Thambiappan, there lived a person in a far village. No! I am not narrating any story. I am telling you facts dug out from the life of Dikshitar.One must be wondering what has this post got to do with Music blog.Yes; there is musical relevance, not just the name of Dikshitar. This post will throw light on the origin of a special kind of musical composition – “Navagraha krithi” by Dikshitar.
Back to Thambiappan .Thambiappan suffered a stomach ailment which could not be cured with any medicine. He was a student of music and was being taught by Dikshitar. On hearing Thambiappan's ailment, Dikshitar jotted the birth chart of Thambiappan-His horoscope. He then inferred that Brihaspathi-Jupiter was not in a favorable position and that his ailment could see cure only if Brihaspathi was pleased enough. He proposed a few sacred rituals to be performed to please Brihaspathi, but a layman would find these rituals very complex.
This provoked him to compose “Brihaspate” in Atana ragam to propiate the planet Jupiter and prescribed this divine medicine to his disciple. As ordained, his ailment was cured in a week. After this incident, Dikshitar composed krithis on all the nine planets.
Two special features to be noted here are the selection of the raga and the tala for the navagraha krithis.Talas ,out of suladhi sapta thalas are carefully chosen.This has a special significance since tala is a measure of time, so are the planetary movements.The astrological periods of time are matched with the selection of tala for a particular planet.
Ragas selection too are not without importance.He has selected all sampoorna-bhashanga ragas for these special krithis.”Samporna” ragas musically indicate the complete mastery(independence) of each Grahadhyaksha/Grahadhipathi on that particular planet. The free unfettered movement of the grahas is mirrored by these bhashanga ragas which do not get disturbed by shackles of janaka ragas, but freely imbibe anya swaras.
1. Suryamurthe Namosthuthe -Saurashtra Raga, Chaturasra Druva Tala
2. Chandram Bhaja Manasa -Asaveri Raga, Chaturasra Matya Tala
3. Angarakam Ashrayamyaham - Surati Raga, Rupaka Tala
4. Budham Ashrayami - Nattakurunji Raga, Misra Jhampa Tala
5. Brihaspathe Tarapathe -Atana Raga, Tisra Triputa Tala
6. Sri Sukhra Bhagavantham -Paraj Raga, Khanda Atta Tala
7. Divakaratanujam Shanaishcharam -Yadukulakamboji Raga, Chaturasra Eka Tala
8. Smaramyaham Sadarahum -Ramapriya Raga, Rupaka Tala
9. Mahasuram Ketumaham -Shanmukhapriya Raga, Rupaka Tala