Dikshitar dimensions

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Highlighting myriad aspects: Vedavalli and Sunder at the forum.
Highlighting myriad aspects: Vedavalli and Sunder at the forum.


LEC-DEM The power of his lyrics was one of the aspects discussed.

A Bird’s Eye View of Dikshitar’s Compositions,” a presentation by Music Forum, captured many facets of the composer’s personality. Vidushi Vedavalli and Dr. Sunder, sang and spoke of his songs, bringing out the myriad aspects contained in his kritis at the session held at Raga Sudha Hall recently.

Dikshitar was a true vaggeyakara, Srividya Upasaka and one with immense faith in Advaita philosophy. He was a “polyglot and probably the most widely travelled among the Trinity,” it was mentioned.

Appeal to musicians

Vedavalli began with a tribute to Dikshitar, a slokam by Dr. Raghavan, who along with Sri Venkatrama Iyer has done yeoman service by interpreting many kritis of Dikshitar, thereby according them their present familiar status among vidwans and rasikas. She appealed to musicians to adhere to the Dikshitar Padhdhathi of naming ragas (Chamaram and Rudrapriya, for instance) and his way of handling ragas (Kannadagowla, as an example).

Dikshitar has inserted the raga names in the kritis and the prosody was such that this would be inextricably linked to the sahitya in a unique and irreplaceable manner, she observed. “Sree Subramanyaya” (Khambodi) has “namasthe” occurring successively which speaks highly of the manthra sastra expertise that Dikshitar had acquired and practised. It was held that powerful words when uttered merely twice would bestow the benefits of a thousand such recitations, she said.

Dr. Sunder said that “Sri Nadadhi” (Mayamalavagowla), Dikshithar’s first composition, contains the arohana and avarohana embedded in the pallavi and is also cast in three kalams.

He also mentioned that Dikshitar’s charanam would invariably have speedy sahithya (Dhuritha kalam) perhaps reminding the learner to begin the kriti at the correct tempo.

Sunder narrated his swanubhava by rendering “Sri Krishnam Bhaja Manasa” (Thodi) where the systemised and systematic sangatis suggested the method and structure to be followed in raga delineation.

“Hiranmayim” (Lalitha) is said to have been sung when Dikshitar was in a sad situation. The predicament never dimmed his composing genius and only showed him as an emancipated soul.

Mannarkoil Balaji (mridangam) made his presence felt by accompanying in a manner that ideally suited the relaxed pace of the kritis.

One of the questions raised related to the various yathis handled and these were adequately demonstrated with the rendering of appropriate kritis.



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