EKA-KRITHI RAGAS: MARUVADHANYASI – JANYA OF MELA (22) RAGAM KHARAHARAPRIYA

A raga first used by Saint Thyagaraja in his composition and surviving only because of the same, Maruvadhanyasi is one of the rarest of the rare. Still many musicians used to sing the Thyagaraja krithi towards the end of the second half of the concert, or as a filler between main krithis. This raga is an oudava vakra-sampoorna janyam of mela ragam (22) Kharaharapriya, the ragaswaroopa is given as:

S G2 M1 P D2 S // S N2 D2 P M1 D2 M1 G2 R2 S

The arohanam is same as another beautiful rare raga, Jayanthasena; also, it keeps all the notes of the janaka ragam in avarohanam. This makes it a pleasant one for listening, especially in madhyama kAlam; but surprised to see that there is no other popular composition in this raga, other than the Thyagaraja krithi ! For quite a long time, the Thyagaraja krithi remained the only one composition; though we find compositions in this raga on later days, none of the same has been heard in concerts. This raga is also known as ‘Maruvadhanasi’.

As we have already seen, this scale is followed only by the Thyagaraja school, SSP does not give any reference to the same. Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal places it under the same mela (22) ragam Kharaharapriya, and gives a few structures, including the one above:

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

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

S G M P D S // S N D P M D M G R S **

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

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

Compositions:

Mridu bhashana - Thyagaraja

Nnnu brova jagelara – Tiruvottiyur Thyagaiah

In the composition, “mridu bhAshana”, Sadguru pleads to Lord Rama to save him.

Meaning of the composition:

“O Lord who is soft spoken! O Lord worshipped by vibhIshaNa!

O Great gale which blows away the clouds of demons! O Bestower of boons! O Sinless One! O Protector of the celestials! O Smiling Faced! O Lord who is adorned with virtues! O Supreme Lord who is beyond everything! O Lord worshipped by the hands of tyAgarAja!

Whoever (other than You) will make me – who has not abstained from evil-some desires - calm minded?”

Let us listen to an excellent rendition of this krithi by Dr. M.Balamuraleekrishna; with Sri. M.S.Gopalakrishnan on violin and Sri. Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman on mridangam – an ensemble of two Padmavibhushans and a Padmabhushan in one stage !!!


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