Kalyani,the most graceful raga-the name of the supreme goddess, is the 65th Melakartha raga which belongs to the eleventh Chakra, named Rudra Chakra – marks 11 Devas headed by Lord Siva . It is the queen of the raga family, and it’s called “Kalyani”. In the Hindustani system, this raga is known by the name “Yaman”.
In Mind, Body and Soul Chakra – Chakra 11 is the Face Chakra – a very special chakra that houses our ability to become what we wish to become. We have the ability to reshape our bodies, reshape the energies that each of us takes in.
As per Katapayadi Scheme the raga is named as “Mecha Kalyani . The raga has another name “Santha Kalyani“ which can be seen as raga mudra in Dikshithar Krithis. Raga Kalyani is an all -time raga but sounds very bright and pleasant in the eveningOn account of the presence of tivra swaras in this raga, it is very useful for being sung at the commencement of concerts. The requisite musical atmosphere is soon created.”
Kalyani meaning “auspicious ” is a major versatile and one of the “grand” ragas. The famous five grand ragas of our music are Sankarabharanam, Thodi, Kalyani, Kamboji and Bhairavi. This raga which renders a very pleasing effect is suitable for singing at all times and encapsulates emotions or rasas namely,Bhakthi,and Shringara,and Vatsalya. This raga is handled as amain raga in concert with elaborate Alapana, and Manodharma Swaras.
It is believed that Kalyani dispels the darkness of fear. It gives motherly comfort and increases confidence. Kalyani means Mangalam. Recited with faith and devotion, the raga is believed to clinch marriage alliances. There are many authentic reports about the raga’s power to destroy fear which takes many forms-fear of poverty, of power, of love, of ill health, of death and so on. The great Tamil poet, Muthuthandavar sang “Chidambaram Ena En Manam Maghzinthida Japam Cheyya, Kodiya Janana Maranam Ozhinthidum” in Kalyani.
Aarohanam: S R2 G2 M2 P D2 N3 S
Avarohanam: S N3 D2 P M2 G2 R2 S
(Shadja, Chatusruti Rishabha, Antara Gandhara, Prati Madhyama, Panchamam, Chatusruti Dhaivata and Kakali Nishada )
Raga chhaaya swaras: all
Amsa swaras: ga, pa
Graha swaras: sa, ri, ga, pa, da, ni
Jiva swaras: ri, ga (according to Subbarama Dikshitar), but also ni.
Nyasa swaras: ri, ga, da, ni
Tivra swaras: all
Murchanakaraka: this is a murchanakaraka ragam. The swaras ri, ga, pa, da, and ni when set as Sa become the following ragas by graha bedam:
ri – harikambhoji
ga – natabhairavi
pa – shankarabharanam
da – kharaharapriya
ni – todi
Singing the raga, by omitting the shadja and/or panchama, gives Kalyani a special flavour. This can be heard in almost every recording featured. Janta (pair) swara combinations like r r g g m m d d n n and datu swara prayogas (phrases wherein intermediate notes are skipped deliberately) like n g” r” n d n r” n d m and g n d m g r are prominent
The signature phrases of Kalyani include gmP – ddpmGr – nRgmpmgR – pmGrs – snsrgrsnd – dnsrGr – gmpdm, – dpmgR – gND – gDpmgr – gmpdNd – pdNs’ – ns’R’ – g’r’G’r’s’nd – dg’r’G’r’s’nd – mdnr’ndpmgr – nrgMGr – pmGrs.
GmpdnS’ – s’ndPmgr – gmpdnDPm – pdnS’ – s’nD – dndg’r’s’nD – dns’r’s’ndPmgr – gmgnDpm – ddpmGr – nrgmPm gg rr S – ndrS.
Kalyani is a major raga and is capable of being used in practically any kind of composition from common gitam taught to beginners of Carnatic music to complicated kritis, ragam-tanam-pallavis, padams and javalis etc.
Innumerable Janya Ragas
A mELa rAgam with immense scope for detailed AlApana, kalyANI is a parent scale for a huge number of janya rAgams. There are more than 120 Janya Ragams for Kalyani, but the most popular ones are: Saranga, Mohana Kalyani,Yamuna Kalyani, Hamir Kalyani, Vandanadharini,Sunadavinodini, SarangaTarangini, Amrta Behag,hamsavinOdinI, sudhA kalyANI and Bhoop Kalyani. D. Pattammal and M. Dandapani mention 122 Janya Ragams of Kalyani in their book Ragapravaham.
Mohana Kalyani is a pleasing ragam obtained by fusing together Mohanam and Kalyani. There is also a Hamsa Kalyani, a creation of Ashok Madhav(Pittsburgh), which is obtained by the fusion of Hamsadhwani and Kalyani.
Differences between Kalyani and Sankarabharanam.
Technically, the fundamental difference between Kalyani and Sankarabharanam is the Madhyamam. Kalyani has Prathi Madhyam or Teevra Madhyamam, whereas Sankarabahranam has Suddha Madhyamam. Both are melakartha ragas and Sankarabharanam(29th mela) is the Suddha madhyama counterpart of Kalyani, all other swaras remaining the same. Sankarabharanam has the jeeva swara as Gandharam which is as still as a rock. There is absolutely no oscillation for Gandharam in Sankarabharanam, where as Kalyani is a sarva swara Gamaka Raga (Courtesy : South Indian Music-P.Sambamoorthy) where all notes are oscillated. According to Subbarama Deekshithar G and N are the Jeeva Swaras of Kalyani with strong oscillation. These two form a set of complementary mELams are like Shakti and Shiva. If sha”nkarAbharaNam is shiva’s favourite, then, Goddess is very much pleased with kalyANi, which also bears her name!
In a Lec-Dem, Prince Ramavarma quotes that ” in most ragas where there is gamakam, the rule goes that when one note is steady, the next note will oscillate. Here Kalyani and Thodi are exceptions to this rule. One of the classical examples of this gamaka pradhaana raga, is the ata thala varnam by Pallavi Gopala Iyer where all notes are oscillated.
Among the prati madhyama rAgAs, it is kalyANi alone that is able to stand equal to the mighty shuddha madhyama rAgas such as Todi, Kamboji, Bhairavi and Shankarabharanam in stature. The variety, the depth and the myriad feelings it is capable of portraying has made the raga a perennial favourite of musicians for centuries.
The number of songs in Carnatic music based on Kalyani are many. The Trinity gave some priceless compositions in Kalyani. Tyagaraja’s famous krithi: Nidhi Chala Sukhama, stand out as a masterpiece. It is believed that the Tanjavur ruler, hearing the fame of Tyagaraja, invited him to his court, and wanted him to sing in his praise. Tyagaraja who was against “nara stuthi’(praising human), poured out this historic song to his representatives. The song asserts that “Ramuni Sannidhi Seva”to any real “nidhi”.
So are the other popular ones such as ‘Ae Thavunara’, ‘Sundari Nee Divya Rupamu’, ‘Shive Pahimam’, ‘Vasudevayani’ and many many more. The krithi ‘Sundari Nee Divya Rupamu’starts at Tara Sthayi Shadjam and the force is instantly built. The krithi moves neither fast nor slow. The circumstances for choosing Tripurasundari as the address is little intriguing. The significance ofthe prayer of the diety on Friday is noteworthy. Thyagaraja is delighted at the spectacle of the divine form of the Goddess. “Having heard of your divine beauty, the wise and the celestials swarm for your darshan.I had the sanction and the delight of your darshan. I fail to understand my own merit in this context. When celestial damsels come in row to pray and not rewarded, I had the unique luck of obtaining your darshan”.
Dikshitar also gave some gems in Kalyani including kamalAmbA navAvaraNam, and the abhayAmbA, madhurAmbA vibhakti series and others. The Kamalambal navavarnam acts as a shield, protecting one from the ill effects of planetary movement.He incorporates the rAga mudra “kalyANI” explicitly in six of them, and in “shivakAmEshvarIm cintayE” , he goes further and uses the complete mudra “shAntakalyAni”. In the navavarana krithi Kamalambam Bhajare, one realises that Dikshithar must have been in high spirits of union with God when he composed this krithi as he starts off by asking the mind to renounce worldly pleasures.
Syama Sastry’s ‘Talli Ninnu Nera’ and ‘Himadrisute’ are concert favourites. Shyama Sastri in ‘Himadrisude Pahimam’ appeals to Devi for a continuous flow of energy. When it is ‘Himadrisute’in Sanskrit, its melodic twin birAna varAlici brOvumu is in Telugu. A rare Tamil composition (parAmukham En ammA) is included in the nine compositions of shyAma shAstri in kalyANi.
Among the numerous compositions of SwAti TirunAL, we have a rAgamAlikA shlOkam “kalyANI khalu yad kathA trijagadAm” that incorporates the rAga mudra for each line, namely, kalyANi, mOhanam, sAra”nga, and sha”nkarAbharaNam. A rare Tamil krti attributed to SwAti Tirunal is “sAmI unnayE nAn” in Adi tALam. Some musicologists believe that the krti “sEvE syAnandUrEsha” is not a composition of svAti tirunAL but of Irayimman Tampi, who also used the same rAga mudra “padmanAbha”.
The two varNams, both beginning as vanajAkShi, but one in Adi tALa(Ramanathapuram Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar) and the other in Ata Tala(Pallavi Gopala Iyer)are veritable lessons in kalyANi. Almost every composer worth his/her name has composed in Kalyani and almost every form with carnatic music be it a geetham, varnam, javali, padam etc has a Kalyani in it. Kalyani will continue to inspire generations to come with its complicated kritis, ragam-tanam-pallavis and many other forms of music. It is employed in Pallavi exposition, Ragamalikas, Slokams, Viruthams, and even in Thillanas. Some of the stalwarts who have adorned Kalyani with their music are:
Ariyakkudi ramanuja Iyengar (Nidhi chala sukhama)
Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer (Sundari Nee Divya)
Madhurai Mani Iyer (Kamalambam Bhajare).
The Ragam Tanam Pallavi line “Un Darisanam Kitaikkumo Nataraja Dayanidhe” has been immortalized by musicians like GNB, Madhurai Mani Iyer.
Balamuralikrishna renders a Thillana “Tanom nom tara tillana”in Kalyani, in the style called “Thayam” singing, where even though the Raga rendered is Kalyani, it sounds like a different ragam in each line. KalyANi is Sangita Kalanidhi M. Balamuralikrishna’s favourite raga. Each and every AlApana of his in this raga would be different and kalyANis myriad facets would be laid bare for rasikas to savour. Sangita Kalanidhi D.K.Jayaraman’s soulful rendition of Papanasam Sivan’s Unnai allAL would bring tears to the eyes of listeners. Almost all musicians have chosen this rAga for its infinite potential that challenges their manOdharma to the fullest.
Lakshman Ragde estimates that at least 700 compositions (including various musical forms) are set to the raga Kalyani.
There are innumerable krithis in Kalyani. Listing only a few here…
Bhajare Re Chita (Misra Chapu) – Muthuswami Dikshitar
Kamalamba Bhajare (Adi) – Muthuswami Dikshitar
Ganapethe (Rupakam) – Muthuswami Dikshitar
Kumbhesvare na Samrakshitoham (Adi) – Mutwamiami Dikshitar
Kumbhesvaraya (Adi) – Mutwamiami Dikshitar
Brahmavidyambike (Adi) – Mutwamiami Dikshitar
Jnanaprasunambike (Rupakam) – Mutwamiami Dikshitar
Sri Mangalambika (Ata) – Muthuswami Dikshitar
Sri Madhurambika (Khanda Chapu) – Muthuswami Dikshitar
Sivakameswarim (Adi) – Muthuswami Dikshitar
Abhayamba (Adi) – Muthuswami Dikshitar
Kamakshim (Rupakam) – Muthuswami Dikshitar
Sri Minakshi Pahima m Amba (Adi) – Ambi Dikshitar
Parikkanni (Tisra Ekam) – Subbarama Dikshitar
Kantimati Karunamrta (Rupakam) – Subbarama Dikshitar
Nidhichala SUkhama (Misra Chapu)- Tyagaraja
Ethavunara (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Sive Pahi mam (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Nammi Vachina (Rupakam) – Tyagaraja
Bhajana Seyave (Rupakam) – Tyagaraja
Evarimadugu (Rupakam) – Tyagaraja
Sundari Ni Divya (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Amma Ravamma (JHampa) – Tyagaraja
Vasudevayani (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Mandagamana (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Bhajare Raghuveeram (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Enduku Nimanasu Adi) – Tyagaraja
Isa Pahim(Rupakam) – Tyagaraja
Evaradaa madugudura(Triputa) – Tyagaraja
Kamala Bhavadu (Misra Chapu) – Tyagaraja
Sandehamu Elara (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Raamaa neevadi (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Rama Rama Napai (Misra Chapu) – Tyagaraja
Sandehamu Yelkara (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Ninnanavalasi (Chapu) – Tyagaraja
Vachunu Hari (Adi) – Tyagaraja
Talli Ninnu Nera (Misra Laghu) -Syama sastri
Birana Vara (Rupakam) -Syama sastri
Himadri Suthe (Rupakam) -Syama sastri
Adri suta (Adi) – Swathi Tirunal
Paripahi mamayi Paramapurusha (Capu)- Swathi Tirunal
Pankajalocana Pahi (Misra Capu) – Swathi Tirunal
Pahimam Sri Vageswari (CHaou) – Swathi Tirunal
Yojaya Padamanilane (Triputa) – Swathi Tirunal
Sarasalochana (Rupakam) – Swathi Tirunal
Sarasa suvadana (Adi) -Swathi Tirunal
Drishto Tribhuvana (Adi) -Swathi Tirunal
Nijadasa varada (Adi) – Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer
Chidambaram En manam (Adi)- Papanasam Sivan
Chindai Thelindu (Adi)- Papanasam Sivan
Kamala Malaridal (Misra Chapu)- Papanasam Sivan
Kameswara Kripakara (Adi)- Papanasam Sivan
Padam Nambinen (Adi)- Papanasam Sivan
Rama idu Darumama (Adi) – Papanasam Sivan
Sridhara Venkatesam (Adi)- Papanasam Sivan
Sundareswarena (Adi)- Papanasam Sivan
Teril Erinen (Rupakam)- Papanasam Sivan
Unnaiyallal Vere gathi- Papanasam Sivan
Sarasakshi Ni (Ata)- Muthiah Bhagavathar
Lambodara Sodara (Ekam) – Muthiah Bhagavathar
Muruganukku Oriru (Adi) – Muthiah Bhagavathar
Pankajanabham (Adi) – Muthiah Bhagavathar
Pa-supathi Pada sevaname (Adi) – Muthiah Bhagavathar
Sampadprade (Adi) – Muthiah Bhagavathar
Siva Siva Shambho (Adi) – Muthiah Bhagavathar
Ambike Arulsey (Misra Chapu) – Nilakantan Sivan
Arumugam (Rupakam) – Nilakantan Sivan
Enranidaru (Khanda Chapu) – Periyasami Thooran
Kunrureva Vel (Jhampa) – Periyasai Thooran
Sri Venkateswara (Rupakam) – Periyasami Thooran
Favourite Filmy Raga
In the Indian context Kalyani has provided inspiration to multitudes of composers, both classical and film. Undoubtedly it can said that it was Illayaraja who exploited the versatility of Kalyani to the maximum. On one end of the spectrum we can hear the more traditional sounding Kalyanis from him like ‘Amma Enrayakkada’sung by Yesudas using the full potential of his resonant voice and “Janani Janani” from “Thai Mookambikai(soaked in Bhakthi Bhava). He also experimented ‘Kalaivaniye’ in the film “Sindhu Bhairavi” where only the arohanam of Kalyani was used and the avarohanam was avoided. A challenging piece to compose and execute, this one’s a stunner by Ilayaraja. A short and charming Kalyani was ‘Yamunai Aatrile’. One of his best recent songs was ‘Katril Varum Geetame’ based on Kalyani. He has a huge number of good songs to his credit based on Kalyani. More recently he has come up with “Kaatril Varum Geetame” from “Oru Naal Oru Kanavu”, a soft, soothing piece.
The Indian ear is very well tuned to Kalyani and it is no wonder that composers capitalize on this to give some melodious music. In the monumental piece “Mannavan Vandaanadi Thozhi” by K. V. Mahadevan from the film “Thiruvarutchelvar”, each of the seven swaras are sung with a tag-line – “sa – sadhamadhu tharava……ni – iraiarul perava”. The film song “Sinthanai Sei Maname” from the movie Ambikapathi has a striking similarity to Vasudevayani. People from film music industry say that “You can try and hide Kalyani but somehow it slowly creeps in”.
Featured Composition with Meaning
Kamalambam Bhajare Re Maanasa (Avarana 2 of Navavarna Krithis)
Ragam: Kalyani (65th melakartha)
Talam: Adi (2 kalai) Composer: Muthuswami Dikshitar
Notes from Sri Dikshita Kirtana Mala by Sri. A. Sundaram Iyer:
a. This avaranam is the Sarvashapari-pooraka charka. According to advaita, the world is all delusion. Brahman alone is real.
b. By reciting this mantra, one shall achieve
i. The entire mercy of Sri Lalita Mahatripurasundari
ii. The entire satisfaction of all desires
iii. All auspicious things
iv. Ambal’s protection.
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 Tripuresi and the Saktis are the sixteen starting with Kamakarshini.
Kamalaambaam Bhajare Re Maanasa Kalpita Maayaa Kaaryam Tyajare
Dikshithar sings ” Oh mind and heart!! worship Goddess kamalAmbA and hence please abandon the attachment to worldly desires which are illusory.
Kamalaavaani Sevita Paarshvaam Kambujaya Greevaam Nata Devaam
Kamalaapura Sadanaam Mrudu Gadanaam Kamaneeya Radanaam Kamala Vadanaam
Dikshithar describes the Goddess as “She is flanked on both sides and served by Lakshmi(“kamalA”) and Saraswathi(“vANi”). The beauty of her neck surpasses that of the conch she holds. She is worshipped by the devAs and residesin the lotus. She is characterized by tender speech has charming and beautiful teeth and has a lotus-like face”.
Sarvaashaa Paripuraka Chakra Svaamineem Parama Shiva Kaamineem
Durvaasaarcchita Gupta Yogineem Dukha Dhvamsineem Hamsineem
Nirvaana Nija Sukha Pradaayineem Nityakalyaaneem Kaatyaayaneem
Sharvaaneem Madhupa Vijaya Venim Sad Guruguha Jananeem Niranjaneem
Garvita Bhandaasura Bhanjaneem Kaamaa Karshanyaadi Ranjaneem
Nirvishesha Chaitanya Roopineem Urvee Tatvaadi Svaroopineem
Dikshithar describes kamalAmbA as the “Goddess of the sarvAshAparipUraka chakra”. This is the second chakra in the sri chakra and on a word to word translation means the fulfiller of all the wishes. He continues to describe Her as “the beloved of the lord paramashiva”. He says “She is the mystic yogini worshipped by sage durvAsA. She destroys all sufferings and miseries and one who rides the swan. She is the bestower of true bliss in the form of salvation. She is forever auspicious(“kalyAnIM”-hence the rAga mudhra). She is the daughter of sage kAthyAyanA(“kAthyAyanIM”) and the consort of Lord shiva. The beauty of her black hair surpasses the blackness of a swarm of bees . She is the mother of the great guruguha(“sadhguruguhajananIM”-also the mudhra) and one who is unblemished and unattached. She is the one who destroyed the demon BhANDa, the one who was obsessed with vain glory and arrogance. She is the one who delights kAmAkarshini and other shakthis. She is the embodiment of the unqualified , infinite and supreme consciousness and is the manifestation of the elements of the earth etc.
Get Soaked with the Motherly Love of Kalyani !
There is 1.7 GB of Songs in the following Categories. Feel free to download and get enlightened with Supreme Bliss!
Carnatic Vocal – 11 Volumes
Carnatic Instrumental – 2 Volumes
RTP in Kalyani
Raga Kalyani- Film Songs in Tamil
Raga Kalyani- Film Songs in Malayalam