#6-Ritigowla – The Raga 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. Therapeutically the raga helps to achieve mental peace and relaxation. 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 G2 R2 G2 M1 N2 N2 S / S G2 R2 G2 M1 N2 D2 M1 N2 N2 S

Avarohanam: S N2 D2 M1 P M1 G2 R2 S / S N2 D2 M1 G2 M1 P M1 G2 R2 S

(Shadjam, Chathusruthi Rishabham, Sadharana Gandharam, Suddha Madhyamam, Panchamam, Chathusruthi Dhaivatham, Kaisiki Nishadam)

Jeeva Swaras: G,M,N (N2 – 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.

Compositions

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
PARIPALAYAMAM-SWATHI THIRUNAL

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.

FEATURED COMPOSITION

 Janani Ninnuvina
Ragam-Reethagowlai
Talam: Misra Chapu
Composer: Subbaraya Shastry
 

Pallavi:
Janani Ninnuvinaa Amba
Janani Ninnuvinaa Triloka
Janani Ninnuvinaa Dik Kevarammaa Jagamulona Gaana Ambaa

Anupallavi:
Manasija Maanasa Sammodhini Vinave Naa Manavini Vini Nannu Brovumu

Swara

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 ||

Swara Sahityam

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

Charanam

Varadaayaki Gaadaa Okkani Brova Karudaa Daya Raadaa
Neranammina Naa To Vaadaa Sarasija Bhava Hariharanuta Paada

Meaning: (From TK Govinda Rao’s Book)

Pallavi
Who else is there to take care for me on this earth ?

Anupallavi
You who fascinated  the heart of Cupid  please pay heed to my  entreaties  and protect

Swara Sahitya
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!

Charanam
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 .

Click Here to Download Ritigowla🙂

#9-Ubhaya Vakra Raga Reethigowla- Analysis of Janani Ninuvinaa

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