I am not an expert in carnatic music, all these reviews reflect only my understanding of a specific raaga based on the Varnams and Krithis that I have learnt. I dedicate this page to my Gurus who have made this possible for me.
Now onwards I am opening a separate page for each raga in the Carnatica Raga Appreciation Section for faster loading of pages. Kindly post your comments/suggestions etc on the respective pages.
#10 – Darbari Kanada – The Emperor of Ragas and the Raga of Emperors.
Darbari Kanada, or simply Darbari/Durvari/Durbari Kanada, is a Hindustani raga in the Kanada family, which is thought to have originated in Carnatic music and brought into North Indian music. “Kanada” suggests an association with South Indian music, and the raga is believed to be adapted from the south, and presented to Emperor Akbar by his court singer, Tansen. This tradition is reflected in the name itself; Darbar is the Persian derived word in Hindi meaning “court.” The raga comes across as a musical entity with controlled power, philosophical depth, emotional richness and regality(badge of royalty). Darbari Kanada, due its gravity, is rightly called the raga of the kings (or their durbar) or the king of ragas.
The therapeutical effect of Darbari Kanada is said to be very effective in easing tension and anxiety, Providing great relief from Headache (Acute), Migraine, Mind Concentration, Grief, Mental shock,and promotes Good Sleep.
A jany raga of 20th Melakartha Natabhairavi, Darbari Kanada has the following Arohana and Avarohana
Arohana: S R2 G2 M1 P D1 N2 S
Avarohana: S D1 N2 P M1 P G2 M1 R2 S
Jiva Swara- G and D (Much lighter than the usual G2 and D1)
Created from the notes of Asavari Thaat, the raga acquires it darkness from the Komal G D and N. Darbari Kanada has an interesting approach to its intervals. The oscillated treatment of two swaras – komal G, and komal D are much lower than usually found; this lower than normal flattening is often referred to in Indian music as ati-komal. It is this extreme alteration of the intervals that helps give Darbari Kanada its distinctive character. These two oscillations are fundamental to the sculpting of the two phrases which virtually define the melodic personality of Darbari Kanada – g M R and d n P. The occurrence of repeat swaras- as double or triple combinations like SSS, NNN, PPP….. is a special feature of this Raga.
The phrases of G M R S and N P, the signature phrases of Kanada group of Ragas feature in this raga with a characteristic substance or weightiness. The undulation(the specific wavy pattern) of G is specially sgnificant in setting the mood of the raga. As the most familiar raga in the Kanada family, it may sometimes also be called Shuddha Kanada.
Other ragas in the Kanada family include Abhogi Kanada, Nayaki Kanada, Shahana Kanada, Kaushi Kanada and Adana.(Adana is part of the Kanada Raga group !) Darbari Kanada raga is presented in a vakra (twisted) fashion to distinguish it from related ragas such as Jaunpuri, Asawari, or Adana.
What is the soul essence in this raga?
We find that the raga is an illustrious example that can vividly bring out the feeling of love and pathos. The beauty, the poignancy and the depth of the raga can easily be brought out with the notes G M R S. The emotion of love – ( to love and to be loved is one of the most important factor that keep us going in our life ; the nature and universe loves you so that you exist!) – relationships ( they bring in love – be it father, mother, wife, children, brother/ sister or friends !) and the meaning of life in itself is nothing but to love and to be loved (Life is complete and meaningful only with the ties of these loving relationships!). At one level, the masculine temper of the raga gives it a majestic swaroop, at another level, the pathos and the poignancy of the raga evokes a feeling of vairagya, total detachment from worldly pleasures, a mood for meditative solitude or seclusion. Darbari Kanada is a late night raaga considered to be one of the more difficult to master and with the potential for profound emotional impact.
There can be no doubt that Darbari Kanada is one of the most popular ragas in the entire North Indian system of classical music. A few common songs are “Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol Re Tohe Piya Milenge”, “Jhana Jhanak Tori Baje Payaliaya”, “Mujhe Tumse Kuch Bhi Na Chahiye”, “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale”. The famous song sung by Sri. Madurai Somasundaram on Lord Muruga .” Maruda malai maamaniye Murugaiya !Devarin Kulam kakkum velaiya” is an all time classic that showcases the gymmics of Somu’s vocal style of singing and the raga’s melodic splendour.Some of the most popular classical compositions include
Rama Nama-Roopakam-Gopala Dasar
Govardhana Giridhara – Adi-Narayana Theerthar
Matha Ramo Ramanama-Thrisram
Hari Tum Haro – Bhajan
Favourite Filmy Raga
This raga has been extensively used by north Indian film music. There is a plethora of lovely songs in this raga. Some of the songs are so vibrant and typical in melody it becomes your life style progressively. You cannot live without Darbari kanada –So deep is the impactof raga on your life. One of Ilaiyaraja’s unforgettable gems is ‘Aagaya Vennilave’ from the blockbuster hit movie ‘Arangetra Velai’.This song is set to the notes of Darbari Kanada, for its potential of profound emotional impact. It is a duet describing a woman’s beauty with that of the moon. The evergreen hit Sathyam Shivam Sundaram sung by the Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar is framed in this raga. Other movie songs in variuos languages include
Shivadam Shivanaamam – Malayalam – Mazhavillu
Azhage Nin - Malayalam – Amaram- Raveendran
Malare Mounama – Tamil- Karnan – Vidyasagar
Kaatre – Tamil- Rhythm – A.R.Rahman
Pudu vellai Nila – Tamil- Roja – A.R.Rehaman ( another marvel in Darbari Kanada)
KalyANa thenilA – Tamil- Mounam Sammadham
Jogi Aaya – Hindi- Black n White – Sukhwinder Singh
Tere Dar Pe Aaya Hun, Kuchh Karke Jaunga -Hindi – Laila Majnu – Madan Mohan
Allied Ragas - Kanada and Darbari Kanada
Kanada does bear similarities to the hindustani raga Darbari Kanada. Both ragas share melodic similarities in places due to some similarities in the underlying scale structure. However, but there are key, fundamental differences.
Similarity of scales:
Note that descent for both ragas are similar in structure as in N to P to G. This usage of N P G P G etc. are vital to both ragas.
dhaivatam (da): Kanada takes the higher catusruthi dhaivatam, whereas Darbari Kanada takes the lower Shuddha dhaivatam. This is a key differentiator between Kanada and Darbari Kanada. GAndAram (ga):The (sAdAraNa) gAndhAram is the lifeblood swara of both ragas,but the typical/characteristic gamakas used for it varies between the two. Thus we find both similarities and differences between the two ragas in phrases containing G2. In Darbari Kanada, the G2 is sung in aslowly with a slight slow oscillation. It is done so from R2 when ascending, and from M1 when descending.
I conclude this review with the words that Darbari Kanada is regarded as one of the most grand, and profoundly introspective ragas in Hindustani music. Several prominent musicians have even stated that Darbari Kanada is the raga they would choose to sing before passing away! The raga possesses one of the most famous peaks in Hindustani music.
Krishna disuades Nanda and his subjects from performing Indra yagam (Ritual to please Indra). He preaches them that Sri Maha Vishnu is the only supreme God and advises them to invocate him in the Govardhana mountain and worship. Angered by this Indra troubles them with torrential rain and storm. Sri Krishna, the all powerful God lifts the Govardhana and protects them under it. They sing the praise of Krishna in this song.
gOvardhana giri dhara gOvinda
gOkula pAlaka paramAnandA
Meaning : Oh! Krishna, You lifted the Govardhana mountain and protected the shepherd community. You are the embodiment of supreme happiness.
Sree vatsAnkita Sree koustubha dhara
bhAvaka bhaya hara pAhi mukundA
Meaning : Srivatsa spot on your chest and the koustubha gem are beautiful on you. You dispel the fears of your devotees. Protect, Oh! Mukunda
pATita sura ripu pAdapa brunda
pAvana charita parAmruta kanda
nAtya rasOtkaTa nAnA bharaNa
nArAyaNa teerthA rchita charaNa
Meaning:You annihilated the enemies of devatas and your life is holy. You bestow the nectar of trascendental happiness.You immerse in the divine dance. Your ornaments are many. Narayana Teertha worships your feet.
Enjoy the Right Royal Darbari Kanada
#9 – Shanmukhapriya – The Raga with a Splendiferous Melody
Shanmukhapriya, a very beautiful raga is the 56th Melakartha which belongs to the tenth Chakra, Disi (Direction) Chakra – 10 directions in all – including Akash and Patal. Dikshitar school had a different name called Chamara for this raga.
In Mind, Body and Soul Chakra – Chakra 10 is higher Mental Chakra connected to the higher mental planes and rules special thought. It helps to bring in all levels of wonderful information. Universal knowledge is stored here. This raga has the effect of sharpening the intellect of the singer as well that of the listener. It instills courage in one’s mind and replenishes the energy in the body.
This major versatile raga which renders a very pleasing effect is suitable for singing and listening at all times and encapsulates almost emotions or rasas namely,Bhakthi,Shringara,Karuna, Atbudha, Hasya.Handled as a main raga in concert with elaborate Alapana, and Manodharma Swaras.
Arohana: Sa, Ri2, Ga2, Ma2, Pa, Dha1, Ni2, Sa*
Avarohana: Sa*, Ni2, Dha1, Pa, Ma2,Ga2, Ri2, Sa
(Chatusruti rishaba, Sadharana gandhara, Prati madhyama,Suddha daivatha and Kaishiki nishada.)
R.R.Keshavamurthy notes that all the swaras are jIvaswarasand R,P and N are Nyasa Swaras.
For this ragam, the visesha prayogams are SGRGMP – MPDNDS – DPDS – SMPNS – MPGGRS.Janta Prayogas of GG RR SS NN, and prayogas like NRGR NRND omitting Shadjam gives a special beauty to the raga. Though avarohanam has SNDP, use of S Daa P is very common. In the prayoga P D Nee S the N gets elongated to stress the emotion or mood of the raga. PMGRS, PDNSRGRSD, NDNDPD are some often-used sancharas. These sancharas are full of varied shades and dimensions that produces various emotions such as happiness, pathos, love etc.
The raga is very beautiful in all the sthAyis. The nyAsa on RShabha is particularly endearing. Altogether a rAga that has enormous scope both in terms of expansion and in evoking moods. Although this rAga is not technically a “ghana” rAga, tAna in the rAga is captivating.
Shanmukhapriya literally means ‘that which is the beloved of Shanmukha (Lord Subramanya), who was born out of the blazing wisdom-eye of Lord Shiva. I was just wondering that if Shanmukhapriya is so….beautiful, how beautiful the six-faced deity Himself must be. Whenver I indulge in singing/ playing veena the raga Shanmukhapriya, my mind is filled with the divine Swaroopam of Lord Subramanya with the wonderful smile on his face. I personally attribute all the success,accolades and prosperity to Lord Subramanya who has always been a guiding light throughout my life. So I have named my music school as “Shanmukhapriya School of Music”. I consider the Raga Devatha for Shanmukhapriya as Lord Subramanya.
I have always felt that Lord Muruga and Shanmukhapriya has a close association. There are a number of devotional songs on Lord Muruga that are based on Shanmukhapriya. Of these my personal favourite is “Saravanabhava Ennum Thiru Mandhiram” written by Papanasam Sivan for its sparkling simple lyrics. Another favourite song is Vilayaadaa Ithu Nerama.
The flow of the raga could be compared to the various emotions crossing the Lord’s face. The six faces of Lord Shanmukha denotes the following emotions of ragas (This is my own interpretation. This may change from people to people)
1.One face sheds rays of Light and removes the dense darkness shrouding the world; (Spiritually uplifting character of Raga Shanmukhapriya)
2.One face with gracious look lovingly showers boons on his devotees who praise Him with Love and Joy; (Denotes the Karuna/Shanta Rasa of the Raga)
3.One face watches over the sacrifices of the Brahmans who perform them without deviating from the strict Vedic traditions; (The Guru Aspect - Bhakthi Rasa)
4.One face like full moon, which brightens all the quarters of the world, lights the sages’ minds to enable them to search for hidden Truth; ( Santhosha Bhava/Happiness)
5.One face with raging heart performs battle-destroy His enemies(veera rasa of the raga depicted here)
6.One face smiles lovingly on His young consort, the pretty daughter of the hunting tribe (Sringara Rasa)
As mentioned earlier, Shanmukhapriya is called Chamaram in the Dikshitar school. Most of his compositions has the raga mudra on them. The name of the raga, Chamaram is beautifully incorporated in the charanam of Dikshitar’s composition ‘Siddhi Vinayakam’ i.e.,chatra chamara pariiveejitam. Also in his Navagraha kriti on Ketu “Mahasuram ketumaham”, the sentence Guruguha Chamara Bharanam sounds very spontaneous and beautiful. Surprisingly there is only one kriti of Thygagaraja in this raga: ‘Vaddane varu’ in Adi tala.The credit for showing the possibilities in and beauty of the rAga goes to Muthuswamy Dikshithar. SyAmASAstri, although has not used the rAga as such, has handled(discovered) cintAmaNi, a janya of the rAga.
The versatility of this raga can be brought out completely in two different aspects when we take the songs rendered by Maharajapuram Santhanam and T.N.Seshagoplan. Maharajapuram Santhanam singing Vilayada Ithu Nerama brings the feel of pathos requesting the Lord to have mercy and T.N.Seshagopalan’s Raga Alapana in Shanmukhapriya brings out the sharp intellect of a fine singer, taking the listener to the mountain heights of ecstasy.
The major kritis are:
1. marivErE dikkevarayya rAmA (Telugu) — Adi-Patnam Subramanya Iyer
2. Valli Nayaka Nive (Telugu) — Adi-Muthiah Bhagavatar
3. Saravana Bhava (Tamil) — Adi-Papanasam Sivan
4. Parvathy Nayakane – Adi- Papanasam Sivan
5. Siddhi Vinayakam – Rupakam- Muthuswami Dikshitar
6. Mahasutam ketumaham -Rupakam- Muthuswami Dikshitar kritis.
7. Mamava karunaya (Sanskrit) — Misra chapu-Swati Tirunal
8. Omkara Pranava (Varnam) by Balamurali Krishna
9. Vilayada Ithu nerama- T.N.Bala (USA)
10. Muthai tharu bhakti – Arunagirinathar
11. Abhimaanamutho Nannubrovaradha - Mysore Vasudevachar
Favourite Filmy Raga
When someone mentions Shanmukhapriya, it is Marainthirunthu Paarkkum from the film Thillana Mohanambal that comes to the mind. This famous song starring Naattiyapuyal Padmini and Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan is an all time favourite and ever green hit. That is the sort of effect K V Mahadevan leaves behind. Again the scene has burnt itself in our memory by the way the song was picturised, the acting of Sivaji and the beauty of Padmini. Added to this as usual are the lyrics of Kannadasan. The lyrics beautifully convey the situation in just a few words. The other Shanmukhapriya that K V Mahadevan comes up is for K B Sudarambal, “Pazam Ni Appa”. Again a lovely Shanmugapriya.Another old classic is Mayilerum vadivelane (from film Avvayar).
A similar scene (like Thillana Mohanambal song) was enacted in a fairly recent movie, ‘Sangamam’, with Rehman and Devika two actors trying the same thing done by Sivaji and Padmini and A R Rahman coming up with ‘Sowkiyama Kanne Sowkhiyama’. Neither the song, the picturisation, the lyrics or the acting come close to the Tillana Mohanambal song.
Illayaraja came up with some good Shanmukhapriyas.
1.Than Thananam- Pudiya Varpugal
2.Takida Thadimi -Salangai Oli
3. Sollayo Vai Tirandu- MoghaMul(It takes a genius to use Shanmugapriya, which is always used in a robust manner, in a ‘viraha’ situation as in ‘Moga Mull’)
4.Ooru Vittu ooru vandhu - Karagattakkaran – pakka “Dadppanguthu”
5. “Mazhai varuvadhu mayilukku theriyum – Rishimoolam – This song has excellent mridhangam , veena bits , flute, and other laced interludes . ( just search you tube and have a great listening pleasure – simply superb!!!)
Kannukkul nooru nilava – vedham pudhidhu - Devendran – The song has Shanmukhapriya rasam written all over it. The prelude itself is enough to find that out as it covers all the swarams, aarohanam, avarohanam and other aspects of the raagam.
I conclude this review by saying that Shanmukhapriya is a true listening pleasure which elevates us to a spiritual plane. She’s adorable, appealing, astounding, captivating and more than anything, she’s devotional. We can go for a mindblowing melody or block bustering rap music confidentally in this raga.
Composer: Muthuswami Dikshithar
This is one of the sixteen krithi-s that Dikshitar has composed on Lord Ganesha. Apart from the descriptions of the Elephant-headed Lord, there is reference in the Charanam section to Lord Krishna who was born under the star of Rohini and the episode of the Syamanthaka Mani (a rare gem having a magical quality). Krishna was accused of acquiring this gem by unjust means. Krishna is said to have worshipped Vinayaka to ward off this accusation and clear himself. The raga name is beautifully woven into the line “Chathra chamarapari vijitham”.
Siddhi Vinayakam Anisam Chintayaamyaham
Prasiddha Gananaayakam Vishishtaartha Daayakam Varam
Siddha Yaksha Kinnaraadi Sevitama-khilajagat
Prasiddham Mula Pankajamadhyastham Modaka Hastam
Bhadrapadamaasa Cathurtthyaam Brahmanaadi Pujitam
Paasaankusha Dharam Chatra Chaamara Parivijitham
Raudrabhaava Rahitam Daasa Janahridaya Viraajitam
Rauhineeyanujaar cchitam Ihanaa Varjitam
Adri Raaja Sutaatmajam ananta guruguhaagrajam
Bhadrapada Padaambujam Bhaasamaana Chaturbhujam
Meaning: (TK Govinda Rao’s book):
I meditate always on Siddhi Vinaayaka, the Lord of the group of Siddhas. He bestows special boons, the great one. He is worshipped by Siddhas, Yakshas, Kinnaras and others and is renowned all over the world, who is the centre of Mulapankaja who has sweet Modaka in his hand.
He is worshipped by Brahmanas and others during the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the month of BhadraPada (Aug-Sept). He who adorns the noose – paasa – and goad – ankusa. He is honoured with the umbrella – chatra and fly-flap – Chamara, who is devoid of anger, who is enshrined in the hearts of humble – Dasas, revered by Krishna the younger brother of Balaraama. He is devoid of desire. He is the son of the daughter of Mount Himavan – Parvati, elder brother of Cupid-like Guruguha. His lotus-like feet bestows auspiciousness. He has four lustrous hands.
Take a holy dip in Shanmukhapriya !
#8- Mohanam – The Most Pleasing and Enchanting Raga – Truly “Jaganmohanam”
Appropriately named for its beauty, rAgam MOHANAM is a very pleasing and enchanting pentatonic scale, that captures the mind of every listener. A janya of the 28th Melakarta Haikambhoji, it is an audava audava raga. The beautiful colours and shades of Mohana raga is just brought out in 5 swaras.This raga is called as Bhoop in Hindustani. Suitable for singing at all times, but the night time is best suited for this ragam. Ancient name of Mohanam is “rEgupti” or “raghupati”.
Arohana: S R2 G3 P D2 S
Avarohanam : S D2 P G3 R2 S
( Chatusruti Rishabam, Antara Gandharam, Chatusruti Daivatham.)
Raga chaya svarams/Jiva svarams: ri, ga, dha
Amsa svarams: ga and pa
Graha svarams : ga, pa dha
Prayogams of the type of “Janta”(dual swaras like gagapapadhadha) and “Datu”(skipping of a swara in between like dhagarigasari) lend great enchantment to the raga and make it very captivating. The notes R, G, D can be oscillated. Gamaka or oscillation make these notes beautiful, and prayogas in the raga aalapana containing these notes with gamaka are really bewitching… Mohanam has the ability to lift up a sagging concert.
A sarva svara mUrccanakAraka rAgam. All the four notes ri, ga, pa, dha admit graha bhEdam (modal shift of tonic). The ri, ga, pa, dha mUrccanas of mOhanam result in rAgams madhyamAvati, hindOLam, shuddha sAvEri and udayaravicandrika, respectively.
This raga was known as Mullai Pann in ancient times. Mohanam is basically a Veera rasa pradhana raga. A wide range of emotions like Sringara,Karunya etc can be very well portrayed in this raga. A well tread Mohanam reveals its folkish melodies too. Heavy classical compositions as well as light ones sound beautiful in this raga.
Historically speaking, mOhanam is perhaps the oldest rAgam known to mankind. Dr. S. Ramanathan’s doctoral dissertation on the music in shilappadikAram mentions that it is one of the most ancient paNNs. This pentatonic scale is, therefore, found in the music of various nations, including primitive tribes. Ancient chinese, japanese, hungarian, swedish, and gypsy music all have traces of Mohanam.This raga claims to possess international melody. This raga is widely used in many countries namely Burma, Thailand, Japan, China. The national Anthem of Thailand is set in raga Mohanam.
Compositions of all types, heavy, as well as light, exist in this rAgam. Most composers have contributed generously to Mohanam. Among the trinity, muttusvAmi dIkSitar has six kritis, and all of them bear the rAga mudra for MOhanam (an easy and captivating phrase!). Saint Tyagaraja has 11 compositions, that include the immortal classic, “nanu paliMpa”. Strangely, we do not have any composition in mOhanam by shyama shastri. Papanasham sivan’s “kApAli”, Mysore VAsudEvacariar’s “rA rA rAjIvalOcana” , and aruNAcala kavi’s “En paLLi koNDIrayya” are some of the popular compositions that depict the grandeur of MOhanam. There are plenty of tevaram, and tiruvacakam songs in this ragam. The 16th day rendition of the tiruppavai verse, “nAyakanAy ninRa nandagOpan” is sung in Mohanam.
The Thyagaraja kriti ‘Nanuu palimpa’ is a very popular kriti in this raga in Aadi talam.
An interesting anecdote is attached to this composition. It is said that when Saint Tyagaraja’s daughter was getting married, Tyagaraja was anxiously awaiting the return of his prime and favorite disciple, Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagawathar who had gone to his native village. As the auspicious time was approaching and there was no sign of Venktaramana, Tyagaraja became very agitated and restless. Suddenly his eyes spotted Venkataramana approaching, carrying a heavy portrait of Sri Rama tied to his back as his gift for the bride. Tyagaraja was so happy to see his disciple arriving, and the life-like portrait of Sri Rama, he ecstatically burst forth with the composition Nanu palimpa nadachi vacchitivo, meaning ‘You walked all the way to save me.’
It is a tradition nowadays to play this Tyagaraja composition on the Nadswaram on the occasion of weddings.
An auspicious ragam, invariably featured in most concerts. This rAgam fits into any segment of the concert, in any category, whether it is a varNam, a weighty kriti, a detailed pallavi exposition, a rAgamalika, a viruttam, shlOkam, jAvaLi, or tillANa. There is even a mangalam in Mohanam composed by Tyagaraja as the conclusion of his opera – pahLAda bhakti vijayam.
MOhanam was regarded as a property of the Maharajapuram school. Both Maharajapuram Vishvanatha Iyer, and his son Santhanam excelled in detailed portrayal, and have carved out exquisite renditions of MOhanam. The kriti “gOpikA manOharam bhajEham” attributed to DIkSitar was often rendered by SantAnam. The TyAgaraja kriti, “mOhana rAma”, and the Papanasham Sivan song, ‘kApali” were favorites of Madurai Mani Iyer. Ariyakkudi frequently elaborated the DIkSitar kriti “rAjagOpAlam”. M.S. Subbalakshmi used to render “nArAyaNa divyanAmam” of Papanasham Sivan, often preceded by a beautiful viruttam in tamil. MLV often rendered “rA rA rAjIvalOcana”, and “En paLLi konTIrayya”. The varNam, ‘kapAlIshvaram” by Ambi DIkSitar, and the MuttusvAmi Diksitar kriti, ‘kAdambarIpriyAyai” were popularized by the D.K. Pattammal and D.K. Jayaraman.
Mohanam rāgam lends itself for extensive elaboration and exploration and has many compositions in both classical music and film music. The geetham Varavina mrithupani is one of the first short songs taught to beginners in Carnatic music. Ninnukori composed by Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar is a popular Varnam in this scale. Here are some popular kritis composed in Mohanam.
endukO baga teliyadu, Adi
nannu pAlimpa, Adi
bhavanuta nA h.rdayamuna, Adi
mATi mATiki delpa, mishra cApu
mOhana rAmA, Adi
rAma ninunammina varamu, Adi
evarUrA ninnuvinA , mishra capu – divyanAma kIrttanam
rama rAma ramayani nanta, mishrta cApu – divyanama kIrttanam
vEdavAkyamani, mishra cApu – nauka caritram
dayarAni, Adi/khaNDa cApu – prahLAda bhakti vijayam opera
jaya ma”nhgaLam, khaNDa cApu – prahLAda bhakti vijayam opera
kAdambarIpriyAyai, mishra cApu
narasimha Agacca, mishra cApu
nAgali”ngam namAmi satatam, Adi
pAhi mAm pArvatI parameshvarI, rUpakam
rakta gaNapatiM bhajEham, Adi
rAjagOIpalam bhajEham, rUpakam
cintayE shrI padmanAbham, mishra cApu
k.rpAkaTAkSam kartuM mayi, adi
mOhanaM tava vapurayi, Adi
pa”nkajanAbhOtsvAghOSa, misha cApu (First day utsava prabandham)
paripahi mAM n.rharE murArE , mishra capu
Kapaali, karunai and Narayana divyanamam – Papanasam Sivan
Rara Rajeevalochana – Mysore Vasudevachar
En palli kondeer – Arunachala Kavi
Sada palaya – G. N. Balasubramaniam
Kshemam kuru – Narayana Teertha
kapAlIshvaram bhajEham, Adi (ambi dIkSitar)
sarasijAkSi, aTa (vINa kuppayyar)
Favourite Filmy Raga
The cine world has also contributed large number of film songs in mOhanam. To begin with the ever green hits In cinema, `Giridhara Gopala’ in “Meera” sung by M.S., `Aaga Inba Nilavinile’ in “Mayabazar,” `Thillayambala Nataraja’ in “Sowbagyavathi,” `Malargal nanaindana paniyale’ in “Idhayakamalam,`Andanal mudal indanal varai’ in “Pavamannippu,” `Pazhaga theriya venum’ in “Missiyamma” and `Thiruchendoorin kadalorathil’ in “Deivam” are some of the super hit songs set in Mohanam..
Illayaraja – Tamil
Illayaraja has contributed numerous songs in this particular raga. Only a few songs are listed here highlighting the various emotions of each song..
Kannan oru Kaikuzhandai (Bhadrakali)-lullaby
Ninnukori varnam (Agni natshatrum) – feet tapper
Vandhadhey kungumam – Kizhakku Vasal – love
nilavu thoongum nEram (kunguma chimil)-lullaby
Idhayam oru kovil – Idhaya Kovil – meloncholy
Paruvamey-Nenjathai Killathe -freshness of the dawn
Porale Ponnuthayi- Both pathos and bubbly tune joining hands
Paakathe Pakkathe- Gentleman – Peppy Number
Boom Boom – Boys- Peppy number
I conclude this review by saying that Mohanam, appropriately named for its beauty is present where beauty and love coexist.It filters out the ill-effects of Kamam, Krodham and Moham bestowing immense benefits on the seeker.
nanu pAlimpa naDaci vaccitivO nA prANanAtha
Meaning : Did you come all the way on foot to just to care for me , Oh Lord of my life!
vanaja nayana mOmunu jUcuTa jIvanamani nenaru nA manasu marmamu telisi
Meaning : Knowing the secret of my love ladden heart – that I live just to see your face O lotus eyed beloved,Did you come all the way on foot to just to care for me , Oh Lord of my life!
surapati nIla maNinibha tanuvutO nuramuna mutyapu sarula cayamutO
karamuna shara kOdaNDa kAntitO dharani tanayatO tyAgarAjArcita
Meaning : (The veera rasa can be felt here)
With your body shining like a saphire,With rows of strung pearls on your chest
With that lustrous bow and arrow in your hand (Kothanda Rama)
With Earths’ daughter Sita besides you
Did you come all the way on foot to just to care for me , Oh Lord of my life!
Tyagaraja , if he had craved so bad for something in his life , it would for the darshan of SitaRama.. He has echoed in many of his krithis for his longings to get a darshan of the SitaRama. How ecstatic he would have been when he saw his most favorite discliple walking with a beautiful portrait of his Ishtadeivam? He has outpoured his joy in the song for people like us to understand the joy that results in just casting ones eyes on the Kothanda Rama and Sita devi.
Let us start the “ManaMohana” Musical Journey,immersing ourselves in the alluring ardour of Mohanam in all it’s glory and charm.
#7 – Charukesi- The Raga Close to the Heart
Charukesi , the 26th melakartha raga which belongs to Bana Chakra(the 5th Chakra) is an exotic and intriguing raga that invokes a meditative mood. This raga clearly brings out the flavours of Sringara (Romance), Soka (Sorrow), Saantha (Tranquil, Peace) and Bhakthi Rasa (devotion)with equal felicity. It can also be said that the raga essentially conveys the feeling of “nenjai urukkum “ quality . Charukesi rejuvenates the mind helping one to age gracefully. It enlivens the singer and listener. This raga is suitable for singing at all times.
In Mind, Body and Soul Chakra – Chakra 5 is the spirit Chakra: This chakra is located between the Solar Plexus and the Heart and is the energy center that contacts, and gets guidance from heavenly bodies. Charukesi give relief from heart ailments. Hence it is said that Charukesi is a raga close to the heart.
It is also known as “Tarangini” in the “Dikshitar Asampoorna Mela System. Charukesi is usually referred to as combination of Sankarabharanam and Thodi. The first half (purvanga) has the swaras of Sankarabharanam and the second half (uttaranga) has the swaras of Thodi. But the transition of first half to the second is very graceful and not mechanical.
Charukesi has the following Arohana and Avarohanam.
Arohanam: S R2 G3 M1 P D1 N2 S
Avarohanam : S N2 D1 P M1 G3 R2 S
(chathusruthi rishabham, anthara gandharam, shuddha madhyamam, shuddha dhaivatham, kaisiki nishadham)
The major notes of the scale in this raga gives it a personality of strength only to be followed with the minor notes D1 and N2 which gives a touch of softness and kindness that show limitless delicate potential.
Rishabham is the Jeeva Swaram and the Nyasa Swaram for this raga.
Prayogas – pdndpgr - srgmgrns – pdpnd – rgmg rsd – pdsrg mggrr srgmgrsrgrs -grrsrns
Although the Raaga has been handled by almost all the famous Carnatic music composers, Adamodi Galade by Saint Thyagaraja and Kripaya paalaya sowray by Maharaja Swathi Thirunaal are popular. Charukesi is a Raaga whose intricate structure is more visible and understood in the Anupallavi part of a Krithi (the higher octave of the Raaga exposition) giving a feel of a Himalayan glacier. Krithis of Thyagaraja are not manthra-s recited in temples. They are excellent musical tabloids which never age, on the contrary they mature with age. The more one sings them , one discovers everytime a new luminescence, a new shallow, a fresh freedom. What exactly has made these compositions unique? Is it the Sahitya(lyric), the satvik music ( pious melody), the message or the grammer? Whatever be the factor, the entire composition will ultimately lead the singer/listener to extreme divinity.“Hey Surano Chandrabha” is a famous Abhang in this Raag which is ery soulful.
Lalgudi Jayram’s most famous Pada Varnam composition Varnam in this raag “Innam Manam Ariyadhe means “Oh Lord Dont you know my mind yet” in this particular raga is an examplory blend of raga, bhava, rhythm and lyrical beauty. The unique feature about Lalgudi is that his music is very expressive. This is one of my favourites simply because it lends itself to be danced to in the classical style . ML Vasantha Kumari singing Ada Modi Galathe is an all time enchanting classic.
Innam en (varnam)-Lalgudi G. Jayaraman
No one can deny the fact that Chaarukesi was more popularized by M.K.Thyagaraja Bhaagawadhar, with his evergreen melody hit Manmadha leelaiyai venraar vundo in the film Haridas The success of the song, `Manmatha leelayai’ sung by MKT confirms Charukesi’s poetic and phonetic vitality. `Aadal Kaaneero’ in “Madurai Veeran,” `Vasanthamullai pole,’ `Adal Kalaye Devan Thandadu’ in the film Sri Ragavendra, `Unakkum Enakkum Isaindha Porutham’ (of Ramalinga Adigal) are some of the hit songs in Charukesi. But…the modern cine lovers will understand and cherish Chaarukesi only with Kaadhalin deepam onru in Thanbikki endha ooru, a Rajinikaanth super hit movie.
Charukesi is definitely A.R.R’s favourite raga. Among recent songs,’Udhaya udhaya’ song from tamil movie “Udhaya”, a mesmerizing song based on Charukesi raaga. One of the best composition of A.R.Rahman which definitely is everyone’s favourite. Another A.R.Rahman composition ‘edho edho ondru’ from the tamil movie “enakku 20 unakku 18″. This song is a nice melody and has a nice flavour of charukesi raagam.
It is interesting to note that most of the Krithis and film songs mentioned here have substantial period of sustenance in the higher octave. For example, Manmadha leelaiyai begins in a higher octave note and swirls around higher notes; Nadanthaai Vaazhi Kaaveri also has its beginning in a higher octave note and Kaadhala Kaadhala goes as high as the panchamam. As usual Charukeshi has been used by Bollywood in recent movies such as Swades.
Illayaraja – Tamil
Aadal Kalayae – Sri Raghavendra (what a song !)
Raveendran – Malayalam
Hey Krishna-Kizhakkunaraum Pakshi-Raveendran
I conclude this review by saying that Chaarukesi is a very soulful raga having a universal appeal with her charming beauty. She induces a soft mood but kindles deep rooted subtle emotions. Charukesi is capable of holding the listener in an enthralling appeal with it’s simple arrangement of swaras and great emotional impact . Charukesi is known to incite feelings of pathos and devotion in the listener.
Adamodi Galade Ramayya Maata
Meaning : Oh ! Raama.. Why the haughtiness ? Please talk to me!.
Thodunida Nive Yanuchu Bhaktito
Meaning : To me, who considers You a shadow-like constant companion, is devoted towards You, and has touched Your feet, Why the haughtiness ? Please talk to me!.
Chaduvulanni Delisi Shankaraantshu Dai
Meaning: When the erudite Anjaneya saluted you, O Merciful one, You asked your younger brother to listen and convey his narrations. Why then be indifferent to Thyagraja who addresses you?
Enjoy Charukesi to your Heart’s content by downloading it here
#6-Ritigowla - The Raaga with a Mesmerising Melody
A janya raaga of Kharaharapriya, Ritigowla also called NARIRITIGOWLA, is a vakra, rakthi raaga, a raaga that is considered very classical and meritorious in the Carnatic music field. It is very easy to identify this raaga due to the typical beautiful sanchaaras present in the compositions. This is one raaga which deserves the compliment “manam mayakkum Ritigowlai”. The melody of this raaga is magical and will surely mesmerize the listener with its charm. The raaga assumes a pleading quality, and evokes a combination of karuna and bhakthi rasas. Ritigowla – an all time raaga is an ideal choice to sing in vilamba kala in the middle of a concert, to bring the listeners into a contemplative and calm frame of mind. This is also a Bhashanga Raagam, where the note Suddha Dha appears in some sancharas. Ritigowla belongs to the Dvitiya Ghana Panchaka (second series of Ghana raagas) group.
Arohanam : S G1 R2 G1 M1 N1 N1 S / S G1 R2 G1 M1 N1 D2 M1 N1 N1 S
Avarohanam: S N1 D2 M1 P M1 G1 R2 S / S N1 D2 M1 G1 M1 P M1 G1 R2 S
Jeeva Swaras: G,M,N (N1 – The breathing or life giving note of Ritigowla)
A beautiful raaga , the essence of its beauty lies in a few prominent prayogas/phrases.
Uniquely Ritigowla Sancharas: NPNNS ,NSGGM,GMNNS, NSGRS,GMGRS,NSNDM, SNDMPDMGRs, GMPMGRS…
The sanchara GMPMGRS… renders a soulful, soft touch to the raaga fully bringing out the Karuna rasa. Jantai prayogas for the notes G and N are very popular- meaning to say that if the composition has a prayoga NNS on one line, the next line will definitely be complimented with a GGM. I feel that they are almost like twin – pairs’ one cannot live without another! What a beautiful complimenting relationship.
The Subbaraya Sastry (son of SyAma Sastry) composition Janani Ninuvina” simply immortalizes this Raagam. Muthuswami Dikshitar’s lyrical brilliance in using the Raagamudra addressing the Goddess as “Riti Gowrave” in his Nilothpalamba Krithi in Nariritigowla is examplory. The rasikas of Carnatic Music owes all the credit to Saint Tyagaraja for popularising this raaga. His most popular composition nannu viDaci, is part of Saint Tyagaraja’s Opera Prahlada Bhakthi Vijayam. This is the most wanted number in carnatic concerts. This song illustrates extreme Bhakthi , Thyagaraja had for Lord Rama. He pleads Lord Rama not to leave him just like Prahlada-the divine child pleaded Lord Narayana to be with him and never leave him.
This feeling of pain, anguish or sorrow that you may experience when you come to know that when somebody whom you care and love very much is going to leave you is beautifully illustrated with the sancharas in this raaga! But the raaga also has melodious sancharas of comfort and soothe feeling to showcase feeling of joy and happiness.
Other majestic compositions by Tyagaraja are baDalika tIra, dvaitamu sukhama? advaitamu sukhama?, cera rAvadEmira, and raagaratnamAlika. In the song dvaitamu sukhama? advaitamu sukhama? in just one sentence, tyAgarAja has captured the never ending debate behind the Hindu religion and philosophy! What a genius! In the song baDalika tIra, tyAgarAja asks Rama to lie down and take rest as he imagines Him to be fatigued (after Ramayana Episode). Tatvam aRiya taramA? is another excellent composition by Papanasam Sivan. Another magnificent composition is paripAlaya mAm by Sri. Swathi Thirunal.
Famous Compositions in Ritigoula
VANAJAAKSHA- ATA THALA VARNAM-Vina Kuppayyar
NANNU VIDACHI- THYAGARAJA
RAAGARATNA – THYAGARAJA
CHERARAVADEMIRA – THYAGARAJA
BADALIKADIRA – THYAGARAJA
NINNU VINA MARI GALADA – SHYAMA SASTRI
JANANI NINUVINA – SUBBRAYA SASTRI
TATVAM ARIYA THARAMA – PAPANASAM SIVAN
GURUVAYURAPPANE – AMBUJAM KRISHNA
ENNA PUNNIYAM – OOTHUKADU VENKATAKAVI
Since I have written a review on Raaga Anandabhairavi, I think it is appropriate to write a few lines of similarities and dinstinctions between Ritigowla and Anandabhairavi.
Allied Raagas – Ritigaula and Anandabhairavi
One raaga that is quoted as similar to Ritigaula is Anandabhairavi. The first half of Arohana is similar with the notes SGRG.Both allow PMGRS and NSGRG. I must admit that I myself do not find that much similarity usually mainly because any Ritigaula alapana, krithi etc. would be replete with ni ni sa (in tandem with ga ga ma) and ga ma pa ma ga ri sa – these delivered with their characteristic gamakas are just not part of Anandabhairavi. Now coming to differences the use of P is prominent in Andhabhariravi whereas it is M in RitiGowla. The unique phrases NNS and GGM itself tell us that the raaga is Ritigowla. It is to be concluded that in Anandavhairavi, SGGM prayoga in Arohana is possible and MMGGRs in avarohana,clearly distinguishes the raaga from Ritigowla. Gandharam, and the madhyamam are svarams that provide most ranjana in Anandhabhairavi, but it is the N in Ritigowla.
Favourite Filmy Raaga
Ritigowla also enjoys a place of pride in tinsel town with several superhit film songs to its credit.
CHINNA KANNAN – KALAIKUYIL – ILAYARAJA
MEETATHA ORU VEENAI -POONTHOTTAM-ILAYARAJA
THALAYAI KUNIYUM - ORU ODAI NADIYAGIRADU
THEENDA THEENDA – THULLUVATHO ILAMAI
RAMAN KATHAI KELUNGAL-SIPPIKKUL MUTHU-ILAYARAJA
AZHAGANA RAKSHASIYE – MUDALVAN -A.R.REHAMAN
SUDUM NILAVU – EDHIRI
MUGILINAME – AMIRTHAM
KANKAL IRANDAAL – SUBRAMANYAPURAM-JAMES VASANTHAN
I conclude this review by saying that something of value and substance is conveyed through RitiGowla. Raaga is soaked in bhava be it bhakthi or Karuna rasa. It has a distinctive melody on its own, bringing in the mood of great emotional appeal. Hope you all enjoy RitiGowla.
Talam: Misra Chapu
Composer: Subbaraya Shastry
Janani Ninnuvinaa Amba
Janani Ninnuvinaa Triloka
Janani Ninnuvinaa Dik Kevarammaa Jagamulona Gaana Ambaa
Manasija Maanasa Sammodhini Vinave Naa Manavini Vini Nannu Brovumu
N P N | N S N N || S ; ; ; ; N S ||
G R S N S G G || M ; M G G R S ||
N S G R N S G || R N S R S S N ||
P ; N N S S ; || G G M G G R S ||
G G M G G M ; || N N ; S N S ; ||
N S G G M G M || N N D M N N S ||
G G M G R G ; || G R N S ; S N ||
S gs N D M M dm || G R S S gs N P ||
Niravadhika Sukha Daayaki Yanuchu Ninnu Vini Chaala Golichiti
Niratamuga Tanayuni Moraluvini Nee Valane Brochutaku Evariki
Dharalo Vinumaa Idi Ghanamaa Tarunamidi Krupa Salupu Durusuga
Saraseeruhalochani Suvaasini Taamasamu Seyakane Brovumu
Varadaayaki Gaadaa Okkani Brova Karudaa Daya Raadaa
Neranammina Naa To Vaadaa Sarasija Bhava Hariharanuta Paada
Meaning: (From TK Govinda Rao’s Book)
Who else is there to take care for me on this earth ?
You who fascinated the heart of Cupid please pay heed to my entreaties and protect
Upon hearing the infinite happiness you confer on your devotees,
fervently I have placed my trust in you.
Who else is there on this earth to hear my entreaties and offer protection?
Is it tiresome to pay attention?
Please condescend now and bestow your blessings.
O the lotus eyed one! Auspicious goddess!
Without delaying, please protect me!
Are you not the bestower of boons?
Don’t you have compassion to protect this single soul ?
Why do you debate about protecting me ,
who has unshakable faith in you?
Your feet are adored by Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva .
#5-BrindAvanasAranga-A Most Pleasing and Emotional Raga
BrindAvana sArangA , is a desya raga derived from the 22nd mela Kharaharapriya. A minor raga, capable of giving a tranquilizing effect it has the following
arohanam: S R2 M1 P N3 S
avarOhaNam: S N2 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S
Ri, Ma and Ni figure both as jiva svara and nyasa svara. Ga is only used sparingly in this rAgam and some books differentiate between brindAvana sArangA and brindAvanI based on the usage of Ga. There is also lot of confusion between the two rAgams based on the usage of Ni. For example, T.M.Krishna in a lecture demonstration says Brindavanasaranaga has only Kaishiki nishada and NO kakali . Brindavani as we understand it TODAY has both nishada. there was a time when brindavasarana and brindavani referred to the same raga which had only kaishiki nishada and no kakali nishada..
This raaga showcases lighter effect and melody giving a lot of scope for Ranjaka Prayogas (mind pleasing prayogas). Technically speaking this is acieved by the use of both the Nishadas.Shringara is a category that consists of many stages and emotions.Feelings of unexpressed and budding love are characterised by Brindavana Saranga.
The song Rangapura Vihara is the most remarkable song framed in this particular raga. Muthuswami Dikshitar’s master piece on the Lord of Sri Rangam, in the mellifluous voice of MSS..Who else other than M.S.Amma can render this more soulfully? This song was greatly popularised by Smt.M.S.Amma and this song has become so…..popular that almost every household plays this song. Another song is Sri Venkatesha Naadham which was popularised by D.K.Pattamal.This rAga claims to have few more krithis, made popular by famous artistes like Maharajapuram Santhanam (Swaminathena / Dikshitar), T.N. Seshagopalan (Saundararajam upasmahe/ Dikshithar), Balamurali (Kamalaptakula / Thyagaraja) and Sowmya (Kaliyuga Varadhan / Periasamy Thooran). Even though a sarvakalika (all time) raga, it is sung in post-pallavi part in concerts.Muthuswami Dikshitar has composed two beautiful gems in this rAgam – rangapura vihArA and soundara rAjam. While the first one starts in the mel sthAyi (R”,,S”) and explores the beauty of the rAgam in that upper range, the second song starts at the lower octave (R, GRS) and hardly goes above S”. These two songs are actually classic examples proving the versatility of this bhakthi rasa pradhana raaga that it can lend itself to sancharas in all three octaves. The Abhang Bhakthajana Valsale sung by Sri.O.S.Arun in his majestic voice will definitely take you to divine heights. He has rendered this song in a fast pace. Quite contrary to this Smt. Aruna Sairam has also rendered this Abhang in a slow pace filled with devotion.
Going to the krithi itself, the song SoundararAjam was composed at the soundararAja PerumAl Swamy temple at NAgapattinam in the praise of Lord SoundararAja. The krithi is heavily loaded, capturing the expanse of this rAgA in its entirety. The pallavi starts off with a wonderful R M R S phrase and the rendu kalai rUpakam gets its beauty in this krithi. Every word falls beautifully in the samam and it is a real treat to sing.This beautiful bhakthi rasa pradhAna rAga is completely portrayed and further beautified in this wonderful Dikshithar krithi. Though it is supposed to be a hindusthAni raga, Dikshithar has handled it so beautifully(especially with the extensive usage of the kaishiki nishAdham”) that one doesnt get that feeling at all. He has made it completely carnatic.
Favourite Filmy Raaga
This is a favourite filmy raaga, with a soothing tone. Just remember the song Punnondru kandaen Pennanguillai…sung by Shivaji Ganeshan with Balaji in the movie Padithaal Mattum Podhuma-the duet of legendry TMS and PBS..and singArakaNNE from the popular film Veerapandiya Kattabomman. Other latest filmy numbers based on this raaga are
A R Rahman’s
Konjum Mainakkale – Kandukonden Kandukonden
Adadadada Muthu Muthu – Mr. Romeo
Aathaadi Paavada Kaathaada – Poovilangu
Intha Jilla Muzhukka Nalla Theriyum – Priyanka
Maadathile Kanni Maadathile – Veera
Vijay Antony’s Ninjakootil Neeye Nirkiraai – Dishyum
Hariharan-Leslie -Colonial Cousins – Indian Rain – Hariharan and Leslie Lewis
You will be hooked to this lilting and soothing raga when you start listening to it. It is a suitable raga for singing bhajans slokas etc. Experts say that this raaga is ideally suited for Varsha Rithu when rains evokes the romantic and creative spirit in every human being. Scholars love the phrase “ranjako janachittanam” and expand on it. I wish to conclude the review that there is no raga in a mere combination of notes; it has to please the mind and Brindavana Saaranga does this.
For those musical oriented hearts I am just posting the lyrics of the song SoundararAjam here with the meaning. Thanks to various sources in the web for the same.
SoundararAjam AshrayE gaja brindAvana sarAngA varadharAjam
DIkshithar sings “I seek the refuge(“AshrayE”) in Lord SoundararAja, the one who protected Lord Gajendra(“gaja”) in the beautiful forest(“brindAvana”) of elephants(“sAranga”) and the one who is the most superior(“rAjam”) in the bestowing boons(“varadha”).
“Though it is just one single line of pallavi, the infinite scope with each word having so many sangathis and the single line running for 2 octaves makes the pallavi really tough to sing. The repeated S N phrase at rAjam is just too good and it feels as if time stops there, giving a dhrupad effect of this hindustAni rAga . Ofcourse, needless to say, DIkshithar once again shows his grammatical brilliance by beautifully bringing in the rAga mudhra in the very first lines of the krithi.
Nanda nandana rAjam nAgapattana rAjam
sundarI ramArAjam suravinuta mahi rAjam
mandasmitamukhAmbujam mandaradara karAmbujam
nandakaranayanAmbujam sundaratara padAmbujam
DIkshithar describes the Lord as “He is the dear son(“nandana”) of nanda and the ruler(“rAjam”) of nAgapattinam.” He continues as “He is the husband(“rAjam”) of he beautiful(“sundarI”) Goddess Lakshmi(“ramA”). He is the one worshipped(“vinuta”) by all the Gods(“sura”) and the master(“rAjam”) of the universe(“mahi”).” In the madhyamakAla sahityam , dIkshithar beautifully describes the Lord as “The one whose lotus-like face(“mukhAmbujam”) is lit with smiles(“mandhasmitha”) and the one whose lotus hands(“karAmbujam”) holds(“dhara”) the mandara mountains. The one whose lotus-like eyes(“nayanAmbujam”) gives happiness and pleasure(“nandakara”) to everyone and the one who possesses beautiful(“sundarathara”) lotus-like feet(“padAmbujam”).
“An exquisite anupallavi. Dikshithar repeatedly uses the word rAjam in the first two lines employing the different meanings of the same word such as husband, ruler, superior etc. He then follows a similar pattern in the madhyamakAla sAhityam comparing the face, hands, eyes and feet of the Lord to the lotus flower and hence portrays Him as a very soft and delicate God . Simple and beautiful anupallavi is followed by a sweet and rich charanam.
shambhara vairi janakam sannuta shukha shounakam
ambarIshAdi viditham anAdhi guruguha muditham
ambujAsanAdi nutham amareshAdhi sannutam
ambudhi garva nigraham anritha jada dukhApaham
kambu vidambana kaNTam khaNDI kritha dashakaNTam
thumburunutha shrIkaNTam durithApaha vaikuNTam
He sings about the Lord as “the father(“janakam”) of the enemy(“vairi”) of Demon Sambhara (“shambhara”)” referring to the incident in which Lord Krishna’s son, Pradhyumna was kidnapped by SambharAsura and later vanquished by Pradhyumna himself. He continues to describe the Lord as “He is worshipped(“sannuta”) by shukha and sage shaunakha. He protects(“viditham”) devotees like ambarIsha, etc. and he epitomizes the eternal(“anAdhi”) joy(“muditham”) of guruguha. He is worshipped(“nutham”) by Lord Brahma, the one who is seated on the Lotus(“ambujAsana”) and others(“Adi”). He is praised(“sannutam”) by Lord Indra(“amaresha”) and other celestials. He suppressed(“nigraha”) the pride(“garva”) of the ocean(“ambudhi”) and he is the destroyer(“apaham”) of all miseries(“dukha”) arising out of falsehood(“anrutha”) and ignorance(“jada”).” In the madhyamakAla sahityam, he starts of by describing His beauty as “the one whose beautiful neck(“kaNTam”) equals the beauty of a conch(“kambu vidambana”)”. He portrays the fearsome face of the Lord when he says “he destroyed(“kaNDikritha”)the ten headed(“dashakaNTam”) rAvanA.” dIkshithar finishes the charanam by singing “He is Lord shrIkaNTa, the one praised(“nutha”) by sage tumburu. He removes(“apaha”) all sorrows(“duritha”) and resides in vaikuNTam.”
#4- Hamikalyani - A cool breeze from N.India
Imagine yourself standing on top of a hillstation. You feel the cool breeze brushing you and moving softly. This is the feel you get when you listen to Hamirkalyani which is the next featured raaga.
Hamirkalyani a janya raga of Mechakalyani (65th mela raga) has the following
Arohana and AvarohanaArohana:S P M2 P D2 N3 S/ S R2 S P M2 N3 D2 S N3 S/ S R2 G3 M2 P D2 N3 P D2 P S
Avarohana:S N3 D2 P M2 M1 G3 P M1 R2 S /S N3 D2 P M2 G3 M1 G3 R2 S/S N3 D2 P M2 G M1 R2 S
The phrases OR prayogas like MPDNDPMP-MGPMDP…MGPM2M1R.. using both madhyamas M1 and M2 enhances the beauty of the raga to Himalayan heights. Similary the vital prayogas of both Nishadams like MPDN2S..N1RD..N1DM1PM2..SRSN2S…DN1DP always give a request feeling when it is sung. Both Nishadahas comes like a breeze relaxing all the stress and tension. The raaga establishes its signature while singing the phrase M2GpM1R…which can be compared to a flawless flow of a river with all swells and waves.The melodious raga though it came from N.India is popularised here by Sri.Muthuswami Deekshithar, Swathi Thirunaal and Thyagaraja Swamigal.
“Maanamuleda” Composition by Thyagaraja Swamigal brings out the request feeling completely when the Saint appeals to Lord Rama that Doesn’t HE have even a little concern towards him ?. Deekshithar Krithi “Parimala Ranganadham” is a song praising the diety of Parimala Renganatha Swamy temple located in the village Thaerezhunthur. The Goddess of Parimala Ranganatha Swamy is Pundareekavalli. A particular line in this composition is “BhajeHamVeeram” depicting that this raaga is Hamveeru in Deekshithar Padhathi. Swathi Thurnal Krithi “Gaangeya Vasanaadhara Padmanabha… is a composition ” praising Lord Padmanabha of Ananthapuri Temple at Kerala. Subbaraya Sasthri’s “Venkata Saila Vihaara” which has a weave of carnatic and classic Dhrupad touch is an examplory piece of Hameerkalyani.
Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar’s Hameerkalyani “Thoomani Maadathu” uses both Madhyamas intelligently in the line “Maamaan Magale”one after the other. Uthukkadu Venktakavi’s composition “Nadamurali Gaana Vilola” is also another good song framed in this raaga. Lalgudi Jayaram has tuned the Ashtapadi “Yaaramitha Vanamaali” which is very soulful taking the raaga to the heights of ecstasy. Another Lalgudi composition a Thirupugazh “Aiynkarane Otttamugham..” which is a fast number demonstrates that this raaga can also accomodate speed/fast tempo.
Favourite Filmy Raaga
Hamirkalyani has been a favourite raaga of A.R. Rehaman. ARR is very fond of this raga and had made songs on and off with this raaga. The song “Nilaa Kayirathu” from the film Indira is very melodious. I think AR Rahman is very fond of this raaga when he again composed the song “Swaasame..Swaasame in the film Thenali. Illayaraja’s Hamirkalyani, in ‘veenai aendhum vaaniyae’ (vietnam colony) is also an excellent demonstration of this particluar raaga. This raaga also emotes the complaining tone. An illustrious film song “Ennuyir Thozhi Keloru Seithi” the one based on the film Karna, beautifully brings out the complain a wife tells to her friend about her husband not coming to see her. The Dhrupad style (Hindustani) of singing by the veteran singer P. Susheela is clearly brought out in this particular song.
I conclude this review by quoting these two lines beautifully composed by Vasanth Desai in the film Guddi sung by Vani Jayaram in Raaga Hameerkalyani.
Hum Ko Man ki Shakthi Dena Man Vijay Kare
Doosrom Ki jai se Pahle Khud Ko Jai Kare
The above lines mean that we can truly win only when we win over ourselves/our mind before winning over the enemy or anyone else in this world. So conquer the SELF and embrace the whole world so that you are always the winner.This particular Hindusthani coloured raaga, one with great therapeutic value relaxes tension with its calming effect and brings down BP to normal 120/80. In fact, the important qualifications of an excellent raaga like, it can bring out all gamakas, vocal negotiations, briga (singing in a lightning speed), which can accomodate slow and fast numbers etc makes Hameerkalyani a melody queen and a top class raaga.
#3-Sindhubhairavi – A blend of Folk and Classical Touch
Sindhu Bhairavi is said to have it’s orgin from Hindustani, and is a morning Raga according to the North Indian Musical tradition . The raaga Sindhubhairavi evokes very happy and pleasant emotions. This raga is one of its kind were all the 16 swaras in Carnatic system are used. It is a colourful raga and soothes the nervous system. Sindhubhairavi is just like a magnet attracting people. One can experience peace and tranquility while playing or listening to the raga. It blends folk and classical music that could be appreciated even by a common man without much of information on raaga. The Raagam suits folk themes better than other Carnatic Raagas giving a simple non-complicated straight forward expression to folk emotions like pathos and folk life style.There are also very few krities in the parent Naatakapriya. It admits of many semi-classical tunes and is often used towards the end of a Carnatic concert.
Sindhubhairavi is the hot favourite of musicians. Sindhubhairavi is a beautiful ragam that gives a total freedom of expression to the artist. It is as if a canvas, a whole lot of colours and a set of brushes are given to an artist to express himself/herself in a free style presentation. Sindhubhairavi is a modern raga. The beauty and shades of this raga has stolen the minds and hearts of the artists and hence most of the musicians see to it that they render a bhajan or a virutham or sloka or any small composition in this particular ragam towards the end of a concert.
Sindhubhairavi takes almost all the notes in the carnatic music. The notes convey sometimes intense grief or a sudden gush of joy. It is said that Tansen popularised this raga to a great extent. Many facets of this raga is borrowed from the North Indian Music.
According to our Carnatic counterpart SindhuBhairavi is a Janya Raaga of Raaga Natakapriya with the following notations.
Aarohanam : S R2 G2 M1 G2 P D1 N2 S
Avarohanam: N2 D1 P M1 G2 R1 S N2 S
The relaxing Sindhubhairavi blends a folk and classical music bhaava that could be appreciated even by a common man without much of information on raaga.It is often used towards the end of a Carnatic concert.
A collection of keerthanams in Raga Sindhubhairavi
#2- AMRITHAVARSHINI – The Raga of Rain
Literally, the meaning is ‘one who showers amrit, the elixir of immortality.’ It is a combination of two words: amrit and varshini. In Carnatic music Amruthavarshini is the raga that is supposed to get the rain. The raga Malhar is a powerful legendary in Hindustani classical music which is equivalent to Amruthavarshini. Even in Puranas, its written that in Thretayug, when Ravana set fire to Hanuman’s tail, he set fire to entire Lanka. Then Ravana played the Amruthavarshini raga on his Veena and brought forth rain.
Amritavarshini as it is sung today has the following
Aarohana and Avarohana:
S G3 M2 P N3 S
S N3 P M2 G3 S
The swaras used are Antara Gandharam, Prati Madhyamam and Kakali Nishadam. It is an Audava raga and is very melodious. It does not give scope for treatment as a major raga in a concert. One reason could be the absence of major compositions in the raga.The very popular and frequently heard ones are Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s ‘Anandamritakarshini’ in Adi Tala and Muthiaha Bhagavatar’s ‘Sudhamayee’ in Rupaka Tala.
The prayogas such as P M2 G3 M2 ¸G3, Saa Gaa; G M P N M aa, P N S’ G’aa etc enhance the beauty of the raga. The notes G and N with elongated karvais sound beautiful and help to bring out the raga bhava.This raga makes an impact if sung briefly. Any overstretched aalapana makes this raga lose its charm and effectiveness. The raga is a hot favorite for ragamalika swara singing in ragam-taanam-pallavi.
There is a popular anecdote about this raga. It is said that while visiting Ettayapuram, a small village in Tamil Nadu, the great composer Muthuswamy Dikshitar was anguished to see the drought-hit arid land and people facing severe water shortage. Moved by their plight, Dikshitar looked up to the sky and burst forth in praise of the goddess in this raga. He beseeched Devi to bring rain and alleviate the plight of the drought-hit people.He addressed the Devi as ‘Anandamritakarshini, Amritavarshini’. When he sang ‘Salilam Varshaya Varshaya’, meaning ‘let the rain pour’, it is said the sky opened up. There was such a torrential rain that the place got flooded. He had then to plead ‘Sthambhaya Sthambhaya’, meaning ‘stop, stop’.This incident has given rise to the practice of musicians gathering together to sing this composition when there rains fail.
You can download Amrithavarshini here
#1 – AnandaBhairavi – The Divine Raaga
Ananda bhaivari is an ancient raga, which has its origins in the folk traditions of South India. It is a janya of the 20th melakarta natabhaivari. It is classified as a Shadava sampurna vakra, which means it has six notes (shadava) in the ascent and all seven (Sampurna) in descent and the notes are not in order but take a twisted route (vakra).
The raga uses anya swaram (external note) in comparison with its parent rāgam. The anya swaram is the usage of chathusruthi dhaivatham (D2) in some phrases of the rāgam .It is vakra rāgam since its arohana is not in proper sequence. Its arohana is “sa ga ri ga ma pa da pa sa” (“ga” comes before “ri” and after “pa” comes after “da”). These two technicalities makes this rāgam vakram but only in arohana. In avarohana it is
normal, that is “sa ni da pa ma ga ri sa”.Anandabhairavi ragam is also a bhashanga rāgam, since it uses more than one anya swaram. Anya swaram of a rāgam is the swaram which does not belong to the arohana or avarohana of its melakarta (Tamil: thāi – parent) rāgam but it is sung in prayogams (phrases used in raga alapana, kalpanaswarams).
Arohana : s G2 R2 G2 M1 P D2 P S
AvarOhana: S N2 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S
(sAdharaNa Gaandgaram, Chatusruti R Shuddha Madhyamam P Chatusruti D – Avarohanam : Kaisiki Nishadam)
Jiva Swaras : M and g are considered the life line notes of the raga.
Rasa: Karuna, Sringara, Bhakthi,Vinayam,Anandam
Time: All time
Prayogas and Sancharas : GMP, P,,NPM MP,MGRG_R, GMPMGRRGS_, SRN_, SP_M, MGPMGRG_ PDPMPSN_ NSGRS_ PNSR NDP_
MPR_S SNDP MP_NPM GRnnSSGG MP_MGR_ SRPMGRS_SGRGM, SGM, SGGM, SMGRS etc., are very pleasing svara patterns
as also double notes such as GG and MM. These have been extensively used by Syama Sastri. The modern Ananda Bhairavi as it is rendered now can be said to be the contribution of Syama Sastri, one of the Trinity.
Anandabhairavi and Syama Sasthri
Syama Sastri’s handling of Anandabhairavi merits special mention. In all there are eight compositions or so of Syama Sastry in this raga. Four of his compositions are famous. Two of them, marivere gati and O jagadamba have glittering cittasvara-sahityas. His pahi shri girirajasute is considered a perfect picture of this raga. His only varnam samini rammanave is in this raga. His himAcala tanaya, which was originally set to Sastry’s characteristic chaputala, is nowadays rendered in Adi tala.Syama Satri is always associated with Anadabhairavi (along with Misra Chapu Talam). It was he who shaped this Raga to perfection in the current form. My humble pranams at his lotus feet.
Undoubtedly, for me it is O Jagadamba the grand Keethanam by Syama Sastri and Kamalamba Navavaranam by Muthuswami Deekshithar. The Vinnappam/Request” emoted in the Keethana O Jagadamba by Sri. Syama Sastri requesting Mother Goddess is very soulful.The very first Kamalamba Navavarana Krithi is set to Raga AnandaBhairavi.Other famous compositions of his are Tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam, manasa guruguha ( the second of the Guru Guha Vibhakti compositions), dandayudhapanim and Anandeshvarena. Of these tyagarja yoga vaibhavam is
considered to be the crown jewel in this raga, it employs rare instances of prosody in the lyrics.
Dandayudhapanim is on the deity at Palani and is a grand and moving piece.There are only three compositions of Tyagaraja in this raga, all often minor pieces. His kshirasagara vihara is quite popular. There is an interesting story behind Anandeshvarena. Once, D.k.Pattammal went to Kanchipuram, had darshan of the Kanchi Paramacharya and sang this song before him. The Paramacharya after expressing appreciation, asked her to desist from singing the song in concerts. The song according to him ought to be sung only for pujas, in the presence of sanyasis and in temples.Almost all the major composers have composed in Anandabhairavi. Veena Kuppayyar’s aTa tALa varnam sami ni pai is a veritable lesson in this raga. The pada varnam in Tamizh of Ponniah of the Tanjore Quartette, sakhiye inda velayil is popular on the dance stage. Anandabhairavi is popular on the dance stage also. Kuchipudi dance makes extensive use of this raga.
The closeness of the raga to Ritigaula has always posed a challenge to musicians while elaborating on it.Dwelling on the nishadam for prolonged periods of the time is not allowed in Anandabhairavi for that is a feature of Ritigaula. It is also necessary that the phrase SPS be brought in at intervals to be maintain its identity.
Among artistes renditions, T.Brinda and T Mukta’s renditions of marivere gati and Tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam have been exquisite. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer also excelled in his renditions of marivera gati, ni mati callaga, Tyagraja yoga vaibhavam and pahi tarakshu pura. D.K.Pattammal has often taken up Tyagaraja Yoga vaibhavam for rendition in her concerts. Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar and Madurai Mani Iyer were very well
known for their renditions of manasa guruguha and O jagadamba. Continuing the tradition, K V Narayanaswamy and T V Sankaranarayanan too have often rendered manasa guruguha most evocatively. Balamuralikrishna is known for his moving rendition of kshira sagara vihara and paluke bangaramayana. My favourite is Sri. M D Ramanathan’s rendering of O jagadamba in his own chaouka style, moving his audiences. G N Balasubramaniam used to render davalarupa and samagana priye with his unique style. Instrumentalists put it to good use in their performances.
Ananda Bhairavi is very popular as a raga to be included in ragamalikas and in vituttams and shloka renditions. Karpagavalli nin, a four raga suite rendered by T M Soundararajan begins with Anandabhairavi. It is also very popular as a ragamalika svara choice in pallavi singing. An oldest Ragam, suitable to sing at all times; especia lly suited for singing Slokams, lullabies, marriage songs, folk tunes.
The Raga evokes KARUNA and SRINGARA rasams. The full effect of the Ragam is brought out when sung in VILAMBITA KALAM. Its easy identication make it very popular with the average concert goer and a serious carnatic listener alike.
sami ni pai-Veena Kuppaiyer
sakhiye inda velayil-Padavarnam-Ponnaiah (used mainly in dance)
O Jagadamba – Syamasastri
pahi shri girirajasute-Syamasastri
Kamalamba Navavaranam-Muthuswami Deekshithar
tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam-Muthuswami Deekshithar
manasa guruguha-Muthuswami Deekshithar
dandayudhapanim-Muthuswami Deekshithar(on the deity at Palani)
Anandabhairavi is used in film world. The first song that comes to my mind is pOi VA magale poi va in the film Karnan tuned by Viswanathan – Ramamurthy.. Another devotional song that comes running is Karpagavalli nin sung by T.M.Sounderrajan where the song opens up in Anandabharavi. In the film Hamse Geethe, M L Vasanthakumari and B K Sumitra have rendered a Gita Govindam piece in this raga.It is also important to note that Anandabhairvi is taken mostly in filmi numbers for duet songs depicting Sringara rasa(Romantic) and folk tunes depictng Hasya Rasa(Humour).
The analysis of Raga Devatha Anandabhairavi stresses mainly the qualities of Bhakthi, Vinayam , Sringaram and Anandam. The ancient Raga reminds us that it is time we accept these three qualities in our daily life to lead a Paramananda Life Any person in an irritated or disheartened mood who hears Anandabhairavi will definitely calm down and get relaxed.
In a nutshell what I infer is it is high time we all adapt these qualities in our lives mainly Vinayam, Shantam, Hasyam, and Bhakthi to lead a life full of Anandam.And a big No No to Anger.
Hope You Enjoy Anandabhairavi
This page has the following sub pages.
- #20-Gowrimanohari- The Raga that Steals your Heart !
- #21-Vachaspati-The Raga that Exhilarates the Mind,Body and Soul
- #22-Mayamalavagowla-The Raga with the Freshness of Morning Dew !
- #11-Purvikalyani – An Aesthetically Melodious, Pleasant and Popular Raga
- #12-Hamsanadam – Call of a Swan
- #13–Bowli-The Meditative Morning Raga
- #14-Naatai-The Raga with an Intoxicating Melody
- #15- Kalyani–The Queen of Ragas – Showering Motherly Touch
- #16-Yamuna Kalyani – An Endlesss Stream of Flowing Melody…
- #17- Hindolam – The Raga with a Hypnotizing Melody..
- #18-Sahana – The Raga that kindles Subtle Emotions portraying Unconditional Surrender
- #19-Arabhi – The Raga with a Pleasing and Haunting Melody