#23-Sivaranjani-The Raga that gathers Strength from Sadness !

A derivative of Kharaharapriya (Mela 22) belonging to the 4th Music Chakra,  Sivaranjini is a hauntingly meloncholic raga usually sung from late evening to midnight(9 PM to 12 AM). A serene Raga like Karaharapriya could give birth to a Raga that gives a totally different feel! The raga can be derived from 3 other melakarta ragams, Gourimanohari, Hemavati or Dharmavati too. This Hindustani scale is also the currently popular scale in Carnatic music.

It is a symmetric ragam that does not contain madhyamam or nishadam. It is an audava-audava ragam . It is treated more as a semi-classical or light raga. The meaning of the raga name is interpreted as Shiva-The Lord and Ranjini (to please) -The raga sung to please the fearsome Lord Shiva. This raga has become more popular during the last twenty years.

The original Classical raga Sivaranjani is a janya of Vachaspati, the 64th melakarta, which is different from the raga Sivranjani of Hindustani Classical music. It is not a very popular raga too. This Carnatic Raga Sivaranjini has no resemblence to the Sivaranjini that is taken up for review here in this blog. Raga Shivapriya of South Indian Classical music closely resembles with Hindustani Classical raga Sivaranjani. The raga which is extremely popular with instrumentalists evokes the mood of Karuna and Sringara rasa. This meditative raga represents sorrow,sober and romance. Also invokes Bhakthi Rasa and hence numerous bhajans and devotional songs are tuned in this raga. The sadharana gandharam brings the feel of anguish or pain. The raga has numerous compositions to its credit.

Therapeutically Sivaranjini is said to be very useful for memory problems.This  powerful raga for meditation bestows benevolence of God . It is said that the raga proves good for ushana roga santi (diseases related to excess heat) and is good for general health and removes sadness. While listening to Sivaranjini the mind that is stressed with sadness, releases the pressure with tears dripping like raindrops. Here healing comes through tears relaxing the neurons. This raga is a good ante dote for depression. It makes a listener cry out ( can be vocal crying or sobbing or emotional tearing) pouring out the suppressed feelings and emotions. A good cry helps to soothe our minds, makes you feel better and reduces stress. Now doctors are discovering that tears may help to heal our bodies !

Chemicals that build up during emotional stress may be removed in our tears when we cry,” says William Frey, professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota. “Because unalleviated stress can increase our risk for heart attack and damage certain areas of our brain, the human ability to cry has survival value.”

The arohana-avarohana of Raga Sivaranjini is as follows.

Arohana : S R2 G2 P D2 S
Avarohana : S D2 P G2 R2 S

(chathusruthi rishabham, sadharana gandharam, chathusruthi dhaivatham other than shadjam and panchamam)

Rasa:Karuna, Bhakthi
Time:late evening to midnight(9 PM to 12 AM)

Graha Bedham : Sivaranjani’s notes when shifted using Graha bhedam, yields 2 other pentatonic ragams, namely, Sunadavinodini and Revati. R as shadja gives Raga  Revathi and G as shadja gives Sunadavinodini.

Signature Phrases / Prayogas

A few signature phrases of Sivaranjini  include dsrg;;-grsdp dsr;;- srgdpgr;;sds..-

Scale Similarities

Sivaranjini and  Mohanam

The note sadharana gandhara creates a less positive mood than its sibling anthara gandhara which is more bright. When anthara gandhara is used the resulting raga Mohanam is very pleasing with an upbeat mood. Scale of Mohanam is S R2 G3 P D2 S/ SD2 P G3 R2 S. The difference between the two ragas is brought out not only by the  gandharam, but also the effect of the gandharam on the rishabham. R2 and G2 are a close pair of notes. When R2 and G2 occurs one after the other, the gandhara sits just like a cap on the rishabham.  When these two notes occur one after the other, rishabham takes a flat position. When rishabham is oscillated it almost touches sadharana gandharam. It an also be seen that if rishabham is oscillated, you cannot sing sadharana gandharam in its correct position. Instrumentalists know and understand this very well.

Coming to Mohanam we know that R, G and D are all jeeva swaras. We give a gamaka to Rishabham. The Rishabham itself starts giving a presence of upbeat mood because of the presence of anthara gandharam in the oscillation.Although the Sivaranjini showcases melancholy, it is also said that its a lighter raga.

A raga is said to be light when a raga does not offer too much scope for gamakam. Singing the plain notes itself reveals the raga swaroopa. In case of shivranjani, out of the 5 notes, S and P are natural notes and cannot take any gamakams.  The note R  capped by the sadharan gandharam is again yet another flat note in the scale. The only note that can take a pretty much gamaka is Dhaivatham. Most of the renditions are based on glides and curves and not back and forth oscillations which are the characteristic features of heavy ragas.

Sivaranjini-Misra Sivaranjini

When Antara Gandhara is used in conjunction with sadharana gandhara the raga becomes Misra Sivaranjini. The use of Antara Gandharam creates a pleasant feel in between.  When Sivaranjini is heard in solitude, the eyes get welled up with tears.But in the case of Misra Sivaranjini, the mind searches for hope and despair just like playing hide and seek in the mind.

Sivaranjini and Vasanthi (Janya of Sarasangi) – The Scale of Vasanthi is S R2 G3 P D1 S / S D1 P G3 R2 S. Generally expresses a mix feeling  and proves very good for folk music.

Immortal Compositions

The ragam is considered to be an immensely popular light ragam and is widely used in ragamalikas, bhajans, tillanas, viruthams and tukkadas in the post-thani segment in a concert. The first krithi that strikes me is the Ragamalika “Kurai Ondrumillai” which begins with Sivaranjini. This krithi has become immortal due to the golden voice of MS Amma who had made it very popular. Another sterling composition is a thillana composed by the great musician Sri.Maharajapuram Santhanam which begins “Thomdrithu Dheem tha” composed in Raga Misra Sivaranjini. The golden voice and the soulful rendering of the composition by Sri Santhanam himself makes it immortal.  You could keep on listening to it again, again and again..endlessly. It has a real unique quality in itself as one can feel that the song itself is born to be rendered so soulfully by the great musician himself. We can see that the notes starts from a lower octave and immediately move to the higher octave gandharam which is the haunting note in this particular raga. It accentuates the effect of the entire song. A combination of all these factors have made it an immensely popular composition of the great musician.

Major Krithis

Sri.Lakshman Ragde has estimated 77 krithis in this raga as follows. There may be many more unknown compositions ..

Click Here to View Sivaranjini Composition List

Favourite Filmy Raga

Sivaranjani is one of the favourite ragas of every music director and Illayaraja has given numerous hits in this raga. Just listing a few songs by the maestro and  others. A.R.Rahaman’s kannum kannum -Thiruda Thiruda is another outstanding number born out of this raga.”Enna Vegam Nillu Bama” is another beautiful number from the  great master Sri. M.S. Viswanathan. It is based on Sivaranjani. For a change the song takes a totally new dimension/perspective featuring as a peppy song. Hats off to  the versatility of the  music director Sri. M.S.Viswanathan ! Just watch it here !


A few tamil songs listed here

Illayaraja Hits

adi aathaadi-Kadalora Kavidhaigal
unnai thaanE-Nallavanukku Nallavan
poovaNNam pOla nenjam-Azhiyaadha Kolangal
solai pushpangalE-Ingeyum Oru Gangai
kaathirundhu -Vaidehi Kaathirundhal
pon manE-oru kaidhiyin dairy
vaa vaa anbE-Agni nakshatiram
kuyil paatu- en raasavin manasilE

Other Music Directors

Paattu Onnu Naan-Pudhu Vasantham-S.A. Rajkumar
Avar Avar Vazhkaiyil-Pandavar Bhoomi- Bharadwaj and the  and the list grows…

A few malayalam songs too..

Abhinava thaarame
Ashtami rohini naalilen
Aval chirichal muthu kilungum -vilaikkuvangiya veena
Easwaranorikkal virunninu poyi
Ezhuswarangalum thazihukivarunnoru ganam
Hridayam devaalayam
Hridayam kondezhuthunna
Inakkam Pinakkam
Kannuthurakkaattha daivangale
Poomaanam poothulanje
Pranaya Sarovara Theeram and the list grows…

A few hindi songs too..

Jaane Kahaan Gaye Woh Din – Mera Naam Joker- Shankar-Jaikishan.
Tere Mere Beech Mein-Ek Dhuje Ke Liye-Laxmikant-Pyarelal -(All time favourite ! 🙂 )
Rim JIm Ke Geeth sawan -Anjaana
Bahaaron phool barsao-Sooraj

Featured Composition
Song: tom dhrudhru (tillaanaa)

thom drudru (thillana)
raagam: shiva ranjani

22 kharaharapriya janya
Aa: S R2 G2 P D2 S
Av: S D2 P G2 R2 S

taaLam: aadi
Composer: Maharaajapuram Santaanam


tom dhrudhru dhImta tadara dhImta tanadhiranA dhiranA dhiranA dhrudhru


tAnOm tAnOm dhirana jhaNuta dhIm dhirana jhaNuta dhIm dhirana jhaNuta dhIm dhrudhru
tanOm taddhIm tajhaNuta dhIm tajhaNuta dhImta jhaNuta jhaNuta jhaNuta tattOm
jhaNuta jhaNuta jhaNuta tattOm jhaNuta jhaNuta jhaNuta tattOm


vA vElavA vaDivElavA mayilmIdu vA kumarA vA varamaruLa vA
tAmadamEn dayai puriya taruNamidu maharAjan paNindiDum mayil vAhanA


tAm tarikiTa dhirudhIm dhIm takiTa dhiru dhIm takiTa dhIm dhIm taka dhIm tatAm tatara tAm

tarita tA tatatatam tadhimi tajhaNu tadhimi tajham tajham taNOm tatOm nAdhrudhIm tajham taNom tatOm

nAdhrutadhIm nAdhrutadhIm tajham taNom tatOm nAdhrutadhIm nAdhrutadhIm nAdhrutadhIm

Other information:
The above sholkaTTu is sung 3 times and in the third round of singing, end with “nAdhrudhru tOm dhrudhru nAdhrudhru tOm dhrudhru nAdhru tOm dhrudhru” instead of nAdhruta dhIm

Lyrics contributed by Lakshman Ragde.

Concluding this review by mentioning that Sivaranjani has one of the  greatest impact on the listener. It conveys a strong melodic and emotive appeal as well.Though it expresses Nenjai Urukkum Sokam or a strong mood of  melancholy, it is gentle, soft and meditative.

Enjoy Soothing Sivaranjini   tears-of-joy

Click Here to Download

20 thoughts on “#23-Sivaranjani-The Raga that gathers Strength from Sadness !

  1. Madam
    After a long time i was able to see your blog today only. But when we try to download, it says -account suspended- Please help

  2. Corrections to Hindi film songs.
    It is Rimjhim ke geeth saawan ‘gaaye’ & not aaye & the film is ‘Anjaana (1969) & not Jeene ki raah. ‘Bahaaron’ & not bahaon phool barsao & the film is Suraj (1966) & not Brahmachari as given here. Please make the corrections madam.

  3. Pingback: Quora

  4. A sweet-sad song in Shivaranjani composed by maestros Shankar-Jaikishan 60 years ago is from the 1956 film Patrani, starting ‘Chandrama Madbhara Kyun Jhoome Baadar Mein’, sung soulfully by Lata Mangeshkar. The background sarod accompaniment is also fantastic. The sarod player is reportedly Lallubhai Naik, assistant to S-J.
    For some reason, this song never got the praise that it deserved, though S & J’s subsequent composition ‘Jaane Kahaan Gaye Wo Din’ rendered by Mukesh in the film Mera Naam Joker (1970) became more popular .

  5. Ma’am many thanks for your beautiful explanations on many ragas. Is it possible to get the notations of this thillana by Maharajapuram Santhanam ma’am?

  6. Pingback: Raga for Bangladesh: Ali Akbar Khan | Harmonium

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s