Kamalaambikaayaastava Bhaktoham (Avarana 6 of Navavarna Krithis)


Ragam: Punnaagavaraali (8th mela janyam)

               ARO: N2 S R1 G2 M1 P D1 N2      ||

               AVA: N2 D1 P M1 G2 R1 S            ||

Talam: Thrisra Eka

Composer: Muthuswami Dikshitar

Version: D.K. Jayaraman



Kamalaambikaayaastava Bhaktoham
Shree Shankaryaah Shrikaryaa Sangitarasikaayaah Shree



Suma-shara-eksu Kodanda Paasha-ankusha Paanyaah
Ati-madhuratara-vaanyaah Sharvaanyaah Kalyaanyah
Ramaniya-punnaagavaraali Vijita Venyaah Shree



Dasha-kala-atmaka Vahni Svaroopa Prakaasha-antar-dashaara
Sarva Rakshaakara Chakreshvaryaah

Kachavarga Dvaya Maya Sarvajhnaadi
Dasha-shakti-sameta Malini Chakra-eshvaryaah
Tri-dashavim-shad-varna Garbhini Kundalinyaah
Dasha-mudraa Sama-araadhita Kaulinyaah
Dasharathaadinuta Guruguha Janaka Shiva Bodhinyaah
Dashakarana Vrutti Mareechi Nigarbha Yoginyaah Shree


Meaning (From Todd Mc Comb's web page: http://www.medieval.org/music/world/carnatic/lyrics/srao/kamala.html):

I am ("aham") the devotee ("bhakta") of ("astava") Kamalambika.

She is the spouse ("aryaah") of Shankara.

She, the bestower ("kara") of prosperity ("shri"), is fond ("rasikaayaah") of music ("san-geeta").

She who sports in Her four hands ("paanyaah") the arrows ("shara") of flowers ("suma"), sugar cane ("ikshu") as bow ("kodanda"), the rope noose ("Pasha"), and the goad ("Ankusha").

Her speech ("vaanyaah") is mellifluous ("ati-madhuratara").

She is the spouse ("aanyaah") of Shiva ("sharva").

She is the personification of goodness ("kalyaanyaah").

Her braided hair ("veni") excels ("vijitha") the beauty of lovely black bees ("varaali") which swarm around the Punnaga tree.

She is established ("aatmaka") in the ten ("dasha") Kalas.

Her essential nature ("swaroopa") is the fire ("Vahni").

She manifests ("parakaasha") in the inner ("antar") circle having ten triangles ("dasha-aara").

She is the goddess ("eshvarya") of the Chakra Sarvarakshakara, protecting all.

She is worshiped ("nuta") by gods ("tridasha") and others ("aadi").

She is of the form of the ten letters ("dvaya maya") of the Ka and Ca groups ("varga").

She is the goddess of the circle of Malini, which has ("sameta") ten ("dasha") Shaktis such as Sarvajna etc.

She is ("garbhini")  Kundalini, encompassing the fifty letters ("tri-dasha-shad-varna").

She is the goddess Kaulini, propitiated ("sama-aaraadhita") by ten ("dasha") Mudras.

She is worshiped ("nuta") by Dasharatha and others ("aadi").

She bestows knowledge ("bodhinyaah") on Shiva, the father ("janaka") of Guruguha.

The rays of Her inner ("nigarbha") radiance ("yoginyaah") constitute the functioning ("vrutti") of the ten ("dasha") Indriyas ("karana"), the ten sense and motor organs.


Notes from Sri Dikshita Kirtana Mala by Sri. A. Sundaram Iyer:

6th Avarana Keertanam:

He who recites the mantram of this avaranam 15 lakhs of times will become entitled to the abundant grace of Sri Paradevata and also to protection from all kinds of illness.

This avarana is known as Sarva Rakshakara chakra, which has 10 petals and which is at the center of the fire that is the form of the 10 kalas.




Thanks to Mrs. Janaki Krishnamoorthy for the following notes based upon “KritiManiMaalai” (Dikshitar editition) by Ranga Ramanuja Iyengar and “Yantra” by Madhu Khanna (Thames and Hudson Limited, Publishers)


Sri Chakra, A brief introduction


The Saktam sect of Hinduism approaches the Brahman or Absolue consciousness through the worship of Sri Tripura Sundari, the Supreme Mother. She is the source of all creation. In Her knowledge aspect, She is called Sri Vidya. The Sri Yantram is the most celebrated of all yantras and is employed in Sri Vidya Upasana. Yantra and mantra together represent the union of space and sound. They are inseparable, with mantra being the soul and yantra being the body of Subtle Sound (Nada Brahman). Yantras are geometric objects (involving shapes of triangle, squares and circles) in either 2 or 3 dimensions.


They are used as an aid in meditation and in tantric worship practices. In most yantras for meditation, the stages of progression from material or gross to subtle are clearly marked.  Closed, concentric circuits (mandalas) of various geometric shapes correspond to the planes of consciousness of the sadhaka. Each enclosure is an ascent of one’s being, a way station, toward the innermost, the Absolute Unity.


The Sri Yantra is composed of interpenetrating triangles, symbolizing the unity of Siva and Sakti.. The four upward pointing triangles emanate from the Siva Principle and denote the individual soul and its vital energies. The five downward pointing triangles represent the Sakti principle and from them arise the five material elements (Pancha Bhootas, earth, water, fire, air and space). All the vowels and consonants in Sanskrit are inscribed in the vertices of the Sri Yantra. The Sri Yantra also has nine circuits (avaranas).  In each of the enclosures specific deities are invoked, each circuit being considered as a cosmological form which supports devata-clusters, or groups of goddesses. The deity-clusters are like veils concealing the yantra’s innermost essence. After the sadhaka has invoked all the devatas in the prescribed manner for meditation, he reaches a level of consciousness in which all the devata-circles are fused to become the presiding deity at the center of the yantra.  Gradually, this central deity itself disappears and merges into the center of spiritual consciousness, the Bindu (the focal point or center) of the yantra and the highest psychic center between the adept’s eyebrows.


A spiritual journey is taken as a pilgrimage in which every step is an ascent to the center, a movement beyond one’s limited existence. Traditionally such a journey is mapped in nine stages, and each of these stages corresponds with one of the nine circuits of which the yantra is composed. Starting from the outer square and moving inwards, the nine rings bear specific names, related to their characteristics.


(1)  The first Avaranam is Bhoopuram and the Chakram is Trailokyamohana chakra ‘enchants the three worlds’;The yogini is Prakata, the mental state of the aspirant is Jagrata, Chakra Iswari is Tripura and the Saktis are 28 that include the ten starting with Anima, the eight starting with Brahmya and the the ten Mudra Saktis.  [ANANDA BHAIRAVI: Kamalamba Samrakshatu]


(2) The second Avaranam is Shodasa Dalam, and the Chakram is Sarvasaparipuraka chakra, ‘fulfills all expectations’; The yogini is Gupta Yogini. The mental state is Swapna, the Chakra Iswari is Tripurasi and the Saktis are the sixteen starting with Kamakarshini. [KALYANI: Kamalambam Bhajare]


(3) The third Avaranam is Ashtha Dalam; The Chakram is Sarvasamkshobana chakra, ‘agitates all’; the Yogini is Gupta Tara Yogini. The mental state is Sushupti, the Chakra Iswari is Tripura Sundari and the Saktis are the eight starting with Ananga Kusuma. [SHANKARABHARANAM:  Shree Kamalaambikayaa Kataakshitoham]


(4) The fourth Avaranam is Chaturdasaram; the Chakram is  Sarvasaubhagyadayaka chakra, ‘grants excellence’; the Yogini is Sampradaya Yogini. The  mental state is Iswara Vicharam, Chakra Iswari is Tripura Vasini and the Saktis are the fourteen starting with Samkshobhini. [KAMBODHI: Kamalaambikaayai Kanakamshukaayai]


(5) The fifth Avaranam is Bahirdasaram; the Chakram is Sarvarthasadhakachakra, is the ‘accomplisher of all’; the Yogini is Kulotteerna yogini. The mental state is Guroopa Sadanam; the Chakra Iswari is Tripura Sri and the Saktis are the ten starting with Sarva Siddhi Prada. [BHAIRAVI: Shree Kamalaambikaayaah Param Nahire]


(6) The sixth Avaranam is Antardasaram; the Chakram is Sarvaraksakara chakra, ‘protects all’; the Yogini is Nigarbha Yogini. The mental state is Upadesam; the Chakra Iswari is Tripura Malini and the Saktis are the ten starting with Sarvagnya. [PUNNAGAVARALI: Kamalaambikaayaastava Bhaktoham]


(7) The Seventh Avaranam is Asthakonam; the Chakram is Sarvarogahara chakra, ‘cures all ills’; the Yogini is Rahasya Yogini. The mental state is Mananam; the chakra Iswari is Tripura Siddhaa and the Saktis are the eight, starting with Vashini. [SAHANA: Shree Kamalaambikaayaam Bhaktim Karomi]


(8) The eighth Avaranam is Trikonam; the Chakram is Sarvasiddhiprada chakra, ‘grants all perfection’; the Yogini is Ati Rahasya Yogini. The mental state is Nitidhyasanam; the Chakra Iswari is Tripuramba and the Saktis are the three starting with Kameshwari. [GHANTA: Shree Kamalaambike Avaava]


(9) The ninth Avaranam is the Bindu  and the highest Chakram is Sarvanandamaya chakra , ‘replete with bliss’. The mental state is Savikalpa Samadhi; the Chakra Iswari is Maha Tripura Sundari and the Shakti is Maha Tripura Sundai, the very personification of Para  Brahman. [AHIRI: Shree Kamalaambaa Jayati]


At the periphery of the Sri Yantra, the square, the adept contemplates his own passions such as anger, fear, lust, etc., to overcome or conquer them. The eight psychological tendencies that are considered obstacles of the mind are also invoked, as eight Matrika Saktis, in the second line of the outer periphery. Either they flank the four ‘doors’ of the yantra or they are invoked in the square band (bhupura). Generally they are what we experience of the world through sense-activity and the cravings of our egotism.



Note on Sri Kamalamba Nava Avarana Kritis

A spiritual aspirant needs to seek a guru and be initiated into the esoteric practice of Sri Vidya Upasana. The practice itself requires strict adherence to lists of Do’s and Don’t’s. Most people would find that the task of finding the guru and the rigors of the pracice are difficult. Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar was a great Devi Upasaka and was well versed in all aspects of Sri Vidya Upasana. Out of his devotion to Sri Kamalamba, (one of the 64 Sakti Peethams in India), the celebrated deity at the famous Tyagaraja Temple in Tiruvarur and his compassion for all bhaktas, Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar composed the the Kamalamba Nava Avarana kritis, expounding in each of the nine kritis, the details of the each avarana of the Sri Chakra, including the devatas and the yoginis. Singing these kritis with devotion, sraddha and understanding would be the easy way to Sri Vidya Upasana for most people.


The set also includes a dhyana kriti, a mangala kriti and traditionally sung on the nine days of Navaratri. One starts with the Ganasa kriti followed by the guru kriti (to Sri BalaSubrahmanya) and continues with the dhyana and each of the avarana kritis. The rendering concludes with the mangalam kriti.