The importance of Madhyamavathi in singing Mangalam
Every concert has come to an end and musicians invariably choose Raga Madhyamavathi for conclusion. Some other auspicious ragas like Dhanyasi, Sourashtram, Asaveri, Sreeragam, Manirangu, Yadukulakamboji, Mohanam, Ghanta,Mangalakaisiki,Vasantha, Surutti,Nadanamakriya etc also takes the place, but the hot favourite has always been Madhyamavathi.
Prof.Sambamoorthy, the eminent musicologist, says that it is a composition in the kirtana form and consists of a Pallavi and number of charanams. Ancient musicians referred to this raga as Madhyamadi.They kept “Ma” as the fundamental note of this Raga. But then Ma is definitely not the Jeeva Swara. The jeeva swaras are Rishabham and Nishadam. The word Madhyamadi literally means both Madhyama – middle and adi-Beginning – which means both beginning and middle. Quoting the words of Sri.S.Ramachandran – “No musician would like a summary end, as such to his career, hence the reason that the musician sings it with a fervour of devotion and prayer in order that his talent would grow into dimensions higher and higher.”
This auspicious raga is the Rishabha Murchana of Raga Mohanam. The raga is said to be highly concordant as it takes the first 3 notes of cycle of fifths and fourths , namely Shadja,Madhyama and Kaisiki Nishada. All the evil effects that accumulates by singing ragas outside their gaana kala are neutralised by singing Madhyamavathi towards the end of a concert, kalakshepam or bhajana as per Prof. Sambamoorthy. Interestingly Madhyamavathi’s gaana kala is noon !
The word “Mangalam”genereally denotes an auspicious end or Subham. The song is attributed to Mangala Devatha who is Goddess Mahalakshmi. Remembering the krithi Bhagyada Lakshmi Barama composed by the Father of Carnatic Music Sri. Purandaradasar in Madhyamavathi at this point. Of the various ragas that are mentioned as ragas suitable for Mangalam, the ragas that stands out in supreme position are Madhyamavathi, Surutti, Sowrashtram and Vasantha.
Muthuswami Dikshithar in his Dasavathara Ragamalika has taken these ragas from seventh to tenth charanas as Vasantha Surutti,Sowrashtram and Madhyamavathi. In another ragamalika krithi of Dikshithar “Simhasanasthite” in four auspicious Ragas, namely Sowrashtra, Vasanta, Surati and Madhyamavati, set to Roopaka Tala in praise of Goddess Parvati.
Tyagaraja ended his Prahlada Bhakthi Vijayam in Raga Mohanam and ended Nowka Charitham in Surutti.
Some Krithis sung as Mangalams
1-Agre Pasyami (Slokam) & Mangalam-Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar
2-Annamacharya Mangalam – Marali Marali Mangalam – Nedunuri Krishnamurthy
4-Bhujagashayino- Yadukulakambhoji -Swathi Tirunal followed by Sreeyah kaantaaya- Madhyamavati-MA Madhuvanthi
5-Jaya Mangalam-Thyagaraja Utsava sampradayam-Maharajapuram Santhanam- Naadanamakriya
6-Mangalam Kosalendraya – Usha Padmanabhan
8-mangaLam-vAzhiya_sentamizh-subramaNya bhArati–Sanjay Subramaniam-Tamil Way of Concluding a Concert
9-Karpagame -madyamavati-Papanasam Sivan-Priya Sisters
10-Navavarna Mangalam-SriKamalambike -Sriragam-Muthuswami Dikshitar-Vidya Subramaniam
11-Haladharanujam Prapthum -Manirangu- Oothukadu Kamakshi Navavarnam – Anahita & Apoorva