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Pallavī: I sing praises to Gaṇapati of Vātāpi (modern-day Badami in the Indian state of Karnataka). He has the mouth of an elephant (vāraṇa), and is the bestower of boons.1
Anupallavī: I sing praises to Gaṇapati, Whose feet are honored by the likes of Śiva (Bhūta), Who is the nourisher of this world of animate and inanimate beings (bhūta), and the world created from five elements, Who is bereft of any desire, Who is especially praised by Yogī group, Who is the cause of the universe, and Who removes the obstacles (vāraṇa).2
Caraṇa: I sing praises to Gaṇapati, Who was long ago worshipped by the waterpot-born great sage Agastya,3 Who is stationed at the centre of the triangle (of the Mūlādhāra cakra), Who is worshipped by the principal deities like Viṣṇu, Whose seat is the region (kṣetra) of the Mūlādhāra cakra, Who pervades all four types of speech like Parāvāṇi,4 Whose trunk is curved in the shape of the Oṁ (the primordial sound), Who is boundless (in matter, space, and time), Who has the sign of the moon on his forehead, Who beautifully holds a sugarcane stalk in His left hand, Who has a noose and a Bījapūra lemon in His lotus-hands (or Who has a lotus, noose, and lemon in His hands), Who removes all impurities, Whose form is full of prospertiy (bhūta), Whose image provides satisfaction to the likes of Śiva and Guruguha, Who is ever immersed in bliss (Heramba), and Who is adorned by the Haṁsadhvani rāga.
1 In Carnatic music performances, the Pallavī is usually rendered as vātāpigaṇapatiṁ bhaje’haṁ vāraṇāsyaṁ varapradaṁ śrī, with śrī at the end. This being grammatically incorrect Saṁskṛta, is unlikely to be original permutation of Guruguha.
2 In this composition, the word vāraṇa occurs twice with two different meanings, and the word bhūta occurs thrice with three different meanings (four occurrences with four different meanings if one considers bhautika also, which is derived from bhūta). This figure of speech is called the Yamaka alaṅkāra.
3 It was Ṛṣi Agastya who swallowed the demon Vātāpi, after whom Vātāpi was named.
4 The four types of speech are Parā, Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī.
Poet: Muttusvāmī Dīkṣitar
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© Stutimandal 2008-06-19