Chintayama – Bhairavi

चिन्तय मा कन्द
(Chintaya Ma kanda-Bhairavi)

The dynamics of our planet (and universe) are governed by five elements – ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. While it is still debatable as to how each of these elements were created and whether the creation of one had any interdependency on the other, taittiriya upanishad seems to have a simple answer.

In the first anuvaka of the second valli (called Anandavalli) in the taittiriya upanishad, the origins of the five elements is directly attributed to Brahman, the supreme being.

It mentions that from the Brahman sprang AkASa (ether, the medium through which we hear), from AkASa, evolved vAyu (air, that which we hear and feel) and from vAyu, evolved agni (fire, that which we hear, feel and see). From vAyu and Agni, evolved varuNa (water, that which we hear, feel, see and taste) and from water, sprang prithvi (earth, that which we hear, feel, see, taste and smell).

It establishes the evolution and the relationship between these elements and links the 5 elements to the 5 primary senses of a living organism. And Shiva being the Supreme Being embodies all these 5 elements and takes 5 different forms in 5 different temples. Dikshitar has composed the Panchabhoota stala kritis on each of these five different temples/kshetras.

cintaya mAkanda” in Bhairavi set to rupaka tala and composed at the majestic Ekambaranathar temple in the divine town of Kanchipuram focusses on element “earth”.

Lord Ekambaranathar ( Prithvi Lingam) gets his name directly from the sthala vriksha, the mango tree. (ekAmra translates to “one mango tree”). This mango tree in Kanchipuram is also considered to be an embodiment of the four Vedas for it bears fruits of four different tastes each season.

Legend has it that once Parvati, the consort of Shiva was doing penance under the temple’s ancient Mango tree near Vegavathi river. In order to test her devotion Shiva sent fire on her. Goddess Parvati prayed to her brother, Vishnu, for help. In order to save her, he took the Moon from Shiva’s head and showed the rays which then cooled down the tree as well as Parvati. Shiva again sent the river Ganga (Ganges) to disrupt Parvati’s penance. Parvati prayed to Ganga and convinced her that both of them were sisters and so she should not harm her. Ganga did not disturb her penance and Parvati made a Shiva Linga out of sand to get united with Shiva. The God here came to be known as Ekambareswarar or “Lord of Mango Tree”

चिन्तय मा – भैरवी-रूपकं

चिन्तय मा कन्द मूलकन्दम्
चेतः श्री सोमास्कन्दम्


सन्ततम् अखण्ड सच्चितानन्दम्
साम्राज्यप्रद चरणारविन्दम्


मःङ्गलकर मन्दहास वदनं
मानिक्यमय काञ्चिसदनम्

अन्गसौन्दर्य विजित मदनं
अन्तक सूदन म्कुण्ड रदनम्

उत्तुङ्ग कमनीय वृषतुरङ्गं
भैरवी प्रसङ्गं गुरुगुहान्तरङ्गं पृथ्वीलिण्गम्

Chintaya Ma kanda-Bhairavi

cintaya mA kanda mUlakandam
cEtah shrI sOmAskandam


Dikshitar begins the kriti advising us devotees to focus on the Supreme and sings “Oh mind! (“cEtah”), contemplate (“cintaya”) on somAskanda, the one seated under the bulbous root (“mUlakandam”) of the mango tree (“mA kanda”)”. He introduces the sOmAskanda form of Shiva in which the Lord is accompanied by Parvati and SubrahmaNya (“sa+Uma+skanda”). In the depiction of the somAskanda form, skanda sits in-between Shiva and Parvati.


santatam akhaNDa saccitAnandam
sAmrAjyaprada caraNAravindam


Dikshitar describes the Lord as “one who is immersed in a state of eternal (“santatam”), undivided (“akhaNDa”) blissful consciousness (“saccitAnandam”) and one whose lotus feet (“caraNAravindam”) are capable of bestowing empires (“sAmrAjya prada”) on his devotees”.


maHNgaLakara mandahAsa vadanam
mAnikyamaya kAncisadanam
angasaundarya vijita madanam
antaka sUdanam kunda radanam

uttuNga kamanIya vRSaturaNgam
bhairavi prasaNgam guruguhAntaraNgam pRthvIliNgam


Dikshitar continues to describe the Lord as “the one with a smiling countenance (“mandahAsa vadanam”) who bestows welfare and prosperity (“maHNgaLakara”) on his devotees. The one who resides (“sadanam”) in the rich abode of Kanchi, filled with carbuncles (“mAnikyamaya”). The one whose splendorous body (“anga saundarya”) surpasses (“vijita”) that of cupid (“madana”). The one who is the destroyer (“sUdana”) of Yama, the God of death (“antaka”) and one with teeth as white as jasmine buds (“kunda radanam”)”.

In the madhyamakAla Sahityam, Dikshitar sings the praises of the Lord as “the one who has the tall and beautiful (“uttuNga kamanIya”) bull (“vRSa”) as His vehicle and the one enjoys the company of (“prasaNgam”) of Goddess Bhairavi (ugra version of Parvati). The one who resides in the interior essence (“antaraNgam”) of guruguha and the one who exists in this kshetra in the form of Prthvi lingam, symbolizing the earth element. He concludes the kriti with a reference to the purANa of Parvati worshipping the Lord in the form of a sand lingam.