Ragam Chittharanjani seems to be a raga created by Sadguru Thyagaraja only, as there is no reference to this raga anywhere; nor any of the other Trinities have composed in it. Again, though there have been some krithis composed in this raga later, none of them are heard sung in concerts; the Thyagaraja krithi, “NAdatanum anisham” still maintains the status of Eka-raga krithi.
Chittharanjani, like ragam Punnagavarali, is a ‘nishadanthya’ raga – means the notes end in Nishadam, without reaching the upper Shadjam; clearly evidencing that there is only limited scope for elaboration, to be limited within the one octave only. The notes are :
S R2 G2 M1 P D2 N2 // N2 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S
As we can see, it is only Kharaharapriya without the upper Shadjam; this makes confusion in the alapana, that in most places it shows phrases of the Janaka ragam. It is certain sancharas which make these different; as such the Thyagaraja krithi is the only one which we can depend upon to learn these.
Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal places this raga under mela (19) and mela (22) ragas.
Under mela (19) ragam Jhankaradhwani,
S R2 G2 R2 G2 M1 P D1 // N1 D1 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S
S R2 G2 R2 G2 M1 P D1 N1 // N1 D1 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S
S G2 R2 G2 M1 P D1 N1 S // S N1 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S
Also, under mela (22) ragam Kharaharapriya,
N2 S R2 G2 M1 P D2 N2 // N2 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S N2
S R2 G2 M1 P D2 N2 S // N2 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S
During felicitation of Sri. Trichy Sankaran on 30-12-2005 at woodlands, Padmabhushan T.N.Seshagopalan gave a beautiful concert, containing the Thyagaraja krithi, ‘Nadatanumanisham’ also. TNS sang the composition with suddhanishadham, as janya of 19th melakartaraga Jhankaradhwani instead of the usual form, sung as janya of Kharaharapriya.
He said that it was the old tradition and later it was changed, may be due to the fact that the song is about Lord Siva who is kharaharapriya, dear to Rama , the killer of khara and because it contains the words samavedasaram , and the samaveda consists of the notes of Kharaharapriya. However the raga as sung by him was indeed Chittharanjani when listened
with an open mind.
Bhutangalaindagi pulanagi porulagi - Manikkavachakar
Eno tamadittai ishane - Suddhananda Bharati
Kadaikkan parttarulvai kartane - N.S.Ramasvami Iyer
Nadatanum anisham shankaram - Thyagaraja
Smara manasa - Ratnakara Tirtha
Tudi sheivai - Padmavati Ammal
Vaishnavim - Bangalore S.Mukund
Vikhyata mukhyaprana - R.K.Suryanarayana
We shall come to the Thyagaraja krithi now. The only things that mattered to Saint Thyagaraja were music and bhakti - they were synonymous. In this kriti, he says "Is there a sacred path than music and bhakti?". "O Mind, salute the gods of the seven notes". "The knowledge of music, O Mind, leads to bliss of Union with the Lord". "I bow to Sankara, the embodiment of Nada, with my body and mind. To Him, the essence of blissful Samaveda, the best of the vedas, I bow. To Him who delights in the seven swaras born of His five faces I bow". The wording ‘nigamothama Sama veda’ indicates that while the Rig and Yajur veda contains only three swaras, Sama veda contains all the seven; the saint has chosen it as the acme of veda. The five TAlas and the five basic sounds of mridangam are also said to have originated from the five faces of Lord Siva (it is said that he has one more!). ‘KAlam’ refers to the story of Markandeya.
It seems that most of the singers have been splitting the words in the beginning, without knowing the meaning. Sadguru has meant, “ I bow to Sankara, the embodiment of nAda (nAdatanum)”. But it is seen that most of the musicians (including the altime greats) have sung this as ‘nAda..tanumanisham’ which is absolutely wrong; it does not give the meaning at all. What happened is that a song in the Tamil film Mangayarkarasi, tuned in this raga and sung by Sri. P.U.Chinnappa is in the same flow – ‘KAthal…kanirasame”