Sri Satyanarayanam Subhapantuvarali


Muthuswamy Dhikshithar

Among DKP's very many signature specialties was rendering MuthuswAmy Dhikshitar's compositions. MuthuswAmy Dhikshitar's compositions are regarded akin to a coconut. Just as one needs to exert a lot to break the outer shell of the coconut before he can relish its delicious edible part, a learner of Muthuswamy Dhikshitar's compositions requires tremendous efforts and talent to learn, master and render them. It is said that his compositions have ensconced in them the Veda itself meaning his songs explain the contents of the Veda. Its words are hard, intricate and labyrinthine and formed like the 'bhijakshara mantra' and requires the same effort to pronounce them as to chant the mantra. To establish the words correctly and to sing the composition in its unique kala pramana is exceedingly demanding and is not everyone's cup of tea. The compositions are not of the light janaranjaga category and are extremely difficult.

DKP’s unique voice, heavy throat, open throated singing, singing from the nabhi, uniform tonal quality from manthra panchamam to tharasthAi panchamam all made her the perfect candidate to render the heavy MuthuswAmy Dhikshitar compositions.

DKP's penchant to learn and render MuthuswAmy Dhikshitar's kritis was sowed by Ambi DhIkshitar, a grand nephew of MuthuswAmy dhikshitar under whom DKP had the fortune of studying for a short duration only though. DKP was a little child when she was Ambi Dhikshitar's disciple. Despite learning only a few kritis of Muthuswamy Dhikshitar from him, she had developed an unquenchable thirst to learn more compositions that left her on an ambitious expedition that led her to become an authority on rendering MuthuswAmy Dhikshitar's compositions and her repertoire which had only a couple of compositions learnt from Ambi Dhikshitar became vast.

Some of the compositions of MuthuswAmy DhIkshitar that DKP was famous for are:

  • KAmAkshi – Bilahari
  • Shri nAthAdhi - MAyAmAlavagowla
  • mAnasa guruguha – Anandha bhairavi
  • gunijanAdhi – Gurjari
  • ranganAyakam – nAyaki
  • mAmava pattAbirama – Manirangu
  • mInAkshi mEmudham – PUrvi kalyAni
  • shri sathya nArAyanam – Shuba pantuvarAli

And the list can go on.

DKP had carved her own niche in singing the Muthuswamy Dhikshitar kritis. Unlike everyone, she would sing 'KanchadalAyadhAkshi' which she learnt from Ambi Dheekshitar in chowka kAlA. She sang 'Ramachandram bhavayami' in the Raga Vasantha also in chowka kala thus differing in the rendition style from others. In many other songs also like 'shrI venugopala' in the raga Kurinji she had marked her signature.