We are in the midst of a festival that is a beautiful blend of art and culture. Devi, who takes centre stage for 10 days, is worshipped in several ways, music being one. Almost all the composers of Carnatic music have sung on Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati - Trisakti. It is Swati Tirunal Maharaja, who composed the Navaratri kritis, to be sung during these nine days. These kritis are rendered in their specific order at the concerts held at the Thiruvananthapuram Palace for Navaratri. He pleads 'Pahi mam'' (protect me) on behalf of all of us, to protect everyone, in these compositions. The two most significant composers in this league are Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri, the former being a Sri Vidya Upasaka and the latter a hereditary priest at the Bangaru Kamakshi Amman Temple, Thanjavur.
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