EKA-KRITHI RAGAS: HAMSANATANI – JANYA OF MELA (18) RAGAM HATAKAMBARI

Hamsanatani (also seen in some places as Hamsanantini) is another rarest of the rare raga, known only because of the H.H. Jayachamaraja Wodeyar composition, “vandeham sada Sharada”. Hamsanatani is a swaranthara- audava raga. This raga is traditionally placed under Hatakambari (Jayasuddhamalavi), the 18th mela. Some people consider this as a janya of Mayamalavagoula, the 15th mela. The absence of dhaivata makes it difficult to reslove this issue. The Poorvanga will remind most people of the 15th mela only as it is very popular. The Uttaranga however reminds one of Hatakambari only. Also D1 is a strong note in Mayamalavagoula and hence its absence weakens the impression of this janaka. That apart, the raga is one brought to light by Wodeyar`s kriti. Wodeyar has deftly handled the rAga; so deftly in fact that one forgets the limitations imposed by the raga structure and the swaranthara Arohana, which is identical with Navarasakannada. But the descent gives a clear and distinct swaroopa to the raga. M1 is a jeeva and nyasa swara. G3 is also a prominent note and is sung with a mild swing. The raga evokes bhakti with a hint of adbhuta due to "PS" leap. A beautiful composition that bears ample testimony to Sri.Wodeyar`s skill in handling rare ragas.

The common scale adopted is:

S G3 M1 P S // S P M1 G3 R1 S

Ragapravaham places it under two melas, 13 & 18

S G3 M1 P S // S P M1 G3 R1 S (mela 13, Gayakapriya and mela 18, Hatakambari); supporting the above scale only.

Compositions:

Vandeham sada sharada - Jayachamaraja wodeyar

Madam mummari - Sudhananda Bharathi

Varadu varumayya - Sudhananda Bharathi

We shall discuss the J.C.Wodeyar composition, which is the only popular. The meaning:

"Always, I salute Goddess shAradA.

who likes hamsanaTani rAgam;

who is the very essence of shrIvidyA.

who is with a gentle smile;

who is the jewel to the mind;

who is soft spoken;

who brings joy to brahma;

who is venerable.

who is ever present in the six cakrams starting from mUlAdhAra;

who is famed for granting speech even to the dumb; (*)

who is in the form of the origin of the universe;

who is both with and without form;

who is beyond creation and destruction;

who is in the form of the intellect, pleased by poets".

(*) the usage, ‘Mookamukhya vAk pradayA’ in the krithi: The Goddess bestowed the poetic gift on Mooka Kavi and others. Mooka Kavi it was, who composed the ‘mooka panchashathi’ in praise of Goddess Kamakshi at Kanchipuram. Mooka kavi later became one of the Shankaracharya of kanchi maTam. Sharada generally refers to Goddess Saraswathi only. But it is correct to attribute the name to goddess Sharadamba; as Sharada in Shringeri is considered both Brahmani and Shivani. She is actually Sreematha and hence incorporates all the 3 Devis within herself.


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