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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Intersting mails received

This is the comment made by Mr. Nagarajan
which can be in
continuation of my previous
posting. My reply and his
subsequent reply
is also posted for your view. My father
had tuft,(kudumi) also wentto M.R.Radha's
by covering his head with
a towel(Mundaasu). It only goes to
how brahmins (Tamil) were patronising
Dravidian movement(!?)

Mr.Suriyanarayana sastri, a brahmin scholar
changed his name as
Paridhimal kalaignar and
not asparidhimalvazhudhi.I think since
subject was Tambrams, those who are not
Tamilians may not deserve
to be in this list.

Sri Hariharan:

I have been really enjoying your blogspot
entries,full of wonderful music and other
material. I was very touched by your entry
on mother. My own mother who passed away few
years ago was personified all these
attributes.I was silently crying for her loss.

The Iyer article was very interesting and
captured the spirit of the community. It
hasthe right combination of information and
humour. The list of eminent Iyers and Iyengars
was also very interesting. Of course, many
additions and deletions can be suggested. I am
sure you have already received some messages
on this topic.

Here are mine:

Mahaperiyaval was not born a Tamil Iyer. He
was a Telegubrahmin, as was Thyagaraja. In
any case, sanyasis shed their caste once they
assume sanyasam.That is why they do not wear
poonal. Sadasiva brhamendra who has composed
many wonderful songs was also a Telugu brahmin.
[His samadhi is in my mother's
native village Nerur (near Karur).My mother's
uncles and now their sons are in charge of
brahmendral's utsavam which is still
conducted every year, attended by well-known
musicians. As a boy, I attended the utasavam
during which Anayampatti Dandapani played
Jalathrangam and his brother Ganesan
(who now plays Jalathrangam)played violin.

Among musicians, Alathur brothers were
missing.In this combo,Srinivasa Iyer was Tamil
Iyer and Venkatasubbier was actually a Telugu

M.S. Subbulakshmi's father was Subramania Iyer
who had his own family and was also
maintaining a family through Shanmugavadivu.
I have read that he was so fond of M.S. that
he gave her the nickname: kunjamma. Now,does
that qualify her as Iyer? Same issue applied to
MLV whose father was Ayyaswamy Iyer who had a
relationship with Lalithangi. Srirangam
Gopalaratnam belonged to the Andhra Devadasi
community. Was her father an Iyengar, I wonder?

N.C. Vasanthakokilam was from an Iyer family.

Did U.V. swaminatha Iyer make it to the list?
How about Tamil scholar Suryanarayana Iyer who
Tamilisedhis name to something like



K.V. Nagarajan

My reply was:
Dear Mr. Nagarajan,

It was interesting to read your mail about my blog.
Thank you for nice words. Why don't you post your
opinion on comments, so that others also can view your
opinions. Interesting to know Sankaracharya and
Thiyagaraja are not Tamil brahmins, because their
forefathers were speaking Telugu. How about Periyar
who considered Thamizhar thandhai? His mother toungue
was also not Tamil. However, he is not quoted in the
list of eminent Tamilians. I will wait for some more
comments before deleting these names.

His reply was:

Sri Hariharan:

I meant that Periaval and Thyagaraja were not Tamil Iyers.
Of course, they were brahmins domicled in the Tanjavur area
probably from the time of the Naiks. I am not at all suggesting
deleting their names. Perhaps an explanatory note might do, if at all.

As for periyar, he belonged to a Kannadiga business family domiclied
in Erode. He was pretty proud of his Kannadiga heritage. I remember
once he was doing his propaganda in Ulsoor, Bangalore with his posters
all over the walls in the neghbourhood. He was probably serious when
he was describing Tamil as the language of kattumirandis. He could
get away with it because his Tamilian followers were so naive.
Ironically, his chief disciple Karunanidhi campaigned to get Tamil
designated as a classical language. Periyar would have probably objected
to that!

Despite his anti-brahmin propaganda, he got all his professional
services from brahmins. I remember in Trichy his chartered accountant
was teaching in St.Joseph's College when I was a student. I used to see
Periyar and his entourage visiting his office. His C.A. used to report that
Periyar used to say that his anti-brahmin propaganda was just his
livelihood. May be, but it was a poison the effect of which is felt to this
day. Anyhow, this is another example of what was written in that article
about Iyers wanting to stay behind the crown.

I see Periyar as a mild form of Hitler. Hitler started by baiting Jews
and moved on to eliminate them. Periyar started baiting brahmins.
Fortunately, things did not go any further. Hitler had his Brown shorts.
Periyar had his black shirts. I remember once these black shirts tried to
enter our agraharam in Trichy to cut off poonals from people walking
by. I am glad they did not think of cutting off peope's heads with
arivaal. Can you imagine what would have followed if he were to get
delivered his Dravidasthan?

As a boy, I once went to hear his impormptu speech to a crowd in
Mayavaram on the banks of the Cauveri. Our family's tailor was there
and he got scared to see me. He thought some harm might come to me
as a brahmin boy. So, he moved towards me and kept me protected.
I was only a couple of feet away from Periyar soaking in his rhetoric.
The crowd paid no attention to me and dispersed after his speech. Our
tailor advised me to stay away from such crowds. I did not. I later
listened to M.R. Radha (the actor) and many other visiting Dravidian
dignitaries. I always liked to listen to various points of view, a habit I
carry to this day.

Keep up your wonderful blog.


K.V. nagarajan

Sri Kamalaambaa Navaa varanam

The set of compositions popularly known as kamalAmba navAvaraNa consists of eleven kritis composed by the illustrious composer, Muthuswami Dikshitar, in praise of Goddess kamalAmba of the mammoth temple at Tiruvarur. In this set of kritis, the composer is at his best, and the lyrics are par excellence! While in many of the group kritis that Dikshitar is believed to have composed, some kritis are missing (perhaps lost to us forever), the kamalAmba navAvaraNa series has fortunately come down to us in a complete form.
It consists of a benedictory (dhyAna) k.rti, followed by eight compositions, one in each of the eight declinations of the proper noun “kamalambA” (or sometimes kamalAmbikA) in feminine gender, continuing on to a tenth k.rti which employs all the declinations (vibhakti-s) of the Sanskrit language; the series concludes with an auspicious maN^gaLa k.rti, appropriately set in the auspicious rAga srIrAgam. Each of the nine songs is on one of the nine enclosures (AvaraNam) of the shrIcakra (the auspicious wheel). In each k.rti, Dikshitar carefully brings out the name of the cakra, its geometry, many salient features specific to the cakra, and the devata-s associated with it. On many occasions, Dikshitar cleverly indulges in very lengthy word constructions, which to a layman may seem like a tongue-twister. The word “guruguha” (used in several meanings) appears in all these compositions as the composer’s signature or mudra. The rAga mudra is incorporated (through the art of shleSha (double meaning), in most of these compositions. The dhyAna k.rti in toDi does not feature a rAga mudrA, and the kritis in Anandabhairavi (first AvaraNam), and shaN^karAbharaNam (third AvaraNam) have only partial rAga mudras (the word “Ananda” for the former, and shaN^kara for the latter). The kambhoji, sahAnA, and Ahiri compositions have disguised rAga mudrAs (kAmbhoja, shAna, Ahari, respectively). All other kritis have the proper rAga mudrA.
The kritis of the kamalAmba navAvaraNa series are as follows:
1. dhyAna k.rti in saMbodhanA vibhakti (vocative case) - kamalAmbikE, tODi, rUpaka tALa
2. The first AvaraNa k.rti in prathamA vibhakti (nominative) on trailokyamohana cakra - kamalAmba saMrakShatu mAM, Anandabhairavi, tripuTa tALa
3. The second AvaraNa k.rti in dvitIyA vibhakti (accusative) on sarvAshaparipUraka cakra - kamalAmbAM bhaja re, kalyANi, Adi tALa
4. The third AvaraNa k.rti in tritIyA vibhakti (instrumental) on sarvasaMkShobhaNa cakra - shrIkamalAmbikayA, shaN^karAbharaNam rUpaka tALa
5. The fourth AvaraNa k.rti in caturthI vibhakti (dative) on sarvasaubhAgyadAyaka cakra - kamalAmbikAyai, kAMbhoji, aTa tALa
6. The fifth AvaraNa k.rti in pa~ncamI vibhakti (ablative) on sarvArthasAdhaka cakra - shrI kamalAMbAyAH, bhairavi, jhaMpa tALa
7. The sixth AvaraNa k.rti in ShaShThI vibhakti (genitive) on sarvarakShAkara cakra - kamalAmbikAyAH, punnAgavarALi, rUpaka tALa
8. The seventh AvaraNa k.rti in saptamI vibhakti (locative) on sarvarogahara cakra - shrI kamalAmbikAyAM , sahAnA, tripuTa tALa
9. The eighth AvaraNa k.rti in saMbodhanA vibhakti (vocative) on sarvasiddhiprada cakra - shrI kamalAMbike, ghaNTa, Adi tALa
10. The ninth and last AvaraNa k.rti in all eight vibhaktis (cases) on sarvAnandamaya cakra - shrI kamalAMbA jayati, Ahiri, rUpaka tALa
(The pallavi employs prathamA vibhakti, the anupallavi, the dvitIya and tritIyA vibhaktis, while the caraNam has one line each in caturthI, pa~ncamI, ShaShThI and saptamI vibhaktis. The line set in caturthI vibhakti also incorporates the sambodhanA, while the two lines sung in madhyamakAla return to the prathamA vibhakti.)
11. The final auspicious maN^gaLa k.rti - shrI kamalAmbike, shrIrAgaM, khaNDa eka tALa
The shrIcakra:
Since each of these compositions is on one of the nine AvaraNams (enclosures) of the shrI cakra, we will now quickly describe the geometry of the cakra. The shrI cakra, or the auspicious wheel is a geometrical diagram employed in the worship of Goddess Tripurasundari, according to Tantric rituals. It is more than a mere diagram, and has mystic powers and great significance in the shakti worship tradition. The outer portion of the shrI cakra consists of four units - the outermost layer gateway of three rectangular walls (bhUpura), three circles (trivalaya, or v.rttatraya), a sixteen petaled rose (ShoDashadaLa padma), and an eight-petaled rose (aShTadaLa padma). The core of the shrI cakra consists of numerous triangles - a set of fourteen triangles (manukoNa), two sets of ten triangles (bahirdashAra and antardashAra), a set of eight triangles (vasukoNa), and the innermost sole triangle (trikoNa). In fact these various triangles are formed by the intersections of four isosceles triangles with vertex pointing upwards (called the shiva group), and five isosceles triangles with downward vertices (called the shakti group) all situated inside the eight petaled rose. The culmination of all these is the bindu, a single dot placed at the center. Each sub-cakra bears the name of its presiding deity, as well as the subordinate deities (yoginis) associated with it.
A quick definition of the shrI cakra can be found in Adi Sankara’s famous work, Saundaryalahari (verse 11) as follows:
caturbhiH shrIkaNThaiH shivayuvatibhiH pa~ncabhirapi
prabhinnAbhiH shaMbhornavabhirapi mUlaprak.rtibhiH |
trirekhAbhiH sArdhaM tava sharaNakoNAH pariNatAH ||
It is customary to sing the kamalambA navAvaraNa group kritis, first by invoking Lord Ganesha through the k.rti, “shrImahAgaNapatiravatu mAm” in rAga gauLa, followed by a salutation to Lord SubrahmaNya (guruguha) through the composition “bAlasubrahmaNyam” in rAga suraTi. These two particular kritis might have been chosen, not for any particular reason, but perhaps one of the oldest books on kamalAmba Navavaranam by Kallidaikkuricci Vina Sundaram Iyer (supplement volume 16) has printed these songs preceding the AvaraNa songs.
The kamalAMbA navAvarANa kritis are very auspicious, deep in meaning and content, and bring out the deeper insights into the shrI vidyA upAsana. Dikshitar has packed numerous tantric and shrIvidyA details in these songs, which makes it difficult to translate them adequately into English. While the meanings may be straightforward for those who have adequate knowledge of shrIvidyA upAsana and have contemplated on it, for ordinary people, it is a hidden treasure. Hence, we shall only attempt a simple word to word meaning approach to these songs, and will not attempt to provide the deeper esoteric inner meanings. Interested readers may refer to many treatises on this topic that are readily available. (coutesy:

  1. Sri Mahaganapathi - Gowla - Maharajapuram Santhanam
  2. Sri Balasubramaniyam - Surutti - Sita rajan
  3. Kamalambike Thodi - (Dhyaanam) - S. Rajeswari
  4. Kamalamba - Aanadabairavi - FIRST AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  5. Kamalaambaam bajare - Kalyaani - SECOND AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  6. Sri Kamalaambikaya - Sankarabaranam - THIRD AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  7. Kamalaambikayai - Kambhoji - FOURTH AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  8. Kamalaambaayah paramnathire - Bhairavi - FIFTH AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  9. Kamalaambikayah - Punnagavarali - SIXTH AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  10. Sri Kamalambikayaam - Sahaana - SEVENTH AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  11. Sri kamalambika avaava - Ghanta - EIGHTH AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  12. Sri Kamalaambaa jayathi = Aahiri - NINETH AVARANAM - S. Rajeswari
  13. Sri kamalaambike - Shree - Mangalam - S. Rajeswari

    For meaning and lyrics (in English) you may click the following link in google. "Dikshitar:kamalAmbA navAvaraNa" 
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Sir, I could not access any of the links in the Navavarnam collection by S Rajeswari, ie the last set of songs on this page...
November 11, 2009 8:13 PM
Blogger hvaidya said...
My dear friend, All these songs are available just above this posting on "mediafire" and they are all down loadable. Please go to that get all the songs down loaded. All the best to you
November 16, 2009 10:50 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Namaste I need help to download the Navavarnam kritis... can you please point to the mediafire links? regards N
February 14, 2011 10:00 PM
Blogger hvaidya said...
Dear Mr/Mrs "N",

Mediafire links are available just above this posting.
February 15, 2011 8:56 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Sri Kamalamba Jayathi and Shri Kamalambikaya (third Avaranam) can you reupload these 2 files?
February 19, 2011 11:31 AM
Blogger hvaidya said...
I have uploaded afresh all the missing files. Now it is complete.
February 19, 2011 10:49 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thanku Sir
February 20, 2011 3:57 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Sir if you have can you please upload RK Padmanabha_Navavarna Krithis ?
February 20, 2011 4:25 AM