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Ramaashtaka Krithis of Dikshithar--Part 3

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Oct 19 1996 - 05:47:18 PDT

NAVARATHRI SIXTH DAY - FRIDAY , OCTOBER 18, 96
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The Bala Khandham and the many acts of valor 
of Sri Ramachandra is saluted by Dikshitar in this Krithi .
The Sahiya Vaakyams are as follows for this krithi 
set inRaga Sri Ranjani and TALam Triputa :

PALLAVI : SRI RAAMACHANDRO RAKSHATHU MAAM
RAKSHASAATHI HARO RAGHUVEERA 

ANUPALLAVI :BHARATHAKRAJO KOWSIKA YAAGA RAKSHAKO
TAATAKAANTHAKA (SRI RAMACHANDRO RAKSHATHU )

CHARANAM : MITHILAA NAGARA PRAVESA 
MAHESWARA DHANUR BEDAKHO
SITA KALYANA MAHOTSAVA VAIBHAVA YUTHA 
CHITRA VESHAKHO 
MADHURYA GAANAAMRUDHA PAANAPRIYA
GURUGUHA VISWASO
MAHADEVI BHAKTHA  PARASURAMA 
GARVA HAROLLAASA (sRI rAMACHANDRO rAKSHATHU )

The Raghuveera Vaibhavam is very much in the mind of
Dikshitar. In the Pallavi and Anupallavi vakhyams , he refers to 
the valor of the elder brother of Bharatha and salutes him 
as the destroyer of the rakshasas(RAKSHASAATHI  HARO) ,
the cause of the death of the violent and shameless 
Tatakaa and her sons( TATAKKANTHAKA). He recognizes 
and reminisces over the extraordinary skills of 
the elder brother of Bharatha (BHARATHAKRAJO )
in archery and the defense of the yagam of Sage Viswamitra 
(KOWSIKA YAGA RAKSHAKO) at Siddhaasramam . 

The first two lines of Charanam celebrate the joyous events
associated with the Sita KalyaNa Vaibhogam . His entry into
the city of Mithila as a majestic prince captivating the hearts of 
the citizens of king Janaka's Capital city to marry Maithili 
( MITHILAA NAGARA PRAVESA)  through the bending and 
breaking of the mighty bow of Maheswara ( MAHESWARA
DHANURBHEDAGO ) is saluted here .

The grand celebration of the marriage festivities (SITA 
KALYAANA MAHOTSAVA VIBHAVAM)  and the many 
beautiful attires (MAHOTSAVA VAIBHAVA CHITRA VESHAKO)
worn by Sri Rama during the different stages of the marriage ceremony 
(Nalangu, exchange of Garlands , PaaNi GrahaNam,
Maangalya DhaaraNam , seven steps around the sacred fire,
Lajaa Homam , gruha Pravesam  et al ) are enjoyed by Dikshitar 
in his mind's eye and  are saluted thru hte first half of
CharaNam. 

The latter half of CharaNam refers to Sri Rama's
delight in drinking  the nectar of music ( MADHURYA
GAANAAMRUTHA PAANA PRIYA ) . 

Saint Thyagaraja has referred to sri Ramachandra's
deep affiliation to delightful music in many of his krithis.
The great Rama Bhaktha has alluded to the seven 
svaras incarnating as beautiful damsels and dancing
in front of this sangita -lola with their tinkling bells ( Sobhillu
Saptasvara krithi in Jaganmohini ragam and
the AtaaNa krithi , Sripapriya ).The bard ofThiruvayaaru
delights in addressing the Lord as Saptha svara chaari in the 
AtaaNa krithi referred to above. Among the other pieces 
of the Saint 's krithis we find many references to 
Sri Rama's supreme talent as a Sangitha Rasika 
( Sangita Lola in Kambhoji krithi Sri Raghuvara Aprameya,
Sama Gana Lola in the Sriranga Pancharatna Krithi ) . In Arabhi
Pancharatnam , The saint refers to Sri Rama as the 
maintainer of the musical tradition ( SANGITA SAMPRADHAYAKUDU ).
The conception of Rama  as Nadha Brahmananda Rupi by
Saint Thyagaraja in his krithis Nadasudha rasambhilanu /Arabhi  ,
Talaci nantane/mukhaari  and Ni dayace Rama/Yadhukula 
Kambhoji is very appropriate to Dikshitar's own salutation to
Sri Rama as " MADHURYA GANAAMRUTHA PAANA PRIYA ) . 

In one of the two remaining  salutatons of CharaNam , 
Dikshitar describes the fond uncle Rama as the one  
dear to the heart of the nephew,
ShaNmugan (GURU GUHA VISWASO ) .

In the last charaNa vakhyam, MAHA DEVI BAHKTHA 
PARASURAMA GHARVA HAROLLAASA: , Dikshitar 
refers to the destructionn of the arrogance of the haughty 
Parasurama, who challenged the newly wed Rama and 
demanded that Ram ashow his valor by bending the Vishnu
Dhanus. He describes Parasurama as the great devotee of 
Sri Vidya here. The land of Kerala is known as Parasurama
Kshetram , since Parasurama recovered that land from the Ocean 
with his mighty axe. The worship of Bhagvathi in that land is
ancient and Dikshitar refers to tht  tradition originating from 
Parasurama . 

Summary of Krithi : May the Maha Veera Rama , who destroyed evil 
Rakshasas , Tatakaa and helped sage Viswaitra to
complete his sacred yagam at Siddhaasramam protect me ! 
 May the eledest brother of Bharatha , 
who reached the city of Mithila thereafter and broke the mighty bow of Siva 
to qualify for the marriage to Mythili offer me his protection !
May the bridegroom  Rama , who exhibited his multifaceted
beauty during the different stages of his marriage to Sita 
protect me ! May the Gana Lola  , who delights in drinking the divine
nectar of music and who is dear to his nephew Guha save me from 
the ills of samsaara ! May the supreme bowman Sri Rama ,who
destroyed the  arrogance of Sri Vidya Upasakaa, Parasurama 
protect me always !  

V.Sadagopan