EKA-KRITHI RAGAS: DEVARANJI – JANYA OF MELA (15) RAGAM MAYAMALAVAGOULA

Devaranji is a wonderful raga, which deserves and requires popularity. It is sometimes called ‘Devaranjini’ also. The only popular composition is “Namasthe paradevathe” by Sri. Dikshithar. The notes are:

S M1 P D1 P N3 S // S N3 D1 P M1 S

(R1 and G3 are absent. There is a Hindustani raga with same name, considered equivalent to this. Raga Devaranji is an aprachalit Raga adapted from Carnatic Music to Hindustani. It belongs to Bhairav That (Mayamalavagaula; Melakarta- No.15). It is a pentatonic Raga (Audava- Audava using 5 notes only). Its special feature is that two consecutive notes. Rishabham and Gandharam are omitted. Raga Vistara (Elaboration of the Raga) therefore becomes extremely difficult. From the audio sample presented here one can notice that The Raga has an appealing melodic structure, and it requires a high level of skill and maturity to present the Raga. The very speciality of the raga lies in the sudden jump from lower Shadjam to M1 and back in both the directions, the very large gap makes the melodic feel (the notation is like: S-M-M-P M-P- D- P- N – na ma sthe pa ra de va the).

The scale of the Hindustani Raga Devaranji is S,M,P,d,N and Komal Nishad ‘n’ is sometimes used as ‘dndP’. Its Aroha is SMPdNS’’ and Avaroha is S’’ NdPMS. S, M and P are Nyasa Swaras and the Raga is UttarangaPradhan. Meend (Glissando) M->S and S’’->d are prominently employed and (Grace note) sparsha of Shuddha Nishad ‘N’ when singing Komal Dhaivat ‘d’ is observed. Ragas Jhilaf of Bhairav Thata and Jogia are allied to it.

In carnatic Music, apart from Mayamalavagaula, Melakarta- No.15, Raga Devaranjini is documented under 3 other Melakartas viz. Kharaharpriya (No. 22), Sarasangi (No. 27) and Harikambhoji (No. 28).

SSP gives the lakshana as:

"Sadjagraha Devaranjiaudavi ri ga varjita ||"

It is suitable to be sung at all times.

Ragapravham by D.Pattammal, however, gives different notes, under mela (15) as:

S M P D N S // S N D P M S

S R M P D P N S // S N D P M S

Ragapravaham also shows Devaranjani as janya of mela 22, 27 and 28 :

S G R M P D N S // S D P M G R S (mela 22)

S R G M P D N S // S N D P M G R S (mela 22)

S R G M P D S // S N D P M G R S (mela 22)

S R G M P D N S // S P N D M G R S (mela 27)

S R G P D S // S D P M G R S (mela 28)

Compositions:

Namasthe paradevathe - Dikshithar

taddhittakanakajhem (g) – Venkatamakhi

We shall now take the only composition available, the Dikshithar krithi for discussion. It is on Goddess Kamakshi and in the eighth vibhakthi (sambodhana prathama). It is a very short composition, with Pallavi and Samashti charanam (including madhyama kala sahithyam). The raga mudra is incorporated as “samasta dEva ranjita” (meaning – the one delighting all the gods). As usual Sri. Dikshithar has made it attractive by introducing the ‘Dwithiyakshara’ and ‘Anthakshara’ prasams.


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