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Muthuswami Dikshitar-A Legendary Composer and Icon of Carnatic Music

24th May, 2022

Muthuswami Dikshitar is one name known worldwide, and that is due to the excellence that he possesses; people often refer to him as a prodigy of the Carnatic music industry. Born in 1775, he was the face of the Carnatic music industry whose knowledge about the various tunes and the genre could never be reciprocated by any other musician.

Vinayaka Chaturthi with the great classic by Muthuswami Dikshitar

Not only in Carnatic music, but the name of Muthuswami Dikshitar is also very potent as a poet and a Veena player whose immense expertise in the field is worth reciprocating. Originally from the state of Thanjavur, his south Indian roots are why he developed an affinity towards this domain and did complete justice to his south Indian pursuit of art.

Muthuswami Dikshitar: History

The legacy of Muthuswami Dikshitar dates back to the year 1775, and he was born on 24th March. Since his childhood, he had an affinity towards this dance form and did not leave even one chance to pursue the art form in various domains of the Carnatic industry. His entire life was devoted to this particular form, and he has achieved those stances which cannot be thought about by any other individual who belonged to that arena.

Carnatic music vocal is not a very easy domain to master however the maestro indeed achieved new heights, making it the most promising field of music to date. The primary characteristic of the Carnatic music domain that he specialized in was that around 500 of his compositions were famous because they were devoted to Hindu gods and goddesses only. Then there were no formal Carnatic music lessons, and his innate devotion to pursuing more made him a name worth remembering even today.

The most common name for Muthuswami Dikshitar is Guruguha, and this is also his mudra which is mainly used for a lot of his songs. It is believed that Muthuswami started his musical endeavor when the deity at Tiruttani placed a sugar cube in his mouth and asked him to sing. If you listen to his songs, you will understand that most of these are directed toward the god and his worship, which makes this form of music a must-have in all the Carnatic music concerts.

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His actual endeavor toward the domain of Carnatic music vocal started when he went on a pilgrimage to temples like Kanchi, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, Tirupati, and Kalahasthi. After he returned, his endeavor started, and he composed songs about all of the deities he paid a visit to. With this, he even developed a mastery over the Veena and started to play the most complex ragas in Carnatic music with absolute ease.

Each of his compositions is in the Sanskrit language and in the form of Krithi, which means that it is poetry set to music. It has been widely said that Muthuswami is the only composer who has been known to compose most Carnatic music forms, which is in praise of the Hindu gods and goddesses.

His contribution to the domain of South Indian classical music is par excellence, and it can never be reciprocated, keeping in mind the contribution that he has made to the domain. Each of his compositions is soulful, and the melody is something that people of all ages love.

Muthuswami Composition:

One of the most common things about the compositions of Muthuswami is that he has not only focused on the concept of Adwaita but also made sure that the concept is Incorporated in a lot of his compositions, if not all. Not only composed to praise the deities, but his form of music is also known to be composed to talk about the temple's history or even the rich culture, which beholds the formation of the temple.

Not only in Carnatic music, but he is also known to have made some fantastic strides in the western music industry because of the exposure he got. He met these bands at the Fort St.George, which was when this genre partly influenced his music.

One thing which has to be mentioned in this respect is that the compositions brought forth by Muthuswami Dikshitar are all in compliance with the different ragas. He has brought forth a lot of ragas that somehow got lost. However, the major problem is that because the recording options were much less than today's, much of his work has even been lost with time.


Kafqa Academy is one such excellent singing academy known for hosting the most professional Carnatic music lessons. If you do want to get started with the classes and pursue the field of Carnatic music, then join their online courses today. You will have the most incredible professionals to guide you, and the constant evaluation process will make sure that you pick up the right nuances with time.

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