A close examination of the kritis of these two great composers in one and the same raga side by side will bear ample testimony to the fact that they vie with each
other in point of purity and richness of raga bhava and they form a class by themselves.
Sri Subrahmanyaya - Kambhoji - Dikshitar
Mari Mari Ninne - Kambhoji - Tyagaraja
Abhayamba - Kalyani - Dikshitar
Etavunara - Kalyani - Tyagaraja
Karuvelpulu - Kalyani - Tyagaraja
Tyagaraja's mental experience was diverse in character and made him pour forth ragas depicting different moods and phases of
rasa-s. Tyagaraja speaks of "Navarasayuta Kriti". He is the master of 'Raga and Rasa'.
Naradaganalola - Atana (evoking bhakti)
Epapamu Chesitira - Atana (A raga chiefly known for portraying
veera and raudra rasa-s)
Serenity and poise in Dikshitar's kritis:
Dikshitar's kritis evoke mostly a feeling of serenity and poise. Santa rasa pervades the atmosphere. His raga forms are the finest specimens of pure or absolute
music. Gana rasa is the sole feeling experienced while listening to
Dikshitar's raga structures. His raga forms are large scale products, massive in structure and
closely knit in texture. In Tyagaraja, we have abridged editions as well as enlarged ones of ragas.
Aragimpave & Kaddanuvariki (Todi, Tygaraja), in one and the same raga are uniformly of the same magnitude, though in different form.
Akshayalinga & Dakshinamurte (Sankarabharanam, Dikshitar)
New raga creations:
The manner of handling of certain ragas by Dikshitar and Tyagaraja may particularly be noted in this context. A good number of
ragas are accredited to Tyagaraja as having been created for the first time through his kritis. Dikshitar has given us the benefit for the archaic forms of some ragas.
Kamalamba Samrakshatu - Anandabhairavi
Shankha Chakra - Poornachandrika
Dikshitar has given a mould to Poornachandrika which is rather archaic. It is, to my mind, an amalgamation of
Poornachandrika and Janaranjani, the latter being an off-shoot of the former. Poornachandrika is older while Janaranjani came later. Tyagaraja evolved
Janaranjani, out of the archaic Poornachandrika and individualised and immortalized both Poornachandrika and
Janaranjani in his kirtis. The old fashioned
Poornachandrika as preserved by Dikshitar in his Shankha Chakra brings in
an elongated Ga and Dha, now transmitted into Janaranjani. Dikshitar has not composed in
Shankha Chakra - Poornachandrika - Dikshitar
Palukave emi - Poornachandrika - Tyagaraja
It may incidentally be mentioned that the treatment of a few other ragas mentioned by Dikshitar is altogether different. God only knows whether Dikshitar is the real
author or whether it is Subbarama Dikshitar's making. But Subbarama Dikshitar is not subject
to much accusation in this regard. Isamanohari and
Saraswatimanohari have had
Kakali Nishada and the same could be evidenced textually.
Creation of an altogether different atmosphere is quite perceptible in one and the same raga, cast by the two different composers.
Kanjadalayatakshi - Kamalamanohari - Dikshitar
Neemuddumomu - Kamalamanohari - Tyagaraja
Neerajakshi - Hindolam - Dikshitar
Samajavara - Hindolam - Tyagaraja
Anandanatana - Kedaram - Dikshitar
Marachevadana - Kedaram - Tyagaraja
Madhyamakala (medium tempo) Sahitya in Dikshitar's kritis:
The rendering of raga should have its own perceptible laya, though not marked into regular intervals of time. There is, after all, a sense of rhythm in every aspect of
nature. The raga has been featured by these two composers in quick moving pace and slow pace, with individualistic expressions each unsurpassed for its beauty and
splendour. It seems to me that their respective presentation or raga feature is perfectly balanced, one with the other, that of Dikshitar in
vilamba or slow tempo, while Tyagaraja's kritis in even slow tempo have a underlying rhythm of madhyamakala. Dikshitar conceived the raga in slow pace, independent of
any thought of acceleration. The Indian musical genius conceived melody as independent of any thought of harmony, as against a
Westerner who conceives melody harmonically, that is to say, melodic ideas pivoted on relationships of harmony. But at the
same time, Dikshitar never lost sight of the intrinsic beauties, while interpolating relatively
fast moving phrases in some ragas which were eminently suitable for such a treatment though their basic mode was cast in slow tempo.
Anandanatana - Kedaram
Kanjadalayatakshi - Kamalamanohari
It is with a definite purpose that Dikshitar chose to set apart the musical setting in any section or sections of the song in relatively quicker tempo, to do adequate
justice to the raga concerned. But here too, one can observe that Dikshitar chose to introduce
madhyamakala movement, not as a matter of routine in his structure for, some kritis are conspicuous for the omission of
madhyamakala movement, though there may be an apparent impression of its inclusion created by the closely
knit sahitya-s with more words, as against the paucity of words in the other sections of the song.
Abhayamba - Kalyani
Meenakshimemudam - Gamakakriya
Contrasted with this category of kritis, there are kritis of Dikshitar which no doubt present
madhyamakala sahitya with lilting beauty.
Bhajare rechitta - Kalyani
Sri Subrahmanyaya - Kambhoji
Dikshitar created variation as opportunity for himself to cover a large orbit of the raga structure in the kritis. The
dhatu of the music (of the kritis) never repeats itself in any section of the song. There are, of course, the kritis of Dikshitar only with the
Pallavi and Anupallavi; the latter is commonly known as Samashti Charanam but not
found as such in the Sangeeta Sampradaya Pradarsini.
In a good number of compositions of Tyagaraja set particularly in perceptible
madhyamakala, the latter half of
the Charanam is on the lines of the Anupallavi. Further, there are also kritis of Tyagaraja having plural
Charanams all sung to the same dhatu. Splendid instances of
these are Darinitelusu (Suddhasaveri) and Dorakuna ituvanti (Bilahari). In a few kritis of Tyagaraja, the plural
Charanams are sung in different dhatu-s as in Sri Raghuvaraprameya
(Kambhoji), Brochevarevare (Sri Ranjani) and Endukunirdaya
To be continued