Chandram bhaja manasa, sadhu hrudaya sadrusham .
Indhradhi loka paleditha tharesam, Indhum Shodasa kala dharam nisakaram, Indhira sahodharam, sudha kara manisam.
Shankaramauli Vibhushanam Seethakiranam Chaturbhujam Madana Chatram Shaapakaram ,Venkatesha Nayanam Viraanmano Jananam Vidhum Kumuda Mithram Vidhi Guruguha Vaktram, Sashaankam Geeshpathi Shaapaanugraha Paatram Sharacchandrikaa Dhavala Prakaasha Gaatram ,Kankana Keyura Haara Makutaadi Dharam Pankaja Ripum Rohini Priyakara Chaturam.
Now let us understand the verses of this beautiful kriti on Chandra.
Shodasa Kaala Dharam Nishacharam: Chandra or the moon, known for its youthfulness, has long been associated with the ‘mind’. The 16 faces of the moon refers to the calculation of the number of days in a month. Each month being divided into 2 Pakshas(Krishna and Shukla). Each day there is a new face of the moon. 16 faces is referred in the Sri Chakra, where ,on the 16th day the moon is not visible.
Folklore confirmed, Moon’s phase affects rainfall. Recent studies have shown that there is a relation between the water table under the earth and the phase of the moon.Precipitation tends to rise a few days before quarter moon. Rainfall, by far has been recorded as the highest, immediately after full moon or new moon. Seeds sown on full moon day, are considered to grow better, because, moon’s gravity pulls the water table under the earth towards it.
Shashaankam: The moon has dark patches on it’s surface that appears to delineate an image of a rabbit. An early mention of a rabbit on the Moon appears in the Chu Ci, a Western Han anthology of Chinese poems, buddhist Jataka tales, Japanese anthology, Mesoamerican and Native american legends. Our Carnatic musicians did not miss this Pareidolia. Such is the beauty of the kriti and its composers.
Sheetha Kiranam: Moon rays are cold by nature. Recent scientific findings suggest that Moon is the coldest place in the solar system. Temperatures as low as -375 F has been recorded on the moon.
Pankaja Ripum: The lotus flower always blooms in the broad daylight and gets closed by night, under the moon.
Rohini priyakara chaturam: Hindu mythology believes that Chandra is very dear to the start Rohini. Rohini or Aldebaran (the astronomical name), is a 1st magnitude star. Scientific evidences have shown that, by far ,moon is the only planetary object that can occult Aldebaran. Occultation is an event, when an object in the foreground is hidden by an object in the background.
It is evident that the Sahityam of the Kriti has a wealth of hidden scientific analogy combined with extracts from mythology and gives us great knowledge of the celestial object, the Moon. This further justifies the belief that our music composers had a bit of science on mind when they produced these gems.
Stay tuned for the details on the next set of kritis
— Archana Sirsi for Twaang
picture courtesy solar lunar