Anand Natana Prakasham – Kedaram

आनन्द नटन प्रकाशं
(Ananda Natana Prakasham)

A Brilliant composition in Raga Kedaram – Let’s look at the majestic kriti in the soothing Kedaram raga singing the praises of Lord Shiva who resides in the temple at Chidambaram, in the form of ether/space.

The temple town name is from the word – “cittambalam” translating to “the open area of consciousness”. The sthala vriksham here are the mangrove trees . It is also known as tillai (mangrove) natarAja temple . The temple is also associated with sage vyAgrapAda, the one with tiger feet and hence called puliyUr with the Lord called puliyUran. The temple is claimed to be situated at the lotus heart of Universe.

The temple has five main ambalams or sabhai-s:

  1. Citt-ambalam: the sanctum sanctorum housing the Lord and his consort sivakAma valli.
  2. Pon-ambalam: the golden roofed hall where the rituals are performed and houses the nishkala space. This is also referred to as the chidambara rahasyam.
  3. Nritya-sabhai: The place/stage where Lord Nataraja is supposed to have outdanced kALi and displayed his supremacy, establishing this temple as the birthplace of nATya.
  4. Raja-sabhai: 1000-pillared hall alluding to the thousand-petal lotus, sahasrAra cakra of yogic significance
  5. Deva-sabhai: Housing the main deities of the temple – Lord Ganesha, Lord Somaskanda and Lord Govindaraja perumal.

The temple is a marvel, providing astonishing stories and thought provoking ideas. The temple has nine gopurams signifying the 9 openings of the human body. One would also notice the East gopuram depicts all the 108 postures of Bharat natya – a great piece of sculpture. The temple is referred in all the significant Shaivite scriptures as the Shaivite kshetra where the Lord performed the divine cosmic dance or the Ananda Tandava.

आनन्द नटन प्रकाशं

आनन्द नटन प्रकाशं चित् सभेषम्
आश्रयामि शिवकामवल्लीशम्


भानु कोटि कोटि सङ्काशम्
भुक्ति मुक्ति प्रद दहराकाशम्
दीन जन संरक्षण चणम्
दिव्य पतञ्जलि व्याघ्रपाद
दर्शित कुञ्चिताब्ज चरणम्


शीतांशु गङ्गा धरम् नील कन्धरम्
श्री केदारदि क्षेत्राधारम्
भूतेशम् शार्दूल चर्माम्बरम् चिदम्बरम्
भूसुरत्रि सहस्र मुनीश्वरम् विश्वेश्वरम्
नवनीत हृदयम् सदय गुरुगुह तातमाद्यम्
वेद वेद्यम् वीत रागिणमप्रमेयाद्वैत प्रतिपाद्यम्
संगीत वाद्य विनोद ताण्डव जात बहुतर भेद चोद्यम्


Ananda naTana prakASaM citsabhESaM
AsrayAmi SivakAma vallISaM


Dikshitar seeks refuge (“AsrayAmi“) in the Supreme Lord who is “the consort of Goddess SivakAma valli, the Lord who displays his effulgence (“prakASaM“) through His blissful (“Ananda“) cosmic dance (“naTana“), the one who is the Lord of the divine cittsabha”.

The pallavi of this composition is a brilliant beginning similar to most Dikshitar’s kritis. Dikshitar starts it with the word “Ananda”. The composition in itself is pure bliss and brings happiness to the listener’s soul. In the first four words, he clearly sets the context and establishes the kshetra with its significance. Lord Shiva’s tAndava rUpam is brought forth in its full majesty and just the way that His resplendent dance illuminates all universe, this pallavi also shines brilliantly among the universe of compositions out there.

Dikshitar refers to the sanctum sanctorum as cittsabha, the hall of consciousness, which is how the garbhagriha is featured. He completes the physical description of the main deities by mentioning the consort, Goddess SivakAmavalli. One can observe how Dikshitar uses the same word “ISa” in different contexts in the pallavi itself, first as “Lord” and then as “husband/consort”.


bhAnu kOTi kOTi saMkASaM
bhukti mukti prada daharAkASaM
dIna jana saMrakshaNa caNaM
divya patanjali vyAgrapAda-
darSita kuncitAbja caraNam


Dikshitar describes the Lord as “the one whose appearance is as resplendent as (“saMkASaM“) crores and crores (“kOTi kOTi“) of suns (“bhAnu“). The one who is adept in bestowing (“prada“) bliss (“bhukti“) as well as salvation (“mukti“) and the one who is worshipped as the form of daharAkASa, the space within a yogi’s heart. The one who is well-known (“caNaM“) for protecting (“saMrakshaNa“) the weak and down-trodden (“dIna jana“)”.

Dikshitar describes the Lord as “the one who bent and raised (“kuncita“) his lotus-shaped (“Abja“) feet (“caraNam“) to give the vision (“darSita“) of his cosmic dance to the divine (“divya“) sages Patanjali and vyAgrapAda”.

In the anupallavi, Dikshitar brings in reference to the primordial element that the Lord represents at this temple, space. Right beside the main deity in the citsabha, is the empty space which is famously referred to as “cidambara rahasyam”, for the Lord is known to pervade this space and the space has no origin or end and hence it remains a mystery.

This space which the Lord pervades and dances in with all His glory is compared to the heart of a staunch yogi/devotee, since that beautiful space is also pervaded by the Lord in all His glory and He dances his resplendent cosmic dance in the heart. This space is called daharAkASa and Dikshitar uses this beautiful word in the anupallavi.

In the last line of the anupallavi, Dikshitar refers to the saints patanjali and vyAghrapAda and the famous event in which the Lord is known to have given darshan to these two divine souls with his foot raised, the same posture that is depicted in the form of the natarAja idol. Saint vyAghrapAda, as his name suggests, was a saint with tiger feet. He is known to have requested the Lord to grant him the feet of a tiger so that he can climb the foliage of big trees and bring back flowers from the tree tops and creepers to decorate the Lord and worship him. The Lord is supposed to have been so pleased with the saint’s devotion that He chose to name this kSEtra itself as puliyUr (“tiger town”) . Musically, every phrase is a stamp of beauty beginning with the lilting gAndara usage at “kOTi” and the smooth shadja – panchama- usage at “bhukti” followed by the “gmpnsnpmgrrs” at “daharAkASaM”. Dikshitar has constructed beautiful soll-kattus to round off the anupallavi, completely in line with the theme of the dancing Lord at this divine kSEtra.


SItAMSu gangAdharaM nIlakandharaM
SrI kEdArAdi kSEtra AdhAram
bhUtESaM SArdUla carmAmbaraM cidambaraM
bhUsura tri-sahasra munISwaram viSvESwaram
navanIta hRdayaM sadaya guruguha tAtaM
AdyaM vEdavEdyaM vItarAgiNaM-
apramEyAdvaita pratipAdyaM
sangIta vAdya vinOdha tAndava-
jAta bahu-tara bhEda cOdyam


Dikshitar describes the Lord as “the one wearing (“dharaM“) the ganges and the moon (“SItAMSu“) and the one with the blue neck (“nIlakandharaM“). He is the foundation (“AdhAram“) of all sacred places (“kSEtra“) beginning with the auspicious (“SrI“) kEdAra. He is the Lord of all living beings and elements (“bhUta“) and is the one whose dress (“ambaraM“) is made out of tiger (“SArdUla“) skin (“carma“). He is the The one who dwells in cidambaraM, the ethereal medium of consciousness. He is the Lord (“ISwaram“) of the three thousand (“tri-sahasra“) Brahmin (“bhUsura“) sages (“muni“) and the Lord of the universe (“viSvESwaram”)”.

Dikshitar continues to portray the compassionate amsha of the Lord by describing Him as “the one whose heart (“hRdayaM“) is as soft as fresh butter (“navanIta“), the ever-compassionate (“sadaya“) father (“tAtaM“) of Lord Guruguha. He is the primordial one (“AdyaM“) and the one whose praises are sung (“vEdyaM“) in the vEdas. The one who is free of all desires (“vItarAgiNaM“), immeasurable (“apramEya“) and expounded (“pratipAdyaM“) the monoism philosophy (“advaita“).”

Dikshitar rounds off the madhyamakAla sAhityam by describing the Lord as “the one who derives pleasure (“vinOdha“) in music (“sangIta“) and instruments (“vAdya“) and the one whose cosmic dance (“tAndava“) both causes (“jAta“) and distinguishes (“bhEda“) the various (“bahu-tara“) questions (“cOdyam“) (about life and beyond)”.

Dikshitar establishes the importance of this great kSEtra as a saivite shrine by referring to the Lord Nataraja at this temple to be the founding basis for all other shrines. It is well-established in the scriptures that it is the divine cosmic dance of the Lord that built and sustains this whole universe. He uses the word “ambaram” consecutively in carmAmbaram and Chidambaram, with the first ambaram referring to the tiger skin that the Lord wears while the latter reference alludes to the esoteric nature of the space that the Lord pervades. Dikshitar also brings in folklore while referring to the 3000 sages in the caraNam. Legend has it the 3000 sages left for Chidambaram from Kailash and on reaching the destination, one was found missing. As confusion prevailed among the sages, the Lord Himself is known to have appeared and clarified that He was one of the 3000 in that group that left Kailash for He wanted to manifest Himself in the south in this great temple.

Dikshitar then brings in references to the Lord being the origin of the universe and how he symbolizes the advaita doctrines. It is quite touching that the Lord shows his merciful side at this shrine as Dikshitar invokes the “navanIta hRdaya” phrase to begin the madhyama kAla sAhityam. What a marvelous and inspiring composition by one of the greatest composers of all time.

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.

Arunachala Natham – Saragana

(aruNAcalanAtham smarAmi)

Lord Shiva is worshipped as “Agni lingam” at this sthala – Tiruvannamalai . Lord Arunachaleswarar and Goddess Apithakuchamba are the main deities.

As per mythology, once Goddess Parvati closes Lord Shiva’s eyes with her hands (playfully) in Kailasam. The whole universe was devoid of light and in darkness. The Goddess then performs a penance, and is reunited with Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva takes the form of a column of fire atop the Annamalai hills thereby returning light to the world. It is thus accepted that the form Lord Shiva embodies at this sthala is fire. His resplendent form dispels darkness and drives away ignorance.

The Kriti composed in Raga Saranga, begins with the pallavi as a prayer. The anupallavi describes the Lord and the temple and caraNam brings out the greatness of the Agni lingam and the kshetram.

अरुणाचल नाथं – सारङ्गा – रूपकं

अरुणाचल नाथं स्मरामि अनिषं
अपीत कुचांब समेतम्


स्मरणात्कैवल्य प्रद चरणारविन्दं
तरुणादित्य कोटि संकाष चिदानन्दं
करुणा रसादि कन्दं सरनागत सुरबृन्दम्


अप्राकृत तेजोमय लिङ्गं
अद्याद्भुत करधृत सारङ्गं
अप्रमेयं अपर्णब्ज भृङ्गं
आरूढोत्तुङ्ग वृश तुरङ्गं
विप्रोत्तम विषेशान्तरङ्गं
वीर गुरुगुह तारप्रसङ्गं
स्वप्रदीप मौलि विधृत गङ्गं
स्वप्रकाष जित सोमाग्नि पतङ्गं

aruNAcalanAtham smarAmi

aruNAcala nAthaM smarAmi aniSaM
apIta kucAmba samEtam


Dikshitar says “I always (“aniSaM”) meditate (“smarAmi”) upon Lord of Arunachala, the one who is with his consort (“samEtam”) apIta kucAmba”.
The pallavi is simple, yet very beautiful. Dikshitar indicates very clearly as to which Lord this composition is dedicated to and who the Goddess is. He defines the kshetra in the opening few lines of the Kriti. The word Arunachala means the “mountain of fire” or “red (aruna) mountain (acala)”. Dikshitar uses possibly the apt word to describe the presence of Lord Shiva as an embodiment of fire residing in this mountain.


smaraNAt kaivalya prada caraNAravindaM
taruNAditya kOTi saMkASa cidAnandaM
karuNA rasAdi kandaM SaraNAgata surabRndam


Dikshitar describes the power of the Lord as “The one with the lotus feet (“caraNa”+”aravindam”), just the thought of which (“smaraNAt”) bestows (“prada”) salvation (“kaivalya”). The one who is the embodiment of pure bliss consciousness (“cidAnandam”) and the one who is as resplendent as a million (“kOTi”) young (“taruNa”) suns (“Aditya”). The one who is the root (“kandam”) of the essence (“rasa”) of all mercy (“karuNA”) and the one unto whom hordes (“bRndam”) of celestials (“sura”) surrender (“SaraNAgata”)”.

Dikshitar starts the anupallavi with “smaraNAt”. It rhymes with the “aruNA” in the pallavi and sets the base for him to use the subsequent rhythmic words in the anupallavi such as “taruNA, karuNA and caraNA”.

Dikshitar emphasizes on the Shakti of the Lord at this kshetra and His ability to grant salvation to the ones who meditate upon him. Great saints such as Bhagwan Ramana maharshi who was led to this sthala by a jyothi are testimony to this. Dikshitar also uses a beautiful contra-position in the anupallavi – though the Kriti is about the Lord being in an Agni form (which signifies energy and ugra), he describes the Lord as an ocean of compassion by bringing in karuNA rasa.


aprAkRta tEjOmaya lingaM
adyAdbhuta karadhRta sAraNgaM
apramEyaM aparNAbja bhRngaM
ArUDhottunga vRsha turangaM
viprOttama viSEshAntarangaM
vIra guruguha tAraprasangaM
svapradIpa mauli vidhRta gangaM
svaprakASa jita sOmAgni patangam


Dikshitar progresses in the caranam to describe the Lord as “the effulgent (“tEjOmaya”) lingam which does not have a beginning (“aprAkRta”) and the one who wields a deer (“sAraNgam”) in his wonderful (“adyAdbhuta”) hands (“kara”). The one who is immeasurable (“apramEyam”) and the one who hovers over the lotus (pArvati) (“aparNa”+”abja”) like a bee (“bhRngam”). The one mounts (“ArUDhottunga”) the sacred bull (“vRsha”) as his vehicle (“turangam”)”.

The madhyama kala sahityam beautifully describes the Lord as “the one who is the superior special (“viSEsha”) inner conscience (“antarangam”) of the scholarly and the learned (“vipra”) and the one who is dear to the valorous (“vIra”) Lord Karthikeya (“guruguha”), the one who explained the praNava mantra (“prasangaM”). The self-luminous one (“sva”+”pradIpa”) who wears (“vidhRta”) the Ganges (“gangam”) and the moon (“mauli”) on his head. The one whose luster (“prakASa”) is superior to (“jita”) to the moon (“sOma”), the fire (“agni”) and the sun (“patangam”)”.

Dikshitar describes the “immeasurable nature” of the lingam and the resplendence of the Lord in this form to be superior to all sources of light (sun, moon, stars and fire) that humans are usually exposed to. Dikshitar brilliantly employs the rAga mudra by referring to the physical design of the Lord at this kshetra and brings in the composer mudra by referring to Lord subrahmanya as the one who expounded the ‘Pranava’ to His father. Dikshitar employs his best creativity and genius and brings in the references to fire and light – anisham, tarunaditya, tejomayalingam, svapradIpa, svaprakasha, soma, agni, patanga in this brilliant composition.

Jambupathe – Yamuna Kalyani

जम्बूपते – यमुनाकल्याणि
(Jambupathe- Yamuna Kalyani)

Jambupathe is a majestic composition describing the attributes and extolling the greatness of Lord Shiva at the Jambukeshwara temple (Appu Linga Kshetra) in Thiruvanaikaval, exposing the amsha of water element.

The temple, dedicated to Lord Jambukeshwara and Goddess Akhilandeshwari is located in a suburb of Tiruchi. According to temple folklore, this town used to be a Jambu tree forest and under one of the trees, Lord Shiva took the form of a lingam (swayambu) . Two of Shiva’s ganaas were cursed and born as an elephant and a spider in this forest. The elephant used to bring water and clean the lingam and decorate with flowers while the spider spun a web directly above the lingam to prevent leaves and dirt from falling on it. By serving the Lord thus, the two souls got salvation and the place itself derives its name from this (tiru+Anai+kAval). The Shiva lingam itself is situated on top of a stream of fresh water and water gushes all over and around the lingam in the sanctum sanctorum clearly establishing this as the “water lingam”. Dikshitar has exploited a North Indian raga – Yamuna kalyani for this wonderful kriti and embellishes the kriti with exotic creative dhrupad- style phrases.

जम्बूपते – यमुना कल्याणि – रुपकम्

जम्बूपते माम्पाहि निजानन्द अमृत बोधं देहि


अम्बुजासनादि सकल देव नमन तुम्बुरुनुत हृदय तापोप शमन
अम्बुधि गःङ्गा कावेरी यमुना कम्बु कण्त्यखिलाण्डेश्वरी रमण


पर्वतजा प्रार्त्थिताब्लिङ्ग विभो पःञ्चभूतमय प्रपःञ्चप्रभो
सर्वजीवदयाकर शम्भो सामजाटवि निलय स्वयम्भो
शर्व करुणा सुधासिन्धो शरणागत वत्सलार्त बन्धो
अनिर्वचनीय नादबिन्दो नित्यमौलि विधृत गःण्गेन्दो
निर्विकल्पक समाधिनिष्ट शिव कल्पकतरो
निर्विषेष चैतन्य निरञ्जन गुरुगुहगुरो


jambUpatE mAm pAhi nijAnanda amritabOdham dEhi


Dikshitar starts the pallavi invoking the Lord and pleading Oh Lord (“patE”) of the rose apple tree (“jambU”) grove, protect (“pAhi”) me (“mAm”). Bestow upon me (“dEhi”), the awakening nectar (“amrita” + “bodham”) of true, undiminished bliss/happiness (“nija”+”Ananda”)”. He prays to Lord to give the devotee the nectar of true bliss (nijanandamruta bodham). Amruta or nectar is a fluid as we know.


ambujasanadi sakala deva namana
tumburu nuta hRdayatapopa Samana
ambudhi gangA kaveri yamuna
kambukanthyakhilandeswari ramana


DIkshitar continues the description of the Lord and brings in references to all the water bodies that signify the panchabhoota element of water. He describes the Lord as “The one worshipped and prayed to (“namana”) by Lord Brahma, the one seated on the lotus (“ambujAsana”) and all other Gods (“sakala dEva”). The one whose praises were sung by (“nuta”) the celestial musician “tumburu” and the one who removes the afflictions (“tApa”) of the devotees heart (“hRdaya”)”.

Dikshitar describes the Lord as “the embodiment of the sea (“ambudhi”) and the rivers Ganga, Kaveri and Yamuna” and as “the one who is the beloved (“ramaNa”) of Goddess Akhilandeswari, the one with a conch-like neck (“kambu”+”kaNTha”)”.


parvataja prarthitab linga vibho pancabhutamaya prapanca prabho
sarvajIva dayakara shambho sAmajatavInilaya svayambho
Sarva karuna sudha sindho Saranagata vatsalartabandho
anirvacanIya nadabindo nitya moulividhrta gangendo
nirvikalpaka samAdi nishta Siva kalpakataro
nirvisesha caitanya niranjana guruguha guro


DIkshitar mentions the Lord as “the resplendent one (“vibhO”) who was worshipped by (“prArthita”) Goddess Parvati, the one born of a mountain (“parvata”+”jA”). The Lord (“prabho”) of the universe (“prapanca”) who is an embodiment of the five elements (“pancabhUta”+”maya”)”. Dikshitar mentions the Lord as “the source of happiness (“shambhO”) and the one who shows compassion (“dayAkara”) on all creatures (“sarvajIva”)”. He says the town was originally a forest filled with elephants (“sAmajAtavi”) and describes the linga as “one which originated by itself (“svayambhO”)”. He continues to describe the Lord as “the nectarous river (“sudhA sindhO”) of mercy (“Sarva karunA”)” and “the dearest (“vatsala”) kin (“bandhO”) of the devotees who completely surrender unto him (“SaraNAgata”)”. He continues his praise of the lord and says he is “the one who is the unfathomable, indescribable (“anirvacanIya”) omkAra, the sound (“nAda”) from which the universe originated (“bindO”) and the one who always (“nitya”) wears on his head (“vidhRta”) the crescent (“mouli”) and Ganges”.

The final passage – madhyamakala sahitya- describes the Lord as “One who is forever in the state of absolute nothingness, a samadi state in which one completely loses self-consciousness (“nirvikalpa”) and one who is a wish-yielding tree (“kalpakataro”) in communion (“nishta”) with the auspicious energy of Siva. The one who is pure consciousness (“caitanya”) without any distinguishable attributes (“nirviSESha”) and the one from whom originated (“gurO”) the pristine/spotless (“niranjana”) Lord Guruguha”.

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.