MD 2022-05-29 Mayuranathar_temple GOPURAM

This Dīkshitar song is in a brisk tempo and the lyrics are in three languages: Tamizh (Tamil), Samskrtam (Sanskrit), and Telugu. Such integration of multiple languages within a song is called manipravāla in Karnātaka sangītam (Carnatic music).

This song is in prayer to the deity called Abhayāmbikā (or Abhayāmbā).

This is the local name for a form of Pārvatī. Note that the name Pārvatī is a very geographical name! Parvata is mountain, Pārvatī is daughter of the mountain; daughter of the Himālaya mountain.

Her shrine is part of the Mayuranāthasvāmi temple complex in Mayilāduthurai (also called Māyavaram or Māyūram). The place legend is very interesting; you can read it here.

In this song, Dīkshitar includes three languages without any break in the meaning of the song.  Here is a very loose translation of the song into English.

Blessed Abhayāmbā there is no worry for those who meditate upon you
Hey, giver of reassurance, noble one, embodiment of divine qualities
Now is a good time to aid me
Hearing your magnificent and auspicious qualities
I believe you are my only refuge
Oh, lotus-eyed one, witness to the True Form of the Self
Ever-blissful, the blesser of guru guha, protector



Here is the song sung by the late Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna. Listen to the song once or twice, preferably while following along with the lyrics given above.

YouTube video courtesy, “Music for Posterity”

Lyrics images, courtesy: Carnatica

Featured image: Gopuram of the Māyūranāthasvāmy temple, Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India. Source. [Accessed 29 May 2022]


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