at many places he employs a high-flown classical Telugu admixed with Sanskrit terms.

For instance, to indicate that the Devi is the protector of the universe, he says:

Sarasijasana-harisa vinuta pada-kamalasambava—sura-muni-drulace tanu ninu- pogadutaku (Svarajati- Kamakshi nI pada- in Yadukula-kambhoji

To indicate that the Devi protects   her devotees, he uses a very lengthy  phrase:

Dalacinajana dulaku bahu-sampadalanu sadadalacina- manavulakella phala mosage – (Svarajati Kamakshi nI pada- in Yadukula-kambhoji).

The greatness of the Goddess as exhibited in the Vedas is mentioned in the three Svarajatis as: ‘srtutulu-moralidaga’; `vedamulu moralidagana’; and, `dorayanucu vedamulu moralidaga’.

Devi as destroyer of sins is hailed as: pataka-mulanu vâdiga; and pataka-mulanu-dircci

Devi as the destroyer of demons is praised as: Madamatta-mahisa-danava-mardani; and, madadanuja- varana-mrgendra-rcita kalusa-dahana.

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At the same time he uses, at times, even in the Svarajatis, informal, colloquial expressions, calling himself as her son, ‘Sutudamma’. He requests her to guard him against trials and tribulations. For instance:

Abhimanâmuledâ-nâpai Devi / parâkelane brôvave ipudu / cintalu vevega dircchamma / mora vinada parâkela-namma

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The Sanskrit that is used for his about fifteen compositions is lyrical, refined and elegant.

Many of the Kritis of Sri Shyama Shastry are adorned with Sabda-Alamkaras, such as Anuprasa and Antya-prasa. And, Mahuna, as also Prasa-Yati are used.

In his Svarajatis also he uses delightful Sanskrit terms to describe the beauty of the Mother Goddess. For instance; for her eyes (Kuvalaya-dala-nayana; Kamala-dala-samana; Sarasijaksi); her gait (Gaja-gamana; mada-matta-gaja-gamana; Mada-Gaja-gamana); her neck (Dara-gala; Kambu-gala); her teeth (Mani-radana; Kunda-radana); and, her face (Vidu-vadana; Sasadhara-nibha-vadana) so on

His Kritis in Sanskrit have the fragrance of poetry with prosodic beauties of alliteration, prasa, delightful adjectives, varied names and descriptions of the Devi.  It is excellent poetry. It is exuberant and joyous celebration of the beauty and countless virtues of the Supreme Goddess Devi Kamakshi.

Himadrisute-pahimam (65-Kalyani, Rupaka Taala)

Himadrisute-Pahimam/Varade-Paradevate/

Sumeru-madhya-vasini/ Shri Kamakshi /

Hemagatri/ Pankaja-netri/Matanga-atmaje/ Saroja-bhava-Harisha-sura –munindra-nute/

Ambujari-nibha-vadane/Maukti-kamani-haara-shobhamana-gale/ Bhaktha-kalpa late/ Shyama-Krishna sodari/ Gauri / Parameshvari /Giri-jaala-Nilaveni / Kiravani/ Shri Lalite/

पल्लवि
हिम-अद्रि सुते पाहि मां वरदे पर देवते

अनुपल्लवि
सुमेरु मध्य वासिनि श्री कामाक्षि (हिमाद्रि)

चरणम् 1
हेम गात्रि पङ्कज नेत्रि मतङ्ग-आत्मजे
सरोज भव हरि-ईश सुर मुनि-इन्द्र नुते (हिमाद्रि)

चरणम् 2
अम्बुज-अरि निभ वदने मौक्तिक मणि
हार शोभमान गळे भक्त कल्प लते (हिमाद्रि)

चरणम् 3
श्याम कृष्ण सोदरि गौरि परम-ईश्वरि

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Shripatimukha viracita (15-Saveri, Adi)

Shripati-mukha-viracita-pujye /Shri Parvati/ Mam-pahi-Devi/

Ni-pavananilaye/Niramaye/Nitila-nayana-jaye/Mama-hrdaya-taapa-harini / Navaratna-alaye/ Taapasa-vara Narada-mudite- Devi / 

Taruni/ Lata-pallava-mrdu-carane/ Tapana-vidhu-vilocane / Aruna- koti –sama-kantiyuta-sharire/Kaladhrta-kalape/Suru-cira-mani–khanta  lasanmani -hare / Suguna-sheele/ Satatam-samudam /Karunaya-avadinam –para-devate / Kama-koti- pitha-gate/  Lalite /

Karimukha-Kartikeya-Janani/Svara-palini/Pavani/Hari-sahodari/ Vidalita / Daityari – gane/ Sadaa- purne/ Paramesha-vinute/ Shrtajana- palite/ Pritiha- vasatu-vimale/ Purahara-priye/ Shashi-bhanane/ Purna-kame/ Sama-gana-lole/

Bhuvaneshvari-jula-vani/Sakala-bhaya-nivarini/He-Maheshvari-Madhu-pasadrsha-veni/Kameshvari-Gauri-Shyama-Krishna-sodari Bhuvaneshvari  – Shambhavi -Maha Tripura Sundari/Himagiri-kumari / Kavi -kula-kamade-kanksita-phaladayike

पल्लवि
श्री-पति मुख विरचित पूज्ये
श्री पार्वति माम् पाहि देवि

अनुपल्लवि
नीप वन निलये निरामये
निटिल नयन जाये मम हृदय
ताप हारिणि नव रत्न-आलये
तापस वर नारद मुदिते देवि (श्री-पति)

चरणम् 1
तरुणि लता पल्लव मृदु चरणे
तपन विधु विलोचने
अरुण कोटि सम कान्ति युत
शरीरे कल धृत कलापे
सुरुचिर मणि कण्ठ लसत्-मणि हारे
सुगुण-शीले सततम् समुदम्
करुणया अव दीनम् पर देवते
काम कोटि पीठ गते ललिते (श्री-पति)

चरणम् 2
करि मुख कार्तिकेय जननि
स्वर पालिनि पावनि
हरि सहोदरि विदळित
दैत्य-अरि गणे सदा पूर्णे
परमेश विनुते श्रित जन पालिते
प्रीतिः-इह वसतु विमले
पुर हर प्रिये शशि निभ-आनने
पूर्ण कामे साम गान लोले (श्री-पति)

चरणम् 3
श्यामळ-अङ्गि मञ्जुळ वाणि
सकल भय निवारिणि
हे महा-ईश्वरि मधुप सदृश
वेणि काम-ईश्वरि गौरि
श्याम कृष्ण सोदरि भुवन-ईश्वरि
शाम्भवि महा त्रिपुर सुन्दरि
हिम गिरि कुमारि कवि कुल
कामदे काङ्क्षित फल दायिके (श्री-पति)

Devi Yantra by Pieter Weltevrede

Raga-mudra

The Raga-mudra, the phrase containing the name of the Raga in which the composition is set, is at times, indicated in some of the Kritis of Sri Shyama Shastry (But, not as regularly as in the Kritis of Sri Mutthuswami Dikshitar). The following are few such instances:

1.In the Kriti Nannu brova Lalita (15-Lalita, Misra Chapu) the name of its Raga Lalita appears in the opening line of the Pallavi

2.In Nive-gati yeni (65-Kalyani, Misra Matyam), the Raga-mudra is in the Carana, as the extension of a phrase: Kama-koti pitha-nivasni Kalyani.

3.In Sari evvaramma (20-Bhairavi, Khanda Jhampa), the Raga-mudra is built into the long-extended phrase in first Carana of the Kriti – Madhava-sodari Gauri Amba Maha-Bhairavi Shambhavi.

4.In the Svarajati, Kamakshi anudinamu (20-Bhairavi, Misra Chapu), the Raga-mudra appears in the last Carana in the phrase: Brovave ippudu Sri Bhairavi.

Devi Yantra by Pieter Weltevrede

Vaggeyakara-mudra

The Ankita Mudra is the signature of the Vaggeyakara, in order to let know he is the composer of the song in question. When a composer uses his own name for the Ankita, it is called Sva-nama-mudra-akshara.

Since Sri Shyama Shastry used his own name ‘Shyama-Krishna’, his Vaggeyakara Mudra is classified under Sva-nama-mudra-akshara.

But, in fact, though he uses his pet-name as his Ankita, it is, most of the times, employed to refer to the Devi as the sister of Krishna as ‘Shyama-Krishna-Sahodari or Sodari’; and, as the Devi who grants boons as ‘Shyama-Krishna-Satvarade’.

And, in some of his compositions, he uses the Ankita to refer to himself as the devotee, the child or as one who is protected by the Devi as

Shyama-Krishna-Pujite;Shyama-Krishna-vinuta;Shyama-Krishna-nuta ; Shyama-Krishna-Palini;Shyama-Krishna-paripalini;Shyama-Krishna-pari-palita-Janani etc.

Sri Shyama Shastry’s adopted Mudra, ‘Shyama-Krishna’ followed by various suffixes, such as: Sahodari; Paripalini; Pujite; Janani; Pari-palita-Janani; Vinuta; Hrudaya-nilaya and so on, is featured in the 68 of his songs; except in four cases.

[The four compositions that do not carry the Vaggeyakara-Mudra are: (1) Janani-natajana-palini (Saveri); (2) Samini-rammanave (Anandabhairavi); (3) Palimpa-vamma (Mukhari); and, (4) Ninne-nammiti (Kedaragaula).]

The most common form of his Vaggeyakara-mudra that appears in about thirty-three of his compositions is ’Shyamakrishna Sodari/Sahodari’. But, there are some other variations as well.

In the Kriti Brova samayamide (Punnagavarali) his Mudra appears as ‘Shyamakrishna-hrudayabja-nilayaa’; as ‘Shyamakrishna-jesina-bhagyame’ in Karuna judavamma (Varali); as ‘Shyamakrishna-vandite’ in O Jagadamba (Anandabhairavi); and ,as ‘Shyamakrishna –sadavarada’ in Pahi-Sri Giriraja-sute (Anandabhairavi)

His Vaggeyakara-mudra, usually, appears in the last Carana (Birudu) of his compositions.  But, in his Varnam- Dayanidhe mamava (Begada, Adi) –his Mudra ‘Shyamakrishna-pujite’ occurs in the Pallavi itself.

And, he did not split his Vaggeyakara-mudra into two lines.

It is also said;  that his ‘Shyama-Krishna’ Mudra might have been  inserted into some of his works, at a later time, by his disciples or descendents, perhaps to keep in tune  with the practice that was then in vogue.

Vaggeyakara Mudra

Devi Yantra by Pieter Weltevrede

The Other Compositions of Sri Shyama Shastry

Apart from the Kritis, Sri Shyama Shastry is credited with Five Gitas (4 in Sanskrit; and 1 in Tamil) ; Four Varnas (1 in Sanskrit; and 3 in Telugu) ; and , Three  Svarajatis (all the three are in Telugu).

For his five Gitas, he used four Ragas that fall under three Melakartas: 15-MāyamālavaGaula (Pharaju and Saveri); 20-Natabhairavi (Bhairavi); 22-Kharahara priya (Madhyamavathi).

The Ragas for Four the Varnas are under the Melas: 17-Suryakantam (Saurastra); 20-Natabhairavi (Anandabhairavi); 22-Kharaharapriya (Begada); and, Meccha-Kalyani (Kalyani)

And, the Ragas for the three Svarajatis are under: 8-Hanuma-Todi (Todi); 20-Natabhairavi (Bhairavi); and, Harikambhoji (Yadukulakambhoji)

Other types of Compositions

Let’s take a brief look at these forms of creations by Sri Shyama Shastry.

Devi Yantra by Pieter Weltevrede

Gitas

Gita, as the name indicates, is a song. In Karnataka Samgita, Gita is commonly understood as simple musical form that is taught to the students after they learnt to sing Varise-s (Svara exercises) and Alamkaras. Here, Gita, as Abhaysa-gana, is a part of the curriculum for teaching music to the learners. Gitas are usually composed in Sanskrit and Kannada.

Having said that let me mention that Gitas are broadly of two classes: Lakshya-Gitas and Lakshana-Gitas.

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The Lakshya Gitas are also called as Sadharana or Sanchari Gitas. Such Sadharana Gitas are simple melodies, rendering a song set to a particular Raga, in uniform Madhyama-kala tempo, in praise of a god or a goddess. There are Gitas set in all the Sapta (seven) Taalas and their varieties.

The Gita, in such cases, is a continuous verse (without being broken into segments such as Pallavi, Anupallavi or Carana). A  Gita is sung from its beginning till its end, without repetition or improvisation or elaboration by way of intricate Sancharas or Sangathis etc.

As regards the order of its presentation (Gana-krama), in case a Gita consists two sections (Khandika), the second should follow, in sequence, after singing the first.

The Lakshya Gitas aim to precisely present, in a concise form, the substance or the picture of a Raga (Raga Svarupa), with each Svara of its Dhatu corresponding to a syllable of its Sahitya. In short; it is a simple but efficient melodic extension of the Raga in which it is composed.

In a Gita, the number of Svaras present in an Avarta is equal to the number of Aksharas forming the Avarta. Their size and their time-unit (Kala-pramana) have also to match. The Dheerga (elongated) Svaras, reckoned as two, will correspond with two Aksharas in the Sahitya; and so on.

Sometimes, you find Gitas that are inserted with decorative phrases called Gita-Alamkara or Matrika-padas. They are meant to provide ornamental flourish to the Sahitya.

There are different kinds of Sadharana Gitas: Pillari-Gitas (preliminary  lessons sung in praise of gods like Ganapathi, Maheshvara and Vishnu); Ghana-raga-Gitas ( composed in Ghana – the major Ragas like Nata, Gaula, Arabhi, Sri and Varali); Rakthi-raga Gitas ( composed in popular and pleasing melodious Ragas like  Kalyani and Mohana); and Raga malika Gitas (set to a sequential varieties of Ragas).

The notable Composers who wrote Gitas were: Sri Purandara Dasa (c. 1484- c. 1565); Pydala Gurumurthy Shastry (18th Century); Rama Amatya(16th century); Venkatamakhin (17th century); and, Govindacharya (17th century);

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The Lakshana Gitas are of a more scholarly type, encasing the precise nature of a Raga (Raga Lakshana).  They are word-pictures of a Raga, defining its profile and enumerating its components within it. They illustrate the characteristic features of the structure and nature of the Janaka and Janya Ragas, specifying the Varjya, Vakra, Graha, Nyasa,  Amsa Svaras and so on .

The Lakshana Gita of a particular Raga will be set in its own Raga ; and ,will enumerate  musically , building into it , the Lakshana of that Raga , providing such specific details ,  as its  : Mela-Janya (whether it is a Melakarta or a Janya , a derivative) ; whether it is Bhashanga or Upanga Raga; whether it is a Audava, Shadava or Sampurna Raga; the ordered structure of its Arohana and Avarohana sequences; whether there are Vakra or Varijta Svaras in the Arohana and Avarohana of the Raga; and, specify the Graha (starting note), the Jiva ( soul of the Raga) and Nyasa (the end notes) Svaras .

Thus, the Lakshana Gitas could also be called as the Raga-grammar. Apart from picturising the nature and the content of the Raga, they also lay down the rules for exercising it, like the permitted prayogas (usages) and Gamakas (ornamentation or movements of the Svaras).

The Raganga-Raga-Lakshana -Gitas are a class by themselves; and, are of immense value to ardent students of Music and to the performers in concerts, in practically learning, understanding and grasping the very essence, the Lakshana of a given Raga.

Pydala Gurumurthy Shastry (18th Century); was a prolific composer of Gitas. He is referred to as ‘Veyyi Geethala’ Pydala Gurumurthy Sastry. Rama Amatya (16th Century), the author of Svara-Mela-Kalanidhi’ has also composed Gitas. Govinda Dikshitar and Venkatamakhin (17th Century)  are credited with many Lakshana Gitas.

Now, the composing new Lakshana Gitas has virtually disappeared.

Mandala777

Sri Shyama Shastry has composed five Gitas. Though they are routinely listed under Sadharana Lakshya Gitas, they truly, are, much more advanced; and, are far better structured than the Abhaysa-gana Gitas taught to the learners in the initial stages of their training.

The Ragas employed are the Janya (derivatives) of the Melas 15 (Maya-malava-gaula); 20 (Nata-bhairavi); and, 22 (Khara-hara-priya). The Raga-bhava flows fluently, portraying the essential sentiments of Bhakthi and Karuna Rasas.

Of the five, the Gita ‘Kamakshi-Karuna-katakshi’ in Raga Pharaju is submitted to Bangaru Kamakshi of Thanjavur; and, the rest to Kanchi Kamaksi.

Lakshya Gitas

[Smt. Vidya Shankar mentions in her book ‘Shyama Shastri’, that Gitas were meant to be sung while performing Pujas.

And, of the five Gitas that are now listed, only the Tamil Gita ‘Santatam’ is found in the collection of the Sri Shyama Shastry’s works, as possessed by his descendants.

But, according to their list, the song ‘Santatam’ is mentioned as a Kriti; and not as a Gita.]

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[ Smt. Sharadambal mentions : According to S Rajah , a descendant of Sri Shyama Shastry,  the Gitas are not found in the collection of songs possessed by the family, excepting the one in Tamil (Santatam , in Raga Pharaju ) , which is listed as a Kriti.

The five Gitas have sections or Khandika that are of the same length; and, are sung to the same Music.

In all the five sections of the Gita ‘Santatam’ we find Atita Eduppu.

In the Gitas – Kamakshi-Loka-sakshini (Madhyamavathi) and Sarasakshi (Saveri) – the three sections end in Madhyama Kala Sahitya, which is unusual in the Gitas.

Normally, in the Gitas the tempos are not varied

The tempo of the Gitas here is slower than the other Gitas sung as Samanya Gitas. That is, there are two Svaras per beat, instead of one Svara.

The Sahitya here (excepting the Tamil composition) is in the nature of a short hymn of praises to gods.

There are possibilities of considering these compositions as Kirtanas rather than Gitas.]

Kamakshi Thanjavur

1.Gita ‘Kamakshi-karuna-katakshi’ (Raga Pharaju, Triputa Taala)

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The Gita Kamakshi-karuna-katakshi’ in Raga Pharaju (Triputa Taala), addressed to Bangaru Kamakshi at Thanjavur, has four sections (Khandika); each section is set to a different Music.

The first section is set in six Avartas; and the rest three sections have four Avartas each.

The Gits composed in easy flowing Sanskrit requesting the Mother Shyamala for protection (Shyamale Mam pahi), is richly adorned with Sabda-alamkaras and Prasa (rhyming) beauties, like: KamakshiKaruna-katakshi; Pankaja-dala-lochane-Sankata-bhaya-mochane.

The lotus-eyed (Pankaja-dala-lochane) Devi sporting a parrot (Shuka-shyamale), delighting in Music (Sama-gana-vinodini), driving away everyone’s miseries and fears (Sankata-bhaya-mochane) and granting the wishes of all (Kamita-phala-dayike) is addressed with sweet-sounding epithets as: Kama-koti-pitha-gathe; Karuna-katakshi; and, Loka-sakshini  (very embodiment of all this existence).

The term Loka-sakshini here, resembles ‘Vishva-sakshini ‘in Lalita-sahara-nama

Mandala777

2. Gita ‘Santatam Ennai’ (Raga Pharaju Adi Taala)

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The Gita ‘Santatam Ennai rakshippay’ again in Raga Pharaju (Adi Taala) is said to be a rare example of a Gita composed in Tamil. This Gita is made of five sections of varying lengths; and, each is set to a different Music.

The Gita commences after a pause of two Akshara-kalas.  The Atita Eduppu is applied in all its five sections; for instance, Vandippen … Anudinam sindippen; barama – kadaikkan paramma

Sri Shyama Shastry, here, is virtually talking to Devi Kamakshi who is playing on Veena (Veena-vinodini) saying: I worship your lotus feet everyday (Vandippen anudinam); I meditate on your lotus feet constantly (Chindippen anudinam pada – aravindatte)) and yet do you find it difficult (migumum bharama) to relieve me of my miseries. Could there be another God on the Earth like You (Unnai-pol vere Daivam undo)? What is the reason for even fools, lacking honour, to worship you (Manam-ariya mudarum-tane tudikka karanam)? Please show mercy and protect me- Nada-rupini, Veena-vinodini, Kamakshi ennai aadari.

The style of this Gita ‘Santatam’ differs noticeably from the other Gitas, which are like hymns or prayers submitted to the Goddess; they are more poetic in their diction; and, are not in the spoken language.

Mandala777

3. Gita Sarasakshi-sadaa-pahimam’ (Saveri , Triputa Taala)

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The Gita ‘ Sarasakshi-sadaa-pahimam’ in one of his favourite Ragas , the Saveri (Triputa Taala) , has three sections of equal length. The first and the third sections have the same Music.

This Gita too is ornamented with Prasas (rhetoric beauty) such as; Baale-Susheele-Saleele; Sarasahrudaye-Apara mahima- Spurthi Shive-Sushobhe etc.

The beauty of the lotus-eyed (Sarasakshi) Mother of Kumara (Kumara Janani) famed as the virtuous radiant Uma (Suguna-prakashaUme) adorned with a girdle of sweet-sounding bells (kati-druta-kanche), is sung in varied pleasant phrases:  golden hued (Kanaka-sadrushe) of delicate loveliness (Komale) glowing with the brilliance of millions of suns (Koti-Surya-prabhe) , most auspicious (Shive) Devi of limitless splendour and glory (Apara-mahima-Spurte-Shive)

Sri Shastry submits to the large-hearted auspicious Goddess (Vishala-hrudaya-murte- Shubhe) resident in Kama-koti-pitha enjoying the Music (Sama-gana-lole). And, he requests her to protect him always (Sadaa pahi-mam).

There is a brief reference to Sri Chakra in the phrase Tri-kona-nilaye.

Here, in this Gita, there is not much pleading requesting the Kind-hearted Mother to rescue him from the encircling gloom and miseries.

This is a joyous rendering, singing the beauty and magnificence of the Mother Para-Shakthi, in exuberance, with lovely string of phrases.

Mandala777

4. Gita ‘Parvathi Janani Bhavani Sri Rajarajeshvari’ (Bhairavi, Khanda Mathya taala)

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The Gita Parvathi Janani Bhavani Sri Rajarajeshvari’ in the Raga Bhairavi (Khanda Mathya Taala) has three sections of equal length; and, all having the same Music. The Raga-svarupa of Bhairavi is very well brought out here in this Lakshya Gita.

In the Music spread over six Avartas, the Sancharas ranges from Mandra –Panchama, reaching up to Tara-sthayi-Gandhara.

His usual Telugu way of addressing his Mother Shyamalambike as ‘Mayamma’ appears here as ‘Mamava Amba’, at the end of each of the three sections.

This again is a joyous Gita blissfully singing  , in charming rhythmic Sanskrit, the eternal  glory (Niranjani)  of the doe-eyed (Harinakshi)  Divine Mother  – the most sacred (Parama pavani)  Devi Kamakshi, the protector of all the worlds  as  ‘Sarvaloka –palini-manini-Devi-Nirajakshi-Parama Pavani –Niranjani -Shyamal-ambike- Sharvari‘.

The Adi prasa is employed in the second Khandika with three of its lines commencing with Sri followed by a suffix ‘Ka’, as in: Sri Karijanani; Sri Kanchipura; and Sri Kameshvari.

There are references here also to the Sri Vidya lore. And, the Mother Kamakshi is addressed in the typical Sri Vidya terms: Sri Rajarajeshvari, Hrinkara-rupini and Kameshvari

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5. Gita ‘Kamakshi-Loka-Sakshini’ Madhyamavathi, Triputa Taala)

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The fifth Gita ‘Kamakshi-Loka-Sakshini’ is set in the auspicious (Mangala-kara) Madhyamavathi Raga (Triputa Taala), a Janya of the 22nd Mela Kharaharapriya.

 This Gita is structured in four sections, set in the same Music. In its construction, this Gita is similar to the one in Raga Pharaju ‘Kamakshi-karuna-katakshi’.

[Smt. Sharadambal observes: In the Gita ‘Kamakshi Loka Sakshini’ (Madhyamavathi) and in the Gita ‘Saraskshi’ (Saveri), all the three sections end in Madhyama-kala phrase, which is unusual in Gitas. Normally in the Gitas, the tempos are not varied]

Many similar sounding phrases (Prasa) describing the most enchanting (Mano-harini) Mother Kamakshi occur in both the Gitas:’ Pankaja-dala-lochane–Sankata-bhaya-mochane’;’Kunjara-sama-gamane-ramane’ ‘Manjula-tama-nayane’,’Kamita (Artha)-phala-daike’; ’Kama-koti-pitha- Vasini (gathe)’; and ‘Sama-gana- vinodini (srute) ‘

The Gita has many Alamkaras and Prasas. This Gita is a fine example of Dvithiya-akshara Prasa, where the same letter or similar sounding letters occur in the second position in each line of each section. For instance; the Akshara मा in the first section; ङ्क in the second section; ण्ड in the third section; and,  is in the fourth section.

गीतम् 1
कामाक्षि लोक साक्षिणी
काम-अरि मनो-हारिणी
कामाक्षि कञ्चि कामाक्षि
पाहि माम् पाहि माम् (बङ्गारु) पाहि

गीतम् 2
पङ्कज दळ लोचने उमे
सङ्कट भय मोचने शिवे
कुञ्जर सम गमने रमणे
मञ्जुळ तम नयने हरिणि

गीतम् 3
भण्ड दैत्य खण्डन पण्डिते
अण्डज हरि गिरि-ईश मण्डिते
पुण्डरीक मृदु पद युगळे
मण्डल स्थिते ललिते वरदे

गीतम् 4
काम कोटि पीठ वासिनी
कामित-अर्थ शुभ फल दायिके
साम गान श्रुति सम्मोदिनि
श्याम कृष्ण पालित जननि

There are also Anuprasas, where similar sounding words follow in succession. For instance; Bhanda daitya-Khandana Pandithe- Andaja Hari Girisha Mandithe -Pundarika Mrudhu pada yugale; Mandalasthitha Lalithe varade

There is again a reference to the Goddess Lalita who resides in Sri Chakra (Mandala-sthita Lalithe)

This Gita is a happy song; praying to the Mother in the pleasing auspicious Madhyamavathi Raga; aptly concluding the Gita-series.

Sri Raja-Rajeshwari by Shipi Sri Siddalingaswamy of Mysore

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In the next Part we shall talk about

The Varnas and Svarajatis of Sri Shyama Shastry

Continued

In The

Next Part

Sources and References

All images are taken from Internet

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2020 in Music, Sangita, Shyama Shastri

 

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