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Sri KrishNa BhakthAs :Part III Sri KashEthraj~nyaa

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Sep 24 1999 - 19:25:57 PDT

Dear Sri KrishNa BhakthAs :

KshEthraayyA (also Called KshEthraj~nyaa and
KshEthriyulu) was a contemproary of Venaktamahi, 
the AchAryan for Sri Raamaswamy Dikshithar , 
the father of the famous Sri Mutthuswamy Dikshithar.
The time was mid 18th century .

He is from Muvvapuri , a hamlet near GhantasAlA
in KrishNA district .He was a Telugu Smartha Brahmin 
like Sri NaarAyana Theerthar and Saint ThyagarAjA .
He is unparalleled in composition of Padhams soaked
in nava rasams .He adorned these padhams in rakthi and
apoorva raagams .He was prolific in composing Padhams .
The Naayika -naayikA bhavam experienced by ParakAla ,
ParAnkusa and Venkata Nayakis come to our  mind ,
when we listen to the Padhams of KshEthrayyaa . 

There are three types of Nayakis in Bharatha Saasthram : 
UtthamA , MadhyamA and AdhamA. When composing his padhams 
dealing with Lord KrishNA , KshEthrayyA focused on 
the feelings and mental state of the Utthama naayaki . 

The SrungAra rasam is dominant in these padhams .
The SringAram here is dealing with divine love .
The moods of the 8 kinds of SrungAra Naayakis are 
captured in his padhams with appropriate choice of
Raagams and rasams created by the saahithya Vaakyams
and svarakkOrvai. The eight SrungAra Naayakis are :

(1) SvAdhIna BahndhrikA: A satisfied Naayaki, whose 
    Naayakan does not disappoint her .

(2) Vaasaka sajjikA: One who readies herself with alankAram 
    to greet her returning Naayakan .

3)  VirahOthkaNDithA : One who has viraha thApam due to
    vislEsham (separation from her Naayakan): one is 
    reminded of the soul stirring pulampals of Parakaala
    nayaki at ThiruppullANi by the sea side .

4)  VipralabdhA: One who has been cheated by her Naayakan .

5)  KaNDithA : One who chastises the misbehaving Naayakan 
    with anger .

6)  KalahAnthrikA : One suffers from loneliness after
    praNaya Kalaham .

7)  AbhisArikA : One who secretly rushes to her Naayakan's
    location all alone with courage .

8)  PrOshitha BarthrikA : One who suffers from the separation 
    of her Naayakan , who is away on a mission .

It was mentioned earlier that KshEthrayyaa was an incarnation
of Sri Jaya DevA . The kaledioscopic moods of RaadhA in Gita-
Govindham are seen abundantly in the padhams of KshEthrayyaa.

KshEthryyaa was born in the village of Muvvapuri ,where 
the presiding deity was Gopaala Murthi . Even as a boy , 
little Varadaiah ( the name KshEthrayyaa was acquired by 
him due to his KshEthrAdanams)was fascinated by the Gopaala
Moortham at the temple. A wandering ascetic noticed 
the theevra Bahkthi  of Varadaiah and initiated him into
Sri GopAla Moola manthram .The boy grew upto be a young man
and all the time , he spent most of his time singing songs 
about GopAlan and the sublime love RaadhA had for KrishNA
celebrated by Sri JayadEvA . Rest of the time , he was 
absorbed in meditation . There was a young deva daasi attached 
to the temple and as she heard the divine music of Varadaiah ,
she danced for those songs just a PadmAvathi did for
JayadEvA's songs at Puri JagannAth .The walls of the temple
reverberated to the sound of music and the ankle bells 
of the dancer . Soon the young man, Varadaiah had to
leave the village due to the jealous gossip .His heart 
was filled with divine love and he travelled from one 
KshEthram to the other and the lyrical rhapsody
housed in sublime musical scales and taaLams filled
the land .Today we have only 300 of his padhams 
left . Veenai DhanammAL and her family members,
SangItha Kalaanidhis BrindhA and MukthA have 
preserved them for us.

The famous padhams of KshEthrayyaa on Lord 
VeerarAghavA of ThiruveLLUr , Kaanchi Varadhan ,
Tillai ThirucchitthirakooDatthu GovindarAjan 
and Srirangam RanganAthan are well known . All his 
padhams have the mudrai of MuvvagOpAla .How he incorporated
his divine love into the paddhams is illustrated 
by the words of the following padhams used by
Bharatha Naatyam dancers over the years:

" Oh Rama Rama ! ( the name of the sakhi) should I
see his face (the face of the ungrateful Muvva GopAla)
again? My earlier contacts (with him) are sufficient ".

Some of the SringAra Bhakthi-laden padhams of KshEthryyaa
are as follows:

1. Manini VinavE (SankarAbharanam)
2. Ayyayyo Vegatayene (naadhanAmakriyA )
3. Ninnu Juda ( PunnagavarALi)
4. Eriti Vegintune( GauLipanthu)
5. YemO Teliyadu (SaavEri)
6. Aligite ( HusEni)
7. Etuvanti Vade (NilAmbari)
8. Yaalane Vaanipai ( KhAmbhOji).

For these Sri KrishNa Bhakthi-laden Padhams ,
KshEthrayyaa also used rare raagams and
the raagams with limited sanchAram like 
Saindhavi,GhantA, Ahiri, NavrOj and
KarnAtaka Kaapi .The raagAs and the rasams 
blend beautifully and the sweetness of diction 
in chaste Telegu is suffused with artha pushti.
Such is the greatness of this Sri KrishNa BhakthA !

Sri KrishNAya Thubhyam Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan