Sri Kalahasti – Huseni

श्री काळहस्तीष
(Sri Kalahasti)

Dikshitar hails the Lord of Sri Kalahasti (Shiva) as ONE who protects all who takes refuge in Him. Here, he is of the form of Sameera or Vayu. The Lord is the vital force or Prana of Indra, Brahma and Vishnu. He is Anila or the God of wind and illumines all the other elements – Space, Earth, Water and Fire. He is the consort of Devi Gnana Prasunambika.

He is the pride of his devotees and resides in Srikalahasti which is famously known as Dakshina Kailasam.

His lotuses like hands bestow boons on all and He is the compassionate refuge of the afflicted. He destroyed Manmatha or Cupid and bestows the boon of Knowledge. He is Pashupati- the Lord of all creatures. He received the teachings on Knowledge from Guruguha- Sri Subramanya, is the embodiment of Sat-Truth, Chit-Knowledge and Ananda-Bliss.

The significance of this temple is seen in the form of the lamp that endlessly flickers in the airless, almost – vacuum chamber, thereby showing the presence of Lord Shiva in the form of air here.

The temple town and the Lord here derive their name after the staunch devotees, the spider (Sri), the snake (kAla) and the elephant (hasti) who according to folklore are supposed to have killed each other while demonstrating their great devotion for Lord Shiva.

The Lord, having witnessed this, chose to grant them a boon of everlasting fame by merging their names with the Vayu Linga at this temple. The linga at this kshetra is predominantly serpentine in shape. The temple is also referred to as dakshin kailAsa and DIkshitar alludes to this in his composition.

श्री काळहस्तीष

श्री काळहस्तीष ष्रितजनावन समीराकार
माम्पाहि राजमौले एहि


पाकारी विधि हरि प्राण मया कोषानिलाकाष
भूमि सलिलाग्नि प्रकास शिवा


ज्ञान प्रसूनाम्बिकापते भक्ताभिमान
दक्षिणा कैलास वासाभिश्ट
दाना चतुरतराब्ज दीना करुणानिधे
सून सारा सूदरे ज्ञान भव पशुपते
ज्ञानगुरुगुह सच्चिदानन्द मया मूर्ते
हीन जाति किरातकेन पूजित कीर्ते

SrI Kalahastisa

SrI kALahastISa SritajanAvana samIrAkAra
mAm pAhi rAjamauLE Ehi


pAkAri vidhi hari prANa-maya kOSAnilAkASa-
bhUmi salilAgni prakASa Siva


jnAna prasUnAmbikApatE bhaktAbhimAna-
dakshiNa kailAsa vAsAbhishTa dAna-
caturatarAbja dIna karuNAnidhE
sUna sara sUdare jnAna bhava paSupatE
jnAnaguruguha saccidAnanda-maya mUrtE
hIna jAti kirAtakEna pUjita kIrtE


Dikshitar starts the composition by mentioning the kSEtra and the Lord Shiva in the form of wind (“samIra” + “AkAra”) and the one who protects all those who take refuge in Him (“Srita jana”). He earnestly requests the Lord, the one who wears the moon (“rAjamauLE”) to protect me – the devotee (“mAm pAhi”).

Dikshitar instead of using the common word “Vayu “ for wind uses the term “samIra” to preserve the adyAkshara prAsam. He goes on to describe the Lord as “the vital life force (“prANa-maya kOSa”) of Lord Indra (“pAka” +”ari” = Enemy of pAka), Brahma (“vidhi”) and Vishnu (“hari”)”. He continues to address the Lord as “the one who illumines (“prakASa”) the five elements, wind (“anil”), ether (“AkASa”), earth (“bhUmi”), water (“salila”) and fire (“agni”)”.

The highlight of the anupallavi is the great master’s use of vocabulary while referring to the five elements, using “anil” to refer to “wind” and in the process embedding the rAga mudra at k”OSAni”l.

He starts the anupallavi with the “Pdpmgrs” and goes into the tAra sthAyi with “rgmgrs” at “bhUmi”.

Dikshitar starts the caraNam referring to the Lord as “the Lord of His consort – jnAnaprasUnAmbikA and the one who is dear to all his devotees (“bhaktAbhimAna”)”. He brings in reference to the holy kshetra by referring to the Lord as “the one whose abode (“vAsa”) is dakshiNa kailAsa”.

He highlights the merciful and compassionate side of the Lord by describing Him as “the one whose lotus hands (“caturatara”+”abja”) grants (“dAna”) the desired boons (“abhishTa”) and the one who is an ocean of mercy and compassion (“karuNAnidhE”) to the helpless (“dIna”)”.
Dikshitar continues to describe the Lord as “the one who destroyed (“sUdana”) cupid, the one who bears arrows of flowers (“sUna sara”) and the Lord of all beings (“paSupatE”) who removes ignorance (“ajnAna” + “hara”). The one who signifies knowledge (“jnAna”) in the form of Lord Guruguha and the embodiment of truth, bliss and consciousness (“saccidAnanda”)”.

Dikshitar concludes the composition by paying rich tribute to the great devotee kannappa nAyanAr by referring to the Lord as “the one who is famous (“kIrtE”) for having been worshipped (“pUjita”) by a low-caste (“hIna jAti”) hunter (“kirAtaka”).”

The consort jnAnaprasUnAmbika as Her name indicates is known to be the mother who makes knowledge (“jnAna”) blossom (“prasUna”) in an individual. Dikshitar refers to the Lord’s act of burning manmatha with his third eye and to describe the incident, uses “flowery language” by referring to the cupid carrying a quiver full of flower-arrows . Dikshitar uses the words “ajnAna” and “jnAna” almost back to back, with the latter reference being to the incident where Lord Guruguha becomes Swaminatha and explains the importance and significance of the praNava mantra to Lord Shiva Himself.

Dikshitar finishes off the Kriti by paying probably the biggest tribute that any devotee would’ve attained by referring to Kannappa nayanar in the final line of the composition.