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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Meenakshi Memudham Dehi - Muthuswami Dikshithar Kriti

Raga: gamakakriya / Tala: Adi


Pallavi

mInAkshi mE mudam dEhi

mEchakAngi rAja mAtangi

Anupallavi

mAnamAtR mEyE mAyE

marakata CHAyE shiva jAyE
mIna lOchani pAsha mOchani
mAnini kadamba vana vAsini
Charanam

madhurApuri nilayE maNi valayE

malayadhwaja pANdya rAja tanayE
vidhuvilamabana vadanE vijayE
vINA gAna dasha gamakakriyE
madhu mada mOdita hrdayE sadayE
mahAdEva sundarEsha priyE
madhu muraripu sOdari shAtOdari
vidhi guruguha vashankari shankari




Word by word meaning : 

Pallavi

mInAkshi : O Goddess Meenakshi!
mE : to me
mudam : bliss
dEhi : give
mEchakAngi : one who wears jewels on her limbs
rAja mAtangi : Raja Matangi is one of the forms of Goddess; daughter of Rishi Matangar

Anupallavi

mAna : the concept of knowledge 
mAtR : the one who understands / knows the idea of this knowledge
mEyE : the measurement of knowledge
mAyE : limit of knowledge / delusion
marakata : emerald
CHAyE: complexion
shiva jAyE : wife of shiva
mIna lOchani : who has eyes shaped like a fish
pAsha mOchani : one who releases from bondage

mAnini : the one who is respected 
kadamba vana vAsini : the one who lives in kadamba vana (forest)



Charanam

madhurApuri nilayE : the one who lives in Madurapuri

maNi valayE : the one who wears gem studded bangles
malayadhwaja pANdya rAja tanayE : the daughter of the Pandya king, malayadvaja pandyan
vidhu : moon
vilamabana : which makes a mockery of
vadanE : face
vijayE : always victorious
vINA gAna : who plays the Vina
dasha gamakakriyE : the ten different modulations of

madhu mada mOdita hrdayE : the one who brings delight to the heart
sadayE : this can be referred to as "sada ye" meaning - always and also as the compassionate one
mahAdEva sundarEsha priyE : the wife of Lord Sundareswara
madhu mura :the demons madhu and mura
ripu : enemy 
sOdari  : the sister of the enemy of madhu and mura
shAtOdari : the one who has a slender waist
vidhi : lord brahma
guruguha : lord Muruga / Skanda
vashankari : who captivates
shankari : Goddess Shankari; always ausipicious

Meaning & Stories in the song :

As the legend goes, this is the song the disciples of Dikshithar sung when he shed the mortal coil and became one with Meenakshi - his ishta Devatai. 

Pallavi:

mInAkshi mE mudam dEhi
mEchakAngi rAja mAtangi

Meenakshi is the one who has "Meena akshi" - the one who has eyes like the fish. It is interesting to note that even in tamil, "Meen" means fish! Meenakshi has lovely eyes which are long. Soundaryalahari talks about Ambal's eyes touching her ear! Here, Dikshithar tells the Goddess of Madurai, the Raja Matangi, to give him bliss. Raja Matangi is the Goddess of Knowledge. here, it seems as if Dikshithar alludes to the ultimate knowledge being the ultimate Bliss. 

There are a few Rishi Matangas that we come across in the puranas. One is in Ramayana - Rishi Matanga who is the Guru of Sabari and who tells Sabari that Rama will come and give her Moksha. Saying thus, he sits in the lotus posture and becomes one with the Supreme. Most likely, this is the same Matanga Rishi who cursed Vali from entering Rishyamukha parvata. Interestingly, there is a "Matanga Parvat" in Hampi, Karnataka!

I am not very sure whether the "daughter of Matangi" refers to this Rishi Matanga or to someone else. 

If one looks at the Jain Ramayana (there are supposedly more than 300 versions of Ramayan in this land!!), "Matangs" are those who belong to "Nag-Vansh" - which is an ancient tribe of the country. Matangs were also supposed to be proficient in various advanced technologies. 

Let us look at the Goddess name  "Matangi" first. In Saktham tradition, "Matangi" is supposedly having dark complexion, possing a moon on her forehead. She has three eyes. He luster is like a blue lotus and she is a destroyer of demons. Matangi is often depicted as Green or Blue. She holds a Veena, knife and a skull. 

Anupallavi:


mAnamAtR mEyE mAyE

marakata CHAyE shiva jAyE
mIna lOchani pAsha mOchani
mAnini kadamba vana vAsini

Dikshithar expands on the idea of Raja Matangi - the supreme representation of supreme knowledge further.  Meenakshi is the one who knows the ultimate knowledge - "mana". She is the knowledge itself. Matr. Whatever there is to be known, whatever is worth knowing, is embodied by her. And, she is the measurement - the way to get the knowledge - Meye. She is the trinity of Knower, Knowlege and the act of knowing it. And, one step further, she is also the Maye - the one who creates the delusion which results in lack of knowledge - which prevents one from attaining the true knowledge. Beautiful! She is knowledge. She is the knower. She is the path to knowing. However, she is also the one who creates the obstacles in knowing it!! Only when she removes the maya, can one truly understand the truth!!

She, the emerald hued one, is the one who knows Shiva. The fish eyed Goddess is the one who removes all our bondage - simply because she is the one who created it thru maya in the first place. She is the 'pasa mochani'. She is the one who is venerated, respected by all. After all, the ultimate truth is the one which everyone tries to learn and everyone respects the ultimate truth and Meenakshi is the only ultimate truth!

And, Dishithar, listening to this song, listening to these lines, reached the lotus feet of Ambal - the ultimate truth!
The image here shows the Madurai Meenakshi temple in all its grandeur!




Charanam:


madhurApuri nilayE maNi valayE
malayadhwaja pANdya rAja tanayE
vidhuvilamabana vadanE vijayE
vINA gAna dasha gamakakriyE
madhu mada mOdita hrdayE sadayE
mahAdEva sundarEsha priyE
madhu muraripu sOdari shAtOdari
vidhi guruguha vashankari shankari

She resides in "Madurapuri". Here, "Madura - puri" refers to "Madurai - puri" where Goddess Meenakshi temple is there. "Madura puri" also means the place which is sweet. She is herself sweet. No wonder she dwells in a place which is sweet. 

She was born as "
Thataathagai" - the daughter of Malayadhwaja Pandiyan, the Pandiyan king. This is a very interesting story. The pandyan king did penance and wanted the Goddess as her daughter. When she was born, there was one "asariri" - the voice on the sky without a body - which said that she will have three breasts when she grows up and the third breast will disappear when the right groom comes in front of her. When Lord Sundareswarar comes in front of her as the groom, her third breast disappears and they get married. 


There is also a sub story - told in a more humorous vein. When the marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar was happening, the Lord came only with His Bhootha Ganas and who were only a few. The king, the father in law of the Lord worried that the mountain of food prepared for the marriage might go wasted since not many people were there from the Groom's side to eat it. Then, Lord Sundareswara smiled and asked one of His Bhootha gana to do the needful. The Bhootha ate up all the food and asked for more - and more - which the king after a point in time, just could not produce. The bhootha also asked for water. And, Lord, taking pity on the king, asked the Bhootha to put his hand on the floor over there - in tamil!! "Vai - Kai" - which means put your hand there (vai = put; kai = hand) and voila! The river Vaigai started flowing over there!!

The marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareswara happened on the day of "Panguni Uttiram" day. This is a very auspicious day. This is the day when not only Meenakshi - Sundareswara marriage but also other marriages and significant events took place : the marriage of Murugan and Deivanai, and  Aandaal (also known as Kothai) and Rangamannar took place. This is the day when Narayana marries Komalavalli Naachiyar . This is the day when Rama married Sita. Brahmanda Puranam tells us that on Panguni Uthiram every holy water joins Thumburu teertha (also spelt as Tirtha), one of seven sacred tanks in Tirupati Tirumala.

The image of Meenakshi and Sundareswara shown here in this post is the image from our family friend's place at Kottivakkam, Chennai, where they celebrate Her marriage every year. We make a pilgimage to their place at least once a year - at least during the time of Panguni Uttiram - which is celebrated as a wedding in their own family!






Malayadhwaja Pandiyan also gets mentioned in the Karna parvam of Mahabharatha. It mentions his name and says that he fought valiantly in the war - on the side of Pandavas and got killed in the war. 

The Goddess Meenakshi's face outshines the moon. She is the victorious one. She is the one who created the ten gamakas associated with the Vina instrument. She is the one who brings delight to one's heart. She is sweet as honey. She is always there. She is compassionate. She is the priya saki of Lord Sundareswara. She is Vishnu's sister - the Vishnu who was the enemy of and who killed the demons madhu and mura. She has a slender waist. She captivates Brahma and Guruguha. She is the auspicious one. 

Other beautiful points to note in this Sahitya : 

* While this song's raaga is normally known as 'purvi kalyani" as it is sung nowadays, at Dikshithar's time, the raaga was known as raag Gamakakriya. Dikshithar's mudra is also "vINA gAna dasha gamakakriyE" bringing in the name of the raaga deftly there. (there are many opinions on whether raag Gamakakriya and Purvi kalyani are one and the same and if different how different etc - I am not an expert enough to get into any of that..)

* The song is full of "Ye" prasam : mEyE mAyE; marakata CHAyE shiva jAyE; madhurApuri nilayE maNi valayE;  pANdya rAja tanayE; vidhuvilamabana vadanE vijayE; dasha gamakakriyE; mOdita hrdayE sadayE; mahAdEva sundarEsha priyE...beautiful!!

* In other places the song is full of "I" prasam: it starts with the "I" prasam : mInAkshi mE mudam dEhi; mEchakAngi rAja mAtangi; mIna lOchani pAsha mOchani; mAnini kadamba vana vAsini; madhu muraripu sOdari shAtOdari; vidhi guruguha vashankari shankari

* Finishing with "vashankari shankari" - simply beautiful!!


Here are a few links to immortal singing of this song. Bliss!!!



MSS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSLbXnIKykk

TN Seshagopalan : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ766WcKaj0

Madurai Mani Iyer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcyE4mDYPGc







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