Question 1.) In the Krithi Siddhi Vinayakam in Raga Chamaram, Sri Muttuswami Dikshitar uses the term “RauhinEyAnujArcitam”. Who does he refer to, as worshipping lord Vinayaka?

Answer : The line “RauhinEyAnujArcitam” in the Kriti Siddhi Vinayakam Anisham of Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar refers to Lord Krishna worshipping Lord Vinayaka.. 

This line is one of those striking examples of how Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar brilliantly compresses a huge story line into a single small line..
Rauhineya – refers to Sri Balarama as the son of Rohini..
Anuja – Means brother.. Balarama’s Brother is Sri Krishna..
Architam- worshipped by Sri Krishna who is the brother of Rohini’s son Balarama..
This line is an indirect reference to the story of “shyamantaka mani”.. Rohini usually refers to and usually reminds people of the moon.. There is a belief that seeing the crescent moon on Chaturthi day can bring us problems.. Sri Dikshitar deliberately uses the word “Rauhineya” inorder to remind us of the moon also.. The connecting story of the moon and Sri Krishna is the story of Sri Krishna after getting the blame of stealing the “shyamantaka mani” goes into the forest, fights Jambavan and gets the Jewel back along with his daughter jambavathy.. When Sri Krishna realises that he got the blame on himself because of seeing the reflection of the 4th day cresent, he goes and prays to Sri Vinayaka to wash him away of his sins..
This whole story is referred to in that line “RauhinEyAnujArcitam”. This is an explanation given by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal (Kanchi Periyaval) ..
This is a beautiful example of the kind of concocting phrases used by Sri Dikshitar in his Kritis to directly or indirectly refer to Stories in the Puranas.

Question 2.) In which musical treatise, does the term ‘raga’ appear for the first time?

Answer : The term RAGA as a melodic concept, is defined for the very first time by Sri Matanga in his work Brhaddesi. 

Raga though has been used in different connotations prior to Matanga muni in works like Natyasastra of Bharatamuni, the definition of a raga that we know of now was given by Matanga Muni. Raga is an offshoot of the “Jati” concept from the grama, murccana, jati tradition that existed earlier.

Sri Matanga while defining RAGA says:

Yo sau dhvani-viseshastu svara-varna vibhushita:
Ranjako jana-chittanam sa raga: kathito budhai:

Raga is that which is adorned by Svara (notes) and Varna (Arohi,Avarohi,Sanchari,Sthayi), which pleases the minds of the listeners.

The concept of Arohanam and Avarohanam should be understood as one of the components of a raga. A Raga is more a melodic abstract than just movement within the scale. There are many raga’s that live well beyond the “arohana avarohana” concept. Understanding such abstraction can be obtained only by learning more compositions in every raga.

Question 3.) Identify the artiste and the raga from the following audio. ?? 

Answer : Ragam Ghanta. 

Ghanta is a raga of great antiquity. A raga that can only be understood through the available compositions like Sri Kamalambike (ghanta navavarna of Sri Muttuswami Dhikshitar) , Ayyayo (neyyamuna – Padham) and a few tyagaraja swami s composition. A raga that lives beyond the concept of scale , it is indeed a complex melodic structure. It can be termed as a chayalaga raga (that which takes the chaya or shades of some ragas like punnagavarali, dhanyasi, todi ). However it has a distinct colour and flavour that can only be understood by observing its usage in the compositions.
Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt. T. Brinda – affectionately called as Brindamma , hails from the illustrious Veenai Dhanammal family. A musician who was an embodiment of music. A musician’s musician as she was called. A music that is addictive in nature.

August 6th being Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt T Brinda’s remembrance day, Sukrtam pays homage to the great artiste through MusIQ.

MusIQ 16

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