Muthuswami Dikshitar

Muthuswami Dikshitar, distinguished classical singer was one of the three Trinities of Carnatic Music in South India. He was born on March 24, 1774 to a musician family in Tamil Nadu. He started training under his father Ramaswami Dikshitar, who was an eminent scholar and creator of Hamsadhwani, the famous raga in Indian Music.

His father taught him ancient shastras, music and different Indian languages. Muthuswami Dikshitar was the most dedicated saint of the Bhakti Movement. The other two trinities of Carnatic music of that period were Shyama Shastry and Tyagaraja.

Muthuswami Dikshitar was brought under the guidance of his father’s guru, Chidambaram Yogi in Varanasi at the age of 24. Here he learnt Sanskrit literature, philosophy, grammar, Tantric Yoga and music in Dhrupad style for six years. The themes of Sanskrit Literature, Yoga, Purana, Veda, Jyotisha, Mantra and the similar concepts ruminate his musical composition.

Muthuswami Dikshitar composed a distinct number of kritis. He started composing kritis after visualizing Lord Subramanya. Some of his best compositions include the Vara kritis, Manipravala kritis, Kanjadalayatakshi, Navavarana kritis and Annapoorna. He was a scholar of many Indian languages and traveled to most parts of India. Thus we find the rich essence of Hindustani ragas in some of his best compositions. Among them, Jambupathe mam pahi kirtan is one of his famous kirtanas based on Hindustani raga. His compositions reflect the richness of Sanskrit literature combined with creativity and beauty of raga. He was popularly known as Guruguha by his followers. He breathed his last in the year 1835.