DISPUTED RAGAS IN VIBHAKTHI KRITHIS:- SD vs URC & SS vs DK – AN ANALYSIS

There had been some controversy when I wrote about the Guruguha Vibhakthi krithis of Dikshithar; as we have seen, the last two compositions are in Udayaravichandrika (URC) and Devakriya (DK) respectively, these being mistakedly considered as Suddha Dhanyasi (SD) and Suddha Saveri (SS). Let us see these one by one.

First we take the pair URC and SD; both have similar notes, with only a minor change, ie. Nishadam:

SD :- S G2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 P M1 G2 S

URC:- S G2 M1 P N3 S // S N3 P M1 G2 S

The former originates from mela(22) Kharaharapriya (even from Thodi); while the latter from mela (9) Dhenuka (Dhunibhinnashadjam). It is seen that most of the websites show the same list of compositions under both, saying both are same. Some experts say that the former is sung with lot of gamakas whereas the latter is always presented with plain notes. But it can be seen that it is the type of Nishadam which makes the difference. This is the only significant difference between the 2 ragas and Subbarama Dikshitar highlights this clearly while explaining the raga lakshana of SD in the SSP. URC is also known as Srothaswini (which is mostly placed under mela – 21, Keeravani). However, the fact that the Thyagaraja school also used the name URC while referring to SD complicated the matters and somehow this seems to have stuck with the people after the Trinity's times and this Nishada disctinction between the 2 ragas seems to have completely disappeared with people saying that URC and SD are one and the same. And with the beautiful composition, “Sri Guruguha murthe chit shakthi sphurthe” of Dikshitar being neglected in the concert arena (except for a few artists like vidushi. Vedavalli), the original URC as per the Dikshitar school has successfully been buried in its grave. (I dont know if dIkshitar would have realized at the time of composing this krithi that URC would fade away into oblivion, but, it definitely does seem like this krithi is one hallmark composition in this rAga and it will hopefully withstand the onslaught of those repetitive kAmbhOjis and bhairavIs).

" Sri Guruguha Murthe " sung by Sangeetha Kalanidhi R Vedavalli : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-rOdhrqPbs

Also, those who want to to get more info on this subject, are requested to listen to the famous musicologist Dr S.R Janakiraman : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpUJtEgBS6k

Again, it has to be noted that Dikshithar had enough knowledge about both the ragas; while he composed “Sri guruguha murthe” in URC (as evidenced by “AtmOdaya ravi candrikA saMdIptE”), he also composed “Subrahmanyena Rakshithoham” in SD (raga mudra as: “kRttikA suta Suddha dhanyEna”) – it was not to use the two names, but he differenciated the two.

Now, coming to Devakriya (DK) and Suddha Saveri(SS). There are three types of Devakriyas seen mentioned in various texts; one being janya of mela (20) Natabhairavi, second from (22) Kharaharapriya and the third from (29) Sankarabharanam, (which is evidently same as SS); notes - SR2M1PD2S. The Devakriya of the last type has the same notes; but differs in the prominancy of M1 in DK, while it is P in SS (as per vid. Ravikiran). The original Devakriya was a janya of mela (21) Natabhairavi; it is again the usage of SS to DK by the Thyagaraja school which complicated the matter. Saint Thyagaraja has composed ‘nATi mATa maracitivO’ in the original DK, please listen to MDR : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU80fhlYiSU

DK as we know of it today and as handled by Thyagaraja appears in the Sangrahachudamani where it is classified as a Nishadanthya raga and a NaTabhairavi janya with the scale of:

S R2 G2 M1 N2 D1 N2 // N2 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S R2 S

But based on the movement of notes given in this song, the Music Academy in its early years, worked on a scale for it which it gave out as:

S R2 M P N2 S // S N2 D1 N P M1 G2 R2 S (This is the form today).

In the Hindusthani music, this raga is called Durga; but again, it is the janya of Kharaharapriya!!

Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradarshini by Subburama Dikshithar gives a specification, similar to Suddha Saveri; but states that Suddha Saveri is being sung with Panchasruthi Rishabha Dhaivatas. Interestingly Devakriya which has the same scale which Dikshithar composed uses Thrisruthi.

Muthuswami Dikshithar used the name Suddha Saveri in compositions like ‘Ekamresha nayike’, which again made confusion; as time passed, musicologists prefixed it with “Karnataka”, (KSS), this raga is a janya of Kanakangi; but having similar, but Suddha notes as SS (SR1M1PD1S).

But to my surprise, I could not find any youtube upload in the original DK of the vibhakthi krithis (many are blocked due to copyrights), since everybody considers both to be same. Only musicians who follow these strictly like vidushi. R. Vedavalli and her school stick to the originality and purity of these ragas.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

GURUGUHA VIBHAKTHI KRITHIS by Sri. MUTHUSWAMI DIKSHITHAR

CONTENTS 1. Introduction to Vibhakthi Krithis 2. Shri Nathadi Guruguho Jayati Jayati – Prathama – Ragam Mayamalavagoula 3. MAnasa Guruguha Rupam Bhajare – Dwithiya – Ragam Anandabhairavi 4. Sri Guruna

GURUGUHA VIBHAKTHI KRITHIS - MUTHUSWAMI DIKSHITHAR

We are beginning with another series of compositions, generally known as Sri Guruguha Vibhakthi krithis; written by Nadajyothi Muthuswami Dikshithar. Since it would be better to know the history and c

For media inquiries,

please contact

Sign up for news and updates

from Dr Radhakrishnan

© 2020 by Dr M Radhakrishnan

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon