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|TRINITY AND CONTEMPORARIES|
|MUTHUSWAMI DIKSHITAR (1775 - 1835)|
Musical Background: Muthuswami Dikshitar came from a family of distinguished musicians. His father, Ramaswami Dikshitar, was a great scholar and composer, who created the popular raga Hamsadhwani. His brother, Baluswami Dikshitar, is believed to be the first learn the Violin and adapt it to Indian music. Muthuswami Dikshitar learnt music and different languages from his father. He was spiritually inspired by Chidambara Yogi who took him to Varanasi, where he learnt Tantric Yoga, Sastras and the Dhrupad style of singing.
Region: Muthuswami Dikshitar was born in Tiruvarur, Tanjavur district in Tamilnadu. He composed his first song in Tiruttani, near Madras. He travelled all over the country.
Contribution: Muthuswami Dikshitar, it is said, composed his first kriti after having a vision of Lord Subramanya, his favourite deity. He composed the Vara kritis, which are seven in number, one for each day of the week. These are set to the Sooladi Sapta talas. Drawing inspiration from Oothukadu Venkata Kavi, he also composed the Navavarana kritis in praise of Devi (Kamalamba), one for each of the nine days of the Navaratri festival. Being a widely travelled man, he composed several songs in many Hindustani ragas. His songs are normally slow in tempo and bring out the depth and beauty of the raga using ornamentation (gamakas). He also used what is known as Madhyamakala (medium tempo) Sahitya very effectively in his compositions.
Theme: That he was a much-travelled man is reflected in his compositions. Most of them contain descriptions about famous temples and their chief deities. There are also several others based on Vedas, Upanishads, Tantra, etc.
Languages used: Mostly Sanskrit and a few in Telugu. He has also composed Manipravala kritis, which is a mixture of two or more languages.
Signature: His signature or mudra is Guruguha, which is another name for Lord Subramanya.
Popular kritis: Vatapi Ganapatim (Hamsadhwani), Annapoorne (Sama), Kanjadalayatakshi (Kamalamanohari) and so on.
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