Sri Chakra Darshana, released by Bangalore-based Vanamala Arts Foundation, is a documentary based on Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s Kamalamba Navavarna Kritis (compositions). The two-hour documentary, Sri Chakra Darshana, also takes the viewer through the life of Muthuswamy Dikshitar and includes an elaborate and detailed background of Devi Worship (Goddess Shakti or Mother Goddess traditions) in Hinduism.
Documentary Sri Chakra Darshana is in DVD format and is available in English and Kannada format.
The documentary begins with a general introduction to the concepts and forms of Sri Vidya and Sri Chakra worship and goes on to the specifics of each composition. Each of the nine songs is respectively on one of the nine enclosures or avaranas of the Sri Chakra matrix or auspicious wheel employed in the Devi worship. We are told that Dikshitar chose the Samhaara Krama for this. That is, he begins from the outermost enclosure or avarana and proceeds to the innermost one called bindu. In effect, he used music as a vehicle for taking listeners on a spiritual journey; a tour of the Sri Chakra.
These nine songs are preceded by a Ganesha krithi “Srigananatham” (Raga Ishamanohari) and followed by the mandatory mangalam “Srikamalambike” (Raga Sri) making for 11 lyrics in all. The scholarly Dikshitar managed to weave into each song the name of the chakra, its major features, its geometry, and the god/devata associated with it; besides playing successfully with Sanskrit grammar. These 11 compositions are rendered here in their original format following the asampurna mela paddhati and suladi sapthathala system as presented in Sangeeta Sampradaya Pradarshini.
The visuals are pleasing and relevant, like the Shakti peethas for instance, the renditions are melodious, though the studio-setting for these renditions could have done with more powerful lighting. Overall, the technical quality is good. Both English and Kannada versions use a simple, lucid script which goes a long way in demystifying the esoteric subject of the documentary and making comprehension easy. The documentary successfully explores and establishes the link between Carnatic music and spirituality.
Sri Chakra Darshana
Time: 2 hours
Two dvds + a small booklet with Kamalamba Navavarna Kriti Lyrics
Price: Rs 399/-
Languages available: English and Kannada.
To BuyVanamala Art Foundation
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