Dr.V.V.Srivatsa

Interview – Dr.V.V.Srivatsa

1.You have achieved the magnum opus of recording all kritis of Dikshitar. What next?

Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa: Donate it to some organization which will preserve it for the public.

2.You had mentioned elsewhere that you go by the patantharam of your guru, What if there are differences from that and the sampradaya pradarshini itself?

Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa: I follow our guru’s pattern. About the chandram bhaja mAnasa ,I do not feel a rAshyAdhipathi line is a must to describe a graha.

3. There are no madhyamakala sangatis in some kritis.Why? Are they original ?? Ex: Gananayakam, Kshitijaramanam, Ekamranatham

Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa: It depends on the mood of the composers. There are krithis in fairly fast tempo on which day he might have been in a madhyamakala mood. All these do not have any hard and fast rules.

4.As for the krithis that were not in SSP, Were they in practise before they were found in manuscripts? I.e. did maha vaidhyanatha Iyer or anyone else sing them? Did they just exist in notation or were they ever in practise?

Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa:

They were handed down vocally. The sangIta sampradAya pradarshini is just illustrative and not absolute.There are miniscule differences even in vAtApi gaNapatim(that is the one sung now) and our version.

5.The ragalakshanas and even the talas of the Dikshitar school are manipulated and mutilated by many artistes today.Have you or do you intend to take any step in that direction ( like Misrachapu instead of misra ekam, Khanda chapu in place of Jhampa)

Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa:
One cannot correctly discern what would have happened. It is a distortion that has taken place over the years. I don’t intend to do anything about it. About raga change, we sing it correct in guruguhanjali. The public are aware that there is a correct version that exists so nothing needs to be done.

6. When you compare the grandeur of the sama of “GuruguhAya” to the sAma of “tripurasundari”. we can’t help feeling that something is amiss? Why this difference in levels?

Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa:
There is no written rule that all compositions must be of the same standard. If you take parvathavardhini you can see that he has brought out sama beautifully..sings a (bit to illustrate)

7. When Dikshitar refers to VelAyudha as ShaktyAyudha in the krithi ShringAra shaktyAyudha, the use of Tamil word “Velayudha” in bAalasubramaNyam and Senapathe – Could you comment on the usage?

Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa:

Shaktyayudha and velayudha are different weapons. Vel is a fully curved weapon as opposed to shaktyayudha There is no equivalent for vel in Sanskrit. I have verified the dictionaries. As for alamelu manga usage,he uses it as a proper noun.

8. There is a term nandiroopanjaneya in the kriti hAlAsyanAtham – darbAr .What does this signify?

Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa: There is an Anjaneya instead of nandi in one of the sannidhis at the madurai temple.

9. Why does Subbarama Dikshitar not give any Dikshitar kritis only the two melas Ramamanohari and Chamaram?
Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa:
As I told you earlier the sampradAya pradarshini is only illustrative and not comprehensive. The RAhu kriti can be given the benefit of doubt but the Ketu kriti is clearly not Dikshitar’s original. There are a few phrases in the kriti which clearly indicate that they are not original.

10.What about the krithi in Aboghi, when caturdandiprakashika or the anubandham does not give lakshanam for that ragam?
Dr.V.V.Shrivatsa:
There was a raga called Abhogi during his time as Thyagraja and Gopalakrishna Bharathi have composed in it. So Dikshitar has composed in that raga.