Madhura Madhura Meenakshi, is a song that oozes with honeyed sweetness, composed by SWAMI DAYANANDA SARASWATI. Swamiji is an eminent Sanskrit scholar, a traditional Guru and a teacher of Vedanta. He was born as Natarajan Gopala Iyer, to Shri Gopala Iyer and Smt. Valambal, on the 15th of August, 1930, in a village, Manjakkudi, in Thanjavur district. He was spiritually inclined and hence in 1962, he chose a life of renunciation, after he served his Guru Swami Chinmayanandha. He later mastered the Vedantas and Brahmasutras. Swamiji has established two institutions of learning and culture in India and also one in the USA. In 1986 he founded the institution, Swami Dayananda Ashram at Rishikesh, which serves as a retreat and a center of learning. The second institution, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, is at Anaikatti, near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
Swamiji’s compositions are outpourings of his Bhakti Bhaava. Swamiji once spoke of music,
The magic of music can bring about that experience of contention-free connectedness to the whole.’ Mirroring, his description, Swamiji’s unique musical compositions usher us into that divine experience of oneness with the Total.”
The composer Swami Dayananda Saraswathi has composed this divine composition in lucid Sanskrit. The song opens with the line, Madhura Madhura Meenakshi, and truly drips with honey. This song is composed in the Hindustani raag, Bhageshri and is set in Tishra Eka Talam. Bhageshri, is a raag which relaxes the senses and generates tranquility. This raag is surfeited with Bhakthi (devotion) and Karuna(compassion) Rasas. It also engenders a sense of yearning and lost love, sprayed with a tinge of pathos. The popular krithis in this raaga are, Saagara Sayana by M D Ramanathan, Kanden Kanden by Arunachala Kavi and Govindamiha by Narayana Theertha. Many movie songs such as Kalaiyey en Vaazkaiyai(Meenda Sorgam), Nilavey Ennidam Nerungaadhey( Ramu), Mayakkum Maalai (Gulabakaavali), and Konjam neram (Chandramukhi) were composed, based on this raaga.
In the Pallavi, Swamiji delineates the sweetness of Devi Meenakshi(Madhura Madhura Meenakshi), who domiciles in the city of Madhurai(Madhuraapuri nilayey). He proclaims Her as, the Mother of the World(Jagadhamba).
In the Anupallavi Swamiji, exalts the Goddess as Madhura Vaagvilasini, the one, whose speech cascades with saccharine. She is worshipped as Mathangi, one of the Dasa Maha Vidyas (ten forms of the divine mother). Goddess Parvathi was born as Maathangi, to her ardent devotee, Mathanga Muni. She is eulogized as Maragadhaangi, the one who is adorned with Emeralds. Goddess Meenakshi is portrayed in Emerald Green complexion. She is praised as Maatharmama hridhaya nivaasini, the one who resides in the minds of virtuous women. Swamiji hails Her as Santhaapa Haarini, the destroyer of sorrow and he beseeches the Devi to protect him (maam paahi).
In the Charanam, Swamiji glorifies Meenakshi Devi as the consort of Lord Sundareshwarar. Mother Shakti once propitiated Lord Shiva fervently, and implored to become a part of Him, in body and soul. Lord Shiva was pleased by her ardent devotion and He absorbed Her, in half of Himself. Hence, Lord Shiva is known as Ardhanareshwar, (Ardha-half, Nari-woman, Eshwar-Lord). The name Bageshwari has a twin pronged meaning. It means that Devi Meenakshi is a one half (bhaagam) of Lord Sundareswara. It also means that the Devi dwells in the Raag Bhageshwari. She is Jagadeshwari, Goddess of the earth and Suvaraadhi one who bestows benevolent boons to Her devotees. She is the Maya, who redeems all the fallen souls. She is parama guhya parabrahma sahaayey, the secret helper of Para Brahma.
The composer Swami Dayananda Saraswathi also stated,
“I see music as a blessing of Ishvara (the supreme Lord) for the self-conscious, self-judgemental human to survive and experience, for the time being, the reality of the oneness with the total, (the Supreme Lord), without any qualifications for it.”
Swamiji is of the opinion that, Music is a path to reach Divinity, even for people without any special abilities. True to his words, his compositions export the listeners to experience sublimity. Some of his acclaimed compositions are, Maha Ganapathey, Bho Shambho, He Govind, Raamam Bhajey, Vandheyham Sharadha and Madhura Madhura Meenakshi. Several of his compositions were rendered by the late Sangeetha Kalanidhi Maharajapuram Santhanam, and released as a CD, titled, ‘Bhajans of Swami Dayananda Saraswati’.
Swami Dayananda Saraswathi, for several years, through his tireless and skillful elucidation of the scriptural texts, has made profound differences in the lives of thousands of seekers, around the globe. He then, attained samadhi on the 23rd September 2015 at his Ashram at Rishikesh. On the 26th September 2015, while returning from our pilgrimage to Badrinath and Kedarnath, we visited the Rishikesh Ashram. I felt truly elated that I was able to render the composition MADHURA MADHURA MEENAKSHI, as my offering to Swamiji at his samadhi. That was a sublime experience which I consider as Swamiji’s blessing. We also had the good fortune to participate in the Ganga Arthi.
While listening to the composition Madhura Madhura Meenakshi, the rasikas experience the sweetness of elixir and are ferried to the empyreal state.
Yamuna is a resident of Coimbatore and is pursuing Hindustani vocal music under the tutelage of Shri Kedar Karatji . She also teaches bhajans and conducts English Grammar classes for school children . Her other passions are writing travelogs , playing keyboard , gardening , going on pilgrimages and exploring & enriching her knowledge through travel.
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