Raga Yamankalyan/Yamunakalyani is the janya of 65th Mela MechaKalyani.This raga is often taught to beginners in Hindustani music. Subbarama Dikshitar classifies the raga as bhashanga and desiya.The raga has all swaras of Kalyani except for the Suddha Madhyamam. It is this note which gives the raga its distinctive quality of peace, and tranquility.
It is an evening raga that is performed extensively by both vocalists and instrumentalists. The raga is popular for its melodic appeal and high emotional content and is very romantic in nature. It is a mammoth raga that continues to be explored throughout a musical career. This raga brings out various rasas or emotions namely bhakti, gambhira, shringara, serene/peaceful/soothing. This raga is generally opted by romantic poets for bringing out the feel of longing, separation etc. I would like to compare this raga to a very beautiful butterfly with many exquisite shades of melodious colours. It is said and experienced that this raga gives freshness and dynamism and relief for Arthritis,Rheumatic disorder,Muscular & Joint Pain. Raga Yaman is considered to have a positive effect on the baby in the mothers womb as it stimulates all the energy centers of the human body resulting in proper growth of the child in the womb.
This raga is also said to be associated with Hemantha Rithu (season). This season is characterised as pre-winter and not very cold.The sun during this period is dull and obscured by mist and fog.The wind blows gently,the rivers have little water and minimum flow. Bhartru Hari describes Hemantha Rithu in his Sringara Satakam. Raga best suited for this season is YamanKalyani.
It is a Sampoorna bhaashaanga raagam with the following Arohanam and Avarohanam. The aarohanam-avarohanam illustration uses madhyama sruthi with ma1 of the sruthi as sa.
Aarohanam: sa ri2 ga2 pa ma2 ga2 pa da2 ni2 da2 (Sa)
Avarohanam: (Sa) ni2 da2 pa ma2 ga2 ma1* ri2 sa
A nominal arohana/avarohana, according to Sundaram Iyer is given as
s r g m p d n s” – s”n d p m g M r s
(Shadjam, Chathusruthi Rishabham, Antharagandharam, Tivra Madhyamam, Panchamam,Chathusruthi Dhaivatham,Kakali Nishadam and Suddha Madhyamam)
Jiva Swara/Raga Chaaya Swaras – R G M D and N
Graha Swaras – S G P N
Anya swaram used – Suddha Madhyamam-m1 – It is generally understood that shuddha madhyam should be used sparingly, as an occasional contrast to be given amongst the otherwise tivra-madhyam dominant phrases. Generally the descent from G2 to R2 is by touching Suddha Madhyamam quickly. A soft and judicious use of Suddha Madhyamam brings moments of great delight. The shuddha madhyam does not have an independent existence. It is either between the gandharams – G, M G . Occasionally, and especially in the lighter genres, the chromatic slide m(suddha) M(tivra) is heard one after the other.
Prayogas/Sancharas: The signature phrases of raga Yamankalyan are NDNR -NRNG – DNRG. PMRGR – GMR SNRS – are ranjaka prayogas. The anya swaram Suddha Madhyamam is present in the phrases GMG – GMR. These phrases creates a pleasant and serene mood.
No other raga has cut so wide a swathe across all genres of music. Yamankalyan has come to be acknowledged as the touchstone among classical musicians in calibrating a peer’s quality and depth, and its mastery is deemed a necessity for any serious student. Be it light or classical, Raga Yamankalyan is truly a listening pleasure. Its possibilities are limitless and this one Raga is a textbook in itself. The true test of a musician’s or instrumentalist’s capability is judged by how well he plays this raga.
The majestic ‘Jamboopathe’ set to Rupakam talam, a masterpiece by Dikshitar, is based in Yaman Kalyan. The kriti is one of his Pancha linga group kritis extolling the manifestations of Shiva among the five elements of nature (Panchabhuta); and, is in celebration of the water-element (Appu), singing in praise the glory of Jambukeswara the deity in the temple at Tiruvanaikaval near Trichy in Tamil Nadu. This composition ‘Jamboopathe’ is elaborate and could be a major piece in a concert. It has phrases reaching tharasthaayi gaandhaaram. Some famous compostions in Yamuna Kalyani is Krishna Nee Begane by Vyasaraaya, Bhavayami Gopalam by Annamacharya, Pibare Ramarasam by Sashiva Brahmendra, O Rama Nee Nama by Bhadrachala Ramadas and Haridasulu by Tyagaraja.
Raga Yaman has been adapted to many musical styles. Whether it is bhajan,light, or film music, the raga has found a place in all genres. It is a raga that gives the musician infinite opportunities to improvise and explore. The widely sung Tulsidas bhajan, “Sri Ramachandra Kripalu Bhajaman” is my favourite. The aura and the magic that this raga holds will always remain a mystery even to the greatest of musician, or scholar. It is said that the relationship between Radha and Krishna has to be interpreted as eternal love where Radha’s love for Krishna symbolizes the soul’s(jeevaathma) intense longing and willingness for the ultimate unification with Krishna(Paramaathma). The raagam is considered to be a light raagam and used in raagamaalikaas and at the end of the concert.
A very close listening/singing of this raga with Bhakthi (Devotion) and Bhava (Emotion)- sans all worldly distractions- will take to you to the heights of ecstasy and delight where you feel little Krishna with His tresses adorned with peacock feathers, His immaculate dressing and exquisite beauty with a delicate smile in his charming lips, holding the divine instrument bhasuri flashes your mind. We forget the world humming Krishnaa Nee Begane Baro.
Krishna Nee Begane Baro – Other Information – Courtesy : S. Jayaram Uparna.
There is a more profound philosophical meaning to this song. The anklets are worn in India with a belief that the bells attached to them would create a sound which beckon good fortune and drive away demons. When the Saint describes Krishna, he allocates a first place to this ornament, thus requesting Krishna to ward off all the demons of ignorance in our heart and bestow all his divine mercy on us.
The next in line is the armlet. The armlet (popularly called as Baajuband in the northern parts of India), is an ornament in the upper portion of the arm. The Armlet is an ornament that restricts the free movement of the hand, it has a tight grasp and is a constant reminder of its presence. Ideologically, this ornament is considered to be a symbol of restraint and control, of what is called as ‘SaMyama’. Hence, the Saint calls out to the Lord to grant the benign qualities of restraint and control, to his devotees. Not only does the Saint ask Krishna to come, but He also implores the Lord to come dancing ….. a symbol of pure, unadulterated joy.
WaistBands are worn mostly by the affluent, aristocratic families in India, and the mention of these here has profound significance. The Waistbands worn on children, apart from their other mundane practical purposes, is supposed to disenchant and protect the young one. Since Krishna’s beauty is above all, it is as if the Saint is imploring the Lord to not forget towear the waistband, so that the evil eye cast by his devotees on him (when they see His lotus like face), does not affect him…!
The Vyjayanthi Mala, a divine necklace born during the churning of the KsheeraSagara (Milk Ocean), is a sacred and potent ornament. It is said to bestow unrestricted victory to anyone who wears it (hence the name Vaijayanti — Vijayee Kurvanti iti Vaijayanti ). The Saint describes the Lord wearing this ornament, so that the Love for the Lord (Bhakti) in the devotees heart always emerges victorious over the other emotions that ravage the human heart.
Kaashi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, and for the Hindus, it is the sacred city of death. Every devout Hindu aspires to breath his last in this city for it is believed that one who does so attains salvation without doubt. Kashi, also called as Benares, is very famous for the rich golden silk cloth that is made there. The Saint remembers the City through its famous silk, imploring the Lord to bestow him with the ultimate goal of any living entity .. the remembrance of Krishna while passing away.
The Flute is a unique musical instrument. Utterly mellifluous and demystifyingly simplistic and practical, the flute is Krishna’s favorite instrument. The flute not only soothes the humans listening to it, but even the beasts have been known to slow down, calm and be subdued at the sound of the Flute. Metaphorically speaking, Krishna’s flute is remembered here to defeat the beasts in us and to congregate the saintly ( the cow has always been associated with a saintly nature, and Krishna’s flute always calls the cows together).
After all the ornaments and instruments, the Saint directs his attention to the most revered of all beautifying agents – Sandal Paste. The Sandal tree is a unique tree. It gives itself up, and though it undergoes pain and torture when it is rubbed together vigorously, it endures it all and perfumes even the hand that caused it the suffering. The Sandal has always been a symbol of sacrifice and total submission. Devotees of the highest grade have been compared to the Sandalwood. Hence, by mentioning the aromatic Sandal paste here, the Saint cautions one towards the ideal of complete submission to and absolute dependency on, Krishna.
Lest the devotee take Krishna’s love in jest, the Saint reminds him of the famous episode from Krishna’s childhood when he shows the entire universe in his lotus like mouth to his startled mother. By this Krishna shows to the devotee that he is the be all and end all of everything. He is the originator, benefactor and ultimate destroyer of everything. The Devotee is cautioned that he should never take Bhakti lightly, for that may sound the death knell of his existence…and the pure devotee is spirited away into remembrance of the splendid world of Krishna Leela. A befitting end to a glorious song.
Shri KrishNArpaNam astu
As said in my previous posts, Shanmukhapriya is associated with Lord Subramanya, Hamsadwani with Lord Ganesha and now Yamankalyan with Lord Krishna.
Not forgetting to mention Sri.Hariprasad Chaurasia’s rendering of this particular raga which is examplory and divine. In the ambience of complete silence, his music reaches straight into your heart and instantly gives a sense of immense well being,satisfaction and peace.The effect is magical and therapeutic. Every note that he plays feels like droplets of honey dripping with melody and sweetness.
Major Krithis/Popular Krithis
Some famous compostions in Yamuna Kalyani
Nandagopala – Dikshitar
Krishna Nee Begane -Vyasaraaya
Bhavayami Gopalam – Annamacharya,
Pibare Ramarasam – Sadashiva Brahmendra,
O Rama Nee Nama – Bharachala Ramadas
Haridasulu – Tyagaraja.
Aaj Aye Syaam Monau- Swathi Thirunal
Jaya Jagadeesa-Swathi Thirunal
Radha Sametha Krishna – Papanasam Sivan
Vandeham Saradaam-Dayanandasaraswathi Bhajan
Sundarathe Dhyan – Tukaram
Jaya Jagadeesa-Swathi Thirunal
Nagavulu – Annamacharya
Sreerama Chandra – Thulasi Das
Favourite Filmy Raga
Old gems first – M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar’s – Thiruneelakantar Deenakarunakaranae ..is based on this raga. The other song of immortal fame in the film KANAVANE KANKANDA DEIVAM is anbin malarndha nalrojA. Ilayaraja’s yamunai AtrilE (daLapati) is based on this raga. The modern music directors often make it difficult to discriminate the raga for film songs and this is particularly true for close ragams like Kalyani and Yaman Kalyani. The Colonial Cousins had presented their fusion piece based on Krishna Nee Begane composed in this raga is worth listening. The song “Thamizha Thamizha” from the movie Roja sung by Hariharan is one of those songs where shades of Kalyani and Yaman Kalyani make it hard to discriminate . The song “Varaaga Nadhi” from the movie Sangamam sung by Shankar Mahadevan is set to Yaman Kalyani. One of the most popular hits Breathless – sung by Sankar Mahadevan is out and out Yamankalyan. This is one song which I find that is full of energy and never gets bored by repeatedly listening. Another yesteryear popular hit is Jab Deep Jale Ana..sung by Yesudas.
Featured Composition with Meaning
krishnaa nee bEganE baarO
raagam: yamunaa kalyaaNi
taaLam: Misra Chappu
krishna nee bEganE baarO
Meaning: Krishna ! Come hither soon !
bEganE baarO mukavannu tOrO
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)
Meaning: Come hither soon! Show (me) your face!
kaalaalandhigE gejje niladhabaavuli
nilavarNane naaTya maaduta baarO
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)
Meaning: Beautiful anklets adorn your feet! Sapphire bracelets (on your arms)! (Oh!)Blue coloured one.. (Please) come hither dancing !
Odiyalli odigejje beraLalli ongura
koraLalli haakita vajayantimaalE
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)
Meaning: “(Oh!)Blue coloured one.. (Please) come hither dancing !
“The (divine)Vaijayanthi necklace garlands your neck !
kaasi peeTambara kaiyalli koLalu
pushita shreegandha mayallOLagamma!
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)
Meaning: (Sacred)Saffron cloth from Kashi (covers you) ! (a) flute in your hand(s)!
Oh dear! Your body is anointed with sandal paste !
taayige baayalli jagavannu torita
jagadhOdhaaraka namma uDupi shree krishna
(krishna nee bEganE baarO)
Meaning: The one who showed his mother the universe in his mouth
(that)Benefactor of the world (Is) our Udupi Shri Krishna !
Courtesy: Jayaram Suryanarayana.
Yamankalyan/Yamunakalyani/Yaman (whatever be the name it is Kalyani with melodious shades of Suddhamadhyamam here and there with various combination of emotions/rasas.
A bunch of Yamankalyani flowers with a multitude of colours,shades and emotions to all the visitors of my garden of ragas. Welcome to the garden of fragrance filled with exquisite flowers of Yamunakalyani. Take a deep breath and enjoy the fragrance of this great raga!
Yamunakalyani- Vocal (Carnatic) – 8 Volumes
Yamunakalyani-Instrumental – 3 Volumes