A derivative of Hanumathodi (Mela 8) belonging to the 2nd Music Chakra, Hindolam is a serene,gentle,soulful,enchanting and pleasing meditative raga. It is an audava – audava janya ragam. Experts in Carnatic music hold differences of opinion on the janaka ragams (ragams of origin) that should be attributed to Hindolam. It is widely accepted that 20th melakarta, Natabhairavi is the parent ragam of Hindolam. It can be derived from both Natabhairavi and Hanumathodi, by dropping the rishabham and panchamam. The Hindustani equivalent of Hindolam is “Malkauns”. Malkauns is one very beautiful raga, derived from the Bhairavi Thaat. This raga is said to have been created from Siva’s Taandav (cosmic dance), so it has a vigour and energy about it.
In Mind, Body and Soul Chakra – Chakra 2( Nestled between the Root and Sacral Chakras) depicts Joy arising out of desire fulfillment;to bring a richer feeling of everything that one does – to remember the joy of life, the joy of living, it is the bringing of Heaven onto earth. Hindolam (meaning swing) invariably evokes a romantic feeling.
This raga is associated with Vasantha Rithu(Spring) which is full of freshness and colours,which brings forth the feelings of well being and boosts your mood. The air smells clean and floral. It can be aptly said that Hindolam conveys the moods of Shringara primarily.
The raga creates increased feelings of compassion and reduced anxiety which in turn provides relief to patients of low blood pressure. It is also said that the raga helps to maintain normal digestive gas and body temperature along with restful sleep and tranquility. This raga also conveys the divine Bhakthi Bhava and is astonishingly refreshing when sung in the mornings.
The arOhanam avarOhanam of the rAgam is given below:
Arohanam : S G2 M1 D1 N2 S
Avarohanam : S N2 D1 M1 G2 S
[sadharana gandharam, shuddha madhyamam, shuddha dhaivatham and kaisiki nishadham.]
Jeeva Swaras: D, N
Amsa Swaras: M
Sruthi Bedham (Sarvaswara Murchanakara Janya ragam)-S-Hindolam, G-Sudhasaveri, M-Sudhadhanyasi,D-Mohanam,N-Madhyamavathi)
Special Considerations: Hindolam is a Tri-sthyayi Raga. It is known to be a ragam that is generally beautiful and soothing to listen to. Being symmetrical in its ascending and descending scales, it lends itself very well to improvisation and is therefore popular at concerts. It is one of the most popular ragas,extensively used in concerts.It is also considered an auspicious raga and is a favourite of Nadaswara Vidwans for playing in temples and marriages.It is a raga with great scope for extensive swaraksharas and beautiful phrasing of the raga alapana and sangatis. Compositions start on s; m; n In the hands of a skilled vocalist or instrumentalist,the raga transports one to an ethereal world of divine bliss.
M is the important note that lends charm to the music created in this raga. Slight oscillation of Ga, Dha and Ni is allowed. Some beautiful sancharas of this raga are NSG-GMDNDMGS-NSMGDMGS-NSMGMSGS-NNSND-MDNGS-NGSNSD-SGMGSND DNSNDN, MGS SSN DNS.
Saint Tyagaraja adores Lord Krishna with his composition Samajavara gamana. This composition, set to raga Hindolam and Adi tala, is regarded as one of the nine gems of the saint composer.The song is a glorious description of Lord Krishna. “He who walks like an elephant, He who protects the lotus like heart of saints,He who is beyond time, He who is famous”..the song goes on to finish with the saints humble salutations to the Lord.
The song commences with the notes M G S, the symbolic phrase of Raga. The pace of the krithi is madhyamakalam and has liberal scope for swarkalpana in the pallavi take off. It should be added that it is sheer thrill if Hindolam is followed or preceded by a prathimadhyama raga.
Again another krithi Manasuloni Marmamulu by the same composer has brought out the complete raga bhava of Hindolam in all its colours. The commencing swaras “ma ga sa ma ga ma” is amazingly balanced with the swaras in anupallavi “dha dha ni dha ni dha”. The bhava moves the listener effectively and warns ” Be aware of the (evil) desires of the mind” followed by a fervent appeal ” Grace me when I need you most”. We should devotionally remember here that the great saint poet is not only a musical thinker, but a creator of values, values that are primarily aesthetic, ultimately of deepest human importance.
In the kriti Neerajakshi Kamakshi Sri.Muthuswami Deekshithar sings. “O Lotus eyed Kamakshi, with dark tresses a kin to clouds! Queen of the Three Worlds! Protect me!” This krithi is on Goddess Kamakshi at Kanchipuram. The raga name is in the charanam line: “gaurihindoladyuti hiramanimayabharane”.Mamavathu Shree Saraswathi by Mysore Vasudevachar is another popular composition. Numerous bhajans, stotras, ragamalika kritis and viruthams are composed in this raga. When sung in slow tempo its appeal is great.
Here are a few krithis in composed in this great Raga
•Govardhana girisam smarami by Muthuswami Dikshitar
•Sama gana lole by G. N. Balasubramaniam
•Nambi kettavar evar by Papanasam Sivan
•Maa Ramanan by Papanasam Sivan
•Govardhana Giridhari, Samaja vara gamana by Thyagaraja
•Padmanabha Pahi by Swathi Thirunal
•Deva Devam Bhaje by Annamacharya
•Kondalalo Nelakonna by Annamacharya
•Maa Mavathu Shree by Mysore Vasudevachar
•Thillana (Dhim na naa tha dhirana) by Dr. Balamurali Krishna.
Interchanging of the notes in Hindolam can result in other allied ragas.
Replacing sadharana ghandharam with Anthara Gandharam gives us the raga,”Sallabham” or “Surya”.
Replacing suddha dhaivatham with chatusruthi dhaivatham) gives us “Varamu” or “Suddha Hindolam”.
Replacing Kaishiki Nishadam with Kakali Nishadam gives the raga Chandrakouns.
Favourite Filmy Raga
‘Naan thedum sevanthi poo’ is a wonderful composition by Ilaiyaraaja from the film Dharma Pathini.Other Hindolam tunes by Ilaiyaraaja include the stunningly beautiful ‘Pothi Vacha Malligai Mottu’ (Mann Vaasanai) and ‘Ohm Namasivaya’ (Salangai Oli). The famous devotional song “Karpanai Endralum” by T.M Sounderrajan is composed in this enchanting raga. Innisai Alavediye composed by AR Rahman is another peppy number bring out the different shades of this beautiful raga. Then another beautiful compostion by the maestro Illayaraja poo_kumkumapoo from the film Rasathanthram takes us to a different world of melody. Yet another song pulare poonkodiyil – rendered by the great singer yesudas gives a blend of folksy and melamcholic touch to the song.
Featured Composition with Meaning
sAmaja vara gamana
In the kRti ‘ sAmaja vara gamana’ – rAga hindOLaM, SrI tyAgarAja sings adores Lord kRshNa.
sAmaja vara gamana sAdhu hRt-
sAras(A)bja pAla kAl(A)tIta vikhyAta
sAma nigamaja sudhA maya gAna vicakshaNa
guNa SIla day(A)lavAla mAM pAlaya (sAmaja)
vEda SirO mAtRja sapta svara
nAd(A)cala3 dIpa svIkRta
yAdava kula muraLI vAdana
vinOda 4mOhana kara tyAgarAja vandanIya (sAmaja)
O Lord whose stately gait is like that of an elephant! O Protector of the Lotus of heart of pious people! (Or O Sun that blossoms the Lotus in the lake called heart of pious people)! O Lord who is beyond Time! O Celebrated One!
O Lord who is adept in the nectarine music – born of sAma vEda! O Lord who is virtuous by nature! O Ocean of mercy!
O Splendrous lamp on the mountain called the nAda consisting of the seven svaras born of nAdOMkAra! O Lord who incarnated in the race of yadu! O Player of flute! O sportive enchanter! O Lord worshipped by this tyAgarAja! Please protect me.
I conclude this review with the words that Hindolam is regarded as one of the most enchanting,ingenius, pleasant and soft raga. The above mentioned major compositions are exemplory art work of the great composers. These compostions are unique not only because of its Sahitya and Satvika Bhava, but also they lead the singer/listener to extreme bliss and divinity. Ragas are eloquent vehicles of emotions with limitless powers of expression.A genius bends them to his purpose and makes them carry his message.
Let us sink into an ocean of bliss, and float in the swinging melody of this great raga in all it’s glory and charm. 🙂
Open the treaure chest of Hindolam
Hindolam-Vocal – 6 Volumes