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Dikshitar and Kadi Vidya

 

A close acquaintance from Mysore, who is also a noted musicologist, remarked during my trip to India earlier this year that shrI muttusvAmi dIkshitar was a hAdi vidyopAsaka. I was quite perplexed as to why he reached this conclusion, but this gentleman did not seem to have a clear answer. During a long and delayed flight last weekend, I began to mentally review all dIkShitar krtis I could remember to see if there was a valid reason for such an assumption. There however does not seem to be one!

In his very first krti in mAyAmALavagauLa (shrInAthAdi guruguho jayati), dIkShitar states:

mAtmaka kAdimAnuShThAno |

This krti is in praise of Lord subrahmaNya who dIkShitar considered as his guru. Here, he seems to trace his entire lineage through skanda to kAdi mata. Though skanda vidyA is one of the recognized streams of shrIvidyA, skanda is also listed as a guru in kAdi vidyA sampradAya. UrdhvAmnAya tantra states:

subrahmaNyo nandikeshassavyapAdo dineshvaraH |

One of the pUjA kalpas lists a kavacha named vAgdevatA kavacha, centered around vashniyAdi vAgdevata-s. This kavacha which invokes the bIjas of kAdi panchadashI, kAdi saubhAgya panchadashI and kAdi saptadashI vidyA-s for protection, is in the form of a conversation between skanda and nArada and skanda is described as the dIkShA guru of nArada in kAdi stream. Of the several versions of ShoDashI sahasranAma available, one involves a conversation between rudra and skanda where the latter is described as the initiated disciple of bhagavAn rudra. The sahasranAma (consisting of 1026 names) follows the kAdi vidyA letters repeatedly with the final few names beginning with the ramA bIja.

dIkShitar associates himself and guha with kAdi again, in one of the guru vibhakti krtis, shrIguruNA pAlito.asmi:

AdiguruguhapareNa kAdimatAnusAreNa |

He again refers to kAdi in the fifth AvaraNa krti in bhairavI – shrIkamalAmbikAyAH paraM nahi rere:

kAdi bahuvidhopAsita kIrte |

Our musicologist friend may brush this particular case aside by interpreting this to mean, ‘Worshipped by various vidyAs such as kAdi, hAdi etc.”, but that would still show dIkShitar’s preference for kAdi.

In the ninth AvaraNa krti in Ahiri, shrI kamalAmbA jayati, he sings thus:

kAdi-hAdi-sAdi mantrarUpiNyAH |

The aspect to note here again would be the primary position awarded to kAdi vidyA. An exactly similar case is the nIlotpalAmbA vibhakti kriti in nArIrItigauLa – nIlotpalAmbAM bhaja re:

kAdihAdyAdi manuvishvAsinIm |

Or the krti shrImadhurAmbike in kalyANI:

kAdi-hAdi-sAdi mantrarUpiNi |

And there is the explicit mantrAkShara krti which directly spells out the bIjas of kAdi panchadashI. There are some scholars who do not consider this kriti to be a genuine composition of dIkShitar, but their number is rather small.

Also, a manuscript of the pUjA paddhati supposedly used by dIkShitar came into my hands and that seems to have belonged to one of the descendants of Baluswami Dikshitar. It follows kAdi vidyA paddhati and is modeled after the shrIvidyA ratnAkara of vidyAnandanAtha, probably owing to the influence of dIkshitar’s guru chidambaranAtha yogin.

kuvalayadalanIlaM barbarasnigdhakeshaM
pR^ithutarakuchabhArAkrAntakAntAvalagnam |
kimiha bahubhiruktaistvatsvarUpaM paraM naH
sakalabhuvanamAtaH santataM sannidhattAm ||