Indian Music
T.R. Subrahmanyam
MUTTUSWAMY DIKSHITAR by V. Raghavan National Centre for Performing Arts, Bombay, 1976, 175 pp., 15.00
October 1976, volume 1, No 4

National Centre for the Performing Arts, Bom­bay deserves all praise for devoting the September 1975 issue of their quarterly journal to Muttuswami Dikshitar, whose 200th birth anniversary was obser­ved with eclat all over the country last year. As rightly pointed out in the Foreword, Dr. Raghavan is eminently suited to be the author of this venture.

This is perhaps the only book wherein a student or any lover of music can get such authentic and almost exhaustive information on Dikshitar. Hail­ing from Tiruvarur, where Dikshitar himself was born and wanted to live most of his life, Dr. Ragha­van gives us enlightening details upon both Dikshi­tar and Tiruvarur in an inimitable manner. Few people, for instance, would know that Dikshitar has composed a song on the great Saivite saint, Sundara­murthy Nayanar; that there was a patron called Nagalinga whose name has suggestively figured in two kritisAbhayamba in Kalyani and Abhaya­mba Nayaka in Anandabhairavi. The telling des­cription of Ajapa Natana, Hamsa Natana and all such grandeur of the temple rituals at Tiruvarur which inspired Muttusvami Dikshitar to pour out many gems of kritis, could have come naturally only to a Tiruvarurian author, who in the conclud­ing sentences gives touching reminiscences of his boyhood days.

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