Tiruvarur and  the nottusvara sahityas

   
 
Muthusvami  Dikshitar was born in the temple town of Tiruvarur. Tiruvarur is  home to the colossal Shiva temple enshrining Shiva as Tyagaraja and as Vanmikanatha. The Tiruvarur temple also enshrines the mother  Goddess in the form of Kamalamba.

The vast temple complex is a classic illustration of the plurality inherent in Indian spiritual thought. Tradition holds that Tyagaraja enshrined here, was held in worship by Maha Vishnu. Several manifestations of Ganapati, the navagrahas, Shiva in his varied  manifestations such as Chandrasekhara, Dakshinamurthy etc. are all enshrined here.

Several compositions of Dikshitar are in praise of the devatas enshrined here. There is a group of eight kritis in praise of Tyagaraja. There is another group of eight kritis in  praise of Nilotpalamba.

The vaara kritis of Dikshitar address the navagrahas or the celestial bodies Surya, Chandra etc.

The Kamalamba navavarana kritis  are eleven in number. This is a group of compositions which can be termed as the magnum opus of Dikshitar. They are addressed to the feminine aspect of divinity in the form  of Shakti. The Sri Chakra is a geometric figure with triangles and squares and layers of petals. It is considered to be a representation of Shakti, and it has nine sheaths that represent the very phenomenon of existence. The nine layers are known as the nava-avaranas. The Kamalambanavavarana  kritis address the Devi residing in each of the Avaranas. With a meditative and a mangala kriti, the group totals eleven.

Tiruvarur is rich in tradition, festivities,  history and architectural splendor.

Two of the nottusvara sahityas are addressed specifically to Tiruvarur. One is the composition muchukunda varada Tyagaraja and the other is kamalasana vandita in praise of Kamalamba.  .
 

Here is a video performance from 'Colonial Interlude' featuring the glory of Tiruvarur.


Follow this link to listen to the nottusvara sahityas featured in Vismaya.  

Vismaya - An Indo Celtic Musical Journey Copyright © 2008 K. Kannikeswaran

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